Alternatives To WooCommerce
With over 1.7M users on board, WooCommerce is the most widely used eCommerce platform there is. WooCommerce stores make up a whopping 41% of all eCommerce sites! For comparison, Shopify makes up only 5%.
So why do so many merchants choose WooCommerce? WooCommerce provides an affordable and simple way to turn your WordPress site into an online store. The software is both free and open source. You’ll start out with a set of basic tools and you can add on extensions to fill in any advanced features you may need.
WooCommerce is well-loved for being incredibly scalable. You can grow from 20 products to 2,000 products without ever having to switch eCommerce platforms. And with so many other Woo merchants out there, you’ll be surrounded by a rocking user community. Check out our full WooCommerce review to learn more about it.
While WooCommerce is clearly an excellent eCommerce platform, it isn’t perfect by any means. Users often complain that extensions are too costly and that support avenues are limited. They’re also frustrated by the time and effort that it takes to learn to use WooCommerce.
If you’ve encountered those issues yourself, or if you’re just looking to see what else is out there, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out more about three alternatives to WooCommerce.
Don’t have time to read an entire article? Take a look at our top rated eCommerce solutions for a few quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer support, superb web templates, and easy-to-use software, all for a reasonable price.
Ecwid (see our review) is a plug-and-play eCommerce platform that lets you add an online store to any website. While it is not specifically designed for WordPress, you will be able to add an Ecwid store to your WordPress site just by copying and pasting a few lines of code.
In fact, using that code you can sell across multiple websites and still manage it all from one admin. Ecwid is easy to use and is geared toward small to mid-size businesses.
Ecwid further differs from WooCommere it that is a fully-hosted SaaS solution. That means that the software is not open source; you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to access the platform and to keep your store online.
Fortunately, Ecwid’s monthly rates are quite low. Pricing is based on the number of products you need to list, and with each step up in pricing, you’ll have access to more features. Prices range from free for 10 products to $99/month for unlimited products. Take a look at our full Ecwid review for pricing details.
Fortunately, Ecwid is not just affordable, but also easy to use. The dashboard is simple to navigate, and it takes only a few hours to get comfortable with most of Ecwid’s basic features.
Unfortunately, editing themes isn’t nearly as simple. In order to make any large changes to your store’s look, you’ll need to get into the source code. What’s more, Ecwid only has four themes to choose from, and they’re mostly just variations of this:
Fortunately, Ecwid clients are generally happy with their platform. In particular, they triumph Ecwid’s ease of use, low price, and multi-lingual capabilities.
If you’re looking for a simple, embeddable shopping cart for your small online store, Ecwid might just be the way to go. Get more details on features, integrations, and available payment processors in our full review.
Magento is a free, fully customizable eCommerce platform. And with over 250,000 users, it’s plenty popular. Magento is well loved for providing extensive functionality right out of the box. Because this cart is self-hosted, you’ll need to find your own hosting (and get everything started on your own).
While Magento is free to download, there are still expenses associated with operating your online store. You’ll have to pay for your web hosting, domain name, and add-ons. You’ll also need to pay for an SSL certificate and any fees associated with your payment processing. And if you don’t have any web experience, you’ll very likely need to hire a web developer at least occasionally.
Part of the reason you’ll need a developer is to help you set things up. It took me two hours to even get Magento’s demo platform working for me. Getting a real store up and running will take a lot more time, energy, and know-how.
Fortunately, Magento’s admin panel is much easier to use.
As I said, this cart offers loads of features out of the box, and those features are all very well organized within the dashboard. It isn’t hard to add products and attributes, create discounts, or organize your inventory by category.
Unlike SaaS solutions, open source solutions do not typically provide pre-built store templates. Rather, you’ll have to buy one from a third party, develop your own, or hire a developer to do it for you.
Although there is a WYSIWYG editor that lets you update site content, the rest of your changes have to be made in the source code.
While Magento users are typically pleased with their platform, they aren’t shy about voicing its flaws. As you might imagine, users often complain about Magento’s steep learning curve and lack of personal (phone and email) customer support. In addition, Magento users say that their sites often get bogged down and run slower than they’d like.
However, most users are in agreement that Magento’s positives outweigh the negatives. They love that the platform comes feature-rich right out of the box and that you can find advanced features in Magento’s extensive marketplace. They also like that the platform is incredibly scalable. Furthermore, Magento users pride themselves on their sense of community. Community forums are active, and developers are constantly releasing new integrations and templates.
While Magento is not the best solution for small or inexperienced online sellers, it’s an excellent platform for those who are ready for the challenge. Take a look at our full review for more information.
A Lesser Alternative: Jigoshop
Jigoshop (see our review) is WooCommerce’s long lost cousin. In fact, WooCommerce was forked from Jigoshop’s code. (WooThemes, the company that made WooCommerce, took Jigoshop’s code and altered it to be their own.)
For this reason, Jigoshop is incredibly similar to WooCommerce in form and function. But in my opinion, Jigoshop is an inferior option. I’ve had trouble navigating the admin and my experience with the platform was rather glitchy. However, I’m including Jigoshop in this list because out of all shopping carts on the market, it is the most similar to WooCommerce.
If you want a platform that’s just like WooCommerce (but isn’t WooCommerce), you might give Jigoshop a try.
Like WooCommerce, Jigoshop is free, open source, downloadable software. You won’t have to pay for any upgrades or updates. However, you will have to pay for hosting, a domain name, and an SSL certificate. You’ll also need to purchase a handful of extensions to customize your platform. Fortunately, those extensions are reasonably priced; some are even free.
In general, I’m not a huge fan of Jigoshop’s user interface. I found the admin a bit redundant and difficult to navigate. Things just aren’t set up as cleanly as I like them to be.
I also had trouble when I tried to add a product. Although I didn’t have any difficulty entering product information, I was less than pleased with my results.
And, when I looked to Jigoshop’s documentation for help, I found that their resources were out of date.
Jigoshop offers around 70 web themes, and while they aren’t the best options I’ve ever seen, they aren’t the worst either.
You can edit whichever theme you choose using Jigoshop’s limited WYSIWYG theme editor. For larger changes, you’ll have to dive into the source code.
Customer reviews of Jigoshop are few and far between, so it’s difficult to gauge user’s opinions of the platform. However, I have seen a few reports that updates seemingly cause more problems than they resolve.
On the other hand, Jigoshop isn’t all doom and gloom. For a free platform, Jigoshop comes with a strong feature set. What’s more, Jigoshop’s extensions and themes are fairly priced, and while Jigoshop offers limited support options, they do respond to questions within a short window of time.
In all honestly, Jigoshop is not one of my top recommendations, not by any means. But, as the closest alternative to WooCommerce, it deserves to be on the list.
You can find out more about Jigoshop in our full review, but I recommend you take a look at Ecwid or Magento first.
Making a Decision
So, if you’ve looked into WooCommerce, but it doesn’t seem quite right, take a look at one (or three) of these alternatives. Read our reviews, sign up for a trial or two, and see if these carts have the features you’re looking for.