Top 10 Shopify Alternatives

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Shopify alternatives

Shopify (see our review), an outstanding eCommerce platform, is the shopping cart software we at Merchant Maverick recommend to most businesses. But while we love Shopify’s software, we understand that it might not be the best cart for everyone.

In this article, we’ll present ten alternative shopping carts and explain why these Shopify competitors might work better for you. (Carts are presented in random order and not ranked according to rating or suitability.)

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. Otherwise, read on for our ten alternatives to Shopify.

1. Pinnacle Cart

Pinnacle Cart (see our review) is a feature-rich SaaS solution that’s been around since 2004. Pinnacle Cart comes loaded with features and still boasts incredible usability. And it costs only slightly more than Shopify.

Pinnacle Cart is the bells-and-whistles solution for merchants who are looking for a full-featured cart but don’t have the tech knowledge for an open source option like Magento.

Here some of Pinnacle Cart’s features:

  • One-page checkout
  • Unlimited admin accounts
  • Unlimited product images
  • Real-time shipping quotes
  • Recurring billing

Take a look at our Pinnacle Cart review for more information.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Pinnacle Cart offers notably more features than Shopify out-of-the-box. For example, you can enable one-page checkout and list unlimited product attributes. These features are available at all price points.

In addition, Pinnacle Cart does not charge transaction fees. Plans are priced at competitive rates.

2. LemonStand

LemonStand (see our review) is a cloud-based platform like Shopify. Package pricing is determined by the number of orders customers place each month. You get plenty for your dollar as this shopping cart solution offers unlimited products on all plans and comes loaded with tons of customizable features. Some of the customizations you get with LemonStand include:

  • Open-source storefront design customization
  • Product options (size, color, etc., custom SKUs)
  • Custom SSL

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Unlike Shopify, LemonStand doesn’t charge any credit card transaction fees (other than the fee charged by your chosen payment gateway). LemonStand also offers more customizability than Shopify.

If you want a custom storefront, LemonStand could be a great choice for you. Just keep in mind that in order to take full advantage of LemonStand you will probably have to hire a web designer.

3. BigCommerce

According to the folks at Texas-based BigCommerce (see our review), more than 95,000 businesses use their robust platform to sell online. We gave BigCommerce a 4.5/5-star rating and consider this shopping cart a strong choice, particularly for high-volume businesses. It is packed full of features and its pricing is comparable to Shopify’s.

Some cool things about this eCommerce software include:

  • Unlimited storage, products, and bandwidth on all plans
  • Easy to use
  • Good customer service
  • No transaction fees
  • Strong SEO features

How It’s Better Than Shopify
BigCommerce does not charge any transaction fees.

BigCommerce also has more “out of the box” features when compared with Shopify. If you want lots options and integrations that don’t cost extra, BigCommerce may be a better choice for your business than Shopify. Check out our BigCommerce vs. Shopify article for a more in-depth comparison of these shopping carts.

4. Volusion

volusion-logoVolusion (see our review) is one of the biggest names in eCommerce, serving more than 30,000 businesses, including Element Outfitters and Muddy Body. Like Shopify, Volusion is an easy-to-use, cloud-based shopping cart that works well for small and medium-sized businesses. Some of Volusion’s strongest selling points include:

  • 24/7 phone, chat, and email support
  • Unlimited product options
  • No transaction fees
  • Abandoned cart feature

Learn more about Volusion in our review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Volusion does not charge additional credit card transaction fees. Volusion also includes a few built-in features that are not available with Shopify, such as one-page checkout.

Keep in mind that Volusion will charge bandwidth overage fees. You’ll need to keep an eye on your usage if you don’t want to get hit with the $7/GB bandwidth charges.

For a deeper comparison of these two shopping carts, read our Volusion vs. Shopify article.

5. Big Cartel

big-cartel-logo

Big Cartel (see our review) is a shopping cart with attitude. It’s a hip, minimalist shopping cart geared specifically toward artists. Roughly a million musicians, clothing designers, and other artists use Big Cartel to sell their creations. While it’s rather limited in the way of features and templates, Big Cartel is an affordable shopping cart that includes all the essentials an indie artist needs to set up shop online.

With Big Cartel, you get:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • HTML and CSS customization at all paid levels
  • Inventory tracking at all paid levels
  • Seamless integration with PayPal, Google Analytics, and Facebook
  • Free 5-product plan

Find out more about this shopping cart in our Big Cartel review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Big Cartel doesn’t have as robust a feature set as Shopify, but Big Cartel is a lot cheaper if you don’t have many products to sell — the basic 5-product Big Cartel package has no monthly charge. Big Cartel also doesn’t charge any card transaction fees, though it processes all online payments through PayPal and Stripe, which charges higher fees than your average payment gateway.

To learn more about how Shopify and Big Cartel stack up against each other, you can refer to my Shopify vs Big Cartel writeup.

6. Magento

magento-logoMagento CE (see our review) is a free, open-source shopping cart that works best for midsize to large vendors. In contrast to Shopify, Magento is downloadable rather than cloud-based, which means you’ll need to find your own hosting. Magento is powerful, scalable, and feature-rich, but it’s not for newbies — it’s a better choice for established businesses that want full control over their online stores and have the capital to pay for their own hosting, web design, and security.

Here are a few of the features that come free with Magento:

  • Unlimited product attributes
  • Powerful multi-lingual support
  • Complete customizability
  • One-page checkout
  • Large user community

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Magento is not the simplest software to use, which means it isn’t for everyone. However, if you know your way around code, Magento might appeal to you for a few reasons.

First, you won’t have to pay Magento a cent to use their software. You will, of course, have to pay for hosting, security, and any add-ons you may need. However, there is no monthly subscription.

What’s more, Magento’s open source code gives you much greater control over your site. You can customize anything to better fit your business model and operations.

Finally, Magneto is a powerful option. Magento comes dripping with features, and there are thousands of apps to choose from if you need to fill any holes.

Learn more about Magento CE in our Magento review. Or view our direct Shopify vs Magento comparison.

7. WooCommerce

woo-commerce-logoWant to start selling on your WordPress website? WooCommerce (see our review) is an open-source WordPress shopping cart plugin that is free to install and use with any WordPress account. WooCommerce integrates with a number of payment gateways and doesn’t charge any additional card transaction fees.

You can download numerous extensions and add-ons to extend WooCommerce’s basic functionality, though most of these are not free. You will also have to pay for your own WordPress hosting.
Here are some reasons people like WooCommerce:

  • No monthly service charge
  • Seamless WordPress integration
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Developer-friendly

See the full run-down of features in our WooCommerce review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
For businesses with WordPress websites, WooCommerce offers the freedom and flexibility of an open-source solution. It also allows you to keep your data independent of any third-party software platform. To get all the features Shopify offers, you will likely have to subscribe to various plugins that bill you monthly. However, with WooCommerce, any add-on features you need are available as one-time purchases or for free, which will save you money in the long run.

8. 3dcart

3dcart-logo3dcart (see our review) is a fully cloud-hosted shopping cart solution. This cart comes loaded with features at an attractive price point. For an additional charge, you can also buy web design services and SSL certificates from 3dcart.

Some useful 3dcart features include:

  • Support for back orders, wait lists, discounts, gift registries, and more
  • Over 60 free templates
  • Product options, including bundles
  • CRM features
  • SEO tools
  • Integrates with more than 100 payment gateways

For more info on features and pricing, check out our 3dcart review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
3dcart does not charge any transaction fees.

What’s more, 3dcart comes with rich functionality from the get-go. 3dcart includes features for one-page checkout and real-time storefront shipping rates. These features are only available through add-ons with Shopify. Read our full review of 3dcart to learn more about what 3dcart can do.

9. Ecwid

Already have a website set up? Want to sell a few items on your blog? Ecwid (see our review) may be the eCommerce platform for you.

Ecwid is an eCommerce widget that easily incorporates into almost every pre-established website. Just add your products to your admin panel and copy-paste a few lines of code into your website, and within minutes, you’ll have a store set up!

Even better, if you’re looking to sell 10 items or fewer, you can use Ecwid totally free of charge. See more information on pricing in our Ecwid review.

Here are a few features you can expect from Ecwid:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Automatic updates
  • Sell digital goods
  • Real-time shipping rates

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Ecwid is great for sellers who already have an online presence. With Ecwid, you can easily add a store to your website at a relatively low cost.

Ecwid also does not charge transaction fees and has a fully-functional free plan for merchants who want to sell 10 products or fewer.

 

10. Zoey

Zoey (see our review), which we often refer to as Zoey Commerce, is a cloud-based platform that has earned itself a perfect score on our rating scale. Zoey matches Shopify in usability, and at the same time provides comprehensive functionality, comparable to an open-source shopping cart. It’s one of our favorite solutions. Unfortunately, in order to access that top-notch software, you’ll have to spend a bit more than you would with Shopify.

Zoey’s plans start at $200/month and range up to $600/month. This takes Zoey out of the running for many smaller merchants. However, we think that Zoey’s software is worth the price for those who can afford it.

Here’s a bit of what Zoey has to offer:

  • Drag-and-drop theme editor
  • Abandoned cart reporting
  • Faceted search
  • Built-in blog
  • Real-time reports

Read our full review of Zoey for more information.

How It’s Better Than Shopify

Like many other solutions, Zoey does not charge transaction fees.

However, more importantly, Zoey offers much greater functionality than Shopify. And it does so without sacrificing usability. Zoey comes with advanced features like faceted (filtered) search and restricted customer access for B2B selling.

Zoey even competes with Shopify when it comes to site design. Zoey offers a drag-and-drop editor that lets you alter any and every aspect of your storefront. Needless to say, we are impressed. If you have the budget, take a look at Zoey.

How to Test and Find More Shopify Alternatives

Shopify is an awesome SaaS shopping cart, but it certainly isn’t your only option. Anyone looking to create an online store should evaluate several shopping cart providers before choosing the one that meets all their eCommerce needs. Fortunately, most of these shopping carts offer a free trial, allowing you to test the platform before you sign up.

Want even more eCommerce platforms to choose from? Feel free to peruse our shopping cart software reviews or start by taking a look at our shopping cart flowchart to see which platforms might be right for your business.

Liz Hull

Liz Hull

Liz is software review writer living in Oregon. As of late, she can often be found haunting eCommerce forums and waiting on hold with customer service representatives. When she's free, Liz loves to rock climb, watch Spanish dramas, and read poorly-written young adult novels.
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