Top 9 Shopify Alternatives

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Shopify alternatives

Shopify, an outstanding eCommerce platform, is the shopping cart software we at Merchant Maverick recommend to most businesses. But of course, we know there are plenty of businesses out there looking for Shopify alternatives, especially in recent months. While we love Shopify’s software, we understand that it might not be the best cart for everyone.

Here (in no particular order) we present seven alternative shopping carts for you to try, and explain why these Shopify competitors might work better for you than Shopify.

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 seven alternatives to Shopify.

1. LemonStand


LemonStand (see our review) was originally offered as locally downloadable software but has moved to the cloud in recent years. Package pricing is markedly more expensive than Shopify’s (learn more about LemonStand pricing in our review), but you get a lot for your money, as this shopping cart solution offers unlimited products on all plans, and comes loaded with tons of insanely 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.

2. BigCommerce


According to Texas-based BigCommerce (see our review), more than 95,000 businesses use this robust platform to sell online. We gave BigCommerce a 4/5-star rating and consider this shopping cart a strong choice, particularly for high-volume businesses. It is packed full of features and 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 tons of options, extras, and integrations that don’t cost extra, BigCommerce may be a better choice for your business than Shopify. Check out our BigCommerce vs. Shopify comparison for a more in-depth comparison of these shopping carts.

3. Volusion

volusion-logo
Volusion (see our review) is one of the biggest names in eCommerce, serving more than 40,000 businesses, including Element Outfitters and Evutec. 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, whereas Shopify does. A couple more advantages of Volusion include one-page checkout and an out-of-the-box eBay integration (with Shopify, eBay integration is an add-on).

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.

4. 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 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.

5. Magento

magento-logo
Magento CE (see our review) is a free, open-source shopping cart that works best for mid-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 who want full control over their online store and have the capital to pay for their own hosting, web design, and security.

How It’s Better Than Shopify:
Magento isn’t for everyone, but if these features appeal to you, you might like it better than Shopify:

  • No monthly service charge (though you will have to pay for your own hosting)
  • Better built-in multi-lingual support than Shopify
  • Thousands more apps and add-ons
  • Greater customization and control

Learn more about Magento CE in our Magento review. Magento also now offers an Enterprise Edition.

6. WooCommerce

woo-commerce-logo
Want 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.

7. 3dcart

3dcart-logo
3dcart (see our review) is a fully cloud-hosted shopping cart solution. This cart comes loaded with features at an attractive price point. 3dcart charges bandwidth overage fees at $5 for each GB you exceed your limit. 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 50 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 is priced slightly lower than Shopify. For $9.99/month, you can purchase the “Nano” package, which comes with 10 products, unlimited storage, and most of the features of the higher plans. You can also get an additional 15% discount if you pay for the whole year. 3dcart does not charge any transaction fees.

8. 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. You just add your products into 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.

9. 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 about the same as Shopify.

Pinnacle Cart is the bell-and-whistles solution for merchants who are looking for everything but don’t have the tech knowledge for an open source option like Magento.

Here some of Pinnacle Cart’s features:

  • Shipping tracking
  • 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.

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.

 

Shannon Vissers

Shannon Vissers

Shannon is a freelance writer and editor based in San Diego, CA. Shannon has a three-year-old daughter named Izzy. Shannon likes to unwind by watching trashy reality television and reading literary fiction during the commercial breaks.
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