Looking for the top 5 alternatives to Shopify? You’re in the right place. Today we’re going to discuss Shopify alternatives and cases where you may need them.
It’s important to know which platform or eCommerce solution is right for you and your store because everyone is different and has their own needs. Simply looking at alternatives can give you a broader view of what you do and don’t want so you can make an informed decision about what is best for you.
What is Shopify?
Simply put, Shopify is an SaaS eCommerce solution where you can create a digital store to sell your products. With your own customisable storefront and the ability to accept flexible payment options, you have all the tracking functionality of a real store online. Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce SaaS platforms available, and we don’t see this changing for a long time. Even though they offer a very flexible service for anyone, there are instances where an alternative would work better, so it’s always good to check.
Are There Alternatives to Shopify?
Yes, there are many Shopify alternatives available, but honestly, most of them aren’t as good and fall short when they are compared on both a technical and user level. This could be because they are offering outdated solutions or they are chasing the market and lacking their own innovation which could hinder your store long term.
The top 5 Shopify alternatives to look into are Magento, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Volusion, and Squarespace, so let’s take a closer look at each one.
Magento as an Alternative to Shopify
Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform that was released in 2008. They were on top of the charts for a very long time amongst larger retailers with in house teams, but since their major security issues in 2016, they are now considered redundant and insecure. Since then, many merchants are migrating away from Magento to safer more modern solutions, like Shopify.
There are, however, instances where Magento is still the better option: when it comes to multilingual functionality on the same domain, for instance (which sucks for SEO). In order for Magento to work optimally, you will be required to hire an in-house developer, especially for security, so it can become quite costly. Not an option for smaller stores or those just starting out in eCommerce.
WooCommerce as an Alternative to Shopify
It’s used by various WordPress websites to add ecommerce functionality, and those that use the WooCommerce plugin are at a much higher risk of security attacks, so they need regular maintenance. In addition to this, the sites using it tend to be slower than is considered optimal, and also have problems when it comes to scaling.
One of our ecommerce developers likens WooCommerce to an old slow Windows PC. It works and gets the job done ok but Shopify is like a Mac.
We are currently migrating clients away from Woocommerce.
BigCommerce as an Alternative to Shopify
BigCommerce is another SaaS eCommerce solution that is not experiencing any issues when it comes to speed and security, but it is lagging behind Shopify heavily when it comes to functionality and community.
The missing ingredients are the features and flexibility, and technically, it’s several years behind Shopify, which is a very long time for your store to be behind the curve in online terms. Because of the lack of investment in innovation, they are at risk of being pushed to the very margin within the next 5 years and our prediction is that BigCommerce will become insignificant soon.
Volusion as an Alternative to Shopify
Volusion, although a viable eCommerce SaaS solution, is plagued by the same issue as BigCommerce: failure to innovate. It’s not a sensible alternative to Shopify and because of this, merchants are transferring over to Shopify because of the much wider range of options such as themes and apps, as well as the increased integration and lower costs.
Squarespace as an Alternative to Shopify
Squarespace is not a comprehensive eCommerce solution when it comes to Shopify Alternatives, and has limited functionality, particularly with scaling. The platform wasn’t built to support growth, so it’s not well-suited for anyone with a vision to expand in the future. If you only want a simple online store that you can manage yourself and don’t plan on selling more than a few thousand per year, it might be okay for you, but that’s not a real investment into your business.
However, you can also get this solution with Shopify—simple, more functionality and better design capabilities.
Which is the Best Alternative to Shopify?
Finding an adequate alternative heavily depends on your business needs, but in the majority of cases, Shopify will be the optimal eCommerce solution. There are some rare instances (around 5% of merchants) where Magento is the better alternative, or Squarespace is more suited (also around 5% of cases) but most of the time, Shopify is your best bet.
Need Advice on Which eCommerce Platform to Choose?
Feel free to contact our eCommerce development team to discuss Shopify alternatives or answer a few simple questions to find out which is the best eCommerce solution for your business.