Estimated read time: 6 minutes, 37 seconds
Some brands have become so popular in their industry that their brand name has overtaken the generic term entirely. I mean, let’s be honest; if you have a runny nose, you’d be more likely to ask for a “Kleenex” over a “nose tissue.” And if you want to know the capital of Tanzania, you’re more likely to “Google” it rather than “perform a web search.”
On the other hand, you might be surprised to find that there are plenty of soft, refreshing, and absorbent Kleenex alternatives out there work just as well for blowing your nose.
The bottom line is, just because a brand name is genericized doesn’t mean it is superior to its alternatives. Shopify alternatives are no exception.
Although Shopify is excellent at what it is (a user-friendly, flexible platform for online merchants that doesn’t require much technical skill), it’s not necessarily an all-in-one solution that works for everybody.
First of all, it doesn’t come without its problems. Some of the most common Shopify complaints are:
- Limited advanced features
- No customized checkout experience
- Extra transaction fees
- Overloaded customer support
- Product restrictions
If you start to look around, you won’t just begin to realize there are free alternatives to Shopify out there absent of those issues, but alternatives that fit your business even better than Shopify.
Let’s take a look at some of the best Shopify competitors for growing your ecommerce business.
Lots of Built-In Features – No Tax Management Solution
This ecommerce site has generated sales well over $15 billion, making them one of the most impressive platforms out there. They offer a wide range of tools with the promise of building your online store, no sweat required.
BigCommerce proposes pretty spectacular themes for free which can be especially attractive to merchants who want to avoid premium costs if they can.
If you love the straightforward user experience similar to Shopify, then you’ll love the simplicity of Big Commerce’s layout. Savvy marketers will love the advanced content-marketing features that make it easy to promote your products.
It’s important to note, however, that it may not be the best fit for smaller brands since BigCommerce tends to gear itself towards bigger online stores. Another key point to consider is that BigCommerce does not include any built-in solutions for managing global sales taxes. This can end up being a huge headache for sellers come tax season!
Best Solution For Global Customers
If you’re looking for a modernized ecommerce solution for selling desktop software, SaaS, or any other digital products all over the world, then FastSpring is a terrific option for you.
This full-stack ecommerce platform is ideal for companies looking for a solution to the frustrations of international checkouts. Fastspring provides global customers with a checkout process in their own language and currency, which is hugely convenient for international clients. The result? Significantly reduced cart abandonment. The localized shopping cart experience makes it that much easier to expand into new global markets for companies thinking big.
Fully-Customizable Solution – No Localization Available
Magento is an open-source self-hosted Adobe product and a free alternative to Shopify. A self-hosted platform can be compared to driving your own car rather than taking the bus. Simply put, when you drive your own car, you get to decide your route while the bus only lets you off at certain stops.
This Shopify alternative is ideal for companies with their own development team who want plenty of design freedom. So, if you don’t know much about code, then choosing Magento could put you at a disadvantage.
Strong Features With an Attractive Price Point – Heavy Focus on Physical Goods
Businesses of all sizes looking for a competitively priced Shopify alternative should start paying attention to this ecommerce solution. Boasting more built-in features than Shopify, you won’t need to worry about spending more than you need to on costly integrations.
You’ll have access to all of the same tools and marketing features as Shopify for the same or less, minus the transaction fees giving you the most bang for your buck. It’s important to remember that 3dCart is primarily focused on physical goods and B2C companies. Any B2B companies selling Software or SaaS will find a lack of invoicing, quote-to-cash, and other essential ecommerce features they need to run their business successfully.
For Small Businesses On a Budget – Focused on B2C Companies and Physical Goods
Ecwid is an awesome alternative to Shopify for smaller online businesses looking for a simple widget on their page, from Facebook to Instagram. No coding skills? No problemo! Ecwid makes it possible to create an instant online store without having to rely on programmers or designers.
Signing up is a painless process, making it less of a headache for businesses who would rather spend their time making their products than selling them. Best of all, Ecwid is free of charge for users selling ten items or less.
Again, this is a solution that is specifically designed for B2C companies selling physical products. Companies selling software, SaaS, or other digital products will notice there are key features like licensing and download management missing with Ecwid.
For WordPress Websites – No Tax Management Solution
If you’re looking for something to use with your already existing WordPress account, then WooCommerce is, without a doubt, the best choice for you. This open-source solution offers a full range of flexibility, making it a favorite amongst developers.
Few ecommerce platforms offer such a customizable experience that’s free and open source. With WooCommerce, you can build a site that can easily stand up to more expensive ecommerce solutions. Can we get a “Woo!”? Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to remember that WooCommerce is not a Merchant of Record, therefore key features like tax management are not available with their solution out of the box.
All In One Solution For Newbies and Advanced Users – Primarily Focused on B2C and Physical Goods
Wix is popular for a reason. It’s an easy to use website builder that makes it a breeze for even non-technical folks to build a gorgeous website. There’s nothing to install, and no code required.
If you’re looking for a free option, however, Wix isn’t your best bet. Without a paid plan, your site will be covered in ads, and you won’t be able to choose your own domain name. The good news is that paid plans are pretty reasonably priced, giving it an advantage over Shopify.
The drag and drop editor alone is particularly advantageous for people with little to no web design experience. While Wix makes it easy to build your website, there are serious limitations to collecting payments, managing global taxes and setting up licensing and download options for your digital products.
The Bottom Line: Shopify is Only One of Your Options
Ultimately, Shopify is an effective ecommerce solution for selling your digital goods. But as you can see, it’s not the only option out there that works for everyone. Once you start to look at all the options out there, you begin to realize that Shopify may not meet all of your business’s needs after all.
When you think of an ecommerce platform like a shoe, it’s unreasonable to expect the same shoe to work for everything. Some shoes are made for running, while some shoes are made for dancing. The type of Shopify alternative that you choose all depends on what you need to do with your metaphorical feet.
By looking at all your digital goods solutions rather than assuming one shoe fits all, you might be surprised there’s the perfect fit out there just for you.