6 Best Shopify Alternatives in 2021: Head-to-Head Comparison

This article was revised and updated on Feb 27, 2021.

Shopify isn’t for everyone and that’s that. The pricing is a little steep, some features don’t make sense, the learning curve is steeper than it should be, and the documentation is tough to get around. However, what’s easier to get around are Shopify Alternatives.

Alternatives are evident in the fact that nothing is perfect. Indeed, Shopify has a lot going for it but as the market grows, people with different attitudes, demands, and requirements come along and make change or innovation necessary.

If you’re one of those people looking for something similar to or even better than Shopify then we’re here to help. There is a diversity of alternatives to Shopify. Their pricing varies and you can look it up easily, so it won’t be too detailed here, but they can all be worth it depending on what you want.

hostingpill6 Best Shopify Alternatives
  1. Wix
  2. Squarespace
  3. BigCommerce
  4. Volusion
  5. Selz
  6. Shift4Shop

Before we get into the best alternatives to Shopify, let’s check out…

Why you shouldn’t use Shopify

Well, there are a few concrete reasons for leaving Shopify. The first and foremost is the transaction fee which could suck in case you’re in a rough sales patch. It also hurts customer experience up to a certain extent.

The second one is availability of themes. The free ones, although fine at first, could be limiting to some users. The paid ones look good but could range up to $180 which is not ideal for people on a budget and need features complimenting the price.

The eCommerce side of things isn’t very great either. A lack of eCommerce features is one thing, but the lack of code customization hampers the SEO ranking as well.

Their dev plans are a little over-the-top. Since they have a completely proprietary CMS, even moderate level changes could go upwards of $300 dollars at times. Not only that, if you decide to create a website completely from scratch, the cost could go up to $4000-$5000!

You can probably learn webdev on your own at that point.

They block all server-side access tedious or just straight up impossible causing minimal optimizations difficult. If you do SEO, you need to communicate with the backend on a regular basis. Taking that much control away is a bit jarring.

Last but not the least, plugins and integrations. They’re great but they’re expensive. More expensive than they should be. For example, Cancellable, a simple app that lets users order, cancel, and reorder costs $6.25/month. It’s worth it but not $6.25/month worth it.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into why you should consider using these Shopify Alternatives!

Shopify Competitor #1: Wix

wix

Wix is the latest addition in the range of DIY website-makers. Their marketing campaign heavily relies on making the user understand the visual language of running your website. It implements modern web-design principles like minimalism, clean formatting, professional fonts, etc.

You can sign up for a free account with limited features, the paid plans are super affordable, customer support is top-notch, and the security is dynamic with your price and subscription which you can learn more about in our Wix Review.

The design and template stuff is cool but some people have experienced issues with sending and printing labels which ironically, Shopify does great. If you want a clear distinction between the 2, check out Wix vs Shopify.

Pros:

  • Perfect for beginners and suitable for all small-medium sized businesses
  • Tons of themes and templates
  • Helpful support from the community
  • Easy Integration for apps like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel
  • Video Maker for Social Media Marketing
  • Wix Professionals that help you smooth out the learning curve

Cons:

  • Not suitable for something requiring large databases
  • User-agreements are a bit of a mess
  • Scaling will be an issue
  • Mobile Support could have response issues

Features Comparison Wix vs Shopify

Features Wix Shopify
Price/mo. $14/mo $29/mo
Staff Accounts Unlimited 2
Storage Space 3 GB 5 GB
Transaction Fees Yes Yes
Trial Period 14 Days 14 Days
Website & Blog Yes Yes
Try Wix Today107 users bought this

Shopify Competitor #2: Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is an even casual version of Wix but differentiates itself in its target audience (and of course pricing). For example, Wix is aimed towards startups and businesses while Squarespace is more aptly shaped around individuals and singular entities.

The pricing could be a hit or miss but the amount and quality of overall features here can’t be beat. But the use case here is more or less on par with Wix’s with a lot of glaring similarities. And ultimately, Squarespace’s customer support is more diverse.

A lot of criticism has been received from the WP community for its messy backend approach and aggressive influencer marketing. Regardless, its eCommerce services are phenomenal. If the comparisons are too on the nose, check out Wix vs Squarespace to get the full story.

Pros:

  • Maintenance free on the technical side
  • Much better with integrations
  • Better accessible customer support
  • Better features than most Shopify competitors
  • Comes with a healthy community and forum
  • Transparent with security

Cons:

  • Lack of plan options
  • Costly than Wix
  • Editor can have a steep learning curve

Features Comparison Squarespace vs Shopify

Features Squarespace Shopify
Price/mo. $16/mo $29/mo
Staff Accounts 2 2
Storage Space Unlimited 5 GB
Transaction Fees Yes Yes
Trial Period 14 Days 14 Days
Website & Blog Yes Yes
Try SquareSpace Today81 users bought this

Shopify Competitor #3: BigCommerce

BigCommerce

Ah, BigCommerce. One thing you should know about BigCommerce that while it does not look as fancy as say Wix or Spuarespace, it sure as hell shouts eCommerce from every other corner that you’d expect and leading on to become Shopify’s top competitor.

To be honest, it is better to characterize BigCommerce by its size. It’s a big service at a larger starting price than some people would like, but it is undeniably comprehensive in what it offers its users.

The main con of BigCommerce is the cost. If you put BigCommerce and Shopify side-by-side, pricing will come up. BigCommerce needs an article of its own to be properly understood, so we wrote BigCommerce Review to get you the full story.

Pros:

  • No transaction fees whatsoever
  • Solid Security
  • Abandoned Cart Saver
  • Integrates easily
  • Similar UI to Shopify
  • More feature-rich than Shopify

Cons:

  • Limited free themes
  • Customer support could be better
  • No official phone app

Features Comparison BigCommerce vs Shopify

Features BigCommerce Shopify
Price/mo. $29.95/mo $29/mo
Staff Accounts Unlimited 2
Storage Space Unlimited 5 GB
Transaction Fees No Yes
Trial Period 15 Days 14 Days
Website & Blog Yes Yes
Try Bigcommerce Today71 users bought this

Shopify Competitor #4: Volusion

Volusion

An underrated alternative for Shopify is Volusion. Something worth noting is that Volusion has a price that’s perfect for everyone. The lowest plan starts at $15/month.

It has a highly eCommerce-focused platform and offers premium services connected with all portals of estore, merchandising, labelling, shipping, etc. which can put some strain on the bandwidth.

If you run out of bandwidth, you will have to purchase a higher plan or pay for extra bandwidth. So to put this precisely; the choice between Shopify vs Volusion is based on bandwidth and pricing tradeoff.

Pros:

  • No transaction fees
  • In-house services for development
  • Customer support almost on par with Shopify
  • Great theme collection
  • Cheaper than Shopify with more space for products
  • Variety of functionality in the eCommerce platform

Cons:

  • Smaller theme collection compared to Shopify
  • Limited app support

Features Comparison Volusion vs Shopify

Features Volusion Shopify
Price/mo. $29/mo $29/mo
Staff Accounts 1 2
Storage Space Unlimited 5 GB
Transaction Fees No Yes
Trial Period 14 Days 14 Days
Website & Blog Yes Yes
Try Volusion Today102 users bought this

Shopify Competitor #5: Selz

Selz

Selz is easy to use to the core, one thing worth mentioning is that it supports complete customization. Plus, you get the maximum e-commerce features in every plan of Selz.

You can customize most of the elements just by drag and drop. Things which might have seen cumbersome to beginners while using Shopify are rather simplified using Selz.

Not to miss, their customer support is equally competent and at par with Shopify. You have guides available, live chat, email support and a lot of videos to guide users.

Pros:

  • Affordable plans
  • Thorough customization
  • Dozens of eCommerce features with all plans
  • Great support for third-party apps/software
  • Free trial comes with all features unlocked

Cons:

  • Transaction fees can’t be avoided

Features Comparison Selz vs Shopify

Features Selz Shopify
Price/mo. $26/mo $29/mo
Staff Accounts 2 2
Storage Space Unlimited 5 GB
Transaction Fees No Yes
Trial Period 14 Days 14 Days
Website & Blog Yes Yes
Try Selz today12 users bought this

Shopify Competitor #6: Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop may be less known than Selz, BigCommerce, and Shopify, but it is by no means worse or behind by anything. It’s just that its development phase has been a bit tricky.

Anyways, you get a feature-rich package, and there are a lot of free themes. All the good things you want to run your e-store will be there for you. Additionally, Shift4Shop integrates with far more payment gateways than Shopify or BigCommerce.

Basically, every feature is available to every pricing plan, and increased bandwidth is the main reason you’d upgrade your account (it’s similar to BigCommerce in that sense).

Pros:

  • No transaction fees
  • Expensive but feature-rich than Shopify or Bigcommerce
  • Maxed out features in all plans
  • Greater number of payment gateways
  • Dozens of free themes

Cons:

  • Customer support could be unresponsive

Features Comparison Shift4Shop vs Shopify

Features Shift4Shop Shopify
Price/mo. $19/mo $29/mo
Staff Accounts 1 2
Storage Space Unlimited 5 GB
Transaction Fees No Yes
Trial Period 15 Days 14 Days
Website & Blog Yes Yes
Try Shift4Shop Today17 users bought this

Conclusion

So what do you think? Do these alternatives fill the gap that Shopify left you? Do you need our opinion on the matter?

Well, we can’t make that decision for you but as a firm outline, consider Wix as a DIY all-goes website builder for anything creative or a niche online store that you’re looking to make and for everything else consider Bigcommerce.

On an honest note, try to look at an alternative as a new venue to explore and get through the whatsoever steep learning curve instead of pushing for an exact replica of the former.

Features Shopify Wix Squarespace BigCommerce Volusion Selz Shift4Shop
Price/mo. $29/mo $14/mo $16/mo $29.95/mo $29/mo $26/mo $19/mo
Staff Accounts 2 Unlimited Unlimited 1 2 1
Storage 5 GB 3 GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Transaction Fees Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Trial Period 14 Days 14 Days 14 Days 15 Days 14 Days 14 Days 15 Days
Website & Blog Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

FAQ

Is Wix better than Shopify?
Founded in 2006, Wix has grown to serve more than 110 million people, and half of that coming from the last four years alone. But what really sets it apart is its free website building plan which makes it easily one of the best free site builders around.

However, it depends on what you’re trying to get. If you’re keen on the similarities in features then you’ll be somewhat disappointed. Wix isn’t as modular as Shopify per say. But Wix has more to offer in terms of design, visuals, app integrations, social media marketing tools, variety in themes, etc.

What Shopify Alternatives don’t charge transaction fees?
Shopify has been a long-standing ideal example of a tough but fair eCommerce platform that pushed the industry forward. But as time went along, their transaction fees started to polarize their user base.

Transaction fees are a majority of the reason why people have left Shopify. The best alternatives that spare you this con are BigCommerce, Volusion, and Shift4Shop. These alternatives also do a few things better than Shopify.

What is the best eCommerce website builder?
With a thorough look on all the given options, Wix is probably your best bet for an all-round website builder with dozens of customization features and effective integration for third-party apps. Now, it does have its fair share of cons but nothing great came about without a few tradeoffs.
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