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As time passes, Ecommerce is increasingly relevant.

Regardless of how you feel about Shopify, it’s pretty undeniable it’s the reigning ecommerce software. It’s an earned title, as Shopify packs in a very powerful set of services with its platform.

However, just because it’s the most popular doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Maybe Breitbart’s ties to Shopify are turning you off, or maybe Shopify just isn’t doing one thing you really need well enough. Maybe the feel isn’t right.

Well, don’t worry, there is a diversity of alternatives to Shopify. Their pricing varies and you can look it up easily, so I won’t be too detailed here, but they can all be worth it depending on what you want.

Each of these provides all the basics you need to have a good experience running your shop, but provide some benefits that may be far more suited to you, things that Shopify just doesn’t do as well. And of course, some of them may just click with you more.

Now let us look at the Top 4 Shopify Alternatives:

 

Alternative No 1: LemonStand

 

LemonStand’s big selling point is how customizable its shops are, and that should mostly set the tone for the rest of this section.

One of BigCommerce’s main downsides is also one of LemonStand’s: the sales ceiling that come with each price plan. Except, with BigCommerce, it’s the amount of revenue earned in a year, and with LemonStand, it’s the number of sales per month.

For example, instead of $50,000 a year for BigCommerce’s Standard plan ($29.95 a month) you’re capped at 75 sales a month for LemonStand’s Starter plan ($19 a month) and so on. Luckily, you get a free trial to see how you like it.

Also similarly, each pricing plan comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth, unlimited staff accounts, and unlimited products and variants. And, the core features are available from the Starter plan up.

Frankly, I’d say that LemonStand has a fundamental difference from Shopify: Shopify is made to be a lot more accessible to just about every entrepreneur, whereas LemonStand is geared towards a more specific type.

More clearly, LemonStand’s biggest con in ease of use is also its biggest pro in customization—it really depends on your own situation whether this will make LemonStand good for you or not.

It’s geared towards those who want to take design into their own hands. It’s highly customizable, but you’ll need to know coding.

Of course, it’s still a great service, don’t get me wrong, you just need a little know-how to really make best use of it. But if you can really use it the way it’s meant to be, you’ll really get your money’s worth.

Having said all that, it’s otherwise mostly straightforward in terms of the UI, and the customer service is pretty solid.

Relative to Shopify, I’d say it offers its users a much greater degree of control. It has a solid package of features bundled in even from the Starter plan (albeit there’s some stuff it could add), and the themes are totally open source, allowing you probably the best customization options of the foremost ecommerce platforms.

Ultimately, it depends on your business needs: if you’re looking for simplicity and a quick shop of smaller scale, Shopify is okay. But if you want outstanding control over your shop, LemonStand is a great platform for minor tradeoffs.

Feature wise comparison: Lemonstand vs. Shopify
Lemonstand
Shopify
PlanSTARTERBASIC
Price / mo.$19 / mo.$29 / mo.
Staff accountsUnlimited2
Number of productsUnlimitedUnlimited
File storageUnlimitedUnlimited
Transaction feesNo Fees2.0%
Website and blogYesYes
Free Trial14 days14 Days

 

Alternative No 2: BigCommerce

 

Ah, BigCommerce. You may have recently heard the news that the CEO has said the company will go public. It’s definitely a fine service that has grown in popularity over the years to be probably Shopify’s top contender.

To be honest, I would characterize BigCommerce, in this context, 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 found Shopify too expensive, you’ll probably find BigCommerce too expensive too.

The pricing plans range from $29.95 a month at the lowest (Standard) to $249.95 a month (Pro), with the fourth tier, Enterprise, being custom.

It’s true the prices aren’t different: from Basic Shopify upwards it’s practically identical to BigCommerce’s pricing plan, except the third tier of BigCommerce is actually cheaper than Shopify’s.

In addition, there’s an annual sales revenue ceiling for each price plan—if you make more than $50,000 in online sales on a Standard pricing plan, you’ll have to upgrade to Plus, where your limit will be $150,000.

It’s not the end of the world, but it can feel a bit unnecessary. It’s not uncommon for major ecommerce software services to do this though, to account for your increased bandwidth usage.

Aside from the overall price though, I’d say the other flaws are more minor. There is a limited number of free themes, especially compared to Shopify—only 7, in fact. There are a lot more options, but they’re going to cost you, and the even the free themes feel pretty similar.

Lastly, the customer service is 24/7 but could use more person-to-person communication, and there’s no official mobile app (but there are some third party apps that seem decent).

Great, the pleasant stuff! BigCommerce’s pluses are basically…everything else.

If you’re only looking to pay less, BigCommerce may not quite help you out unless you’re looking at its third tier account. But if you’re looking to get more out of the same amount, BigCommerce is good.

In fact, when you upgrade an account, you don’t get many more features—you do get some, but the bulk of them are available from a Standard account onwards—just a higher sales ceiling.

Of the few extra features you do get when you upgrade though, they’re pretty sweet—like Abandoned Cart Saver, which automatically emails users who made it to the checkout page but didn’t complete their purchase, or Google customer reviews.

Other positives: there are no transaction fees, the security is killer, and there are a lot of resources provided not just to help with onboarding but also to help you stay knowledgeable and competitive even when you’re well-oriented.

Importantly, BigCommerce integrates very well with other channels, like Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, etc, even from a Standard account.

It’s easy to use too, with a pretty slick interface that actually resembles Shopify’s—so if you’re transitioning out of Shopify, it’ll be easy to work with BigCommerce.

Look, the main cons BigCommerce has are roughly similar to Shopify’s. The sales caps per pricing plan still exist, and the pricing is very similar. However, BigCommerce doesn’t have transaction fees.

What makes the difference is that BigCommerce is overall more feature-packed, and it provides more resources to its users. If you feel you’re paying too much for Shopify, it’s unlikely you’ll feel that way with BigCommerce.

Read full BigCommerce Review.

Feature wise comparison: BigCommerce vs. Shopify
BigCommerce
Shopify
PlanSTANDARDBASIC
Price / mo.$29.95 / mo.$29 / mo.
Staff accountsUnlimited2
Number of productsUnlimitedUnlimited
File storageUnlimitedUnlimited
Transaction feesNo Fees2.0%
Website and blogYesYes
Free Trial15 days14 Days

 

Alternative No 3: Wix Ecommerce

 

Ahh, Wix. I remember back in middle school I used Wix to make a website so I could feel like an adult. It sounds unrelated, but the same ease of use in Wix’s general website builder is imparted in its Ecommerce platform.

Unlike every other alternative mentioned here, Wix Ecommerce is a division of a larger site-builder company. Don’t worry though, Wix still provides a solid package as an Ecommerce solution.

Let’s go with the downsides first though: while easy to use, it’s not as feature-filled as BigCommerce, LemonStand, or other leading ecommerce services.

For design, Wix has some decent themes, but they’re nothing special, just industry standard. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still slick, but everyone wants different looks and there isn’t much leeway for customization.

Wix doesn’t have as many payment processors as the previous two options mentioned, and also unlike the previous two, you don’t have an SSL certificate for your site—customers will be redirected to the merchant account page, but they may not feel as secure as they would on BigCommerce, LemonStand, or Shopify.

Okay, so while easy to use, it’s not too feature-heavy—true. But, it is really easy to use. The same pretty builder options I used years ago in middle school are still essentially there in an updated form.

It’s cheap too, starting at just over $8 a month, but you get a lot more than Shopify Lite’s $9 a month—it’s closer to Shopify Standard.

Just as how LemonStand’s biggest strength is also a turn-off, Wix Ecommerce’s ease of use can be perfectly efficient or too simplistic for your needs, depending on what they are.

And, even though the default features may be a bit lacking, Wix has a comprehensive app store that can probably provide you with the extra tools you may want. Not all are free, but the point is, if you need ease of use, you won’t be too left out as far as features go.

Your customers may feel more secure on Shopify and the other alternatives, but not all of them will, and it’ll still be secure enough they won’t need to worry. Customer support is on par with Shopify in my opinion, and while Shopify is pretty easy to use, Wix Ecommerce is even more so.

I’d recommend this to smaller businesses or at least to businesses not selling too many products.

If you know what you want, it could be an extraordinarily quick way to set up a clean shop that will appeal to your visitors without giving you or them much trouble, while still providing the tools needed to run a quality shop…and for a low price, too.

And here’s WIX eCommerce Plan:

WIX
PlaneCommerce
Price / mo.$8 / mo.
Bandwidth10GB
Storage20GB
Free DomainYes
Remove Wix AdsYes
Customized FaviconYes
Online StoreYes

 

Alternative No 4: 3dcart

 

3dcart may be less known than LemonStand, BigCommerce, and Shopify, but it is by no means worse than any of them. As always, let’s go with the cons first though.

Unfortunately, 3dcart used to have a cheaper entry-level option that packed a lot more into it at nearly the same price as Shopify Lite. Indeed, the overall pricing structure was more complicated, but everything’s been simplified and there are now four tiers that are essentially identical to Shopify and BigCommerce.

Unlike Shopify and BigCommerce, there are limits on the amount of staff accounts, and only the fourth pricing tier, Enterprise, allows unlimited staff accounts (as with BigCommerce, the fourth tier’s price is negotiable, depending on your business needs).

Despite the free templates, supposedly they’re mostly pretty bland and customization is something you’ll have to invest in. Personally, I think the free templates are, if not stellar, still fine.

Customer service has been criticized for being slow and sometimes unresponsive, but it seemed decent to me. They will charge you a lot for live onboarding help, though.

Good stuff? You still 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, 3dcart 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 a similar to BigCommerce in this sense).

Why am I mentioning 3dcart as a Shopify alternative? 3dcart isn’t notably cheaper anymore, but the first tier packs in far more features than Shopify and possibly even BigCommerce. It’s got a different feel, which might be what you need.

Feature wise comparison: 3dcart vs. Shopify
3DCART
Shopify
PlanBASICBASIC
Price / mo.$29.95 / mo.$29 / mo.
Staff accountsUnlimited2
Number of productsUnlimitedUnlimited
File storageUnlimitedUnlimited
Transaction feesNo Fees2.0%
Website and blogYesYes
Free Trial15 days14 Days

 

Winner:

#3. Wix eCommerce

(Recommended)

I have used Wix eCommerce in many of my other projects and have found them to be quite good.

Their servers are quite fast & their customer support is very responsive.

Wix eCommerce should be your No 1. choice if you are looking for a good “Value for Money”

Conclusion:

Ultimately, all of these services offer something Shopify doesn’t. They all have their respective strengths and weaknesses, and will offer more to some entrepreneurs than others.

BigCommerce as an alternative:

BigCommerce is an alternative that I consider to be overall very strong with few defining weaknesses. Nothing’s perfect, but its main flaws—limited free themes, no official app, sales caps, and the pricing that’s barely cheaper than Shopify’s—are ultimately minor.

In exchange, you get a ton of features for all account plans, good security, no transaction fees, a straightforward UI, and solid customer support, with lots of resources to keep you informed even if you’re an experienced user.

LemonStand as an alternative:

LemonStand isn’t shabby either though, and for some, it’ll definitely provide more bang for the buck than BigCommerce. You’ll get the most ability to design your shop with LemonStand, if you have the knowledge.

Otherwise, you get a decently comprehensive set of features that, like BigCommerce, are mostly available to the entry-level plan. It may not be as robust as Shopify or BigCommerce in the overall package, but it’s cheaper and gives you far more maneuverability.

Wix eCommerce as an alternative:

Wix Ecommerce is more divisive, like LemonStand—great for some merchants and mediocre for others. While it may not be as customizeable or feature-heavy, it’s very easy to use.

Furthermore, it still offers good customer service and other features can be accessed through the app store. If you’re an individual or smaller business and your priorities are speed, efficiency, and ease of use, Wix Ecommerce is great.

3dCart as an alternative:

3dcart is not especially notable for one thing, but it is feature-rich, like BigCommerce. However, it allots even more out-of-the-box features to its starting plan than BigCommerce (and obviously Shopify).

It feels lighter than BigCommerce and Shopify, but still packs a solid bundle in for your e-store. Try it out—it may just click with you, as it clearly has with a lot of satisfied users.

As I’ve been saying again and again, it’s all very subjective. All these shopify competitors offer solid services that have their own respective strengths and weaknesses.

Most of them are not priced too differently than Shopify, and indeed BigCommerce and 3dcart are nearly identical in pricing structure.

However, they still may offer more for your money depending on what you want—whether it’s a great package of features, great ease of use, or phenomenal customization options.

If you’re looking for a Shopify alternative, you won’t need to worry: you won’t need to sacrifice anything important for the right experience.

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Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner has 7 years of experience as Network Administrator. His areas of interest includes Servers, Network Management and Cloud Computing.