Shopify Alternatives – Cheaper Solutions That Are As Good If Not Better

If you are tired of getting nickel and dimed by Shopify’s high transaction and recurring app fees, this post will show you the 6 best Shopify alternatives that are as good or better than Shopify.

In the war of ecommerce platforms, Shopify has emerged to become one of the most popular shopping carts in the world.

But the problem with popularity is that people tend to blindly recommend Shopify without understanding its limitations.

First of all, Shopify isn’t a one size fits all solution and you should do your own due diligence on the Shopify alternatives before making a decision.

Because I run my own 7 figure ecommerce store and have taught ecommerce for almost a decade now, I have used or evaluated practically every shopping cart out there.

And the only way to fully understand the pros and cons of any ecommerce platform is to actually use it with money on the line.

So unlike other shopping cart comparisons you’ll find on the Internet, today’s post is based on my own personal experiences.

Even though Shopify might appear to be the defacto standard of shopping carts, your choice of ecommerce platform is not a black and white decision. And depending on the nature of your business, Shopify might not be the best choice.

Today, I will discuss my favorite Shopify alternatives and when to go with Shopify vs the competition.

Note: This post will only cover what I deem to be “viable” Shopify alternatives rather than a random listing of ecommerce platforms. All of the shopping carts mentioned in this post are platforms that either I or one of my students have personally used for their online store.

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Why Is Shopify So Popular?

First off, there’s a reason why Shopify is a market leader and popular among successful online store owners. It’s built to appeal to the masses.

In other words, Shopify is a fantastic general purpose ecommerce platform and it’s both aesthetically beautiful and powerful. In fact, I often compare Shopify to Apple.

Here are Shopify’s main advantages.

  • Shopify Is User Friendly – Shopify’s interface is so intuitive and easy to understand that my Mom could probably launch an online store:) There is no coding knowledge required!
  • Shopify Is Beautiful – They offer a variety of great looking themes for free
  • Shopify Handles All The Tech – You don’t have to worry about server downtime or getting hacked. Shopify takes care of everything for you and you can sell unlimited products with unlimited bandwidth.
  • Shopify Offers Great Support – They have an excellent support team who are available 24/7. In addition, they have an army of 3rd party consultants available to help you get started.
  • Shopify Has A Huge App Ecosystem – If you’re looking for cutting edge features for your online store, chances are you’ll find an app that does exactly what you need.

However, all of the advantages above come at a price and Shopify is not a one size fits all solution. In fact, depending on your exact needs, Shopify may not be a good fit at all.

Fortunately, there are many Shopify alternatives that address these shortcomings.

Click Here To Try Shopify For Free

The Main Disadvantages Of Shopify

Shopify Cons

When you build a platform that is beautiful and built for the masses, there will always be drawbacks.

Here are my biggest complaints about Shopify based on experience.

Shopify Is Expensive

When you first sign up for Shopify, you’ll probably notice that the base shopping cart has practically no features. As a result, you’ll end up spending a lot of money paying for 3rd party apps.

Here’s the thing.

Every Shopify 3rd party app carries a monthly recurring fee and it’s not uncommon for most shopowners to pay several hundred dollars per month on apps alone.

Shopify also does not have a free plan.

Shopify Charges A Transaction Fee

Shopify essentially forces you to use their built-in payment platform called Shopify Payments. If you want to use your own credit card processing solution, they will impose a heavy transaction fee.

For example on their basic plan, their transaction fee is 2% which is ridiculously high!

Now if Shopify’s payment gateway was reasonably priced, it wouldn’t be an issue. But their credit card processing rates are over 20% more expensive than what you can get if you choose a 3rd party processor.

Shopify Payments Offers Poor International Support

If you plan on opening a store in a non-supported country, then you are out of luck. Not only will you have to find your own payment processing solution but you’ll also get charged a large transaction fee as well.

Here’s a list of countries that support Shopify Payments. If you don’t see your country on this list, then you should explore Shopify alternatives.

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore

Shopify Prohibits The Sale Of Certain Products

There are many products that Shopify will not permit you to sell online. For example in the United States, you are not allowed to sell any adult-related products on their platform.

You also can not sell drug related paraphernalia such as bongs, vaporizers or hookahs. There’s actually a long list of prohibited goods that you should examine thoroughly before signing on!

You should also be aware that their prohibited list of goods changes from time to time.

One of my friends sold supplements on Shopify for several years before they decided to ban the sales of his product. As a result, he had to switch platforms which wreaked havoc on his SEO rankings.

Shopify’s Blogging Platform Is Mediocre

If you plan on implementing a blog with your shopping cart, then you have 2 choices.

One, you can stick with Shopify’s less than adequate blogging platform. Or two, you can install WordPress on a subdomain which is not optimal for SEO.

The pros and cons of both choices are clearly outlined in my post on How To Start A WordPress Blog On A Shopify.

Shopify Has A Sub-Optimal SEO URL Structure

One of the most annoying features of Shopify is that you can’t optimize your URLs for SEO.

Instead, Shopify often inserts extraneous terms in your URL such as “collections” or “products” which are not conducive to SEO rankings.

Shopify Only Allows 3 Sets Of Variants Per Product

If you sell a product that offers many different options to choose from, then Shopify will probably not be a good platform for your shop.

For example, if you sell widgets in your store, you can only offer 3 types of choices such as size, color, material. If you need to offer more configuration choices, then you’re out of luck.

In addition, Shopify only allows you to have 100 total combinations of variations per product.

Using the example above, if the number of sizes multiplied by the number of colors multiplied by the number of materials exceed 100, then you can’t list your item.

Shopify’s Best Features Are Only Available On Higher Plans

In my opinion, there are basic ecommerce features that every shopping cart should support out of the box.

For example, you should be able to issue gift cards on any plan.

However, Shopify only allows gift cards on their regular plan which costs $79/month.

Editor’s Note: Shopify is temporarily allowing gift cards on their basic plan because of COVID-19. But they will eventually retract that feature

In addition, if you want to run an online store in more than one country (with multiple language support), you’ll have to sign up for Shopify Plus which is $2000/month or pay a recurring monthly fee for a language plugin.

My main gripe with Shopify is that you’ll often feel nickle and dimed on the platform.

For the full rundown on Shopify’s costs, check out my post on Shopify Pricing Plans: How To Pick The Best And Cheapest Plan For Your Store

Shopify’s Overall Rating (5 is the best)

Ease Of Use: 4.5
Out Of The Box Features: 3
Customer Support: 5
3rd Party Support: 5
Cost: 2.5
Search Engine Optimization: 3.5
Flexibility: 4

Click Here To Try Shopify For Free

Now that you have a high level picture of Shopify’s pros and cons, here are my favorite Shopify alternatives for your online store.

Shopify Alternative #1: BigCommerce


With all of Shopify’s disadvantages outlined above, the closest and best alternative to Shopify is BigCommerce.

Based on experience, BigCommerce offers all of Shopify’s ecommerce features and more at a much lower price point.

Here are the characteristics that BigCommerce shares with Shopify.

  • BigCommerce is user friendly with no technical knowledge required
  • BigCommerce offers a variety of beautiful themes for free and an intuitive website builder
  • BigCommerce handles all the tech and you can sell unlimited products with unlimited bandwidth
  • BigCommerce offers 24/7 support

In addition to the above, BigCommerce also offers the following advantages over Shopify.

BigCommerce Offers A Full Suite Of Advanced Features Out Of The Box

Remember when I said that Shopify’s base shopping cart does practically nothing? Well it’s the opposite with BigCommerce.

Even though the pricing for BigCommerce and Shopify appear to be the same cost, do not be deceived by the price!

BigCommerce offers a superior ecommerce solution with far more marketing features out of the box than Shopify and it’s not even close.

For example, BigCommerce offers full blown discount features on their cheapest plan which allows you to perform…

  • Buy one get one free promotions
  • Regular discounts
  • Tiered discounts based on quantity
  • Discounts for repeat customers.

In fact, their base discounting features are more powerful than Shopify’s 3rd party plugins and you get it all for free out of the box.

In addition, BigCommerce does not have the product variant limitations that Shopify has either.

Meanwhile, BigCommerce offers all of Shopify’s advanced features for free including an intuitive website builder, free themes, seo tools, and unlimited products.

For more information about the exact ecommerce features you get with BigCommerce Vs Shopify, checkout out my post on BigCommerce vs Shopify – Which Cart Is Cheaper And Better?. Also, here’s a full BigCommerce Review.

BigCommerce Does Not Charge Transaction Fees

With BigCommerce, you have the freedom to use whatever payment gateways you want WITHOUT any additional transaction fees. As a result, BigCommerce is a much better solution if you DO NOT reside in the following countries.

Don’t see your country on this list? Then I would probably not sign up for Shopify.

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore

As your online store grows, it’s important to not limit your choice of payment providers because transaction fees will eat into your profit margins.

BigCommerce Offers Built In Features For Multi Channel Selling

With BigCommerce, you can manage your stores on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Pinterest all from the BigCommerce back end.

In fact, your inventory syncs across every marketplace which will save you from purchasing costly 3rd party tools that do the same thing.

With Shopify, you are forced to pay a recurring monthly fee for the same ecommerce functionality.

BigCommerce Will Be Cheaper In Most Cases

Because BigCommerce has almost every feature out of the box, you’ll end up saving a ton of money on 3rd party apps that you’d have to purchase using Shopify.

In addition, they don’t charge any transaction fees which gives you the freedom to find a better deal with your payment gateways.

In my experience, BigCommerce almost always ends up being cheaper than Shopify. And while they don’t have a free plan, you can get your first month free.

Click Here To Sign Up For BigCommerce And Get 1 Month Free

Shopify’s Advantages Over BigCommerce

The main advantage Shopify has over BigCommerce is that they have a much larger app ecosystem and a larger installed base.

As a result, most developers will create apps for Shopify first before porting it over to BigCommerce. In addition, Shopify offers more design themes and templates as well.

Shopify is also more user friendly because of the lack of built in features. After all, the less features you have, the less you have to understand.

Overall, Shopify’s main strength over BigCommerce is their 3rd party support.


Pros For BigCommerce

  • BigCommerce will be cheaper
  • BigCommerce allows you to have more product options
  • BigCommerce will not charge you any transaction fees
  • BigCommerce gives you the freedom to use whatever payment processor you want which will save you money
  • BigCommerce has better international support
  • BigCommerce offers much better discounting features out of the box
  • BigCommerce allows you to sync inventory across marketplaces

Cons For BigCommerce

  • Shopify has more design themes
  • Shopify has a larger 3rd party app ecosystem
  • Shopify has more developer support
  • Shopify has a larger installed base

Big Commerce’s Overall Rating (5 is the best)

Ease Of Use: 4
Out Of The Box Features: 4.5
Customer Support: 5
3rd Party Support: 4
Cost: 3.5
Search Engine Optimization: 4
Flexibility: 4

Click Here To Sign Up For BigCommerce And Get 1 Month Free

Shopify Alternative #2: WooCommerce


Did you know that WooCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world with a much larger share of the market than Shopify? In fact as of last year, WooCommerce powers 21% of the world’s online stores versus 18% for Shopify.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an ecommerce software plugin for WordPress websites that allows you to take ecommerce transactions on the world’s most popular content management system.

The biggest benefit is that WooCommerce is free and there’s a huge ecosystem of 3rd party developers and free themes to use.

In fact, WooCommerce arguably has more 3rd party developers than Shopify because the WordPress platform powers over 33% of the entire web.

If you already have an existing website or WordPress blog, you can instantly start selling online with WooCommerce!

Here are WooCommerce’s primary benefits over Shopify out of the box.

WooCommerce Is Easy To Setup And You Own The Platform

WooCommerce is a self hosted ecommerce platform and requires a web hosting account. But most web hosts have a 1 click WooCommerce install. For example, BlueHost will install the entire shopping cart for you upon signup and give you a free domain.

Once WooCommerce is installed, you have full control over your own online store and you completely own your website.

You can modify your shopping cart how you see fit and no one can ever kick you off, change the rules or raise prices on you.

Out of all of the Shopify alternatives, WooCommerce gives you the most control over your online store because you literally own the source code.

Watch the video below to learn how you can install WooCommerce in just 1 click.

Editor’s Note: I’ve negotiated a 63% discount off the regular price of BlueHost For readers.

Click Here To Sign Up For BlueHost And Save 63%

WooCommerce Is Free To Use

The WooCommerce base plugin is 100% free and you can start selling right away. Two of the most popular payment gateways (Stripe and Paypal) can be installed for free out of the box and there are no additional transaction fees.

Your only cost is web hosting which can be as little as $3 per month. If you are tech averse, you can download a free website builder like Site Origin or Elementor to design the pages on your site.

If you need additional functionality like multi channel selling, most WooCommerce plugins can be purchased for a one time fee as opposed to a recurring monthly subscription.

Blogging With WooCommerce Is Much Better Than Shopify

Unlike Shopify which has a clunky blogging platform, WooCommerce is based on WordPress which is the best blogging platform in the world.

Not only can you seamlessly run your blog alongside your online store but they can co-exist on the same domain which offers superior SEO benefits.

WooCommerce really shines if you want advanced content marketing features to sell your physical products online.

Because WordPress is so popular, if you need any additional functionality, you can probably find a free WordPress plugin that does exactly what you need.

Click Here To Sign Up For WooCommerce Hosting

The Disadvantages Of WooCommerce

The primary disadvantage of WooCommerce is that you have to manage the technical aspects of your online store. Having run 2 WooCommerce shops over the years, I can honestly say that it can be a little daunting for a tech-challenged entrepreneur.

Because WordPress is not designed for ecommerce out of the box, your site will run slow unless you know how to optimize your website for speed.

However, the speed issue can be mitigated by going with a special WordPress hosting platform like WPEngine

In addition, WordPress plugins can sometimes conflict with one another leading to unexplained problems with your site. Overall, you may need to hire a developer to customize your site which may incur additional costs.


Pros Of WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce is free
  • WooCommerce is easy to setup and use
  • WooCommerce allows you to have a blog on the same domain
  • WooCommerce is better for SEO
  • WooCommerce has a large 3rd party ecosystem
  • WooCommerce plugins don’t carry recurring fees unless you need support
  • WooCommerce allows you to control the source code for your site

Cons Of WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce is slow out of the box
  • WooCommerce requires technical skills for customization
  • Woocommerce requires you to host your own website
  • WooCommerce may conflict with other WordPress plugins

WooCommerce’s Overall Rating (5 is the best)

Ease Of Use: 3
Out Of The Box Features: 3.5
Customer Support: N/A (You have to pay)
3rd Party Support: 5
Cost: 5
Search Engine Optimization: 5
Flexibility: 5

Click Here To Sign Up For WooCommerce Hosting

Shopify Alternative #3: Shift4Shop (Formerly 3DCart)


Shift4Shop (formerly 3DCart) is a SAAS ecommerce platform that has been around for a long time but they don’t get nearly as much press as they deserve. In fact, Shift4Shop is one of the best Shopify alternatives because it’s 100% free. They’ll even give you a free domain upon signup!

Editor’s Note: Shift4Shop’s free plan is only for US businesses at the moment as long as you use their credit card processing which is still cheaper than Shopify.

If you prefer to have an all in one solution for the majority of your online store needs out of the box at one very reasonable price, then Shift4Shop is an excellent Shopify alternative.

I recently test drove the platform and Shift4Shop offers more features than both BigCommerce and Shopify at a significantly lower price point.

Here are the positive characteristics that Shift4Shop shares with Shopify.

  • Shift4Shop offers a variety of beautiful themes for free and an intuitive website builder
  • Shift4Shop handles all the tech and you can sell unlimited products
  • Shift4Shop offers 24/7 support

In addition to the above, here are the advantages Shift4Shop has over Shopify.

Shift4Shop Offers More Features Out Of The Box At A Significantly Lower Price

We’ve already established that Shopify’s base shopping cart doesn’t do very much. And you’ll likely get nickel and dimed with recurring app fees.

Meanwhile, BigCommerce offers many more features out of the box than Shopify and is cheaper as well.

However, Shift4Shop takes versatility one step further by offering a complete suite of free marketing services out of the box like email marketing!

In addition, Shift4Shop is easily the least expensive fully hosted ecommerce solution among the 3 Shopify competitors.

For example, Shift4Shop offers flexible discount features, a loyalty program, an affiliate program and even email marketing for free!

At zero cost, Shift4Shop allows you to…

  • Offer social wish lists
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Gift Certificates

All of these features are better than Shopify’s base offering and you get it all for free out of the box at a price that you can’t beat.

Shift4Shop Offers FREE Email Marketing With Their Higher Plans

Email marketing will make up a significant portion of your overall revenue. And for my online store, email generates over 30% of my sales.

However, email marketing is also one of my largest monthly expenses for my ecommerce store.

Right now, Klaviyo is the best email marketing provider out there for ecommerce but it’s also quite pricey. And managing an email list of my size typically costs over $800/month.

If you are on a budget, Shift4Shop includes basic email marketing services at no additional cost on the Plus and higher plans. Imagine being able to collect and send emails for free!

Here’s what you can do with Shift4Shop’s email features

  • Abandoned Cart Saver
  • Email Marketing Newsletters
  • Winback Campaigns
  • Basic Segmentation
  • Email Autoresponder Campaigns

Even though Shift4Shop’s email features are not as good as Klaviyo, they might be good enough for you and they are included at no cost.

However, if you require a more powerful email marketing solution, Shift4Shop also integrates with Klaviyo and other popular email providers.

Shift4Shop Does Not Charge A Transaction Fee

The main reason Shopify forces you to use Shopify Payments is because they have an arrangement with Stripe where they split the credit card processing revenue.

If you don’t use Shopify Payments, Shopify will slap you with a transaction fee.

On the flip side, Shift4Shop allows you to use whatever credit processor you want WITHOUT paying any extra credit card transaction fees.

However, they are offering an amazing ecommerce plan that is 100% FREE if you use Shift4 as your payment processor.

Remember, Shift4 can give you the shopping cart for free because they make their money on the credit card processing.

Shift4Shop Offers Incredible Marketing Features Out Of The Box

As mentioned earlier, the out of the box feature set for Shift4Shop is very complete.

Not only do you get free email marketing with higher plans but you also get access to the following features that would REQUIRE a paid plugin or app with Shopify.

  • Daily Deals – Offer special deals on your home page with a countdown timer
  • Group Deals – Offer special discounts that require a certain amount of product to be purchased within a certain time limit
  • Affiliate Program – Offer a cut of the sale to influencers and partners
  • Gift Registry – A complete set of gift registry options for special occasions
  • Loyalty Program – Award customers points for repeat purchases that can be used to redeem valuable prizes

Shift4Shop Offers Very Flexible SEO Features

One of the biggest concerns when migrating ecommerce platforms is search engine optimization. Even if you issue 301 redirects from your old pages to your new pages, there’s a risk that you could lose a significant portion of your organic traffic.

Shift4Shop allows you to configure your URL structure however you want.

As a result, you can migrate to Shift4Shop without fear of losing any of your traffic! Simply duplicate your exact URL structure from your old platform and you won’t lose your search rankings.

Shift4Shop also offers free migration services from most popular carts so you don’t have to do any of the work yourself.

Shift4Shop Will Always Be Cheaper Than Shopify

Because Shift4Shop has almost every feature out of the box plus email marketing, you probably won’t need to pay for any additional apps like you would with Shopify.

Not only that, but Shift4Shop is 33% cheaper and doesn’t charge any transaction fees.

The combination of all of these factors will make Shift4Shop significantly cheaper than Shopify in almost all cases.

Overall, Shift4Shop is probably the best Shopify alternative for online store owners on a budget.

Click Here To Sign Up For Shift4Shop For Free

Shopify’s Advantages Over Shift4Shop

Shopify is the 1000 pound gorilla when it comes to shopping carts. As a result, their 3rd party app ecosystem dwarfs any other platform including Shift4Shop.

However, Shift4Shop is run by a public company which means that they have a huge war chest of cash. As a result, I expect Shift4 to up their offerings moving forward to better compete with Shopify.

Similar to BigCommerce, Shopify’s main strength over Shift4Shop is their 3rd party support.


Pros For Shift4Shop

  • Shift4Shop will be significantly cheaper
  • Shift4Shop offers free email marketing
  • Shift4Shop does not charge transaction fees
  • Shift4Shop offers much better marketing features out of the box
  • Shift4Shop will not nickel and dime you with recurring app fees

Cons For Shift4Shop

  • Shopify has more design themes
  • Shopify has a larger 3rd party app ecosystem
  • Shopify has more developer support
  • Shopify has a larger installed base

Shift4Shop’s Overall Rating (5 is the best)

Ease Of Use: 3.8
Out Of The Box Features: 5
Customer Support: 5
3rd Party Support: 3
Cost: 4
Search Engine Optimization: 5
Flexibility: 4.5

Click Here To Sign Up For Shift4Shop For Free

Shopify Alternative #4: Open Cart


Similar to WooCommerce, Open Cart is a free Shopify alternative. What I personally like about Open Cart is that it’s a lightweight shopping cart that is extremely fast and easy to use.

Having done a little hacking for Open Cart in the past, I can say that the source code is well organized and intuitively designed.

As a result, if you are technically inclined, you can easily modify OpenCart to do whatever you want it to do.

In many ways, Open Cart carries many of the same advantages of WooCommerce with the following differences.

Because Open Cart is designed from the ground up for ecommerce, the cart is extremely fast and feature rich. In addition, most hosting platforms offer a 1 click install of Open Cart right out of the box.

The biggest downside to Open Cart is that there isn’t nearly as much 3rd party developer support as Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce.

While Open Cart has a decent sized plugin database, you will probably need a developer to implement any additional features you require.

Overall, Open Cart is an incredible cart if you need custom functionality that you can’t get with an out of the box solution.

If you require complete control over your shop’s features, then Open Cart is an excellent choice because you have the complete source code at your disposal.


Pros Of Open Cart

  • Open Cart is free
  • Open Cart is easy to setup and use
  • Open Cart allows you to have a blog on the same domain
  • Open Cart is better for SEO
  • Open Cart plugins don’t carry recurring fees
  • Open Cart is fast and lightweight
  • Open Cart code is well written and easy to understand
  • Open Cart allows you to control the source code for your site

Cons Of Open Cart

  • Open Cart requires technical skills for customization
  • Open Cart requires you to find your own hosting
  • Open Cart offers very little 3rd party support

Open Cart’s Overall Rating (5 is the best)

Ease Of Use: 3.5
Out Of The Box Features: 3.5
Customer Support: N/A (You have to pay)
3rd Party Support: 3
Cost: 5
Search Engine Optimization: 5
Flexibility: 5

Shopify Alternative #5: Magento


In terms of marketshare, Magento is #3 overall only behind WooCommerce and Shopify in terms of popularity.

Similar to WooCommerce and Open Cart, Magento is open source and 100% free.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Having analyzed the source code for Magento in the past, I can say first hand that it’s both unwieldy and overly complicated.

Back in the day, Magento was the standard for high end online stores and it was by far the most flexible and scalable ecommerce platform in the world.

In the past, if you wanted the best and most powerful platform out there, then Magento was a logical choice.

But today, more and more Magento users are switching over to Shopify because the level of technical expertise to run a successful Magento shop has become too high of a bar.

In terms of pricing, Magento offers a free plan called the “community edition”, but it requires you to host your own website.

However because the code base is so complex, you will require high end hosting that will cost you several hundreds of dollars per month.

And if you need support from Magento developers, the Enterprise Edition will cost you at least $15,000 per year.

As a result, while Magento is still a viable alternative to Shopify, it is reserved only for high end ecommerce businesses that require full control and flexibility over their platform.


Pros Of Magento

  • Magento is free
  • Magento is the most feature rich ecommerce platform in the world
  • Magento has lots of 3rd party support with thousands of extensions and custom plugins

Cons Of Magento

  • Magento requires a developer to do pretty much anything
  • Magento requires high end hosting
  • Magento is complicated to use
  • Magento’s Enterprise edition is costly

Magento’s Overall Rating (5 is the best)

Ease Of Use: 2.5
Out Of The Box Features: 5
Customer Support: N/A (You have to pay)
3rd Party Support: 5
Cost: 1
Search Engine Optimization: 5
Flexibility: 5

Shopify Alternative #6: Wix


The only reason Wix is on this list is because I get asked about Wix at least 3 times per week. In general, I don’t consider Wix to be a good long term ecommerce platform at all.

In my opinion, the only reason to use Wix is if you want to create a hobby ecommerce store on a major budget and you don’t care about future expansion.

On the surface, Wix provides extremely affordable plans (including a powerful free plan) and a large array of beautiful templates, apps and customizable theme options. In addition, they have a pretty cool design editor that is perfect for newbies.

But that’s about where the advantages end. Overall, Wix is a great platform to create an attractive looking website but that’s about it.

In terms of ecommerce, they are missing many major features that Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Open Cart, Magento and practically every other shopping cart possesses.

For example…

  • There is no Amazon FBA support
  • There is no abandoned cart recovery
  • There are no 1 click upsells
  • There is limited SEO support
  • There is no support for Klaviyo which is a deal breaker:)

Overall, Wix is only good for hobbyist shops and there’s a reason why it is so inexpensive. In the long run, switching ecommerce platforms is a pain so it pays to start with a solid shopping cart. The are much better alternatives to Shopify than Wix!

Wix’s Overall Rating (5 is the best)

Ease Of Use: 5
Out Of The Box Features: 2
Customer Support: 5
3rd Party Support: 1
Cost: 5
Search Engine Optimization: 4
Flexibility: 1

The Best Ecommerce Platform For You

Shopify has many pros and cons and when choosing from the many ecommerce solutions, the right platform depends on your specific needs.

If you need a fully hosted ecommerce platform, then BigCommerce is a good Shopify alternative if…

  • Your country is not supported by Shopify Payments
  • You sell prohibited products
  • You require multiple variants
  • You want to save money

Click Here To Sign Up For BigCommerce And Get 1 Month Free

Shift4Shop is a good Shopify alternative if…

  • You are on a budget
  • You want the most complete feature set out of the box
  • You want free email marketing
  • You are concerned with losing SEO rankings when migrating carts

Click Here To Sign Up For Shift4Shop For Free

If you don’t mind hosting your own website and you want infinite flexibility, then either WooCommerce or Open Cart are great platforms to go with.

If you have lots of money to blow on your ecommerce platform and you want the most feature rich shopping cart out there with full control, then Magento is a viable choice.

Whatever you decide, I would only choose Wix if you don’t plan on turning your ecommerce store into anything more than a side hustle. Good luck!

Click Here To Sign Up For Shopify For Free

Frequently Asked Questions About Shopify Alternatives


What can I use instead of Shopify?

The best Shopify alternatives are BigCommerce, Shift4Shop, WooCommerce and OpenCart depending on your budget and how tech savvy you are.

Is there a free Shopify?

There is no free version of Shopify. However, their cheapest plan only costs $9/month. This plan is not displayed prominently on their site and you have to search for it.

Who are Shopify competitors?

Shopify's main competitors in terms of market share are BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento and Wix. Only the first 3 are viable alternatives to Shopify.

What is better than Shopify?

The term 'better' can mean different things for different people. BigCommerce is as powerful as Shopify but costs less because you won't get nickel and dimed with apps. WooCommerce is cheaper and more flexible because you own the source code. Overall, Shopify has the best 3rd party developer support and design themes of the bunch.

Which is better Wix or Shopify?

Shopify is better than Wix hands down. The only thing good about Wix is the price but your online business will pay for it in the long run. Wix doesn't have the necessary features or 3rd party support to run a serious ecommerce business.

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About Steve Chou

Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at

His blog,, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times,  Entrepreneur and MSNBC.  

He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.

In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts

To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store,, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.  

Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses. 

4 thoughts on “Shopify Alternatives – Cheaper Solutions That Are As Good If Not Better”

  1. Carl Janke says:

    Steve, Some time ago I mentioned to you about I call hidden Shopify cost. What about Yahoo ??

  2. julius rosen says:

    Why don’t you rate these features on a 1 – 10 scales for us newbies

    Ease of use
    Template availability

    My one big reason to use a programs is the feature set – I want these things as part of the PACKAGE
    affiliate program
    bulk import / export
    Sale prices
    easy email sign ups
    blogs / videos
    Product colors / Options / prices / Variations
    automatic compression
    Keyword / seo
    Is it based in USA ?
    Lastly – how uik is customer service when you have a question ????
    Price is last thing but I want 60 -90 days to play with it .

    1. I will update this post based on your feedback:) Give me a day or so

  3. Ree says:

    I have used Shopify but abandoned it quickly for exactly the reasons you state: yucky for blogs and the monthly cost related to plugins was too high.

    I now use WooCommerce and host with WPengine. I am EXTREMELY happy with both. I wouldn’t use Bluehost again if you paid me. Nuff said.

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