Shopify has indeed taken the world of eCommerce by storm due to its incredible tools, features and capabilities. However, as someone who only wants the best for his/her business, you should know that the Internet offers other options that may not be as popular, but perform just as well (possibly even better!).
It is unreasonable for you, a budding entrepreneur, to simply choose an eCommerce platform just because the online community told you so. If you want to succeed in this industry, thorough research and good judgement when it comes to weighing your options are undoubtedly vital.
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The Best Shopify Competitors
Don't get me wrong, though; Shopify is definitely a good platform, especially when you are in the early stages of your eCommerce career. It's just that there are some others that don't get as much love from other users due to the difficulty of competition. And today, we are going to give them the credit they deserve, and bring light to the wonders they have in store for you.
In this post, I am going to share with you 3 eCommerce platforms that are so good they make Shopify tremble with fear (not really, but you know what I mean.)! Keep on reading to find out which one best works for you and your business' needs.
The following Shopify competitors were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Plans and pricing;
- Transaction fees;
- Customer support;
- Community and reviews.
Before we get to those, though, let us first discuss what Shopify is and what it can do for your business.
Shopify: The Best eCommerce Platform(?)
The main reason for Shopify's great popularity is its user-friendliness and wide offering of the most basic tools and features an eCommerce business would need in order to start profiting at the soonest time possible. And as earlier mentioned, it works best for beginners not only in the eCommerce industry, but also in the process of creating and developing a website.
Plans and Pricing
Shopify has 3 standard plans that are tailored to your every want and need.
- Basic Shopify: $29 per month
- Shopify: $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify: $299 per month
Plans and pricing vary according to the number of staff members allowed per account (2, 5 and 15, respectively) and other inclusions.
Fraud detection, cart recovery, the ability to create a breathtaking website, discount codes, gift cards -- all these and more are included with every Shopify plan. Though if you think you need more than just the basics, you can check out the full details of every plan by clicking this link.
You might be thinking, "The more features, the better," but that is not always the case. It is always a good idea to assess your most basic needs and evaluate each and every plan so that you can get the most out of what you will pay for, especially if you are a startup business.
Shopify does offer cheap plans upfront, but you should know that they make up for it with their online and in-person credit card fees which would take up a small percentage of your total transaction amount.
I wasn't lying when I told you that Shopify works really well for beginners as they offer 24/7 customer support. Any questions you might have will be effortlessly and professionally answered by their superb team. And if you're not up for making any calls or contacting them in any other way, a detailed documentation is provided with every plan.
Community and Reviews
Users from all over the globe love how Shopify helped their business grow, expand, and of course, make them money. A quick search on the Internet will reveal thousands of dropshippers fawning over the platform, encouraging you to try it for yourself.
Now that you have a vague idea of what Shopify can do for your business, let's see what other options the online market has in store for you.
[The] best e-commerce platform built to convert. Based on my own experience, CommerceHQ is by far Shopify's best rival yet. With its immense capabilities and fairly competitive pricing and plans, there's no denying that it is indeed worth every cent.
Plans and Pricing
CHQ also has 3 standard plans:
- Startup: $99 per month
- Pro: $299 per m0nth
- Enterprise: (Price to be discussed with CHQ team)
With CHQ, you get access to ALL of its features regardless of whichever membership plan you choose. If so, why would there be variations on its plans?
The difference is in the profit ceiling and number of stores you can create. For the startup plan, you get to make 1 store and up to $30,000 a month in sales; with the pro plan, you can have 6 stores and up to $80,000; and for the enterprise plan, you can have more than 30 different stores and an unlimited amount of sales per year.
The platform also offers a 14-day trial for the skeptics and those who simply wish to try out its massive capabilities. And as a bonus from me, if you sign up for CHQ using this link, you gain the ability to create 3 stores for the price of 1! Yep, that's a measly $99, and you can already get most of the benefits the pro plan has to offer.
Think of Shopify's features and add a few more. Sound good? Well, it definitely is. And again, regardless of the plan you choose, you will be getting limitless access to all of them. Now you won't have to feel envious of your competitor who has this tool or that feature anymore.
What I particularly love about CHQ's features is the ability to create and publish an unlimited amount of products to sell on your eCommerce store. This gives users a better chance to sell, especially when they are offering products from different niches or industries. The feature goes well with websites for supermarkets, variety stores, and the like.
Nope. There are no transaction fees. Your customers can utilize any of your offered payment methods and you get to keep and manage every bit of your profit. This makes CommerceHQ one of the most cost-friendly eCommerce platforms out on the market today.
Customer care is top-notch, just like Shopify's and how it should be. Professional, knowledgeable, polite and hospitable -- there's really nothing more you could ever ask for!
Community and Reviews
I myself have been using CHQ for my own stores, and it has generated nothing but amazing results for my business. It definitely is built for profit, so if you are looking to make tons and tons of cash and have the budget for it, I'd say go for this one.
You can read my full review of ComemrceHQ by clicking through this link.
WooCommerce is especially built for WordPress users who wish to make a profit out of their websites. First released in 2011, this tool immediately became a popular hit due to its simplicity and ease of use. WooCommerce is highly customizable and thus flexible to fit all your wants and needs.
Plans and Pricing
Nope. No upfront fees whatsoever. WooCommerce itself is a free plugin, which means you need a WordPress site in order to utilize it. The following are the elements of a website that you actually have to pay for, should you choose to go with WooCommerce:
- Hosting: $120 per year (on average)
- Domain name: $15 per year (each)
- Themes: $0 - $100 per year
- Shipping: $0 - $108 per year
- Payment gateways: 2.9% + $0.30 per sale plus a monthly fee of $0 - $30 per month
- Communications: $0 - $348 per year
- SEO: $0 - $79 per year
- Security: $0 - $300 per year
- SSL certificate: $0 - $65 per year
Note: The numbers posted above are excerpts from WooCommerce's own post. Click this link to find out more.
As of date, WooCommerce has a whopping 417 extensions that are impressively unique in terms of price and function. Some of the most popular ones include extensions that allow connections to third-party websites and tools such as Facebook, MailChimp, PayPal and more.
Undoubtedly, these extensions can improve your chances of selling online.
As per the platform's website, you only need to pay 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction made with U.S.-issued credit or debit cards, and an additional 1% fee for those outside the U.S.
Customer Support / Community and Reviews
WooCommerce offers technical support via mail or live chat, so you never have to worry about being left behind by their team. They have also allowed their community to get involved and engage in conversations via forums and threads.
We have a relatively young player in the game, although you shouldn't look down on this one, as BigCommerce has already become a hit and is now being used and trusted by thousands of small- to medium-sized businesses worldwide. This SaaS (Software as a Service) eCommerce platform has indeed proved its powerful performance and credibility over the years; is it now time for you to do so? Find out below.
Plans and Pricing
Before you put your money down on BigCommerce's table, you should first go and try its 15-day trial offering; there's nothing wrong with having a test run, right? After which, when you think the two of you actually have a connection, you can then choose one of its 3 plans:
- Standard Plan: $29.95 per month
- Pro Plan: $79.95 per month
- Plus Plan: $299.95 per month
Looks a bit familiar? Yep, but here's the thing: you only have to pay for your plan after 3 months! Yep, you get to use BigCommerce's tools for free for 90 days -- SAVINGS GALORE!
Here is a full list of BigCommerce's features, as per BuildThis:
- Unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth
- Unlimited staff accounts
- eBay and Amazon connected
- Point of sale
- Social channel integration (Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Shopping)
- Single-page checkout
- Built-in blog
- Mobile wallet (Amazon Pay and Apple Pay)
- Coupons, discounts, and gift certificates
- Responsive websites
- Free sitewide HTTPS and dedicated SSL
- Shipper HQ shipping rules engine
- Special credit card rate from PayPal
Absolutely no transaction fees. Although, again, with this platform, your profits have a certain limit, so if you're planning to go big and scale up at the soonest time, you might want to consider this fact.
Every plan comes with excellent 24/7 customer support and detailed documentation. You probably don't have to worry too much should you encounter a bit of setback in building your website.
Community and Reviews
Beginners often complain about how fairly difficult it is to use BigCommerce due to the terminology used and their (overly) advanced set of tools. After all, as the name suggests, the platform is made for large-sized, established businesses. So if you are new to the game, this one might not be the best choice for you; although if you do have a bit of experience in the technicalities of website building, giving this one a shot may not be too bad of an idea, too.
How to Choose an eCommerce Platform
We've pretty much discussed all of the basics of choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business. Below is a summary of the aspects that you should be on the lookout for:
- Plans and Pricing: Are the platform's plans to your liking? Is it worth the price? Can you afford them considering the current state of your business?
- Features: Does the platform offer features that are of great use and can help ease up the process of creating your website? Are you confident that you or a virtual assistant can fully utilize them?
- Transaction Fees: Are you willing to pay for a fee for each and every one of your transactions? If so, are your total profits going to be enough such that you get to pay for all your expenses and still have something to keep for yourself?
- Customer Support: Is the CS team of your chosen platform available whenever you are in need of any help? Are they hospitable and approachable enough to cater to your every inquiry?
- Community and Reviews: What do other users have to say about their experiences with using the platform?
Regardless of whether you choose Shopify or one of its top competitors, your number one priority should be the betterment and growth of your business. Remember that you are after profit, and not just something that would make your name look fancy and/or professional.
Let's Wrap It Up!
We have just reviewed Shopify and its top competitors. Now, I am not telling you which one of the platforms mentioned above is the overall winner because they all have different aspects in which they excel at. You really can't have every sweet treat packed in one bag, now can you? At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you assess your needs.
If you have any more questions about Shopify, any of its competitors, or anything regarding this video, feel free to personally contact me via the Contact Form HERE. You can also leave your comments and feedback below, and our team over at WagePirate will definitely get back to you with a response. For more reviews, news and updates, don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!