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The 10 Best Shopify Alternatives in 2021

Last updated May 24, 2023 7 min to read
Shopify Alternatives
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It’s hard to get your head around the sheer enormity of Shopify’s success, with 820,000 sellers are busy running over 500,000 active stores.

But what if it’s not right for you and your business? eCommerce isn’t one-size-fits-all, so what Shopify alternatives are there?

We’ve listed our picks for the best of the rest to give you the options you need.

Why should I be looking at alternatives to Shopify?

Don’t get us wrong, Shopify has a lot of positives aspects. It’s easy to use, comes with an entire universe of apps and templates, as well as giving you 24-hour support. But there are some cons of Shopify which work against it:

  • You could end up paying transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments, which isn’t yet available in some countries
  • It’s tricky to create in-platform content like blogs to support your products, at a time when many businesses live or die by content marketing
  • Translation options are limited. If you sell in different countries, you might need third-party help to present products in every language you need
  • SEO issues sometimes rear their heads. Inflexible URL structures make life hard to compete in more competitive eCommerce niches

For some, these are minor annoyances. But for others, they can be deal-breakers that call for workable Shopify alternatives. Let’s take a look at the best ones.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce promises to “create an unfair advantage” for your business (their words) with a straightforward interface and expanded content marketing options.

BigCommerce

Features: A simple drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to set up your shop. You get seven free themes, as well as content marketing features and multichannel selling support. Beware of slightly longer than average loading times, though.
Flexibility: BigCommerce has one of the steeper learning curves out of the Shopify alternatives on this list. But once you know what you’re doing, there’s not much you can’t accomplish here.
Price: Starting at $29.95 per month, BigCommerce packages can run to as much as $249.95 per month. Depending on how much you sell and your revenue, you’re likely to land somewhere in the middle. New customers get a 15-day free trial.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce ranks as one of those Shopify alternatives which some say could be better than Shopify itself.

WooCommerce

Features: Here, you’ll find everything you could ask for in an eCommerce platform, from seamless WordPress integration to post-purchase one-click upsell functionality. You will, however, need the tech skills to put this open-source behemoth together yourself.
Flexibility: As an open-source platform, versatility is WooCommerce’s strong suit. If you’ve got the savvy to build it, you can include it.
Price: WooCommerce itself is completely free. You will need to pay for hosting and a domain name, though. It also offers paid themes, extensions, and web development services.

Magento

Magento is a CMS platform which provides an open-source ecosystem to build the exact store you want to see.

Magento

Features: From its page builder to web app integration via powerful product recommendation capability, Magento is another fantastic end-to-end eCommerce platform, definitely one of the top Shopify alternatives. It’s also highly mobile friendly.
Flexibility: As with WooCommerce, the versatility to create whatever store you want is a blessing and a curse. If you have the skills, you’re in luck. But product support is limited if you run into issues.
Price: Like WooCommerce, Magento’s core CMS capability is free. You’ll only need to pay for hosting and a domain name, as well as any extras like themes and templates you want.

Prestashop

Prestashop is one of the best Shopify alternatives for those with less budget but a broad international customer base.

Prestashop

Features: You’ll find a more limited selection of themes and templates here than with Shopify, but they’re far more user-friendly to implement. Even better, Prestashop has no transaction fees, support for 25 languages, and the ability to work in multiple currencies.
Flexibility: It’s likely you’ll need to hire a developer to navigate the sheer scope of Prestashop, so great is its open-source versatility. Once again, you can do whatever you want but you’re on your own in doing so.
Price: Prestashop is free, and has partnerships with Azure, WebHostingHub, and 1&1 to facilitate cost-effective hosting.

3DCart

3DCart gives you an enormous range of features and themes, along with powerful SEO capability, making for a versatile Shopify alternative.

3DCart

Features: Speed is the key selling point here. Store speeds and load times are impressive. There’s also support for over 70 payment gateways and a wealth of visual features. Some of those themes look a little dated though, and Shopify definitely has a better mobile UX.
Flexibility: No problems here, not only is this one of the more flexible Shopify alternatives, you can also take advantage of in-house web design to get a store you can be proud of.
Price: 3DCart also gives new customers their 15-day trial, with paid packages ranging from $19 per month basic to $229 per month for all the bells and whistles.

Volusion

Volusion is already powering over 200,000 businesses, particularly smaller businesses and dynamic startups.

Volusion

Features: This is remarkably easy to use, offering customers one-click checkout. It looks and runs great on mobile, with plenty of eye-catching free themes and no transaction fees to worry about.
Flexibility: We’d be lying if we said Volusion didn’t have issues with versatility. Metered bandwidth punishes you for growing, and you will need some coding skills to put the finishing touches to your store.
Price: Volusion gives you a comparatively thrifty 14-day free trial. Bandwidth is metered for the paid service; you’ll usually spend between $15 and $35 per month. If you go over your limit, however, you could get charged around $7 per GB.

Squarespace

Squarespace is ideal for smaller or newer businesses looking for a fast, simple way to establish an impactful online presence.

Squarespace

Features: This is primarily a website building tool rather than something competing to be among the best Shopify alternatives. But that gives you a range of beautiful templates with no need for coding knowledge. Squarespace is a content marketer’s dream.
Flexibility: The focus and simplicity of Squarespace comes with a price. Limited multichannel features, fewer add-ons, and payment only via PayPal or Stripe make for a more restrictive eCommerce experience.
Price: Squarespace’s basic business package starts at around $20 per month, ranging up to $40 per month for the advanced eCommerce package.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel puts itself across as the eCommerce platform for artists and makers. One of the best Shopify alternatives for creative businesses.

Big Cartel

Features: The platform is easy to set up and manage, and gives you plenty of space to show off your creative products at their best.
Flexibility: You’ll get everything you need for a niche creative business with Big Cartel, but you’re in trouble as soon as you stray from that niche. Introducing other products is made nearly impossible by the platform’s charming-but-basic functionality.
Price: Big Cartel offer a free (if misleadingly named) Gold package. You can go all the way up to their Titanium package and support up to 300 products for $29.99 per month.

Wix

Wix gives you a highly user-friendly website and eCommerce store creator in the style of Squarespace.

Wix

Features: First and foremost, Wix features a great, intuitive UI. It also has an enormous app market which expands your options for design and functionality. 
Flexibility: Wix’s eCommerce capability was added late, so it’s still missing some features which might make it a contender among the top Shopify alternatives. There’s no import or export features, for example. You don’t get much control over emails, and some features are currently US-only.
Price: The basic business package starts at around $17 per month, and gives you a huge 20 GB of storage. This can go up to 50 GB (with priority support) for about $29 per month.

Weebly

Weebly is another highly intuitive website builder with newer eCommerce features that are perfect for newer businesses or those with a focused product offer.

Weebly

Features: As far as Shopify alternatives go, Weebly gives you everything you need to create a basic site. Free SSL security, SEO tools, lead capture, and community forums provide the tools to get you up and running fast.
Flexibility: Once you get beyond the basics, Weebly starts to stumble. No advanced features like customer logins make it difficult to scale your eCommerce store along with your business.
Price: Weebly has a free version with 500 MB of storage and a Weebly-branded domain. Paid packages start from around $5.50 per month and go all the way up to around $24 per month for the full Business package.

Final thoughts

Picking the right Shopify alternatives can, ironically, take some shopping around. But it’s vital to put your business first and pick the platform that lets you provide the features your customers want.

Once you’re powered by the right software, you can focus on what matters: developing a distinctive brand to attract shoppers, and keeping them with a great offer.

Did you know that over 60% of US online retail purchases were made through Amazon last year? Amazon’s hold over eCommerce is well established, with 9.1 million active Amazon sellers worldwide and an average of 66 thousand orders per day. Newer sellers may be wondering how they can get more sales on Amazon in such a competitive environment.

The truth is, they absolutely can because with Amazon’s booming market share come many opportunities. We’ve assembled this digestible list of 14 quick wins and strategic moves, to help you up your game and sell more on Amazon.

1. Do keyword research

Having the right keywords can be one of the most important tactics in reaching your target audiences. Using the keywords that are common to searches for your products is the objective, but search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly evolving game. That means that keywords used successfully in the past may not be as effective with updated search engine algorithms today.

The terms used by customers to find products change daily and are affected by seasonal, cultural, and economic factors. Hence, it’s important to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and make sure you cast a wide net when implementing keywords for each product listing.

Each product should be optimized with as many relevant keywords as possible – into the hundreds! This gives you the best possible chance of getting your products found by customers, helping you sell more on Amazon.

Amazon keyword research tools like Helium 10, SellerApp, Jungle Scout, and AMZ One can help by generating a list of related keywords with search volume, competition level, and other useful metrics, making it easier for you to choose the best keywords for your product listing

2. Use a repricing tool to get more sales on Amazon

When it comes to sealing the deal and making a sale, price is a main deciding factor for many customers. As an Amazon seller, you always want to make sure you’re pricing your products competitively, but equally, you don’t want to lose your margin! 

This is something that using repricing software can help with. Repricing software automates the pricing process in real-time, ensuring your prices stay in line with those of competitors, and with market fluctuations, while you get more sales on Amazon.

Repricing software also has many customisable features that allow you to set prices at optimal levels to help drive sales, without compromising profit. It’s worth taking a trial to see how it can help lift your sales. 

3. Get more Amazon reviews

Online reviews are important to spread confidence through word of month and for building credibility for your brand. It’s also a fact that 72% of shoppers won’t buy until they’ve read reviews of a product from people like themselves – people they trust. 

Even a strong product with great marketing behind it still has to overcome the fear of the unknown if there’s no social proof. Plus, positive reviews are a significant factor in deciding which products win the Amazon Buy Box.

Get more Amazon reviews by encouraging feedback from your customers. The best way to do this is by utilizing feedback software to automate the process.

4. Provide great customer service

Customer service is absolutely essential in eCommerce. Offering top-quality customer service not only adds value, but helps retain customers. A big part of making a sale is assuring the customer that they can trust you to deliver, and that trust is hard earned but easily lost. Providing good eCommerce customer service is critical, and committing to providing great customer service is all the more so!

As an Amazon seller, you need to be on top of your customer service. Responsiveness, a friendly manner and quick and easy resolution processes are all ingredients that make for a winning approach to great customer service. 

But it can be confusing trying to streamline it all. Thankfully, there are all sorts of tools available to make this job easier, like helpdesk software to keep all your customer interactions in one place. This helps you to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries when they come in, so that your customers always know you’ve got their back.

5. Leverage Amazon seller tools

The best part about being an Amazon seller is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous tools available to help you maximize your business and get the most out of selling on Amazon, whether third-party or FBA. 

From repricing tools, to help desk software, to review software and even shipping assistance, many tools exist on the market today that specifically help Amazon sellers optimize their listings, prices, feedback, shipping, customer service and even their taxes. 

There are many different seller tools available, so it’s worth reading about options and making an informed decision about the right ones to choose for your business. With the right tools, you can grow your business more than you ever thought possible. 

6. Get more sales on Amazon with ads

Running ads is almost guaranteed to help you get more sales on Amazon, but it’s easy to just throw money at them and hope for the best. You can do better! Pay attention to your advertising cost of sales (ACOS) metric, the figure for how much ad spend you need in order to make a sale.

By advertising more efficiently, you lower your ACOS and ensure you get more bang for your buck. Over time, you’ll learn what works and you can employ a strategy with regards to how you run your ads. Taking an insight-driven approach to Amazon ads results in a more profitable Amazon business!

7. Optimise your product pages

The old saying goes that 80% of readers never make it past the headline of any piece of content. That means once you’ve written your product title, you’ve effectively spent 80 cents of your dollar.

When writing product titles, stick to the formula of:

  • Brand name
  • Product name
  • Features (size, colour, gender etc). 

This lets you include the right keywords in the right order to immediately tell shoppers that this is the product for them.

Moreover, making sure to visually design your product pages so that they’re clean, simple and easy to read will also help win over shoppers. No one wants to read through a cluttered page. The more straightforward (yet informative) and the cleaner you make your design, the more likely you’ll be to win over those elusive eyeballs!

8. Win the Amazon Buy Box

The quickest way to get more sales on Amazon is by ensuring that your products show up consistently in the Amazon Buy Box (the area in the top right of a product page, where shoppers can ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’). This is because over 82% of sales happen through this highly sought after space.

Although the exact formula to win the Buy Box is unknown, there are a few things that we know are essential. These are mainly metrics that prove the seller is providing a good customer experience. Customer reviews play a big role here. The more positive reviews a seller can amass, the likelihood of winning the Buy Box increases. 

In addition to reviews, something else that’s obviously very important to Amazon shoppers is price! By using repricing software, you can automatically set your prices at the optimal level to win the Buy Box and maximize profit, even if you’ve got an enormous inventory.

9. Amazon account health rating

The Amazon account health rating (AHR) is a new feature that helps you monitor your account health based on its adherence to Amazon seller policies. 

It considers both negative factors (such as the number of unresolved policy violations on your account) as well as positive factors (how your account positively impacts the customer experience through its selling activities). 

Each account will be given a rating, which is regularly reviewed as Amazon monitors the performance of its sellers. If your account is off-target, you will be notified so that you can improve your performance. Conversely, a good AHR rating will work in your favor, helping assure customers that they’re doing business with a compliant seller. 

10. Maintain your Amazon SLA

A big part of being a seller is cultivating trust with your customers. That means showing them that you operate in an above-board manner and that you’ll make good on your promise of fulfillment to them. One way of doing that is by making sure your Amazon store has a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is a promise to your customers that they’ll receive their orders on time. When it comes to fulfillment, the SLA is based on the capacity to fulfill open orders and on-time shipping and delivery. 

SLAs help manage customer expectations by defining standards and outlining circumstances under which you as the seller won’t be liable for unfulfilled promises (e.g., natural disasters preventing shipping, etc). 

eDesk’s customer service solution is designed to alert you when your SLA is expiring, so your business is never caught without one. Having a current SLA helps you maintain transparency with customers, thereby building trust which helps ensure customer loyalty.  

11. Focus on products that already sell

Most ambitious business owners want to try new streams of revenue, but it’s important not to lose sight of the things that are making you money now. 

By doubling down on the products that already provide your Amazon store with a reliable revenue stream, you not only deliver to market demand but ensure that you have the financial runway required to take risks on innovative new products, if need be. 

Review your financial statements every quarter and look at the items that are performing best in your store. Think about how you can continue to market these with ads, SEO keywords and upgraded images to maximize their selling potential in your online store. 

12. Sync your inventory

Inventory can be a delicate balancing act. Hold too much inventory for too long and you need to pay over the odds to store it. But hold too little inventory and you lose out on vital sales, or even customers, due to an inability to fulfill. Amazon can also penalize you if your inventory performance isn’t up to standard.

Stock control is something every seller needs to understand and have the capability to manage for optimal results. Smart inventory management is an under-appreciated way to increase your Amazon sales and profit margin. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. Investing in the right tools and software can help sellers take the stress out of balancing supply and demand.

13. Expand into new Amazon marketplaces 

Amazon currently has 20 marketplaces around the world, which include the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and more. 

You can scale your brand by moving into some of these marketplaces. This can involve doing market research to find out which products are popular in each market and then uplevelling your shipping operations in order to be able to ship globally.  

But expanding into new markets also means you’ll need to take language into consideration and localize your listings so that they feature each marketplace’s local language and SEO keywords in the appropriate language. Multilingual customer service is also needed in order to be able to service customers across various marketplaces in their local language. 

Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. eDesk’s help desk solution is designed to support customer service and workflow in multiple languages, so you can expand your business without investing in the overhead of hiring a global team. 

14. Spy on your competitors

Ok, maybe “spy” is a bit of an exaggeration, but profitable sellers are always on the lookout for what their competitors are doing. You want to make sure you’re offering the right inventory for your market at the right prices. Repricing software will monitor this for you, taking the guesswork out of pricing at the right levels. 

Using data gleaned from helpdesk reporting can also help you gather valuable insights and feedback from your customers, which will help you to better understand what customers want and need. Acting on analytics-driven insights from easy-to-read reports means you’re always one step ahead of the competition. 

Final thoughts

The quest to increase your store’s Amazon sales doesn’t need to be an uphill struggle. There are many resources available to Amazon sellers today to help them optimize their store and develop a healthy sales pipeline. 

By staying in touch with how the Amazon platform grows and using the right tech tools to drive your business, you can continue to do what you do best: building a great brand, winning customers, retaining existing customers and improving your bottom line. 

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