When talking about e-commerce, Shopify is one of the names that immediately comes to mind for most business website developers. Just as well, since it has gained recognition as one of the top platforms used for online businesses lately. More than a million ventures across 175 countries are using Shopify to bring their business to the world.
But that’s not always the case for other business owners. What works for a lot, may not always work for one. It varies for every case. And that’s completely fine. You don’t need to force yourself to engage in something that you know isn’t for you. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you may be experiencing a similar dilemma.
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Whatever the case is for you, whether you’ve used Shopify and is on the hunt for a better option, or a start-up scouring for suggestions, read on because I am about to narrow down some e-commerce platform alternatives for you and few of their pros and cons to help you decide which appeals to your preferences.
Firstly, let me just give an overview about Shopify for those that do not know about it yet.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform for online stores and retail POS. It offers a lot of business managing features essential for operations of an online store. From website development, product listings, inventory, logistics calculation, to dissemination throughout several sales channels, and everything in between, Shopify is a headache-free way to manage a business site without worrying about system maintenance.
Its versatility allows it to accommodate both the small and big business ventures with options for various plans that fit the needs of both. Each type of plan encompasses certain features that can be used.
Small businesses can opt for the regular access with the three kinds of price range, differing in the limitations of available features. Large business ventures can avail of the Shopify Plus, with more features that can cater large-scale inventories and product listings. However, Shopify Lite is also available for pre-existing website that only need a buy button.
All of these are paid services.
What could have driven you away from Shopify
Allow me to enumerate few of the reasons why you’re searching for alternatives.
Shopify mode of payment’s not working out
Shopify uses a fixed system of payment via Stripe. However, if you choose not to use that, an additional 2% fee may be charged to you for every sale that does not use their own payment medium. Furthermore, not using their preferred method makes you lose access to some useful features like the multiple currency transactions. Shopify payments also is not able to cater the payment for high-risk products.
You want to be more hands-on with SEO
Shopify already comes with a basic search engine optimization feature. It is a vital part of ensuring website visibility and brand awareness. It does not necessarily mean that Shopify’s terrible at it, but it could do better. If you’re a business owner who values personal input and a first-hand take on some aspects of your business, you may not be satisfied with the SEO functions that Shopify offers. There is so much you can do with the SEO of your site and your content that Shopify does not allow you to do.
Shopify has this 100 SKUs limit for every product and only three variations to choose from for every product. So if your business has a rather large variety of products, the platform may not be able to cater all of those selections.
What to look for in your next
Apart from the things you did not like about Shopify, here are some other characteristics that you next choice should, as much as possible, possess.
Several payment methods
You should be able to offer your customer a variety of payment system options. Your consumers prefer various types of transactions methods – VISA, Paypal, Cash on Delivery, etc. And while it may be too far-fetched for your business now, never opt out of the possibility of multiple currency payment options.
Ability to Customize
In terms of website development, web design is unique for every type of business. For the most part, a business owner prefers some personal touch to the visual appearance, interface, and the inner workings of their website. Also, it helps a lot that personalization and customization is accessible to give every website an edge and allow them to give their own spin to it so that they can stand out among their competitors. Key elements of a good website are the aesthetic appeal and the ease in navigation. It is important that you are free to carry out your own preferences and deliver them onto the site.
Set your sights high for your site and anticipate that your product variety will only grow over time, so ensure that your platform is able to accommodate massive growth.
Here’s the good part. Read on as we narrow down the popular siblings of Shopify that are just as good of a choice with different advantages and disadvantages to tip the scales.
Based in Austin, Texas and launched way back in 2009, BigCommerce offers demographic segmentation, SEO, and web hosting, among others. It seems to be a much wiser for a business venture with a promising growth. The best features of BigCommerce are its incredible features for every plan that it offers. More than 55 payment portals are available, plus it does not charge any additional fees. The web design tool is easy to use (Page Builder) and the SEO functionalities are versatile. Customer support is also very efficient. However, the themes available for use are only five. Unlike Shopify that has 9 free themes and there is a lot to learn because of the wide range of features.
WooCommerce is a WordPress-integrated plugin that is used as a sort of e-commerce addition to sites that have already been developed via WordPress. But this isn’t exclusive though, BigCommerce can be integrated with WordPress too. Pros – easy to use, customizable coding due to it being an open-source plugin. You still need to pay for other web features to have the site live, like domain hosting, and SSL certifications. You may need assistance of an experienced web developer to tap into the potential of your site and for maintenance purposes.
Adobe now owns this platform that was first established in 2007. Magento Commerce is the best option for large enterprises, while Magento Open Source is great for small business ventures. Also an open source host, you can easily customize the store features. It has thousands of developer partners around the world that contribute to its functionality. Large business can choose betwen cloud-based hosting or self-hosting. Third-party apps and add-ons are accessible. You need to oversee most of the operations though, and you may need to hire technical staff to help manage and maintain your site and the server.
A largely inclusive online store building system is one of the key features of PinnacleCart. Specializing in marketing, it leans more towards the small-scale businesses. In terms of more SEO control, this is a great choice. It also gives you the choice for hosting it on their server or on your own. There is no limit on product varieties. Hosting on their server has bandwidth and storage limitations, expansion means more costs. It only has a few third-party app affiliates. Only 12 themes are available for use.
More SEO-focused e-commerce platform, 3DCart focuses on online stores and retail POS. Organic search-reliant websites are in good hands on this platform. Multifunctional SEO tools, a blogging platform that comes with every plan, wide array of payment methods, and at cheaper costs – are among the best that 3DCart has to offer. However, some themes are kind of outdated in comparison to Shopify and BigCommerce.
A general website builder that was founded back in 2006, Wix has been receiving some recognition for its drag-and-drop builder tool that makes it easy for any developer without technical knowledge to navigate through. You have 300 SKU variants to use. Premium plans for e-commerce websites include free domain for a year. The storage capacity may hold you back because you are only entitled to a maximum of 50 GB of space for small-scale. Expansion is possible but you need to avail of the enterprise plan. Apple Pay or Amazon Payments are not supported.