Shopify has remained one of the leaders in the eCommerce web design niche for years. However, there are many users, who start looking for better Shopify alternatives having tried the service. Why does this happen?
The development of the website building niche does not remain the same and Shopify competitors start offering solutions that are much better in quality and convenience of use. I have compiled a general list of the most popular reasons (or the nuances that users didn’t like when working on the development of eCommerce projects) that make Shopify users look for the best alternatives to the system:it’s complicated for the newbies; it has high transaction fees; it has high price of paid templates; there’s a difficulty to customize a website.
In this post, I have reviewed the best Shopify competitors from the point of view of small and mid-sized online store creation. In the prevailing amount of cases, the startups or the owners of small- and medium-sized businesses, which manufacture only a few products, may find it difficult to pay $80 per month (this is the cost of the standard Shopify plan). I’ve found a cheaper solutions, take a look at this chart overview:
Shopify Alternatives Comparison Chart:
Looking for the best alternative, I’ve explored and tested over 50 website builders and eventually decided to stop at three of them, namely Wix, Weebly and uKit. Let’s have a closer look at each of these services now.
Shopify Alternative #1 – Wix: The Best Shopify Competitor for Small eCommerce
Though Wix isn’t a specialized eCommerce site builder, it can still be a good Shopify alternative, especially for those looking for quick and easy way of creating a site. This website builder is universal in its nature and, thus, it allows building different types of websites, including online stores. The service comes with drag-and-drop functionality and makes it possible to create and customize the design of your eCommerce website in less than no time. This is a perfect web building solution for users with little or no web design experience at all.
Wix eCommerce Features
- Easy Management. All online stores created with Wix are easy to manage. All the orders are added to the Store Manager to enable you to track their status and details. You can also manage your inventory list here by setting product size and color options, indicating the number of available products etc. It’s also possible to keep in touch with the customers by sending ShoutOut newsletters to keep them notified about the current product offers, sales, plans, events and what not.
- Secure Payment Options. Wix is concerned with the security of each payment. It allows receiving different types of payments, including credit cards, PayPal etc. As an online store owner, you can set tax and shipping rules, modify the prices and perform other actions to ensure safe shopping experience to your customers.
- Variety of Professional eCommerce Templates. The website builder offers a pretty large selection of eCommerce templates, which can help you start your online store with ease. Availability of powerful customization tools contributes to the smooth web building process. All the templates the website builder has are mobile-responsive by default and fit any screen resolutions and sizes. Due to the convenient drag-and-drop functionality, the process of online store creation become hassle free, while the result will certainly reflect your business specifications.
- Wix App Market. Wix App Market offers an impressive selection of eCommerce applications to be integrated into your online store. These applications are functional and contribute to better performance of your website.
- Product Galleries. It is possible to add and manage your own product galleries, when launching a web store with Wix. This is the best way to showcase your products and their specific characteristics in the most favorable light. Each product you add to the gallery can be viewed full-size so that customers could see it in details. You can additionally set product specifications (colors, shapes, sizes etc.) for each item uploaded and add as many photos as you need.
• Connect Domain – $4.50/mo;
• Combo – $8.50/mo;
• Unlimited – $12.50/mo;
• Commerce – $16.50/mo;
• VIP – $24.50/mo.
Wix offers a free unlimited plan for everyone, who has the intention to test the system and create small websites. This plan, however, comes with certain functionality limitations that will be a hindrance, if you wish to develop more powerful projects like eCommerce websites. For this purpose, Wix offers five paid plans that can be billed either monthly or annually.
All the paid plans come with free hosting, an opportunity to connect your own domain, nice amount of storage space, Premium customer support and built-in Google Analytics. An eCommerce plan is worth to be singled out here. It offers 20 Gb of bandwidth and disk storage space as well as an opportunity to launch a powerful online store. These features come at affordable cost and allow for the unsurpassed online store creation experience.
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that can be used to create different types of websites. eCommerce websites are not an exception. The functionality and the feature set of a website builder make it possible to design visually appealing online stores with excellent performance. You don’t have to be a web design pro to build an eCommerce website here. The process is simple and intuitive, which reduces the possibility to spoil something. Availability of the App Market, easy website management process, secure payment options and a rich collection of responsive eCommerce templates make the system a decent Shopify alternative for newbies and web design experts.
Shopify vs Wix Head-to-Head Comparison – Full research of advantages and demerits of using Wix and Shopify as eCommerce platforms.
Shopify Alternative #2 – Weebly: Cheaper Shopify Competitor
Weebly is another decent Shopify competitor to build eCommerce websites. The system is easy to use and functional enough to adhere to the needs of business owners and remain convenient at the same time. Weebly is flexible and, thus, it allows creating online stores for various niches a user may specialize in. The website builder doesn’t require any coding skills or web design expertise to launch a functional and visually-appealing online store, which will become a super easy way to sell your products or services on the web.
Weebly eCommerce Features
- Fully Integrated Shopping Cart. Weebly comes with a fully integrated shopping cart as well as easy and safe checkout. By using the system, you will be given an opportunity to set up the shopping cart automatically directly in the dashboard of the system without distracting from the web creation process. This is easy and quick even for newbies, not to mention proficient web designers. It takes a couple of minutes only to add a shopping cart to your online store here so that you could start selling your products any time you need.
- Inventory Tracking. Weebly gives you a chance to track your inventory directly from the system dashboard. This is how you will be able to control and manage your product stock, provide customers with the required product info and stay aware of the remaining number of products to be ready to get the full product stock on time. The system allows updating clients willing to get the products that are temporarily out of stock. This is very convenient both for you and your customers.
- Variety of Sales Options. With Weebly, you can easily launch an online store to sell any product types you need, including digital items, unique handmade products, donations, services, physical products and what not. All of this can be done in the system with no extra waste of effort and time. All downloadable items and digital products are automatically offered to the customers via the one-time use link sent in the email. All the products can be customized with regard to your needs and sales preferences.
- Product Search Filter. Weebly is always ready to provide your customers with a chance to simplify their shopping process. With this purpose, the system offers a powerful product search filter that allows finding the required products in less than no time. It’s possible to sort out the products by their special characteristics like color, shape, cost etc. As a result, the system allows finding the required products with ease to ensure better shopping experience.
- Easy Online Store Management. Weebly-based online stores can be easily managed by using mobile apps for Android and iPhone. This can be done from any place you are in and even on the go. For example, you can fulfill and process orders, get in touch with your clients, provide any kind of personalized services and customer support needed, notify your clients about their order status, product delivery, shipping details etc.
- Decent SEO Optimization. Decent SEO optimization matters a lot for any eCommerce website. It will affect the positions and promotion of your online store in the search engines, thus, helping you withstand tough competition, which is observed in most business spheres today. Websites designed with Weebly are automatically optimized by the system, providing everything you need to get decent search engine results.
• Starter – $8/mo;
• Pro – $12/mo;
• Business – $25/mo;
• Performance – $38/mo.
Weebly has several pricing plans to meet any preferences and taste. Thus, there is a free neverending version, which is a nice solution for everyone willing to test all the features of the system prior to making the final decision. However, a free plan won’t work for those users, who wish to create eCommerce websites as it doesn’t have this feature at all. There are also four paid plans, each of which offers a particular set of features.
Paid plans offer rich functionality to adhere to the needs of users. Even the cheapest plan is ad-free and lets you connect a custom domain, but it still allows selling not more than 10 products at a time. This will definitely not be enough, if you plan to launch a large online store. Pro Plan allows selling 25 tangible items only, which isn’t a suitable solution as well. So, if you really aim at building a powerful online store, then it makes sense to subscribe to Business or Performance plans, which provide wider eCommerce opportunities.
Weebly is a powerful alternative to Shopify that unveils a broad range of eCommerce opportunities. Building and managing an online store is easy with the system, while the result will certainly come up to your expectations and business requirements. The service is a nice solution both for newbies planning to launch a small or mid-sized online stores as well as for web designers, who possess enough coding skills to work on the development of client projects, creating large eCommerce websites. The system has a broad range of eCommerce features that unveil lots of options for business owners and work great for the development of eCommerce websites.
Weebly vs Shopify Head-to-Head Comparison – I’ve compared key advantages and demerits of using Weebly and Shopify as eCommerce platforms.
Shopify Alternative #3 – uKit: Almost Free Shopify Substitute
uKit is rightfully considered the best small business Shopify alternative. This is one of the best services to launch eCommerce websites for users with limited budgets and lack of web building skills. uKit is a bit simpler in use as compared to Wix or Weebly. It comes with intuitive interface and versatility of designs to meet any eCommerce needs. These features make a website builder a nice Shopify substitute.
uKit eCommerce Features
- Online Store Widget. An online store widget uKit offers allows building a functional and user-friendly eCommerce with no hassle at all. Just drag the widget to the control panel of a website builder and position it where you need to give your online store the desired look. This is easy to do even for a newbie, not to mention web building pros.
- Versatile Payment Options. uKit makes it possible to choose the most suitable payment and shipping options to ensure the unsurpassed online store functionality. The system comes with multi-currency support, which contributes to its performance and convenience. All in all, uKit supports PayPal and offline payment options.
- Ecwid Plugin Integration. uKit has partnership relations with Ecwid – a credible eCommerce platform. The result of this fruitful cooperation is an opportunity to integrate powerful Ecwid account into a website that is under uKit construction right in the dashboard of the website builder. This feature enhances your online store performance.
- External Integration Services. With uKit, you can easily integrate any external services to your online store to give it excellent performance and usability. Among the widgets that can be integrated, you can choose Google maps, Timer, Callback widget, LiveChat and what not.
- Responsive eCommerce Templates. uKit has a decent collection of responsive eCommerce templates. Just choose the business niche you specialize in, select the template that meets your specific needs and requirements most of all, reach the set of customizations tools and start working on your own design. This is very simple and understandable for everyone, irrespective of web building needs and preferences. Note that you can change a template as many times as you want (it’s free) without content loss.
• Premium – $4.0/mo;
• Premium+ – $8.0/mo;
• eCommerce – $9.60/mo;
• Pro – $12/mo.
uKit has 4 paid plans, each of which has its of features and characteristics. There is no free plan here, but you can test the system for 14 days at no cost by making use of the trial version of the plan selected.
For those users, who are interested in building online stores, it makes sense to upgrade to the eCommerce plan. It currently costs only $9.6 per month, offering the extensive range of eCommerce features. The plan allows users to create the unlimited number of online store pages, connect their own domains, make use of 24/7 tech and live chat support, get access to premium eCommerce templates, statistics, hosting and more.
uKit is a simple, convenient and user-friendly website builder, which is mainly used to create small- and medium-sized online stores. The system works great for newbies as well as for proficient web masters, who are involved in the development of more serious eCommerce projects. With intuitively understandable menu items, blocks and widgets, the service is a bit simpler as compared to Wix. And it’s also more affordable, especially if you buy an annual subscription. uKit eCommerce plan allows building a decent online store. So, if you need a quality, functional and affordable Shopify substitute, uKit is your number one choice.
There are many more sites like Shopify; in our post we’ve only mentioned those that differ from Shopify in the preferred user group (small and mid-sized business), features, pricing and ease-of-use. SaaS website builders are the best solution for small business owners and those entrepreneurs, who are going to sell several dozens of products. The benefits of Wix, Weebly and uKit to Shopify are obvious: simplicity of the web creation process, convenience of the commerce module use and more affordable pricing plans. Anyway, it makes sense to test these alternatives and make your choice prior to launching your own business.