As far as the prevailing amount of crafters lack web design skills and have never heard about the nuances of the web store development process, they start looking for a platform that will encompass ease-of-use, convenience and intuitive nature. Pricing aspect matters a lot as well. Etsy is one of the platforms many users come across when performing their online search.
Whatever DIY items you make, the chances to sell them at good cost and win customers’ loyalty are quite high with Etsy. This is especially true, if this is your first try to start eCommerce business and you intend to find out whether your product will be in demand with customers. However, if you have an intention to start a full-fledged online business, Etsy marketplace is not the best solution.
The thing is the competition is quite tough here and it’s quite easy to get lost in millions of product positions that are similar to yours. The only reasonable Etsy alternative is to launch your own online store, which will focus on your DIY products only without distracting user attention to items offered by the competitors.
The Best Alternatives to Etsy:
Shopify – The Best All-In-One eCommerce Solution
Shopify – is the best all-in-one eCommerce solution that proves to be a worthy alternative to Etsy due to the powerful integrated functionality. It is a renowned software, which has gained worldwide popularity due to the abundance of niche-specific features and tools.
Shopify works best for people, who have the intention to sell their products online, irrespective of the niche they focus on, their business objectives and web building experience. The main advantages of the software are as follows:
- Point-of-Sale Software. The platform has its own POS (Point-of-Sale) software, the major implication of which is to let crafters sell their DIY products in the retail storefront (the offline mode), manage several staff accounts and synchronize with the accounting software, if there is such a need.
- Responsive eCommerce Templates. The software is focused on the development of online stores and, thus, comes with an extensive selection of free and paid niche-specific templates that are responsive and easy-to-customize (see Shopify store examples).
- Extensive Integration Options. One of the distinctive Shopify merits is its integration with world-known marketplaces and external services like Xero, Quickbooks and other accounting software.
- Amazon Synchronization. If you already have Amazon account or just plan to get the one, you can synchronize it with your Shopify account to boost the sales amount and build customer base.
- Live View. The feature allows tracking your web store performance (conversion rates, information about visitors, sales volume, order info, number of pages viewed by clients etc.) in the real-time mode.
- Fraud Protection Feature. The feature is currently available for US merchants, who wish to protect Shopify payments made by customers from all kinds of fraudulent actions.
- Shopcodes. Available for free in the Shopify App Market, Shopcode feature simplifies the process of mobile shopping by offering product QR codes that contain all the info about the item available for sale.
- Augmented Reality. The advanced AR feature makes the process of online shopping more interactive and informative by providing 3D product images customers may explore in details from different angles.
Shopify Cost: Shopify has moderate pricing policy that completely comes up to the feature set provided by its plans. The software doesn’t have a completely free plan yet there is an opportunity to test its integrated functionality during the 14-day free trial. As to the paid subscriptions, the system has three pricing solutions. These include Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. Their cost, correspondingly, constitutes $29, $79 and $299 per month. Mind that the software doesn’t charge extra fees for transactions made in the service, but it charges commissions for credit card payments.
Wix – The Best eCommerce-Ready Website Builder
Wix – is one of the most popular eCommerce – ready website builders, which is also the easiest alternative to Etsy marketplace. You can easily use it to launch any website type, including a web store.
The system is simple, convenient, and understandable for everyone, irrespective of the available web design skills, knowledge and expertise rate. It comes with a visual editor and drag-and-drop functionality, which simplifies the web building process and allows customizing website design with no serious hassle or time loss. Here are the major advantages of the website builder:
- Wix eCommerce. The system has its own eCommerce platform designed for small-to-mid online stores, which comes with multiple customizable options and features (addition and customization of product galleries, professional web store management, set up of payment options, tax and shipping parameters, coupons and discounts, 24/7 customer support, CSV product import/export, sending mailouts, track order statuses and inventory lists etc.).
- eCommerce Templates. The website builder stands out from the crowd due to its rich collection of niche templates, which are optimized for mobile browsing and can be customized as you wish (take a look at Wix eCommerce examples).
- Design Editing Solutions. The website builder makes it possible to choose from two convenient design editing solutions to adhere to the needs and skills of the system users. The advanced Wix ADI tool is a great pick for beginners, who are making their first steps in website development and, thus, don’t have enough skills to get started with ease. The feature will help them automatically design a web store based on the content submitted upon its demand. Another option is to use a standard Wix Editor that allows for deeper design customization.
- App Market. Wix App Market provides an extensive choice of free and paid applications and widgets that can be integrated into your eCommerce website to give it extra functionality (Sell Downloads, Amazon widget, Located – Store Mapper, Webstore Ads, Store Metrics, Online Payments, Wix Stores, Google Ads & Shopping, Simpl-e-Commerce, Get Google Ads, Fetchy Shipping, ShipStations and more).
- Multilingual Support. The website builder comes with integrated multilingual support that allows creating online stores in different languages. This should eventually help build strong partnership relations with international clients, thus boosting the sales volume and amount of traffic.
- Ascend By Wix. Wix also stands out from the crowd due to its high end Ascend by Wix feature. This is the all-in-one CRM solution that grants access to around 20 business tools and products available in one place. Their application contributes to effective web store promotion and marketing. By using Ascend, you will be able to optimize customer interaction options and make use of multiple integrated business features, such as Workflows, Price Quotes, Invoices, Automations, Tasks & Reminders.
Wix Cost: Wix has a free never-expiring plan, which will come up to the needs of those users, who have an intention to explore the main features of the system. As to professional eCommerce website development, the system makes it possible to choose from two types of paid plans, namely Standard and Business/eCommerce. Obviously, the second group of plans will work best for online store creation. Subscriptions included into this pack are as follows: Business Basic, Business Unlimited, Business VIP and Enterprise. Their cost constitutes $23, $27, $49 and $500 per month correspondingly.
Ecwid – Ecommerce Platform Similar to Etsy
Ecwid – is a shopping cart plugin you can integrate into your website built with any CMS or almost any website builder to provide it with advanced eCommerce features. This is a pretty nice alternative for Etsy users, who already have their websites and plan to sell something through them.
Have a look at the distinctive Ecwid eCommerce features:
- Universal Show Window. Ecwid doesn’t provide a template set, but it has a universal show window for all eCommerce websites built with it. You can additionally choose a color scheme of the stock template, create your own design from scratch by using CSS skills or opt for a unique individual paid theme.
- eBay Synchronization. You can synchronize your Ecwid account with that on eBay to enhance your sales volume and grow customer base.
- Specific eCommerce Options. Ecwid plugin offers a set of decent eCommerce options, including reports, product catalogue, client base, taxes and delivery settings, shopping cart, payment options, social network integration, notification settings as well as a chance to install paid packages of applications needed to enhance web store performance.
- Product Import/Export. Similar to standard eCommerce systems, Ecwid allows importing/exporting products in the CSV format. This may be required to transfer your orders, product info, customer data and other related info, when moving from one eCommerce platform to another.
- Multilanguage Support. The plugin offers multilanguage support that makes it possible to translate your ready-made web store into more than 50 languages of your choice. In other words, you customers and potential partners will be able to browse your web store in the language they will pick based on the location aspect or their personal preferences.
- Integration Options. Ecwid cannot boast extensive integration possibilities yet there is a nice selection of widgets/applications you can select and integrate into your eCommerce website. The most popular of them currently include: Printful, AfterShip, Lucky Orange, Xero, Mailchimp, ShipStation, Freshbooks, Zapier, 71lbs, LiveChat, ShippingEasy and some others.
- Multiple Sales Channels Options. The plugin grants access to the variety of sales channels options. This lets you sell products on different platforms, managing and controlling the process from the single admin panel. Additionally, you can choose from several social media integrations, including Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, Shopzilla, Nextag, Google Shopping and many more.
Ecwid Cost: Ecwid has a free plan that allows adding a show window with 10 products offered for sale. The cost of paid plans depend upon their terms. The plugin currently offers three paid subscriptions, namely Venture Plan, Business Plans and Unlimited Plan. Their cost constitutes $15, $35 and $99 per month. However, if you wish to save the budget, can make one-time annual payments. In this case, the plans will cost you $12.50, $29.17 and $82.50 per month.
Squarespace – Website Builder with Shopping Cart
Squarespace – is a trusted US-based website builder with a shopping cart, which initially positions itself as the software to launch and manage blogs, small web stores and portfolios. The service works as a great Etsy alternative for creatives willing to showcase their products in the best way. Websites created with it have appealing look and are well-structured to provide decent performance (see live proofs).
The major advantages of the website builder include:
- eCommerce Tools. Squarespace has a set of specific eCommerce tools specially meant to bring your web store performance to the brand new level (social media buttons, image and photo galleries, drag-and-drop editor, abandoned shopping cart recovery etc.). The system also makes it possible to connect a SSL Certificate absolutely for free, integrate a shopping cart into any web page, create product show windows, embed Google Maps, enable commenting and email marketing features. Additionally, it is possible to integrate social media accounts into your web store, namely Tumblr, Instagram, Dribbble, Linkedin, Behance, Twitch, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Dropbox, Pinterest, SoundCloud and more. Among other elements you can add to your website, it makes sense to mention web store logo, online calendar and many more. They can help you boost customer engagement rates and sales volumes.
- Product Management Options. Squarespace lets you upload and manage the unlimited product catalogue with multiple variants and SKUs, organize the items with tags and categories, adjust visibility and scheduling settings etc.
- Integrated Statistics Collection Tool. There is an opportunity to integrate Google Analytics tools or select specialized Squarespace Metrics App to keep track of your web store performance.
- Responsive Niche Templates. Squarespace has a limited eCommerce template collection, but the quality of the themes (which are responsive by default) is on the top notch level. When working on your web store design customization, you can pick the Cover Page Builder and use it to create your web store cover. Additionally, you can get access to the Checkout Page Editor for digital stores, which lets you adjust your web store design.
- Contact Form Builder. You can either use the inbuilt contact form to customize your online store or select the Contact Form Builder to create your own exquisite users’ accusation tools.
- Customer Engagement Tools. With Squarespace, you can boost your customer engagement rate by embedding videos, images and products into your web store pages, blog posts, events etc.
- Multiple Contributors. Squarespace encourages for team work on web store development. It’s up to you to control the web design process, assigning special access rights to your team members. Among the roles you can distribute between the members of your team, it makes sense to mention Administrator, Billing, Reporting, Content Editor, Trusted Commenter, Comment Moderator, Store Manager etc.
- Acuity Scheduling. The website builder also allows integrating with its high end Acuity Scheduling platform. This is a professional online appointment scheduling system, which will be appreciated to the advantage by web store owners willing to establish reliable web presence for their local business. The service lets you make/manage online appointments, use multiple integrated small business tools and other features to schedule your eCommerce tasks.
Squarespace Cost: The website builder doesn’t have a free plan, but it offers a 14-day trial period. If you wish to launch a full-featured online store, you can subscribe to one of the paid plans the website builder offers. These include Personal, Business, Basic and Advanced. The cost of these subscriptions constitutes $12, $18, $26 and $40 per month.
Weebly – Easiest Alternative to Etsy
Weebly – is the easiest alternative to Etsy and one of the most popular website builders that currently places strong emphasis on the development of eCommerce websites. The system has a convenient drag-and-drop editor and box model structure that simplifies the web design process. The system is user-friendly to everyone willing to launch a quality website and it also provides an opportunity to apply CSS/HTML skills to give your website advanced look and performance.
The main advantages of Weebly over Etsy are listed below:
- eCommerce Engine. Weebly has a full-featured eCommerce engine that lets you create and manage a functional online store (integrated shopping cart, safe payment options, product and order tracking, product upload and management, shipping set up, special settings for handmade items etc.).
- eCommerce Templates. Weebly has a collection of high quality and responsive eCommerce templates you can customize in desktop and mobile versions (see real examples).
- Search Filter Option.The feature offers Weebly users an opportunity to browse the product assortment, sorting it out by multiple parameters, including price, color, type, dimensions and other characteristics.
- Email Marketing. The system will notify customers about the news and events happening in the store (discounts and special offers, product updates, new offers that are offered for sale etc.).
- Mobile Apps. You can manage your web store on the go by installing Android and iPhone apps Weebly offers.
- CSV File Import/Export. If you already have Shopify or Etsy web store, you can transfer it to Weebly by importing/exporting products from the CSV file.
- Weebly Promote Tool. It helps introduce your products in the most favorable light to boost your web store promotion.
Weebly Cost: Weebly has separate pricing plans for eCommerce websites. Their cost ranges between $8/mo and $25/mo. When building an eCommerce website, you can also make use of the advanced Performance Plan that works well for experienced retailers. Its cost constitutes $38/mo granted that you make one-time annual payment.
There are numerous worthy Etsy alternatives for all those users, who are not satisfied with the marketplace for some reason. They differ in characteristics, feature sets and pricing, but all of them allow creating nice and full-featured online stores.
Choosing the service that will be the best alternative to Etsy is really a challenge. It takes time and effort to define the most suitable service, which will also come up to your needs, skills and requirements. That’s exactly why, we recommend testing all the platforms reviewed in the article to make the choice you will be completely satisfied with.