Used by over 1 million businesses worldwide, what’s so good (or bad) about Shopify? We’ve created an in-depth analysis on implementing Shopify as your eCommerce platform as well as alternative platforms specific to enterprise business and small businesses.
Pros & Cons of Shopify
Shopify’s approachability is one of its biggest strengths. Users can choose from an abundance of design templates that are also responsive to mobile and tablet breakpoints.
Shopify is also secure for clients, as it is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant. This means that all Shopify online stores are automatically PCI compliant and provide a legitimate and safe shopping experience for users.
Cost and fees are Shopify’s biggest disadvantages. Shopify charges both monthly subscription and individual transaction fees. Additionally, Shopify penalizes merchants who don’t use their payment gateway and require additional fees in these instances.
Finally, Shopify’s product variant and customization limitations can create challenges for many mid-market and Enterprise-level businesses.
Why You Should Consider Alternatives
Although many eCommerce platforms share common features, the reality is that they vary greatly. What may work best for other businesses in your industry can potentially not work out for yours. All platforms have their unique strengths and weaknesses, so considering the available options is your best bet.
Selecting the right eCommerce platform for your business can be a difficult yet significant decision in building your business online. Understanding how eCommerce platforms work and how they can satisfy your business’s needs and increase customer loyalty is the key to becoming a successful online retailer.
Shopify Alternatives for Enterprise Businesses
Below, we’ve put together a list of 5 alternatives for Enterprise Businesses:
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud
BigCommerce offers plans for growing, mid-market and Enterprise-level retailers who are looking for a SaaS eCommerce platform. The BigCommerce Enterprise Plan, often referred to as the “VIP” plan, is reserved for retailers generating more than $1 million in annual sales. Features include priority support, custom filtering options, a staging development environment and a dedicated account manager.
BigCommerce’s 4 key features to increase website performance include website customization, SEO optimization, payment and inventory management and application integrations. Overall, BigCommerce’s flexible API and user-friendly features make it an ideal solution for businesses looking to shed technical debt from on-premise solutions.
To learn more about BigCommerce and evaluate the platform against Shopify, check out this BigCommerce vs Shopify Guide.
The Magento Enterprise Edition offers features including customer segmentation and personalization, dynamic rule-based products relations, content staging and preview, elasticsearch and more. That said, it’s on-premise approach can create challenges for many businesses.
Although Magento was once the dominant force in the eCommerce space, it’s manual on-premise solutions are beginning to show their age. Users on both Magento 1 and 2 express frustration with security patches and updates. These ultimately translate to “technical debt,” or money spent on platform maintenance rather than growth.
Customize the look and feel of your site within Volusion’s store editor. Order management is made easier with features like manual order creation and bulk processing. Businesses can also utilize priority support, traffic growth consultation, abandoned cart reports, third party gateways and more.
Volusion is competitive at the top and bottom tiers, but when it comes to the middle tiers, they exclude some features compared to competitors. Pricing is the disincentive that many face when selecting Volusion over other platforms. Several fees, like link removal, transaction and bandwidth fees, add up quickly. For $269/month, its best to consider other alternatives that don’t include a third party intruding on your business.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
The Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform provides all your departments - including marketing, sales, commerce and service - with a single, shared view of every customer. Utilize its integrated marketing tools such as email, audience, mobile, social, advertising, data and interaction studios, journey builder and Google Analytics 360 to deliver next-level customer experiences.
One disadvantage of Salesforce Commerce Cloud is price. The cost of Salesforce Commerce Cloud is extremely high compared to its competitors. Additionally, the platform works best when using products within the Salesforce ecosystem. Brands using other marketing or sales tools will experience difficulties making everything work harmoniously.
3DCart offers a website builder, shopping cart features, easy-to-use website design software, order management software, streamlined inventory and product catalog and more. It also offers clients loyalty programs to turn their shoppers into lifetime customers. At $229/month, you can unlock 15 staff users, unlimited number of products and bandwidth, 30 email accounts, API access and more.
One disadvantage is that since 3Dcart offers many options and functional capabilities to its users, a portion of its features are unavailable unless you pay extra for them. And learning how to use all of the features it has to offer can be very time consuming. Also, the dashboard is not visually appealing, and there are limitations on sales volume and bandwidth usage.
Shopify Alternatives for Small Businesses
Below, we’ve curated a list of 4 Shopify alternatives for small businesses.
With over 79 million downloads, WooCommerce is a very popular platform for building an online store. WooCommerce is built on WordPress and features countless themes, unrestricted customization, built-in blogging, product sorting and filtering, unlimited products and more.
WooCommerce offers extensions to customize product pages, add features to cart and checkout and improve navigation. WooCommerce is a plugin, so you’ll need a WordPress site that can use plugins. Choosing a host and buying a plan can be as little as $3.95/month and as high as $5,000/month.
Although you can begin with a preinstalled version of WooCommerce, the setup process can be time consuming and challenging for inexperienced users. And unlike Enterprise platforms, WooCommerce lacks central support or extensive customization options. Individual plugins, themes, etc. come with different support channels, which can cause problems later down the road.
Squarespace allows you to build a professional website, online store or portfolio. Create email marketing content with email campaigns, utilize useful guides to help maximize prominence among search results, integrate with leading social media platforms and understand your audience with website analytics.
Change your site from a portfolio to a fully-functioning business with just a couple of clicks. For $18/month you can make use of a free custom domain, SSL security, mobile-optimized websites, unlimited contributors, premium integrations and blocks and more.
However, there are some challenges users can face when implementing Squarespace for their eCommerce store. For one thing, the usability of the website editor could be improved. It unfortunately does not automatically save your work; instead, it asks you to save your work after each change in the editor. And when it comes to simple website editing tasks, the number of clicks needed to complete them are higher than usual.
Google’s page speed tool uses low ratings to describe Squarespace’s templates’ page speed. A slow page speed can lead to a negative user experience and harm your search engine rankings.
With Wix comes tailor-made content, original design, smart tips, advanced editing options, built-in SEO and a simplified version of your site on mobile with all the essentials. Features include stunning templates, total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, mobile optimization, app market, advanced design features, unlimited fonts, scroll effects and media galleries.
The best value Pro Plan is $22/month and includes unlimited bandwidth, 20 GB of storage, 2 video hours, free domain for 1 year, $300 ad vouchers and more.
Compared to Squarespace and Weebly, Wix’s pricing plans remain more expensive. And there are some limitations when it comes to Wix’s advanced marketing tools. Adding tracking pixels, retargeting tools, custom share buttons and custom email collection tools are either onerous or unavailable.
Track inventory to manage your supply and show customers the number of items remaining to create a sense of urgency and boost buying behavior. Its powerful filtered product search gives shoppers a way to find exactly what they’re looking for. Manage and grow your business with Weebly’s integrated eCommerce tools for $26/month.
Although Weebly’s CMS lets you drag and drop the hierarchy and edit each, it’s inefficient. Users are only able to add custom content types within an individual page. If you plan to have a large site with hundreds of pages, a personal system within Weebly would be necessary to organize and access all of the content.
Finding the Right Shopify Alternative for Your Business
In choosing the best eCommerce platform for your business, it’s important to consider the size of your business in terms of sales. Beginning here, you can determine whether to utilize an enterprise business plan or a small business plan.
Next, consider how much you’re willing to spend and technical requirements and weigh all options. Then, take your business goals and marketing and sales plans into consideration and determine which platform offers the best features to assist you in accomplishing your goals while improving your customer experience.
In addition to integrations and plugins, most platforms, like BigCommerce, will offer plenty of available tools to aid in your business’s success. Be sure to consider implementation of SEO and website responsiveness when deciding which platform is right for your business.
We firmly believe that SaaS eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce offer the best options and functionality for many growing and Enterprise-level businesses. That said, we encourage you to evaluate each platform thoroughly and determine what makes sense for your individual needs.
Are you still thinking that Shopify may be the best platform for your business? You may be right! To learn more about developing your website on the Shopify platform, check out our 2022 Review of Shopify Pros and Cons From A Development Perspective.
Remember to look at the scalability of the platform that you’re considering using. Choose a platform that not only takes all of the factors we’ve discussed into consideration but also one that will progress with you as your business grows and develops. If you have any questions or want to learn more, leave us a comment in the form below and we’ll be in touch!
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