A Quick Look at Three Major Shopify Alternatives
Of the near-9 million live eCommerce websites based in the United States, Shopify powers 2,445,570 of them–and for good reason. Shopify’s ease of use, outstanding customer support, and flexible pricing structures are among the top reasons why US-based Internet businesses use the platform to power their stores. Though Shopify provides the backbone of most eCommerce sites in the United States, they also have steady competition in the forms of well-known, established brands such as Magento and WooCommerce and fast-growing companies like BigCommerce. These three Shopify competitors are often cross-shopped together when retailers either decide to open up a brand new web store or update their pre-existing sites with an all-new foundation.
As eCommerce experts with over 15 years’ worth of industry experience and web development expertise, we feel that BigCommerce is the optimal choice for Internet-based businesses. Basically, it all boils down to useability and value; BigCommerce’s robust list of standard features, flexible API, and customization capabilities allow merchants to take full control over every aspect of their online stores. At Diztinct, the majority of our clients tend to choose BigCommerce over Shopify or the other Shopify alternatives for those very same reasons. It is, in our opinion, the most effective and efficient eCommerce solution available today.
BigCommerce is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce service providers on the market today. 147,691 websites use BigCommerce globally and 40,403 of them originate in the United States. Store Leads reports that BigCommerce is the top choice for stores who have switched platforms. Over the last 90 days (as of this writing), BigCommerce has taken 434 merchants away from Shopify (184), Magento (50), and WooCommerce (38).
BigCommerce Pros and Cons
- Geared towards businesses of all sizes
- Essential core features are readily available as standard
- Faster and more flexible API than Shopify and other Shopify competitors
- Compatible with all of the major payment gateways
- SEO-friendly, includes blogging and SEO optimization features
- Multi-channel selling capabilities
- Fully-customizable, tweak CSS and HTML and/or integrate 3rd party apps
- Detailed inventory management and product cataloging
- Dropshipping available (by way of 3rd party app)
- Easy access to supplemental product training materials
- Professional data analysis and reporting
- Automatic, up-to-date security patches through SaaS
- SaaS licensing fees are required
- In-depth customization requires advanced coding skill
- BigCommerce’s built-in Page Builder function can be difficult to use
- Monthly pricing plans based on annual sales; higher income = more expensive plan
- Smaller developer community than Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce
- Not as famous as Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce
Who Would Benefit Most from Using BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is an all-in-one eCommerce solution that’s designed for businesses of all sizes and levels, but the type that would get the most out of the platform would be any high-volume/enterprise level retailer or stores with immense, complex product inventories.
Other Shopify Alternatives
While BigCommerce is our preferred eCommerce platform, as well as the popular choice among the majority of our clients, it might not be the best solution for every single business out there. Every eCommerce platform has its own advantages and disadvantages and what works for Company A might not necessarily work for Company B. Here is a look at two more of the top Shopify alternatives for you to consider.
Magento was born in 2008 and was one of the very first major open-source eCommerce platforms. This helped to revolutionize modern eCommerce website design with rapid advancements in custom coding which, in turn, allowed for unlimited possibilities in improved functionality and groundbreaking design techniques. Currently, there are 206,162 websites running Magento in the world and 73,574 of them are from the United States. Some of the most famous brands in America have their websites on Adobe’s Magento platform, including Jeep, Spanx, CRC Industries, Sam Ash Music, Vizio, In-N-Out Burger, and Invicta Watches. Adobe reports that 202 of their Magento users are in the Internet Retailer 1000 list and that Magento has held the #1 spot on that list for four consecutive years in a row.
Magento Pros and Cons
- Wide range of standard features
- No monthly subscription or licensing fees
- Open-source = unlimited customization potential
- Tech that powers some of the world’s most successful brands
- Large user and developer community
- Enterprise version of Magento is extremely expensive
- Slow loading times
- Unintuitive UX, not very user-friendly
- Steep learning curve for new users and/or the non-tech savvy
- Can be quite buggy, recent updates can break website stability/functionality
- Magento 1 has reached end-of-life, most Magento users are not on Magento 2
Why Choose Magento?
Magento is an open-source software solution, so if your website needs to take full advantage of the unlimited custom design and custom programming capabilities that open-source has to offer, Magento is for you.
After Shopify, WooCommerce has the second-biggest piece of the United States eCommerce market with 20.98% and 1,863,430 live websites. Like Magento, WooCommerce is an open source eCommerce plugin but designed for WordPress. WordPress covers 31.12% of all websites in the United States and almost 40% of the entire Internet worldwide. According to Hosting Tribunal, 661 new WordPress websites are born every day with 281 new WooCommerce stores being launched alongside them. Not just a top choice for bloggers, WordPress and WooCommerce are responsible for almost 30% of all eCommerce in the world today.
WooCommerce Pros and Cons
- Easy to use
- Tons of apps, add-ons, and integrations available
- Exceptionally large developer and user community
- Strong emphasis on digital content
- Apps, add-ons, and integrations are needed for basic functions
- Can get quite expensive with each app, add-on, and integration
- Customization requires advanced programming skill
- Difficult to manage complex stores and inventory
- Page performance depends on number of active add-ons and integrations
- WordPress sites are the most popular targets for hackers and cyberattacks
Is WooCommerce Right for Me?
WordPress and WooCommerce are ideal for content creators and brands that are highly-dependent on the dissemination of content (IE: social media influencers, streamers, artists, etc.) versus moving actual product.
All four platforms offer remarkable levels of functionality for the modern eCommerce business. That’s why they’re the most popular and widely-used services among all of the other competing providers on the market. But like we stated at the beginning of this piece, we choose BigCommerce as our top-preferred eCommerce platform. The standard list of features that come standard with BigCommerce enables users to manage and maintain the most basic functions of their online web stores with the lowest amount of downtime possible. Stores can be up and running immediately and time is absolutely critical for Internet-based retail. In addition, as many of our clients have diverse and often complicated inventory structures, BigCommerce’s inventory management system makes for better item category cataloging and optimization. Plus, with BigCommerce’s SEO-friendly features, multi-channel selling capabilities, headless commerce options, it’s a comprehensive choice for businesses looking for the best value for performance.
That being said, Diztinct has the experience and technical skill to engineer a fully-custom website for your business on either the BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce platforms. You choose which platform you want for your brand new website and we’ll design and create it for you. We have over 15 years’ worth of eCommerce industry knowledge and experience in custom website design, development, and total website migration services. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to discuss your plans for your website or fill out our online request form and tell us about your project. We’re here to give your website and your business the Diztinct advantage.