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WooCommerce is a great e-commerce platform for any business owner with a business website on WordPress. However, if you don’t have a WordPress site — or just want to explore your other options before making a final decision — there are plenty of other WooCommerce alternatives for you to explore.
Unlike WooCommerce, which is a WordPress plugin, the following solutions are all-in-one platforms. This means everything you need to build your e-commerce store and start making sales is included in the platform.
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Shopify is the second most popular e-commerce platform behind WooCommerce so it’s a logical alternative to consider. Big brands like Tesla, Penguin Books and Rebecca Minkoff all use Shopify for their e-commerce businesses.
Shopify is known for its easy-to-use, well-designed and highly customizable website templates. It also offers a free trial, so you can familiarize yourself with the platform before you commit to a paid plan.
You can sell almost anything on Shopify, including digital products and drop-shipped items. One of the main differences when it comes to WooCommerce vs. Shopify is that Shopify is a standalone cloud-based platform while WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress.
Shopify does come with a cost though. Depending on which plan you choose, you’ll end up paying $29, $79 or $299 per month for Shopify. All of those plans come with:
Staff accounts (two, five and 15, respectively).
Manual order creation.
Free SSL certificate.
Abandoned cart recovery.
Printable shipping labels.
You can also opt for Shopify Starter, which allows you to essentially share a product purchase link on social platforms or already existing website for $5 per month.
Another cost you’ll want to consider is the cost of processing payments through Shopify. For online credit card payments, the fees for the Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify accounts are: 2.9% plus 30 cents, 2.6% plus 30 cents and 2.4% plus 30 cents, respectively. If you choose to use a payment gateway other than the one Shopify provides to you (Shopify Payments), there is an additional fee.
Another popular platform for building an e-commerce site is BigCommerce. BigCommerce also has a WordPress integration, so you can use it with an existing WordPress site if you choose. However, it’s also an all-in-one platform, meaning you don’t have to pair it with WordPress or another content management system.
Like Shopify, there are different plans to choose from and pricing will depend on which one you opt for. Its Standard plan is $29.95 per month, the Plus plan is $79.95 per month and the Pro plan costs $299.95 per month. Some things to keep in mind, though: Your plan is determined by your annual sales volume. For example, the Standard plan is for businesses that have $50,000 or less in annual sales. Thus, you may have to opt for a more expensive plan as your business scales. Additionally, many of BigCommerce’s popular themes come at an additional cost.
You will also have to take payment processing fees into account; however, unlike Shopify, BigCommerce does not charge an additional fee on top of your payment processor.
The features you get with BigCommerce include:
Storefront design: With BigCommerce you can customize your theme, right down to the checkout experience your customers have. You can then preview it all before publishing so you’re sure it’s perfect before anyone sees it.
Marketplace integration: Integrate your BigCommerce store with major online marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Jet and Walmart.
Scalable catalog: You’ll have a dashboard where you can manage all of your products or your online catalog.
Shipping: You’ll get shipping discounts and have the option to ship internationally as well.
Sales tax: An integration with Avalara Avatax can help you calculate and automate sales tax.
Third-party integrations: The BigCommerce app store features over 600 apps, including major accounting, customer service, marketing and security software.
Reports and analytics: Get custom reports that can help you analyze how the business is doing in real-time. Data and analytics of orders, customers and marketing success are all available.
Another WooCommerce alternative to consider is Volusion. Founded in 1999, it's one of the oldest e-commerce platform providers around and have years of experience helping small businesses create their online stores.
You can take advantage of its 14-day free trial to learn the ins and outs of the platform before committing to a paid plan. There are four plans for business owners to choose from: Personal, Professional, Startup and Business plans. They range in price with the least expensive, the Personal plan, starting at $29 per month while the most expensive plan, Business, costs $299 per month. Like BigCommerce, each plan has a cap on the annual sales volume it will support.
All four of the Volusion plans boast no additional transaction fees, and you also have the option to add what it calls “Quick Wins.” For a one-time fee, you can opt for things like ad image creation, Google Analytics setup, YouTube video optimization and more. It also has a combination of free and paid themes to choose from.
Some of the features included with Volusion are:
Inventory management: Keep track of inventory and what you need to restock and when, as well as low stock notifications.
Mobile app: Manage your store from anywhere.
Reporting: Get insights on everything from purchases to inventory.
Search bar: This feature allows you to input a search bar to help your customers navigate your site with ease.
Customer management: Get insights into your customers, including their purchase and contact information.
If you’re looking for a highly scalable platform, one of your best options is Shift4Shop. It offers five different plans ranging from $19 per month to $229 per month. Each plan has a different feature set and number of staff users who can access your account.
The features from Shift4Shop can help you do everything from building your online store to manage your customer relationships. These are some of the features included with Shift4Shop plans:
Web hosting: Shift4Shop includes secure, PCI-compliant web hosting for your e-commerce website and allows you to choose a unique domain name, which it registers and renews for your annually, at no additional cost.
Shopping cart: With Shift4Shop you get a quick and easy checkout experience for your customers; you can even edit what happens when customers click the “Add to cart” button.
Store design: Easily design your site and optimize it for mobile shopping with the design tools offered by Shift4Shop.
Order management: Get notified any time someone places an order and see all of the orders in a dashboard.
Marketing and SEO tools: Use the marketing and SEO tools to optimize your website so customers can easily find your website in search.
If you don’t need as robust of an e-commerce solution as WooCommerce and the above alternatives provide, you might consider Squarespace. Since Squarespace is first and foremost a website builder with the option to add e-commerce functionality, it’s known for its beautifully designed templates.
Because Squarespace offers more limited e-commerce options, it’s also one of the most affordable platforms. Its Personal plan costs $16 per month, the Business plan costs $26, the Basic Commerce plan costs $30 per month and the Advanced Commerce plan costs $46 per month. It’s also worth noting that, like many other e-commerce platforms, besides Shopify, Squarespace will not charge an additional transaction fee on top of your payment processor’s.
The Personal plan does not come with e-commerce capabilities so you won’t be able to sell online if you choose this plan. But the other three plans do include e-commerce capabilities and you can process payments with those plans through Stripe or PayPal.
The more expensive of a plan you choose, the more features you’ll get but the basics that come with the Business and Commerce plans are:
Unlimited bandwidth and storage: There are no caps on the amount of storage you can use so you can be confident you’ll be able to grow your business with Squarespace.
Professional email from Google: You’ll get a professional email account with Google when you use Squarespace free for one year.
Advanced website analytics: See sales statistics along with conversion rates and visitor geography for your customers so you understand your customer base better.
Unlimited products: You can sell an unlimited number of products with Squarespace, another good feature for scaling your business.
Customer support: No matter which plan you choose, you get customer support for the site all day every day.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.