Best Free Shopify Alternatives (Competitors) for Small Businesses

June 28, 2024
13 Minutes
Modified on:
June 28, 2024
Written by:
Swati Bucha
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Are you a small business owner looking to explore the best Shopify alternatives? While, inarguably, Shopify provides great tools for building an online store, it could be quite expensive for small businesses. The platform charges competitive transaction fees on third-party payment options starting from 2% on every purchase, which may not be affordable for all businesses. Hence, many business owners look for free Shopify alternatives that will offer the same features within their budget. 

Are you also looking for the top free Shopify competitors? In this blog, we will help you choose the top platforms that offer Shopify's functionality at no cost. We will discuss some of their features and how these platforms can be a valuable resource for small businesses looking for cost-effective eCommerce platforms. Keep reading to learn more! 

Top 9 Free Alternatives to Shopify for Small Businesses

Shopify is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms offering features like AI tools, shopfront design, landing page, and inventory and client management. However, most small business establishments are always looking for cheaper ways of marketing their products. If you are one of them, here are the top 9 Shopify alternatives for your consideration. 

1. Neo

Neo is a powerful email hosting platform that also offers a complimentary one-page website using your custom domain name. With its easy drag-and-drop feature, you can create your website to display your products and services, integrate your social media handles, and create a form for easy order management. Moreover, Neo offers robust email marketing tools like email read receipts and email blast options for bulk email sending. While this option is not completely free, it offers affordable plans and a limited-period free trial. 

Key Features:

Neo can be considered one of the most efficient Shopify alternatives due to its range of features, including: 

  • One-Page Website Builder: Neo's drag-and-drop features allow users to build beautiful, single-page sites quickly. This feature allows users to craft their websites without any coding knowledge.
  • Email Marketing Services: Intelligently communicate with your customers using integrated email marketing solutions. Email campaigns and newsletters can be scheduled to run automatically, thus reducing the amount of work required to keep your customers engaged.
  • Advanced Analytics: It is also important to monitor your site with Neo’s comprehensive analytic tools. Ensure that your visitor behavior, sales trends, and marketing efforts are all closely watched and evaluated.
  • Seamless Payment Integration: Neo allows multiple payment gateways, making your customers’ experience more convenient. 

2. Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop is a unique and all-encompassing eCommerce solution designed to meet the needs of businesses of various sizes and fields. This platform is one of the best Shopify competitors, and it offers a complete package of tools and services for building secure eCommerce sites and enabling the smooth start of Internet sales of goods and services.

Key Features:

Shift4Shop provides a range of features, including:

  • Website Builder: Shift4Shop has a powerful drag-and-drop website builder and templates that are mobile-friendly and SEO-optimized.
  • Product and Inventory Management: Simplify your inventory control by allowing the system to conduct automatic stock counts whenever orders are received. Furthermore, every product has a record sheet, which makes it easier to monitor and arrange the inventory.
  • Order Management: Improve your organization's efficiency with powerful order management features, such as a dedicated order dashboard, invoice number with complete order and customer information, and a robust RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) for simplified product replacement and return.
  • Marketing and SEO Tools: Increase the sales of your online shop with integrated marketing features and the ability to improve your eCommerce website’s SEO. This Shopify alternative offers SEO optimization tools and features like custom domain registration, internal link building, Google Analytics integration, and schema markup for improved communication with web engines. 

3. Ecwid

Ecwid, or Lightspeed eCom (E-Series), is an eCommerce platform that allows users to create their online stores easily without coding or designing knowledge. The platform helps you to sell products in multiple channels, provides attractive templates for building the website, and includes tools for orders, payments, and business progress. It also offers a dedicated marketplace and industry-specific support.

Key Features:

Ecwid is known for its rich range of features, which includes:

  • Platform Integration: Ecwid can be easily integrated with popular platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and Joomla, allowing you to manage your entire operations from a single platform conveniently.
  • User-Friendly Interface: This Shopify alternative offers a simple-to-navigate and use interface for integrating products with the site, managing orders, and designing the site layout without coding experience.
  • Scalable Plans: The free plan provided by Ecwid is suitable for up to ten products, and they have other plans to suit your business needs as it grows. Additional features are available under paid plans including inventory control, selling of digital goods, and coupons.
  • Multi-Channel Selling: Selling can also be done through multiple channels, including Google Marketplace, your website, social media, and more, thereby increasing the company’s exposure and revenue.

4. PinnacleCart

PinnacleCart is one of the simplest Shopify competitors, allowing you to create comprehensive online businesses with almost no difficulties and expenses. It is perfect for business owners who want an easy-to-implement website solution, although changing backend settings may be difficult for those who are not tech-savvy. 

Moreover, with easy social media input and integration with platforms like Google Analytics, Search Console, and third-party payment gateway options, PinnacleCart is a great option for those looking for affordable eCommerce capabilities.  

Key Features:

PinnacleCart is one of the best free Shopify alternatives, offering a range of useful features, including:

  • Storefront Optimization: PinnacleCart provides customers with a single storefront that is easily accessible across multiple devices and operating systems. Its templates are optimized for conversion, and its simple drag-and-drop editor allows for easy mobile shopping.
  • Comprehensive Marketing Tools: Increase sales with in-built marketing tools like abandon cart campaigns, social media integration, cross-selling, upselling, and options for customers to purchase gift certificates and avail of discounts.
  • SEO Capabilities: Improve your online presence with in-built SEO features that help rank your store in the most popular search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This contributes to the growth of organic traffic and boosts your overall SEO ratings.
  • Security and Scalability: If you need more scalability in the future, you can easily switch to the paid plans from the free plan. Moreover, all plans offer robust security with industry-grade SSL encryptions, among other features. 

5. Big Cartel

Big Cartel was founded in 2005 as a platform for content creators, artists, and artisans to sell their works instead of using Etsy. Its free plan, the Gold package, offers features like online and in-person store sync, various payment integration options, and SEO-optimized eCommerce platforms. It makes Big Cartel one of the most comprehensive Shopify alternatives in the market. 

Key Features:

BigCartel, one of the free Shopify alternatives, offers a range of useful features, including:

  • Free Templates: It offers many free themes for a storefront to give customers more customization options. 
  • Intuitive User Dashboard: You can easily navigate through the dashboard and manage products, track customer orders, and make modifications for a better user experience.
  • Mobile Apps: The presence of mobile apps for iOS and Android is also possible, as the platform provides sellers with tools for store administration, sales tracking, and customer communication on the go.
  • Automation: Focus on your business's core tasks by automating repetitive but necessary work like inventory management, taxation, and sales calculation. 

6. WooCommerce

One of the most promising Shopify alternatives is WooCommerce. It offers the highest visitor satisfaction and is free and open-source. While WooCommerce is completely free to install and use, you may need to install some paid plugins or purchase an add-on to enhance your shop’s functionality. Furthermore, this eCommerce platform is also user-friendly, compatible with mobile devices, and comes with fast site creation with cheap hosting services.

Key Features:

WooCommerce is one of the best shopify alternatives due to its range of features, which includes: 

  • Content Integration: Combine content with eCommerce through easy compatibility with WordPress, making your site management a breeze.
  • Modular and Lean: WooCommerce is fully extendible and can be used with essential components. It also works fine with WordPress plugins and retains preferred functionalities without introducing unwanted features.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: WooCommerce can be used by any size business, from new start-ups to successful large-scale enterprises. The application's built-in scalability and flexibility help you expand and develop your web-based store quickly and efficiently.
  • Greater Customization: Use WooCommerce’s Block Themes to personalize your online store, integrate your brand font and colors, create automation for recovering abandoned carts, and send trigger-based email reminders and newsletters. 

7. Square Online Store

Square Online Store is a versatile eCommerce platform that can be adapted to meet the needs of different businesses, making it a powerful Shopify alternative. It offers a user-friendly interface for building and managing stores and is compatible with Square’s flagship POS systems. In addition to having a free version with transaction costs or paying for more options, Square Online Store will interest any enterprise that desires a sensible and effective platform for selling.

Key Features:

Here are some of the key features offered by one of the shopify alternatives, Square Online Store:

  • Design Your Website: The Square Online Store contains all the features you might need to create a professional website, including a simple and flexible editor for building layouts, choosing colors, and using your brand elements.
  • Manage Online Orders: Your online store lets orders received be easily tracked, processed, and even notified, making the operations for fulfilling the customers’ orders quite streamlined.
  • Collect Payments: Square enables the safe collection of payments with various modes, including credit cards, Apple Pay, and more. Your customers can even purchase gift cards and other gift-giving options.
  • Manage Inventory and Fulfillment: Square Online Store provides features that allow you to monitor inventory, create notifications for low stock, and manage delivery options to make processes more efficient and make sure you can fulfill orders. Furthermore, you can even sync your online and offline stores for easy management.

Comparison Table

We will now compare each Shopify alternative to help you decide which platform is the right one for your particular needs. Our ratings are based on features, pricing, ease of use, and the platform’s intuitiveness.

Shopify Alternative Ratings Review Features
Neo 4.5 Neo is an affordable email hosting platform that offers a complimentary one-page website. It features drag-and-drop website creation and robust email marketing tools, ideal for small businesses looking for a simple, integrated solution. One-page website builder, Email marketing tools, Advanced Analytics
Shift4Shop 4.6 Shift4Shop is a comprehensive eCommerce platform suitable for businesses of all sizes. It offers extensive tools for building, managing, and marketing online stores, making it a strong competitor in the eCommerce space. Easy website builder, Product and inventory management, Order management
Ecwid 4.3 Ecwid, or Lightspeed eCom (E-Series), is a user-friendly platform for creating online stores without coding knowledge. It integrates seamlessly with various platforms and supports multi-channel selling, making it versatile for small businesses. Platform integration, User-friendly interface, Scalable plans with multi-channel selling
PinnacleCart 4.1 PinnacleCart is simple and cost-effective, perfect for small business owners wanting an easy-to-implement eCommerce solution. Its storefront optimization and marketing tools make it a valuable Shopify alternative. Storefront optimization, Comprehensive marketing tools, SEO capabilities
Big Cartel 4.3 Big Cartel is great for artists and artisans. It offers a free plan with essential eCommerce features. Its customization options and mobile apps make it ideal for creative businesses looking to sell online. Free templates, Intuitive user dashboard, Mobile app support
WooCommerce 4.7 WooCommerce is highly customizable and open-source, perfect for those who want complete control over their online store. Its integration with WordPress and scalability make it suitable for businesses of all sizes. Easy content integration, Modular and lean, Scalability and flexibility
Square Online Store 4.4 Square Online Store is integrated with Square POS, offering a versatile and user-friendly platform for building and managing stores. Its inventory and order management features are robust, making it a practical choice for small businesses. Website design, Manage online orders, Manage inventory and order fulfillment

Final Thoughts

The availability of free Shopify alternatives allows small businesses to start an online store with a solid foundation without breaking the bank. All the platforms discussed here – with the flexibility of Shift4Shop’s features, the integration of Ecwid, or the open-source nature of WooCommerce – are valuable for various types of businesses and their requirements.

Whether your goals are centered on operational efficiency, extending market coverage, or optimizing resource usage, these alternatives contain the necessary tools for propelling your eCommerce activities. When you select the appropriate platform to align with your goals, you can understand the mechanisms of the digital market and use its potential to develop and improve client satisfaction. So, go through our list of the best Shopify alternatives and pick the best option, be it Neo with its feature-rich platform or any other tool! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How does Shift4Shop compare to Shopify?

Shift4Shop provides all the necessary features for creating an online store, including a website builder, inventory management, and marketing tools, without transaction fees. It also encompasses SaaS Web Hosting, PCI compliance, and 99.99% uptime to guarantee secure operations for business entities of any size. These make it one of the best Shopify alternatives. 

Q2. Which platform provides seamless integration with WordPress?

WooCommerce is built to work with WordPress and is designed for scalability through plugins. It has flexible online store management, although the firm may have to incur extra costs for some extra features, making it one of the best options for WordPress users. Besides that, Ecwid is another great option. 

Q3. How should you choose an ideal eCommerce platform for your business?

Your ideal eCommerce platform should allow easy website creation, order and inventory management and easy integration with your CRM and CMS platform. It should also provide a secure payment gateway and fit your budget.

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