Shopify is one of the recent breakthroughs in the eCommerce platform. It revolutionized the way online listing services and the online retail industry operate.
There are plenty of reasons that we can count why it’s the best and the most popular.
But, before we jump into that, what is Shopify exactly? Why is it so famous? So, here, I’ll answer that for you.
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What is Shopify
Shopify is an eCommerce subscription-based platform that allows everyone to set up an online store. Even if you run – most of the time – your store offline, you can still turn to Shopify to upgrade your reputation and selling presence.
As it is subscription-based, you need to sign up to have an account and avail of the services. It mainly offers a non-technical interface to set up your store’s website where you can sell and put on a catalog of your products. It’s easy to use as it’s designed to cater to audiences or consumers who do not have technical skills in computer programming and web development.
Although it is not directly similar to WordPress and Wix, it can be described when compared to them. Shopify provides the template and built-in features or tools that you can use to incorporate in your website or online store to make the store fully functional, from advertising to the point of sale.
As it’s customer-centered, if you are planning to establish your store online or make a dent in the online universe, Shopify will often rank among the first options you’d find. It’s for everybody who has the drive and ambition to get their toes into online selling and create their own brand. It’s user-friendly, and it offers a 14-day free trial.
It’s basically a platform that offers anybody everything possible to launch a successful business. It helps anyone who has the product to sell to set up for success. One can think of it as a one-stop shop for getting into an eCommerce platform.
As a business, it offers different plans that vary with the features they contain and the flexibility that comes with them. One thing is for sure; you get what you pay for.
As you pay on subscription, you can – of course – cancel anytime. The platform itself is very well-supported, so that if you run into different issues, you can ask for technical support and read plenty of related literature that is available.
Under its belt are plenty of stories of success that you can turn to. It allows you to design your website and customize a theme without having to worry about the technical aspect of web designing. You only need to interact with the front-end in a smooth, straightforward manner, just like how you would manage your social media. And that is the beauty of why Shopify has become successful and famous.
While it’s surely one of the best, if you don’t want to get your hands into it, it’s not yet hopeless. Without it, you would still be able to break it to the online sphere with your business. Here are the great alternatives you must look at.
Etsy may not exactly line up with your expectations. It’s not just your ordinary eCommerce subscription-based platform wherein you can sell every product you’ve got. Like the rest of the names listed here that you can use to have your business take off online, Etsy is one of the best out there that you can count on.
But first, please keep in mind that its main specialty is on arts, crafts, vintage items, and handmade goods. So unless your product belongs to those categories, this may not be the best suited for you. If yes, then feel confident that the eCommerce platform is one that you can surely rely on.
Unlike Shopify, you don’t necessarily need to subscribe. It’s more like a listing platform where you can advertise your products and business. Joining and getting started is free, and every time you post an advertisement, you pay $0.20 at the time of writing. You will not end up necessarily with a website that has a dedicated domain name, unlike with what you do with Shopify. But then again, if you are into arts and crafts, this might be the perfect place to get started your business online.
Wix is another titan you must consider if you are serious about creating and establishing an online status for almost anything. Yes, that includes building an online store.
Wix is a direct competitor of WordPress. They almost have a similar goal of earning the top spot as a website-builder platform. Although, in that regard, WordPress remains the leader in the industry, having the most market share. Wix, on the other hand, continues to adapt. With Wix, it’s also possible to do what you want to achieve with Shopify. You can create an online store easily. It has equivalent features that Shopify has. You can use this to create a fully functional online store. Unlike Shopify, however, Wix is more generalized that it can be more difficult to achieve what you can do with Shopify. If you would like more flexibility and if you are planning to reach a reputation beyond just being an online store, it’s better to take your online store here on Wix. But if you are after simplicity, then being Shopify may still be the best bet for this.
Shopolop is an online retailer that you can check out. While there isn’t much unique about it, it has a condensed layout that makes it easy to explore. As said earlier, it’s an eCommerce venue that allows you to sell your goods. But unlike Shopify, you don’t get to create your own page that has your own line of products or items. You don’t get to build your online reputation. It just does the most essential, which is to get your product on the market online.
When posting your products on Shopolop, you will have to fill out a form. It’s done sleekly as the form is free of unnecessary clutter. So, yes, it resembles a listing platform as opposed to creating your shop online. Once that your item is posted, it will show up on the catalogs and categories. Among the first few things you must first fill out would be your name, email, phone number, and message. After filling out and submitting the form, your item will be reviewed before it gets approved. Once approved, you will then get an email that it can be posted.
Amazon may be the biggest opportunity that awaits you if you would like to skip on Shopify. Amazon is the most prominent retail store online worldwide. And that comes without a doubt. Amazon has a special feature that answers directly to Shopify’s main strength. They call it FBA, which stands for Fulfillment by Amazon. What it does: It enables sellers to ship their products to Amazon warehouses. Amazon will then distribute those. Amazon does the leg work while the sellers do the product listings and the shipping.
Amazon is a big fish in the sea, so before you get to do business with the platform, you must have a solid business plan. Being able to sell on Amazon is a huge opportunity that you must take seriously. It has the biggest market share as far as the audience – both sellers and buyers – is concerned. But then again, unlike Shopify, it also doesn’t allow you to establish your own brand and own domain name. It is a mediator and an enabler for sellers to sell. It ends there, however.
FreeAdsTime is a listing platform that will enable you to launch your product and slate of products online. To engage in long-term selling and to create your identity and brand, you must create an account. In doing so, you would be able to maximize all the features that the platform has to make your experience as a seller as fluid and as pleasing as possible. Although you can post an ad without an account, it’s not going to be what you want. Taking advantage of the capability to list an ad without your account will look like a one-of-a-kind thing as opposed to creating an account. With an account, you can keep track of the behavior of your prospective clients. It also becomes easier to monitor the products that you have posted. It’s easy to take a look at your history. Yet, unlike Shopify, Free Ads Time doesn’t allow you to have a dedicated domain name. While you can share the page of your account, you won’t have a domain name that you can share, which can increase your brand presence.
WooCommerce belongs to the league of strong contenders or alternatives to Shopify. Shopify may have gotten its inspiration from WordPress. WordPress is the leading Content Management System used by bloggers and website owners. WooCommerce is a plugin that turns WordPress into a smoothly-running eCommerce platform. It does everything that needs to get done, from establishing a catalog of the products to processing the sale to sending receipts via email. All that you’d need is this plugin.
One quick note, though, is before you apply the plugin, you’d need to have a self-hosted WordPress account. With that said, you’d need to have your own domain and a hosting service. WordPress itself is free. The same thing can be said with WooCommerce as a plugin.
To sign up with a hosting service, you’d usually have to sign up in a year with a monthly rate so you can get decent deals. There are many hosting services that you can sign up for. Some of them offer a free domain name. It may sound like this will involve a lot of work. But, it’s only at the start, and there’s not much technical knowledge involved. So, if you are serious about taking your business online, this could be a great shot.
At first glance, FinderMaster may not look like a direct alternative to Shopify. FinderMaster is a platform that enables you to sell and advertise your products online. In a more general sense, it’s a listing service that you can resort to so you can jumpstart your online presence and increase your reach. It is great either as a starting platform or to supplement your reach. The great feature that it has is you can get started without having to spend a penny on it. You can keep listing your products here for free. But as best practice, you must create your account to be able in full control and observe the behavior of your prospective clients.
When posting your ad, you must indicate what type it is. Your three options for that are individual, business, or other. If you would like to get your ad prioritized, you need to pay an added fee that’s specific to the ad.
EcommerceCEO is an impeccably professionally-looking eCommerce solution for every serious entrepreneur. It is surely among the best competitors of Shopify, along with WooCommerce.
It is intended for a long-term commitment. With that said, you can’t expect to use its best features free of charge. This platform values your business as much as they value theirs. It has built a solid reputation among established online magazines and other platforms, such as Forbes and Entrepreneur.
It regularly ranks among the best brands for taking your business online. Because it relies mainly on its clients, it is excellently organized and supported. It offers different solutions customized for different business types.
So, whatever your business is about, they can customize a plan, guide, and support you all the way from the beginning until your brand and online store have fully taken off. As said earlier, because they aim to attract serious clients, the premium you must pay here may be a little more expensive than what you have to pay to other listing services.
When you resort to H1ad, one thing will have to be on your mind, that is selling or advertising your product online so it reaches audiences that may be looking for it. While the H1ad allows you to publish your ad one time, wherein you won’t have to create an account, you can also create an account to enable more functionalities that can offer more convenience as a seller and business owner.
With an account, you would be able to closely monitor those who have paid a visit to your product and observe their behavior. By having an account, you would be able to get data and strategize to increase the conversion of your clients and turn them into successful buyers.
With a business mindset, having an account on this platform is a must. You won’t have to worry about premiums as this platform is designed to be free.
Magento is suited for earnest business owners or entrepreneurs. So, you won’t expect it to be cheap. As far as the eCommerce platforms are concerned, it belongs to the cream of the crops. It is backed up by Adobe, which is a powerhouse when it comes to multimedia subscription software. Hence, Magento is also known as Adobe Commerce.
It has a huge advantage as far as making your eCommerce site as striking and as attractive as possible. And because it belongs in the same family as the Adobe platform, it readily attracts Adobe Creative Suite subscribers. Like Shopify, it’s very easy to use and user-friendly because of its drag-and-drop feature. Shopify, however, was the first to implement it. Hence, Magento can be considered an almost equivalent and direct competitor to Shopify. But the plans are generally more expensive here than Shopify. If Shopify offers a free trial, Magento offers Self-Guided Commerce Site Assessment, which can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
SquareUp is an American-based company that started by offering a payment solution that allows sellers to process credit card payments in 2009. It has grown so far from that since then. Because of the advent of eCommerce, the company has joined the industry and extended its service coverage from just being a financial service to helping sellers create and maintain their shop online. It’s now one seamless process that allows online sellers the capability to streamline everything. They have a suite of services. eCommerce is just one of those, which means that it has robust support and targets the most determined entrepreneurs.
Their reputation and big market capitalization are, possibly, their biggest advantage. But with that, service consumers will be required to pay a premium. They offer very customized plans that will be relevant to any of your business needs.
GiganticList joins the ranks of general listing services here on the list. Perhaps, its advantage is its ability to have the ads be posted online without charging a dime. In a few simple steps – albeit occasionally mingled by the ads – you will be able to post your ad or product online. That capability is particularly beneficial if you would like to maximize every chance you can have to sell your product and make it known. You can post an ad for your service or product without creating an account. But with a business mindset, data will always be important, So, your account on GiganticList will prove substantial because it will let you track your visitors and prospective customers who have come across your site.
The Conclusion – The purchasing avenues have changed.
Shopify is among the first of its kind and remains to have the greatest market share among its competitors. So, even if you do not have knowledge on how to build a website from scratch, you’d be able to set up one for your online store within the day using Shopify or one of the shared sites above.
Also read: 10 Best Craigslist Alternatives