The Best Shopify Alternatives to Unleash your eCommerce

March 25, 2024
12 min read
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First things first: What is Shopify

We can't discuss the best Shopify alternatives without a brief introduction. If you have been doing research on eCommerce platforms, with over 1.5 million companies using it in 175 countries, it is not very likely that you have not heard of Shopify. So this is just a quick recap of the basics, the way we see it.

In essence, Shopify is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that allows businesses to set up and manage online stores. As a cloud-based platform, it relieves businesses from having to host and maintain the software on their own servers.It operates on a subscription-based model, charging companies a monthly or annual fee for access.

It was founded in 2006, after Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake decided to create their own ecommerce platform to sell snowboards online, committed to ease of use and simplicity. 

Initially, Shopify positioned itself as a counterbalance to e-commerce giants like Amazon, symbolizing empowerment for small businesses and promising to “arm the rebels”, emphasizing Shopify’s support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, the underdogs in the e-commerce landscape. 

It has since become a giant in the eCommerce industry and shifted its focus to mid-market and enterprise companies. We’ll get into that later, and into why that may be a problem, but for now, let’s say that at the moment, Shopify holds a significant position in the market, catering to businesses of all sizes, from startups to big enterprises. 

Why would you need a Shopify alternative?

We have covered some good reasons to leave an eCommerce platform here. Any eCommerce platform. Broadly speaking, the three key areas are performance, cost and adaptability to the future.

Inadequate performance may range from inefficient processes, difficulties to handle increased traffic, slow page load times to outdated web experiences, frequent downtime or increased security threats.

The main issues merchants face around costs are that they are high, hidden, or unforeseeable. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) may skyrocket due to high operational expenses, including the need for dedicated developers. Additionally, the inability to swiftly implement new features or updates can hinder business growth. And then, hidden costs, a pitfall of seemingly "free" solutions, that often come in the form of maintenance expenses, pricey plugins, and customization demanding high-cost development solutions.

As your business grows, scalability becomes crucial. Therefore, we could say the third main factor is time, that is, whether your platform will be able to do the things you may need it to do in the future and whether it will continue allowing you to do what you’re doing now. The key words here are scalability and flexibility.

Why not Shopify?

Every situation is different, but in our experience, these are two common scenarios in which merchants consider leaving Shopify:

They are midmarket or enterprise companies selling B2B or B2B2C and find Shopify Plus is not enough

Industry analysts like Gartner and Forrester do not evaluate Shopify for B2B for a reason. Well, for many. Here are a few:

  • Enterprise businesses are likely to require a higher level of complexity than what Shopifyʼs native features can offer. You might think “No big deal, there’s probably an app for that”. And it’s true. But there’s at least one but, and it’s that Shopify relies heavily on its app store to fill gaps in its core functionality, and that can lead to slower store performance as more third-party apps and scripts are added. It may also make store performance harder to control and manage.
  • Companies offering a large and/or complex catalog may also find Shopify lacking, as it doesnʼt support a large volume of API calls per second, with a limit of 10 calls per second on Shopify Plus. This means, for example, that syncing a product catalog with 25,000 SKUs would take over 2 hours. Not great in terms of performance. Also, Multi-storefront enables merchants to have one store, catalog, etc. and leverage unique storefronts for different brands, languages and currencies This is vital for B2B and Hybrid brands. Shopify cannot support different catalogs / storefronts in a single instance. 
  • Merchants selling in multiple currencies that need to set fixed pricing for different markets or use multiple automatic discounts enabled, or want to implement BOPIS, local delivery, or accelerated checkouts (buy now pay later or digital wallets) are also being driven to seek other solutions.
  • Shopify offers the option to use a Blended Storefront for B2B & B2C on a single instance, but it  cannot differentiate between a B2B customer and a B2C customer, which means discount codes, gift cards, cart notifications, shipping settings & rates apply to both B2B & B2C customers. They all have the same exact shopping experience. 
best shopify alternatives Spiderman meme

If you want to know more, we have covered why B2B merchants may find Shopify lacking here.

They want more choice, control or flexibility.

Due to its focus on ease of use, Shopify removes freedom to prevent users from making mistakes or doing something unexpected. In other words, Shopify is great at removing choice for merchants who aren’t ready for it. But some people want to make choices and seek a platform that adapts to them and not the other way round. 

Shopify's customization capabilities may be too restrictive for some merchants. Again, the platform's emphasis on user-friendly features can limit advanced customization options, hindering businesses with unique design and functionality requirements.

If you work with Shopify, you are likely to find yourself in need of more control over your site. For example, if you rely on organic search, you probably want to have a say in the way Google crawls and indexes your site, and Shopify does not allow users to access or edit robot.txt files. 

Merchants who want to choose their payment gateway without any additional fees and without compromising their possibilities to offer transactions in multiple currencies may also be seeking an alternative to Shopify.

Shopify offers a mix of their own proprietary services including Shopify payments, point of sale, capital, email marketing and shipping. To encourage merchants to use their services rather than offering best-in-breed solutions, Shopify reduced the features available for other options. For example, their solution for multi-currency is only available to merchants using Shopify Payments. Also, it is not entirely clear when a merchant would be subject to additional transaction fees if they arenʼt using Shopify Payments. 

To sum up, merchants that donʼt use additional Shopify products, especially payments, lose access to certain features and/or pay additional fees. Some don’t like this. 

Best Shopify Alternatives that won’t suck

We don’t believe in silver bullets, all in one solutions or the immense lie that one size can fit all. And also, the best alternative to Shopify will ultimately depend on the reasons why you decided Shopify is not a good match for you. Therefore, we will not share a random list of alternatives, but rather what we believe are the best alternatives to Shopify in different scenarios, Academy Awards style.

First, a few honorable mentions.

These are extremely popular ecommerce platforms. For several reasons, they are not our faves, and we don’t think they are worthy alternatives to Shopify.

Salesforce and Adobe

Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce, formerly known as Magento, are heavyweight enterprise solutions. Their focus on large-scale businesses may not align with the needs of smaller e-commerce ventures and their high costs can be prohibitive for businesses operating on a tighter budget.

Their complexity and robust features might be overkill for some businesses. They have a massively steep learning curve, they require extensive time and resources for setup and customization and in our experience, merchants soon feel underwhelmed or disappointed after the migration, an often nightmarish process. (Unless of course, you enlist an experienced ecommerce agency to lend a hand).


While PrestaShop is undeniably a popular ecommerce platform, it may not be the ideal alternative to Shopify for everyone. One significant drawback lies in its open source nature.

This (...) grants businesses greater customization options and freedom in tailoring their online stores to meet unique requirements. The downside is that extensive customizations can lead to increased complexity, potentially affecting the performance and stability of the platform and may require high technical expertise. 

Read more

Open source platforms, including PrestaShop, can require more technical expertise for customization and maintenance and may pose challenges for those who are not well-versed in coding or lack a dedicated IT team. This could result in additional costs and complexities and it might quickly turn into a scalability nightmare, if your business grows. You can learn more about PrestaShop and a much better alternative to Shopify here.

Best Shopify Alternatives for WordPress Users: WooCommerce

Acquired by Automattic in 2015, WooCommerce benefits from the strength of the WordPress ecosystem. It’s a WordPress plugin that integrates with existing websites, transforming them into fully functional online stores, allowing users to leverage the power of WordPress and WooCommerce’s ecommerce capabilities. 

The platform's target market often includes businesses that already operate on the WordPress content management system, providing them with a convenient and integrated solution for their online selling needs.


Native Integration: WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with WordPress, a familiar user-friendly interface for managing products and content.

Extensive Plugin Ecosystem: There are several WordPress plugins available to enhance the overall functionality of ecommerce stores.

Content and Commerce Integration: Users can combine content and commerce effectively on the same platform.


Scalability: While suitable for many businesses, large enterprises may find it too limited.

Dependency on WordPress: Users must be comfortable with the WordPress environment.

Best Shopify Alternatives for Developers: Medusa JS

Medusa JS is an open-source headless ecommerce solution designed for developers seeking a flexible and customizable platform.

It is suitable for developers and businesses that want to build a custom ecommerce solution with full control over the codebase, prioritizing customization over out-of-the-box solutions.


API-First Architecture: Medusa JS follows an API-first approach, providing flexibility in building custom frontend experiences.

Community Support: An active community ensures ongoing support and collaboration.


Learning Curve: Medusa JS requires extensive development skills

Self-Hosting: Users need to manage hosting, another factor requiring technical expertise.

Best Shopify Alternatives for Businesses on a Budget: Wix Commerce

Established in 2006, Wix Commerce is a budget-friendly ecommerce solution that allows users to build and customize online stores easily. This is key because the platform's primary focus is on simplicity. It's also what makes it an attractive option for small businesses and individuals looking to set up an online store without the need for extensive technical expertise. 

Why is it the best alternative for businesses on a budget? Possibly because it provides a balance between affordability and user-friendly features for small-scale ecommerce operations.


User-Friendly: The platform's drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for users without technical skills to create a professional-looking store. It’s easier to set up than a Shopify store.

Integrated Features: Wix Commerce includes various features like hosting, domain, and marketing tools in its plans.


Less Customization: While user-friendly, it may not provide the same level of customization as some other platforms.

Scaling Challenges: Businesses with ambitious growth plans may face limitations.

Best Shopify Alternatives for Omni: VTEX

Founded in Brazil in 1999, VTEX positions itself as an all-in-one ecommerce solution. Geared towards medium to large enterprises, VTEX stands out as an excellent alternative for businesses with an omnichannel approach. This cloud-based commerce platform seamlessly integrates online and offline channels, providing a unified shopping experience for customers across various touchpoints. The platform's scalability and flexibility make it a compelling choice for businesses with complex requirements. 


Scalability: The platform is designed to grow with businesses, accommodating increased traffic and expanding product catalogs effectively.

Advanced Order Management: VTEX provides robust order management features, facilitating efficient order processing across diverse channels.


Learning Curve: Implementing VTEX may require some learning, especially for businesses new to omnichannel strategies.

Best Shopify Alternatives for Enterprise: Commercetools

For enterprises seeking a highly customizable and scalable solution, Commercetools is a top contender. Founded in 2006, the company has gained recognition for its modern and developer-friendly approach. Commercetools takes a cloud-native, API-first approach to commerce, positioning itself as a platform that prioritizes flexibility and scalability. 


Headless Architecture: Commercetools' headless approach enables businesses to create unique and tailored customer experiences, suitable for complex enterprise requirements.

Scalability: The platform is built to handle the demands of large enterprises. This can ensure performance and reliability even during high traffic periods.


Development Resources: Leveraging Commercetools to its full potential may require skilled development resources.

Best Shopify Alternatives for B2B: BigCommerce

But first: OroCommerce

Before we delve into why we chose BigCommerce a noteworthy Shopify alternative for B2B businesses, we have to mention OroCommerce, a dedicated B2B ecommerce platform built specifically for B2B ecommerce.

While OroCommerce offers substantial capabilities tailored for complex B2B operations, its depth can come with a higher initial investment in terms of setup, customization, and training. This might represent a barrier for businesses looking for a more straightforward solution or transitioning from more user-friendly platforms.

Merchants transitioning from Shopify might find BigCommerce more familiar and easier to navigate compared to OroCommerce, which, while powerful, has a steeper learning curve due to its extensive customization options tailored for complex B2B operations.

So, where were we?

BigCommerce, known for its robust Open SaaS ecommerce platform, is an excellent choice for B2B businesses. It is also ideal for enterprises looking for a comprehensive platform with B2B functionalities.

The best of two worlds, Open SaaS platforms, such as BigCommerce, offer a balance between the control of open source platforms and the convenience of SaaS. They provide a customizable environment while still handling infrastructure management.

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Recognized for its flexibility and scalability, BigCommerce offers tailored solutions for B2B operations. These can accommodate the unique needs of wholesale and enterprise-level transactions.


B2B Features: BigCommerce provides specific features like custom pricing, bulk ordering, and account management, essential for B2B interactions.

Scalability: The platform ensures seamless growth for B2B businesses, allowing them to handle increasing order volumes and expanding catalogs effectively.

MACH Alliance Affiliation: BigCommerce is part of the MACH Alliance, emphasizing a commitment to open, composable, and headless commerce solutions.


Adapting to BigCommerce's comprehensive B2B features may require a learning curve, particularly for businesses new to such capabilities. However, hiring a digital agency with expertise in BigCommerce migrations is a smart way to overcome potential challenges.

You can find more information about why we think BigCommerce is an excellent alternative to Shopify here.

Best Shopify Alternatives for Headless: BigCommerce

BigCommerce also excels as a headless commerce solution, offering businesses the flexibility to decouple the frontend and backend, enabling unique and tailored customer experiences.

You can find more about that here

Choosing from the Best Shopify Alternatives

While Shopify has proven itself as a giant in the industry, it's clearly not the perfect fit for every business. As we've explored, factors like performance, cost, adaptability, and scalability play crucial roles in determining the ideal platform.

Whether you're running a small business on a budget, a mid-sized enterprise, or a B2B company, the alternatives presented in this guide offer different possibilities. However, the best choice will always depend on your specific circumstances, preferences, and budget.

Remember to weigh the pros and cons of each platform, consider your business goals, and envision the future growth you seek to achieve. 

For a practical guide on migrating to our favorite alternative to Shopify for B2B eCommerce, click here

And if you’re ready to take the plunge, check out RevAmp, our eCommerce design and development project model for B2B brands with an impressively fast time to market.


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