Alternative to Shopify to create an online store

February 27, 2023 - Frédérique Biau

9 minutes

You have created an online store on Shopify. Or you plan to use this program to launch your business on the web.

But here's the thing... The company has planned to increase its prices in the coming months... Without making any changes to its service.

So, what is this ecommerce platform worth, today in 2023? Let's take stock together in this article!

And above all, are there any alternatives to Shopify, which really work well? In this regard, we suggest you to discover the website builders: are these programs effective for ecommerce?

That's what we're going to see right now! 👣

Shopify: what is this ecommerce platform worth in 2023?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform called CMS (Content Management System).

It helps small businesses create an online store and sell on the internet through a simplified dashboard.

Shopify users can create a modern online store, but also sell on social networks, marketplaces, other websites, as well as by email, text message or chat.

You can also sell physically on Shopify, with the integrated point of sale system (POS) for retail stores, pop-up stores, markets...

Create an online store

How does Shopify work?

In technical terms, Shopify is a SaaS platform (Software-as-a-Service), which works on a subscription basis, and is accessible directly online.

It offers three standard plans for ecommerce sites, with prices starting at a few dozen dollars per month.

All plans support an online store, and a full range of sales tools.

The difference between the plans is mainly the transaction costs. It is therefore necessary to calculate which plan interests you the most, depending on your forecasted sales:

  • The Basic package charges:

    • 2,9% + $0,30 (online credit cards rates)

    • 3,9% + $0.30 (online international credit cards)

    • 2,7% (in-person debit / debit card rates)

    • 2% (third party transactions fees, if Shopify Payment is not used)

  • The Shopify package charges:

    • 2,6% + $0,30 (online credit cards rates)

    • 3,6% + $0.30 (online international credit cards)

    • 2,5% (in-person debit / debit card rates)

    • 1% (third party transactions fees, if Shopify Payment is not used)

  • The Advanced plan charges:

    • 2,4% + $0,30 (online credit cards rates)

    • 3,4% + $0.30 (online international credit cards)

    • 2,4% (in-person debit / debit card rates)

    • 0,5% (third party transactions fees, if Shopify Payment is not used)

You can try Shopify for $1 monthly for 3 months. Then, you will automatically upgrade to the Basic plan.

Shopify: details of the offer

 As already mentioned, all plans offer a set of online sales tools.

Essential features, such as product management, sales and inventory tracking, payment processing, delivery methods, accounts receivable, marketing and statistics, are included in each plan.

Plus, you can easily expand your toolkit, using apps.

MakeMyLemonade is an example of an online store (clothing making and selling) that was built on Shopify. 👆

Why is it important to find an alternative to Shopify today?

Shopify is one of the major ecommerce platforms. However, it also has its drawbacks...

Mainly, it is worth noting that Shopify has planned a price increase for spring 2023...

Rising monthly cost

In 2023, Shopify will begin an overhaul of its pricing. By next April, prices will increase by at least 25% monthly! 😮

More specifically:

  • The Basic plan will go from $25 to $39 per month.

  • The Shopify plan will go from $79 to $105 per month.

  • The Advanced plan will go from $299 to $399 per month.

However, it turns out that you can find free alternatives to Shopify, such as marketplaces, or very inexpensive ones such as website builders - which we'll see next.

You should consider these solutions, if you're just starting out in e-commerce, and want to be thrifty for now. Or if you are afraid that the increased monthly costs will affect your budget.

High transaction costs

As seen above, if you don't use Shopify Payments, you'll have to pay transaction fees, for every sale made by credit card - or any other payment method.

Limited customization

In some aspects, the platform allows only limited customization:

  • Shopify offers few SEO options, for example. Online stores built on the platform have rudimentary SEO features, compared to other online services.

  • The blogging features are simplistic. Shopify's blogging features are quite limited compared to other platforms - like website builders, for example.

  • On Shopify, there are only a few templates available: these tend to be rather basic, and adding advanced features requires specialized coding.

Technical limitations

The loading time of Shopify web pages is slower, due to the large number of features added.

This can be detrimental to the user experience, but also to organic search engine rankings.

Poor technical support

Some customers have left negative feedback about the customer service, on review platforms like Trustpilot. And the hotline and the chat are unfortunately only available in english.

And this is also the case for the videos you can find on YouTube.

Although Shopify has indeed managed to carve out a good place for itself on the market of e-commerce solutions over the past 10 years, the company has some very interesting competitors.

This is the case of website builders...

Alternatives to Shopify: try a website builder

Unlike CMS, website builders are more recent programs, and designed specifically for the general public.

As such, they are easy to use, fun and accessible to everyone.

On a website builder, it is easy to create a simple site and transform it into an online store, if you want to start selling on the internet.

A website builder, that's precisely what SiteW is... 😌

Create an online store with SiteW

SiteW is a small French company based in the heart of the country, which provides a tool to create your online store, in no time.

On our platform, building an ecommerce site is as easy and quick as this:

  1. Create an account

  2. Name your site

  3. Choose an ecommerce package

  4. Select a template 

  5. Add a Store block, in one click...

Ecommerce prices on SiteW

On our service, you can create an online store at the following prices:

  • The Essential package, at $20,80 / month (with 2 months free) allows you to create a small online store with 25 products

  • The Advanced package, at $32,50 / month (with 2 months free) allows you to create a complete online store with 100 products, and to launch email campaigns, as well as to manage payment methods and shipping costs.

  • The Unlimited package at $57,50 / month (with 2 months free) allows you to build a full online store, with advanced sales and marketing tools, and, in addition, a multi-user access.

Create an online store

A Shopify competitor with zero percent transaction fees

Yes, on SiteW, we do not charge any commission or fees on your transactions...

Alternative to Shopify: SiteW's ecommerce features

... So what tools will you have at your disposal to sell online, on a website builder like SiteW? 🤔

On our platform, you will be able to:

  • Add a store to your website, in one click.

  • Configure it on the left side of your screen, using your mouse, without having to change tabs: unlike CMS like Shopify, you can see all the changes live!

  • Create the design of your online store, according to your tastes and desires,

  • Create your product sheets, and classify them by categories,

  • Fill in the metadata to optimize your online store's ranking in Google's search engine results,

  • Set up shipping costs, payment methods, available delivery options...

  • Create email campaigns,

  • Manage your stocks, your invoicing and your promotions,

  • Manage the members of your website,

  • Give access to the dashboard to your team members...

Examples of online stores built on our platform

Here are some nice examples of online stores built on our platform... 🤩

Here is a nice online store built on our platform that is full of gourmet goodies. 🍫

Another example of a store created on our site, where you will find many lovely, handmade items. 🧶

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of "Thomarin", an ecommerce website which sells scented candles with intoxicating and captivating aromas. 🕯️

To go further
Info stepup
And if you want to see more beautiful online stores, follow the link...

The ➕ of website builders compared to Shopify

Here are the advantages of website builders, compared to a specialized tool like Shopify:

  • The great ease of use mentioned above: no need for specific knowledge, nor time to learn how to use the tool. You can build a website by using your mouse, to click on and drag and drop content elements

  • The versatility of the tool: in fact, a website builder is designed to meet the needs of a wide audience. Thus, it offers many different features that you can use in your online store. In particular, marketing, interactive and design tools, which will help you convert better.

💡 For example, it will be easy for you to add a custom blog, a FAQ section, or a Comment block to allow your customers to leave you a review - or even a forum, if it's relevant to you!

But you will also be able to display a location map or your opening hours, in one click.

Finally, a contact form will allow you to facilitate communication with your customers...

At the same time, the graphic tools allow you to customize the appearance of your online store down to the smallest details: page background, footer, geometric shapes, images and galleries, animations and effects, icons, illustrations, strips, call-to-action buttons...

The possibilities are endless and will give you all the flexibility you need to establish effective sales strategies.

SiteW vs. Shopify reviews

At SiteW, we put people at the center of our concerns. We make it a point of honor to be available to our customers... And they give it back to us a hundredfold!

Especially on customer review sites, like Trustpilot for example...

Of course, our support team will answer all your questions, either by email or by phone. You will also find many free resources (tutorials, FAQ, guides, blog, videos...) on our website.

To conclude, if you don't want the price increase of Shopify to impact your budget, you should know that effective and cheaper solutions exist.

Among them, you will find website builders, including SiteW.

So, see you soon! 👋

Create an online store

Easy, fast and effective

Frédérique Biau
Editor and translator
I am passionate about science fiction, new technologies, writing and art in general. I started my career as a Cultural Manager. It is with pleasure and enthusiasm that I am a writer and web translator with 9 years of experience. ✍️

Last update: February 27, 2023

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