Shopify Vs The World

Over the last few years, Shopify has taken the eCommerce industry by storm.

Thousands of eCommerce entrepreneurs are finding huge success using their platform to sell and ship products all over the world.

While the platform is great for both beginners, and veteran eCommerce sellers, many people -- especially people that are new to eCommerce or looking for a better platform than what they’re already using -- are left wondering how Shopify stacks up to some other major platforms.

In this post, we’re going to address each of the most popular eCommerce platforms and take an in-depth look to see how they stack up to Shopify, who they’re good for, and whether or not they can compete with other major players in the eCommerce industry.

Here’s some of the different platforms we’re going to dissect:

  • Volusion
  • BigCommerce
  • ​WooCommerce
  • ​Etsy
  • ​Squarespace
  • ​Magento
  • Big Cartel
E commerce stores.

We’re going to look at each of the different platforms in a wide variety of areas, ranging from pricing, to features, customer support, ability to scale, ease of marketing, and how simple it is to build a functioning store.

And here’s what we think about each…

Shopify Vs Volusion

Volusion and Shopify are both very affordable eCommerce platforms, offering many comparable features. When you put them back to back in a comparison, it’s easy to see where Shopify pulls ahead and is more focused on helping beginners get started.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Shopify is lower than what Volusion offers, with Shopify’s cheapest package costing $9, and Volusion’s cheapest package costing $15.

Templates

Shopify currently offers substantially more templates for their customers to build their store around than what Volusion does. If you’re not a web developer or do not have the budget to hire a web developer, Shopify is going to make it easier for you to build an attractive store.

Features

Shopify currently offers one major feature that Volusion doesn’t: a blogging feature. When you want to drive more traffic to your store, having a blog makes it easy to scale your marketing efforts and tap into different traffic sources.

Customer Support

Both platforms have great customer support teams, and offer 24 / 7 customer service. It’s currently unclear whether you get phone support with the cheaper plans on both platforms, but both respond quickly to support requests submitted through email.

Scalability

Both Shopify and Volusion give you the ability to quickly scale your eCommerce store, and can handle massive amounts of traffic. During testing, we did find that Shopify stores loaded faster than Volusion stores, though.

Marketing

When it comes to marketing tools, both platforms help you drive traffic to your store and can handle increased traffic levels. However, Volusion does currently help you set up an affiliate program, which Shopify is not currently offering.

Simplicity

When you’re comparing interfaces and dashboards, Shopify easily wins. It’s substantially easier to navigate around Shopify and build a store than it is when you’re using Volusion.

Shopify vs Volusion

When you’re comparing Shopify to Volusion, Shopify currently offers an easier-to-use interface, a bigger selection of free templates, and allows you to build a blog to open up additional marketing channels -- which makes Shopify the winner.


Shopify Vs BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a massive eCommerce platform that is catered more towards advanced and veteran eCommerce store owners, and has different pricing structures to reflect their target market.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, especially when you’re just getting started, you are going to find Shopify a lot more attractive. BigCommerce costs substantially more than Shopify. Through Shopify, you can get started selling online for as little as $9 per month.

Templates

Shopify does currently offer more free templates than BigCommerce. As of this writing, Shopify offers 9 free templates while BigCommerce offers 7. This gives you more variety with Shopify than you’ll find with BigCommerce, and Shopify’s templates are already mobile responsive.

Features

Comparing the cheapest plans, BigCommerce does offer more features than Shopify, but as the price tag increases, Shopify quickly catches up and offers the same, or better features.

Customer Support

Both companies offer great customer service, so if you find yourself having problems, it’s easy to get help. Shopify does have a larger community of eCommerce entrepreneurs, so you’re able to get feedback from the community instead of using their customer support channels, too.

Scalability

With Shopify, you can make unlimited sales each year on even the basic plan. Through BigCommerce, their basic plan limits you to $50,000 per year in sales, then requires you to upgrade to a higher tier plan.
This makes scaling slightly more difficult on BigCommerce.

Marketing

Both Shopify and BigCommerce help you market your store using strategies like blogging and paid advertising, so there is no real winner in this category.

Simplicity

In general, BigCommerce is harder to get started and build your first store. Shopify offers a more intuitive interface with a simple drag-and-drop editor.

Shopify vs BigCommerce.

There’s no denying that BigCommerce is a great eCommerce platform, especially when you’re working with huge product catalogs. When you’re comparing Shopify to BigCommerce, though, Shopify wins with more free templates, a bigger community, better pricing, and a more intuitive interface.


Shopify Vs WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce platform that has been baked into WordPress using a variety of different plugins. While WooCommerce is powerful, it is usually more maintenance-intensive than Shopify stores.

Pricing

Up front, WooCommerce wins in the pricing category -- it’s essentially free, with WordPress and WooCommerce being free to download and free to install on your server. However, when you need additional features, you’re going to have to purchase additional plugins.

Templates

Shopify currently offers 9 different templates you can use in your store, while WooCommerce has potentially unlimited options because it is developed around WordPress and many of the available WordPress themes will work with WooCommerce.

Features

Out of the box, Shopify offers more features than WooCommerce. However, WooCommerce currently has more developers that are building new plugins and features into the platform. To add those features, though, you’re typically going to need to pay more money.

Customer Support

If you have problems and need to get them fixed, Shopify provides substantially better customer support and has a massive community backing them up. With WooCommerce, you are relying on individual developers to provide customer support, which means it takes longer and can be unreliable.

Scalability

When you’re scaling a store, Shopify’s servers provide a better backbone for your store than what most hosting companies provide to their WordPress and WooCommerce users. WooCommerce databases can get huge and take longer to access, making scaling your store cause your store to load slower.

Marketing

Both platforms, WooCommerce and Shopify, are at a standstill when it comes to marketing, with one not being any better than the other. Both have different apps (or plugins) to help get your store in front of your target audience.

Simplicity

Your typical WooCommerce installation can get pretty complex, especially when you’re running a custom design with multiple different plugins. In terms of simplicity, Shopify easily wins this category.

Shopify vs Woocommerce

WooCommerce is powerful and has a large community to help you if you get stuck. However, when it comes to being a simple, straightforward process, Shopify easily wins. Scaling your store is also easier with Shopify than it is with WooCommerce. These, together, helped Shopify win this comparison.


Shopify Vs Etsy

While Shopify and Etsy are similar in some categories, there are more differences than similarities in their platforms. Shopify is more of a “build your own store” while Etsy is focused more as a marketplace where you can list products for sale.

Pricing

Being different types of platforms, Shopify and Etsy also have different styles of pricing. Shopify charges a flat rate each month while Etsy is going to charge you for each product that you list, as well as a transaction fee. This means Etsy can get substantially more expensive than Shopify.

Templates

When it comes to customization, you can change the layout of your Etsy product pages, but don’t have much in the way of customizing for your brand or a specific store. Shopify, on the other hand, makes it easy for you to build your brand with multiple different, customizable templates.

Features

With Etsy, what you see is what you get. You have to live with the features you’re given, and have no real way to add new features to help you sell more products or stay in touch with your customers. Shopify provides thousands of different apps to add new features, with many of them being completely free and simple to install.

Customer Support

Both platforms have great customer support teams. During Testing, Shopify responded quicker to the requests that we submitted, but Etsy does have a helpful customer support team that’s ready to help you work through any problems you may have.

Scalability

Both Shopify and Etsy can handle unlimited products in your catalog. However, each product that you add to Etsy is going to cost you more money, which can make it financially prohibitive to scale your store.

Marketing

Etsy, being a marketplace, makes it substantially easier to get your products in front of new customers -- it’s one of their biggest selling points. Shopify does have tools to help you get in front of the same audiences, though.

Simplicity

This comes down to what you want, and how you intend to grow your store. If you’re simply looking to list products and sell them, Etsy may win. However, if you want to tap into additional traffic sources and grow your brand, Shopify is a better option.

Shopify Vs Etsy

It’s hard to compare Shopify to Etsy because they are completely different platforms. One is a marketplace, similar to eBay, while the other allows you to have full control over your business. The major difference between the two is pricing and customization, with Shopify easily winning.


Shopify Vs Squarespace

Many entrepreneurs are figuring out that they can sell products with their Squarespace site, and have started adopting it as an eCommerce platform. Because it is a full-featured site builder, and not necessarily an eCommerce solution, Shopify tends to win in most categories.

Pricing

Shopify and Squarespace are competitively priced, making them attractive to beginners. Squarespace, though, is much more restrictive than Shopify, and you will need to pay more to obtain the same features that Shopify offers with their cheapest plans.

Templates

Both Shopify and Squarespace provide plenty of templates and make it easy for you to customize them so you can build the exact look and feel for your brand that you’re after. When you’re building an eCommerce store or selling products, Shopify’s templates are perfectly catered to your needs.

Features

If you’re focused on building an eCommerce store, a platform that has been designed for sellers is going to naturally offer more features. In this instance, Shopify easily offers more features catered specifically to online sellers.

Customer Support

Both platforms offer amazing customer support, and both have great communities of people standing behind them so it’s easy to connect with your peers.

Scalability

With Squarespace, when you’re ready to scale, you are going to have to pay more money for the additional pages on your site. Their servers are also on the slower side, making larger stores load slower which can end up costing you conversions and raise your number of abandoned carts.

Marketing

Shopify has been built with marketing in mind, and it shows with how they handle optimizing your product pages for the search engines, for instance. Shopify allows you complete control over your SEO, while Squarespace forces you to use what they deem relevant.

Simplicity

Squarespace makes it easier for you to import a large number of products. However, Shopify makes it a lot easier to export your product data so you always have a backup on hand. Both platforms make it easy for you to build your site or store with drag and drop visual editors.

Shopify Vs Squarespace

When you’re comparing Shopify to Squarespace, you really need to consider whether you’re primarily building a website, or you’re primarily building an eCommerce store. It’s a much better website builder than it is an eCommerce platform. Shopify performs better as an eCommerce platform.


Shopify Vs Magento

Magento is a massive platform that makes it easy for you to build eCommerce stores on a large scale. With their focus being primarily on scaling and large businesses, some beginner eCommerce store owners may get overwhelmed with their platform.

Pricing

Comparing Magento’s pricing to Shopify’s pricing is difficult because there are two different versions of Magento. One version is free and it’s aimed at helping beginners get started, while their Enterprise version is aimed at large businesses.

Templates

Shopify offers much better free templates with your subscription than Magento does. Typically, with Magento, you’re going to need to hire a developer to customize the theme to fit with your business’s branding, which can add to the expense.

Features

Both Shopify and Magento offer the features you need to build a successful eCommerce business, but Shopify does offer a blogging feature that opens up additional marketing channels. Shopify also has more supported apps which makes adding new features easier.

Customer Support

There have been complaints in the past about the customer service experience with Magento. They do have a decent-sized community, but Shopify wins this category in both areas -- customer service and the community available to help you when you need it.

Scalability

In terms of scalability, Magento is much better suited to growing a store into the thousands of products and thousands of monthly sales. When you’re just getting started, though, this type of scalability (and the platform that encourages it) could be overwhelming.

Marketing

Shopify currently has more built-in marketing options and tools to help drive traffic to your store than Magento does. With Magento, you are on your own when it comes to driving traffic and making sales.

Simplicity

Hands down, Shopify is a much easier platform to use when you’re just getting started. Magento is more powerful in the long run, but when you’re just starting out you may not have the budget needed to hire a developer to help you tap into the power Magento gives you.

Shopify Vs Magento

For beginner eCommerce store owners, and even some veteran store owners, Shopify is a better, simpler, and more affordable platform. Magento is incredibly powerful, but most eCommerce store owners will never properly tap into that power.


Shopify Vs Big Cartel

Big Cartel is making waves with artists and independent creators, becoming well-known to a very specific market. They are very similar to Shopify in that they cater to beginners looking to start selling online, but there are major differences, as well.

Pricing

Big Cartel and Shopify are both comparably priced, with Shopify offering price points ranging from $9 per month to $179 per month and Big Cartel offering prices ranging from $10 to $30 per month. Shopify, however, does offer a free trial period while Big Cartel does not.

Templates

Big Cartel has a more “artsy” feel to it than Shopify, but both platforms do offer you a selection of attractive, free templates that do not require much customization. With Shopify’s additional apps and plugins, though, it’s easier to build in high converting features than it is with Big Cartel.

Features

Shopify wins the features category, hands down. Not only do they include more features with your subscription, out of the box, but they also have substantially more apps and plugins you can install on your store to increase the amount of features you have.

Customer Support

Shopify has gotten their reputation from providing a great customer service experience while also focusing on building a community of eCommerce store owners that are very vocal and supportive of other store owners. It’s substantially easier to get help when you run a Shopify store.

Scalability

Shopify wins this category because there is no limit to the amount of products you can sell or the amount of traffic you can send to your store on a regular basis. Big Cartel tops out pretty quick, and, if you’re planning on selling a lot of products, may not work for you in the long term.

Marketing

Big Cartel helps you integrate your Shopify store with Facebook, but that’s really where their support for your marketing strategies ends. Optimizing for other platforms, like the search engines, is difficult with Big Cartel.

Simplicity

The user interfaces are completely different between Shopify and Big Cartel. Shopify has a more intuitive dashboard for eCommerce store builders, while Big Cartel makes you “work for it” a bit more. In the end, they are both fairly easy to use with low learning curves.

There aren’t many situations where Big Cartel is going to win out over Shopify. From the ground up, Shopify has been devoted to helping new eCommerce store owners gain traction while still providing the features that experienced store owners need to scale their business.


So Why Use Shopify To Grow Your Business?

Shopify has developed the name for themselves that they have by listening to exactly what their target market wants and needs from an eCommerce platform.

Whether you’re just getting started building your eCommerce business, or you have an existing business that you’re going to transfer from another platform and grow using Shopify’s platform, they have the features that you’re going to need.

Use Shopify to grow your business

They have amazing customer service, a large set of free templates you can use to build an attractive store, countless different apps and plugins to add the features you want, and competitive pricing, coupled into a platform that’s not only easy to get started, but grows with you as your business grows.

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