Written by Dan Barraclough Reviewed by Natasha Willett Updated on 29 June 2023 On this page Shopify alternatives comparison table 1. Wix: Best for small businesses 2. BigCommerce: Best for medium-to-large businesses 3. Square: Best free alternative 4. Squarespace: Best for creating a beautiful website 5. WooCommerce: Best for WordPress users How to choose a Shopify alternative Expert verdict How we test ecommerce platforms FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. We recommend Wix as the best Shopify alternative for small businesses in the UK today thanks to its easy-to-use interface, creative freedom and simple dashboard. It also offers new AI writing and design tools, which are affordable versions of Shopify's.Using our decade's worth of experience in this sector, we rigorously tested the best online sales platforms to find the most affordable high quality tools available.Our key metrics were: sales features, design functions, value for money, help and support, and a customer score.You can check out our comparison tables to see all of these scores – and which of the platforms outperformed or fell below Shopify, and in which areas. Then, read on for the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which one would suit you best.But first, let's take a glance at the leaderboard: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Shopify Wix BigCommerce Square Online Squarespace WooCommerce Score 4.7 Score 4.9 Score 4.4 Score 4.4 Score 4.3 Score 3.8 Best For Advanced sales features Best For Creating a good-looking website with excellent sales features Best For Offers you all the functionality you need to scale and succeed Best For Payment integrations Best For Selling digital products or portfolios Best For Those looking to work on their own Price Range Paying for one year upfront £5-£344/monthDeal: First three months for £1 each(Enterprise pricing available) Price Range Paying for one year upfront £14-£119/month£12.60-£107.10 with code “GET10!”(Enterprise pricing available) Price Range Paying for one year upfront £23-£240/month(Converted from USD; Enterprise pricing available) Price Range Paying for one year upfront £0-64/month(Enterprise pricing available) Price Range Paying for one year upfront £12-£35/month£10.80-£31.50/month with code: EM10 Price Range Paying for one year upfront Plugin is free, but monthly running costs average £30/month Transaction fees 0.5%-2% Transaction fees 0% Transaction fees 0% Transaction fees 1.4% + 25p (UK cards)2.5% + 25p (non-UK cards)(Rates are lower for Premium plan) Transaction fees 3%-0% Transaction fees None Free Plan Free Plan Free Plan Free Plan Free Plan Free Plan Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Try Shopify Try Wix Try BigCommerce Try Square Try Squarespace Competitors The top Shopify alternatives comparison 2023Here's the breakdown of scores in each category, per ecommerce platform:Ecommerce platformSales features /5Design functions /5Value for money /5Help & support /5Customer score /5Overall rating /5Shopify4.73.93.04.44.84.7Wix220.127.116.11.34.24.6BigCommerce4.64.23.04.53.64.4Square18.104.22.168.13.54.4Squarespace22.214.171.124.94.34.3WooCommerce4.02.54.35.03.83.8Next, we'll take a look at a snapshot of each individual platform so you can see its pros and cons, as well as each plan's pricing. 1. WixBest Shopify alternative for small businesses Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Wix Shopify Score 4.9 Score 4.7 Best For Creating a good-looking website with excellent sales features Best For Advanced sales features Price Range Paying for one year upfront £14-£119/month£12.60-£107.10 with code “GET10!”(Enterprise pricing available) Price Range Paying for one year upfront £5-£344/monthDeal: First three months for £1 each(Enterprise pricing available) Key Features Around 900 design templatesLoads of website functionsSell on Facebook, eBay, Amazon, and moreTools to boost search engine visibility Key Features Website design toolsSell products or servicesOrder trackingInventory managementSelf-hosts its sitesShipping discounts Members area? Members area? Unlimited storage space? Unlimited storage space? Free Trial Free Trial Try Wix Try Shopify Given its creative freedom and simple dashboard, Wix is the Shopify alternative for those who need an easy-to-use interface.Wix is far simpler than Shopify when it comes to inventory management, meaning you won't get lost in mazes of sub menus and product tags. That can save you hours of frustration if you just want to sell some products without navigating a labyrinth filled with riddles.Wix categories are clear, straightforward and quick to edit.If you want to scale up with greater product management capabilities, you can always add apps from the Wix App Store down the line. That means you can keep a lid on spending, and save money because you won't be paying for extra features you're never going to use.Outscoring Shopify in our value for money research, Wix has far cheaper price plans, making it one of the very best ecommerce platforms for small businesses.Wix used to lack the sales-specific tools to match Shopify, but has somewhat remedied this. For instance, Wix now has expanded multichannel integration (allowing for selling on platforms like Facebook and Instagram) and dropshipping.Shopify categories use Boolean logic to automatically sort your products according to certain criteria... Keeping up?Wix also has a convenient AI text generator tool which you can use on your main website pages and in product descriptions. You can select the type of paragraph you need, such as “About me”, “FAQs” or “Service description” to name a few examples. It will save you time as it crafts appealing (albeit highly generic) phrases to promote your offerings. You can check out a video demo of it in our full Wix review.Wix's AI writer isn't a serious rival to Shopify Magic, which works in a similar way but gives you a choice of tones of voice. Shopify's version produces more nuanced results, but Wix's equivalent produces a good enough draft for you to edit to your liking.Wix's AI text generator is a basic version of Shopify Magic. Pros Much easier to use than Shopify Far cheaper price plans than Shopify Faster to set up than Shopify Cons Basic inventory and product management Sell up to 50,000 products (limitless on Shopify) Better tax calculation on Shopify For a more detailed comparison, check out our in-depth Wix vs Shopify article.Wix pricingWe've already put together a deep dive on Wix pricing, but if you just want a quick glance at its costs, read on: Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Core Business Business Elite Price (billed annually) £14/month£12.60/month with code: GET10! Price (billed annually) £20/month£18/month with code: GET10! Price (billed annually) £119/month£107.10/month with code: GET10! Best For A small online store Best For Expanding online sellers Best For Fast-moving online stores Key Features 50GB storageFree domain (1 year)Sell products, video, music1 auto backup/monthBasic gift cards Key Features 100GB storageFree domain (1 year)Sales tax automationPrint shipping labelsSell in 6 currencies Key Features Unlimited storageFree domain (1 year)Loyalty rewardsPriority customer supportCustom reports Time to get started on your web shop? Go to Wix 2. BigCommerceBest Shopify alternative for medium-to-large businessesPlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?Shopify4.73.93.04.44.84.7£22 – £2193 daysBigCommerce4.64.23.04.53.64.4£23 – £24015 days BigCommerce is the most natural Shopify alternative, suitable for small, medium, and large businesses alike. However, it betters Shopify in two key areas: transaction fees and marketing features.Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce waives its own transaction fees on all of its supported payment processors (of which there are over 65, including Stripe, PayPal, WorldPay, and digital wallets like Apple Pay).In contrast, Shopify charges an extra 2% per transaction on its Basic plan, going down to 1% on the main Shopify plan. You can find more detail in our guide to Shopify pricing.Shopify also has fewer email marketing and customer reviews features than BigCommerce. You'd have to pay for extra integrations from the Shopify app store, which can see your monthly costs quickly add up.In summary, BigCommerce is slightly better value for money than Shopify. Pros Provides far more in-built features than Shopify, which relies on apps Imposes zero transaction fees on all payment processors, unlike Shopify Offers fantastic multi-channel integration, helping you sell to multiple audiences Cons Doesn’t offer a mobile app to help you manage your store on the go, unlike Shopify Interface isn’t as user-friendly as Shopify’s Skullcandy - BigCommerce customerBigCommerce pricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Standard Recommended: Best Value Plus Pro Price (billed annually) $29/month (around £23) Price (billed annually) $79/month (around £63) Price (billed annually) $299/month (around £240) Best For Starting a small or medium-sized online store Best For Growing your online store Best For Scaling your business to new heights Key Features Sell an unlimited number of productsMultichannel sellingCoupon creationReporting tools Key Features Abandoned cart recovery emailsCustomer loyalty programmesStore credit card payment details Key Features Filter products through size and colour variantsDedicated SSL securityGoogle reviews Try Now Try Now Try Now 3. SquareBest free Shopify alternativePlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?Shopify4.73.93.04.44.84.7£22 – £2193 daysSquare126.96.36.199.13.54.4£0 – £54Free plan Offering a generous free plan, which comes with multi-channel integration and the ability to sell unlimited products, Square is one of the best free Shopify alternatives.You should choose Square over Shopify if you want to use one of the best free ecommerce platforms, you don’t mind having a simple website, and you want to be able to build your online store within a couple of hours. When it comes to customizing your design, we noticed Square takes a mobile-first view of your website. So when you first start to choose a template, previews and editing spaces are in the narrow mobile screen viewport. This is unique compared to competitors like Shopify, Squarespace and Wix, which tend to start you off editing the desktop view. Yet it's extremely helpful as Google takes a mobile-first approach to indexing.Other than that, Square is underwhelming compared to Shopify, especially when you look at the available payment processors. Square only supports one (Square) on the free plan, with PayPal available on the other plans, while Shopify supports over 100 on all plans. Pros Enables you to sell online for free (you only pay 1.9% per transaction) Quicker to build a website than on Shopify Represents good value for money with its combination of strong features and affordable plans Cons Very limited customisation compared to Shopify Large transactions when you don’t use Square’s payment processor Lacks the prompts and supports found on Shopify when designing your store I couldn't quite position my image as I would have liked it to display.Square pricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Free Plus Premium Price (billed annually) £0/month Price (billed annually) £20/month Price (billed annually) £64/month Best For Smaller businesses Best For Scaling up a small business Best For Customer service-focused sales Key Features Sell unlimited productsInstagram and Pinterest integration Key Features Free domain (one year)Accept PayPalNo Square adverts on your website Key Features Lower card transaction feesReal time postage pricing Transaction Fees 1.4% + 25p (UK cards)2.5% + 25p (non-UK cards) Transaction Fees 1.4% + 25p (UK cards)2.5% + 25p (non-UK cards) Transaction Fees 1.4% + 15p (UK cards)2.5% + 15p (non-UK cards) Sell fast, and deliver to more customers with your new Square online shop Try Square 4. SquarespaceBest Shopify alternative for creating a beautiful websitePlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?Shopify4.73.93.04.44.84.7£22 – £2193 daysSquarespace188.8.131.52.94.34.3£23 – £3514 days Squarespace is one of the finest Shopify alternatives for creative and cost- conscious users, offering the most professional-looking templates we’ve ever tested, with affordable price plans to boot.In fact, Squarespace is the best value for money platform we tested (outside of Square's free tier), offering price plans ranging from £23 to £35 per month, with the ability to sell digital and service-based products, while offering multi-channel integration via Instagram. This is one of the many reasons why we rate Squarespace as the best platform for selling subscriptions.We love its new animation features for images and even text highlights (such as a line appearing underneath a word or two) added in June this year. These custom design elements allow you to capture audience attention with subtle, eye-catching movement upon scrolling.In contrast to Shopify, though, you may find your business outgrowing Squarespace if you plan to scale quickly. In that case, we’d recommend opting for BigCommerce instead, or installing third-party services onto your Squarespace store, such as Zapier – which connects your apps to automate your repetitive tasks – to help bolster your ecommerce and finance capabilities. Pros Enables you to design an ecommerce store that really stands out The best value for money platform we tested Offers much sleeker templates than Shopify Cons Steeper learning curve than on Shopify Supports only two payment processors (Stripe and PayPal) compared to Shopify’s 100+ options Can't decide between Wix vs Squarespace? They're both great options, but see below for an overview of Squarespace price plans:Squarespace now has visual animations on text elements.Squarespace pricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Business Commerce Basic Commerce Advanced Price (billed annually) £17/month Price (billed annually) £23/month Price (billed annually) £35/month Best For Small businesses Best For SMBs looking to sell online Best For Growing retail businesses Key Features Sell unlimited number of productsFree domain (1 year)Free Gmail (1 year)Pop-ups and banners Key Features Collect reviewsProduct waitlistsFree Gmail (1 year)Free domain (1 year) Key Features Abandoned cart recoverySell subscriptionsLocal shipping ratesAPIs for custom integrations Transaction Fees 3% Transaction Fees 0% Transaction Fees 0% Let's get your web shop up and running Go to Squarespace Still unsure about Squarespace? Mosey on over to our Squarespace review for a careful look at its features, pricing, and functionality. 5. WooCommerceBest Shopify alternative for WordPress usersPlatformSales featuresDesign functionsValue for moneyHelp and supportCustomer score /5Overall ratingPrice range /monthFree trial?Shopify4.73.93.04.44.84.7£22 -– £2193 daysWooCommerce4.02.54.35.03.83.8~£15.99Free plan Woocommerce is a different platform to both Shopify and the other options we've discussed here, as it's a plugin for WordPress rather than an entire online store builder.Whether you opt for the free plan or splurge on the paid tier, WooCommerce won't cost you much itself. However, it's worth noting that any costs will be on top of existing WordPress costs, like hosting or other paid plugins you use for your online store.Obviously if you've already set up a WordPress-based website and are looking to add an ecommerce option, WooCommerce is a great choice. Shopify used to have a WordPress plugin, but has since discontinued it, meaning that WooCommerce is the move for WordPress-based users.WordPress considerations aside, WooCommerce offers both first and third-party payment options, a well-reviewed mobile app, and the ability to integrate with other well-known software, like MailChimp, Yoast, and Google Analytics. Pros No surprise fees, unlike Shopify’s transaction fees and third-party app costs Quickest and easiest ecommerce platform we tested First and third-party payment options Cons No one-on-one expert setup help Hosting is not included in the package Low cost may be offset by additional costs (hosting, maintenance, etc.) Dynamic - WooCommerce customerWooCommerce pricingIf you already pay for WordPress hosting and have your own domain then WooCommerce is a free add-on. There are some optional extra charges such as webstore themes (£66 billed annually, with a 30-day back money guarantee). There's a marketplace of additional features to add on, many of which (50+) are free, but others are priced up to £248 each. How to choose a website builderWhen it comes to selecting the right website subscription for your business here are the most important considerations:The quality of sales toolsTemplate and design flexibilityValue for moneyThe help and support optionsEase of use (whether the tools match your skillset)The right Shopify alternative for you depends on your budget and skill level, and the amount of time you have spare to build your website. For instance, Wix and Square are easy to use, but you'll lose some subtlety in inventory oversight and design finesse.At the steeper end of the learning curve are BigCommerce and Squarespace. The former can help you create an ecommerce empire, while the latter gives you the tools to craft a world class aesthetic. Expert verdictWe’ve shown you the best Shopify alternatives, backed up by our independent research and participant testing. You might already know which one you should pick, but let’s quickly recap what we’ve discussed.The best Shopify alternatives are:Wix – best for small businesses.BigCommerce – best for medium-to-large businesses.Square – best free Shopify alternative.Squarespace – best for creating a beautiful website.WooCommerce – best for WordPress users.We found you'll need more technical expertise with WooCommerce or BigCommerce, so neither are the best choice if you lack an interest in complex web set-ups.On the other hand, we found Wix, Squarespace, and Square are much more beginner-friendly. These tools are easy enough for those with very basics technical skills. So if you'd like to design your website via click-and-drag, you'd get on best with one of those three. How We Test Ecommerce Website Builders for BusinessesWe tested eight market-leading ecommerce website builders to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, accuracy, and aesthetics so we can make the most useful recommendations to UK businesses.Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in seven main categories of investigation and 47 subcategories – in fact, we covered 341 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!Our main testing categories for ecommerce website builders are:Website Features: the capabilities and functionalities offered by an ecommerce website builder, e.g. blog functionality, SEO capability, and marketing capacity.Sales Features: the sales capabilities and sales functionalities offered by an ecommerce website builder, including shipping, inventory capacity, and payment options.Design: the aesthetic appeal and visual layout of a website created using the website builder. It encompasses aspects such as page templates and customisable themes.Customer Score: external customer opinion; the feedback and ratings given by customers who have used a particular ecommerce builder – the market position and reputation a builder holds.Ease of Use: how user-friendly and intuitive an ecommerce website builder is for people with varying levels of technical expertise.Value for Money: the balance between the cost of an ecommerce website builder and the benefits it provides. It considers factors such as pricing plans, subscription models, and available features.Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using an ecommerce website builder. This can include tutorials, knowledge bases, and email or chat support. FAQs Which platform is better than Shopify? If you're running a small business and need an affordable and simple way to sell products online, then Wix is a better platform for you than Shopify. It's cheaper, both in terms of subscription pricing and the lack of transaction fees. Who is Shopify's main competitor? BigCommerce is the main rival to Shopify, offering arguably better value because it charges no transaction fees (unlike Shopify). It's worth looking into if you're on the fence about Shopify because it links your online shop to web marketplaces including Walmart, Amazon and eBay. You'll be able to sell in multiple currencies, and synch your shop with a physical card reader. These features can equip you to broaden your sales as you enable more customers to purchase from you. What is a free alternative to Shopify? If you want to start an online store without paying a monthly fee, you can sign up to Square Online. It's the best online sales platform to use instead of Shopify if you want secure payment features without the hefty price tag. Square is not completely free because you'll pay a transaction fee per sale. But it means you're more likely to make a profit, as you don't pay anything until you sell. Written by: Dan Barraclough Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics. Reviewed by: Natasha Willett Head of Research For over 9 years Natasha has worked as a mixed method researcher working across a range of sectors from insurance and policy development, to business services and software. As a member of the Market Research Society, Natasha is an advocate for high ethical, commercial and methodological best practices.