Magento alternative. 8 best Magento competitors. The best alternatives to Magento in 2017-2018.
Magento can be easily named among the top most popular ecommerce platforms in the world. It is the moving force of innovation in its market segment, providing its customers with three distinct platforms: Magento Community Edition, Magento Enterprise Edition, and Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition. This platform easily attracts businesses of all sizes and areas, and there are many reasons why it does. While Magento markets itself as the perfect solution for any of your business’ ecommerce goals, which it certainly is, it can be very frustrating to manage for a new user without any coding or web developing experience. The advantages of using Magento include the opportunity to create a fully customizable web store if your coding knowledge and expertise give you the ability to use its robust open source framework. Moreover, the paid extensions and enterprise solutions that Magento offers are second to none. Also, Magento takes great pride in providing its clients with the best possible customer support on the market, which has helped attract more than 600 big enterprise customers. However, if you are a small business owner who is currently in search of a much simpler solution or you do not have an experience in Magento’s coding base and you do not want to hire an IT manager, you might want to check out some of the best Magento competitors that are currently available in the market of shopping-cart software.
Why switch from Magento?
Let’s just say that Magento is highly overrated. Even with modern proprietary solutions you can add a much bigger functionality to your website, while still keeping the price down in the acceptable range, not creating a hole in your pocket. Yes, Magento can be considered the most popular open source ecommerce platform, due to the fact that when it started, there weren’t many alternatives. If you don’t want to be stuck in an endless loophole of expensive developing costs, poor website performance, unlimited bug fixes and configurations, you might want to consider switching away from it. Don’t listen to adverts about how easy it is to scale and how robust your feature set may possibly be. Website owners have realized that Magento is a terrible bang for the buck and for the past year, 600 more websites that used Magento were dropped rather than added. The biggest issue is, of course, its heavy architecture structure that requires you to have knowledge of computer engineering and structural design in order to set it up and running. For beginning startups this may not be the valuable investment, especially taking into the account how expensive it is to hire a Magento developer that has knowledge of Java and PHP Zend Framework. Second major issue is the fact that Magento can be seen overwhelming due to the fact that it is way too open. Yes, for the first time users, it is impossible not to be astonished by the amount of apps there are for you to add. While having such an open variety applications and extensions is great, it comes at a big price in terms of your website performance and in terms of overall development cost. With most today’s platforms you get all of these features naturally embedded into the platform itself, allowing you to not pay extra money and not suffer from decreased website speed.
If you have decided to switch from using Magento, here is what you should consider while choosing your Magento alternative.
- Open Source or Closed Source. Open source software like Linux or Mozilla Web Browser and closed source or so-called proprietary software, like Microsoft Windows or Adobe products, have been around for a long time. Open source platforms offer the high level of customizability while at the same time being almost entirely free. However, there are certain things that they lack that closed source platforms have. For example, security and customer support. If it is in your blood to have full control over your website, share the extensions and plug-ins of the platform with the community, then open source Magento alternatives will be the way to go for you.
- Price Tag. Proprietary (closed source) platforms come with a price tag that can add up to hundreds of US dollars. At the same time, open source Magento competitors offer basic features for free. However, if you would like to get an enterprise package or develop your website’s functionality with extensions, you may run into some unpleasant fees.
- Special Features. Always try to look for Magento competitors that have lots of extensions and plugins to work with. The right platform for you is the one that will help you uncover your website's potential and broaden its functionality for the great value.
- Your technological literacy. Are you going to have a professional web-developer on staff that will help you with setting up your website on a hosted shopping cart platform? If not, you might be left with an option of a much more expensive, yet more sophisticated closed source platform. If you do possess some coding knowledge and looking at the lines of code does not make you nervous, using open-source shopping carts as a Magento alternative will offer the most freedom for the lowest price.
- SAAS or Self-hosted? If you are a large business with an established hardware infrastructure, you will be likely to have the website hosted on your own. On the other hand, if you are less hardware-heavy, SaaS platforms that will have your website hosted for you for a certain price would make a lot more sense!
With these points in mind let’s look at the following alternatives to Magento!
List of Magento Competitors
Shopify is the leader in the field of ecommerce, in particular, hosted shopping cart platforms. With its robust plans: Basic, Standard, and Advanced, you get everything you need to create a high-end web store, without spending thousands into development. The Basic plan will cost you $29 a month and will come with all of the necessary features for you to start selling online. Besides that, you will be offered an unlimited storage space for the files regarding you online store and the ability to post an unlimited amount of products. Standard plan comes and a price of $79 per month and offers you to open multiple staff accounts, decreases your transaction fees and delivers advanced reports about your web store. Advanced Shopify – the most robust of the Shopify’s plans – comes at a price of $299/month and brings an even smaller transaction fees, increased number of staff accounts and calculated shipping rates. Everything you need to scale up your business and make the most out of your web store.
4 Volusion plans represent roughly the same set of features. When you pay more, you will get the ability to upload a larger amount of product, get priority phone customer support, larger amounts of bandwidth and with advanced plans, very great features like marketplace integration, customer loyalty rewards and special deals. The plans cost ranges from $15 to $135 a month, with the product and bandwidth amount varying from 100 products and 1GB of bandwidth to 10,000 products and 10GB of bandwidth. For the high-end Volusion plan, you also get a personal account manager, who will help you to control your ecommerce store.
Bigcommerce’s plans are somewhat similar to those of Shopify. However, you can save up to 10% if you will pay for the year upfront. The most basic plan costs $29.95/month and already has great features to help you set up a responsive web store. It also offers you unlimited product upload amount, data bandwidth, staff accounts and file storage for you to not be worried about paying additional transaction fees. With the Standard plan you can sell products up to $50k in total value in 12 month period. For the Plus plan, you have to pay $79.95 a month, which gives you the same feature set and the ability to sell up to $150k in total product value in 12 months. The Pro plan will allow you to implement Google customer reviews, filtered product search and custom SSL, plus you can effectively scale up your business by being able to sell up to $400K in 12 month period.
Wordpress + WooCommerce
This is a great combination for creating a powerful web store. However, there are still some costs associated with it. First, you will need to spend $5-$15 per month to have it hosted somewhere. While some offer you a domain along with the hosting, others don’t, which means you will have to spend $10 extra for the custom domain. If you don’t have the knowledge of creating custom themes, consider spending extra $50 to purchase a stock theme for your website. These are the main expenses associated with launching your website with Woocommerce. However, if you don’t like doing it yourself, you may also want to hire a professional web-developer to do it for you. And as we know, this may bring up the price even more.
Squarespace offers 2 plans for building your online store. The Basic plan is offered at a price of $30 per month and helps you to set up your website right away. Beautiful templates, easy user experience, no hidden transaction fees make this plan very affordable and appealing to beginners. Set up a responsive website and post unlimited products. With the Advanced plan for $46 a month you can get some additional features like customer account, cart recovery, real time shipping rates, gifts and discounts. With this plan, powerful ecommerce metrics will also be available to you. You can also save up to s10% by purchasing a plan on a year-basis.
Wix is the platform that can help you host an already existing website and enable some essential ecommerce features into it. It is cheap and versatile. The cheapest plan costs $5/month and can host your already existing website, giving you 500 MB of storage and 1GB of bandwidth. For $10 per month, the amount of bandwidth and storage space increases to 2GB and 3Gb respectively. Get you custom domain and eliminate any of the Wix ads from your website. With $14 a month you can get all of the previous features, along with $300 Ad vouchers, Site Booster and Form Builder Applications. With this plan you get unlimited bandwidth and 10GB storage space for your website. All of these plans are great. However, you can only integrate the ecommerce features into you online store with the next plan that comes at a price of $17/month. The features are the same as in $14 plan, but now, you are able to integrate ecommerce part into your website. With the last plan for $25/month, you can get a priority support for your website and get your website reviewed by a professional developer.
3dcart is an appealing Magento alternative in a sense that it doesn’t include any transaction fees, allows you to upload unlimited products and have unlimited bandwidth. With the basic plan for $29 per month, you receive a vast amount of features that can help you to set up a solid store and market it successfully with rich SEO features. Plus plan for $79 offers you CRM features, allows you to create customer deals and open up to 5 manager accounts. The ultimate ecommerce solution is 3dcart’s Pro plan for $229/month which gives you more sales management over your web store.