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1. Understanding the need for Shopify Plus alternatives

Five best Shopify Plus alternatives for enterprises in 2023

In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, having a robust ecommerce platform has become crucial for businesses to thrive. Several alternatives offer a wide range of features and capabilities for enterprises looking beyond Shopify Plus. This article will explore the best Shopify alternatives for enterprises in 2023 and discuss why businesses are considering these alternatives. So, let's dive in!

Main takeaways from this article:

  • BigCommerce is a high-volume ecommerce software offering robust features, scalability, and no transaction fees. It can be pricier but boasts an impressive range of integrations and customization capabilities.

  • WooCommerce is an open-source platform built on WordPress. Highly customizable, it requires good infrastructure for scalability. Pricing is variable, largely based on hosting and extensions.

  • Magento, a powerful, scalable, and feature-rich platform, with both free and premium editions. It can be complex, needing skilled developers for optimum usage.

  • WixStores is an extension of the Wix platform, suitable for small to medium businesses. It’s user-friendly but may not be ideal for rapidly scaling enterprises.

  • Squarespace is known for aesthetically pleasing designs and user-friendly experience. Offers essential ecommerce capabilities, making it suitable for small to medium-sized businesses.

  • Gelato offers global print on demand integration for all the above platforms, enhancing print product offerings without the need for inventory.

Understanding the need for Shopify Plus alternatives

Before we delve into the alternatives, we must understand why enterprises are exploring options beyond Shopify Plus. While Shopify Plus is a popular choice for many online businesses, it may not cater to larger enterprises' specific needs and requirements. Evaluating your enterprise ecommerce needs is the first step towards finding the right alternative.

Five best Shopify Plus alternatives for enterprises in 2023

1. BigCommerce

A hosted ecommerce solution tailored for large, high-volume businesses. It provides a suite of powerful features and flexibility for customization and integration, making it a worthy contender for Shopify.

Features
  • Scalability: Designed to handle high traffic and order volume without compromising speed or stability. BigCommerce Enterprise can efficiently manage and grow with large businesses.

  • Ease of use: Streamlined dashboard and intuitive interface, though some users might have a learning curve when accessing more advanced features.

  • Customization capabilities: Offers a variety of theme options and the ability to edit HTML/CSS directly. The platform also supports custom app integrations through its robust API.

  • Analytics: Comprehensive built-in analytics suite. Provides insights into sales, customer data, marketing, and more.

  • SEO: Strong SEO tools, including customizable URLs, automated XML sitemap generation, and optimized site structure.

  • Payment processing: Supports a wide range of payment gateways with no added transaction fees. Also, it provides features like single-page checkout and stored payment methods.

  • Marketing features: Includes tools for email marketing, social media integration, and coupons/discount rules. It also supports multi-channel selling.

  • Integrations/apps: Boasts a well-developed app store with a variety of third-party applications available for enhanced functionality. The strong API also allows for custom integrations.

  • Ecommerce features: Advanced cart features, real-time shipping quotes, returns management, and the ability to sell across multiple channels, including Amazon and Facebook.

  • Customer support: Dedicated account managers, 24/7 customer support, and access to expert technical support for Enterprise users.

  • Security features: Provides multiple layers of security, including DDoS protection, secure hosting, SSL, and compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.

Pros
  • Highly scalable for growing businesses.

  • Extensive built-in features without the need for additional apps.

  • Strong API for integrations.

  • No transaction fees.

  • Multi-currency support.

Cons
  • Custom pricing can be more expensive than other platforms.

  • Some users may find its backend UI less intuitive than competitors.

  • Limited free themes.

Pricing

Pricing is customized based on the specific needs and scale of each enterprise, but it generally involves a high monthly fee of $399+. Enterprises should contact BigCommerce directly for a quote.

2. WooCommerce

It’s an open-source ecommerce platform built for WordPress. WooCommerce can transform a WordPress website into a fully functional online store and has gained massive popularity at par with Shopify due to its flexibility and integrative capabilities.

Features
  • Scalability: With the right infrastructure and optimizations (like high-quality hosting), WooCommerce can scale for large ecommerce operations. However, proactive management is necessary to ensure performance remains smooth.

  • Ease of use: The basic features of WooCommerce are user-friendly, especially for those familiar with WordPress. However, intricate customizations and advanced features might require a steeper learning curve.

  • Customization capabilities: Being open-source and built on WordPress, WooCommerce boasts immense customization potential. With the right skills, nearly every aspect of the store can be tailored to specific needs.

  • Analytics: WooCommerce offers basic sales analytics. For deeper insights, integration with tools like Google Analytics or specialized plugins can be employed.

  • SEO: Benefiting from WordPress's robust SEO capabilities, WooCommerce sites can be optimized well for search engines. There are also specialized SEO plugins available for finer tuning.

  • Payment processing: Supports a wide range of payment gateways, from PayPal and Stripe to region-specific solutions. Extensions can further expand these capabilities.

  • Marketing features: While WooCommerce provides basic marketing tools, its integration with WordPress means access to a plethora of marketing plugins, covering everything from email campaigns to social media integrations.

  • Integrations/apps: A massive library of extensions and plugins is available to bolster the platform's capabilities. This covers everything from CRM integrations to advanced product listing features.

  • Ecommerce features: Out of the box, WooCommerce covers essential ecommerce functionalities. Its real strength lies in its extendability, with plugins available for the most advanced ecommerce features an enterprise might require.

  • Customer support: Being open-source, direct customer support is limited. However, there's an extensive online community, documentation, and third-party experts available for hire.

  • Security features: Basic security measures are embedded, but for an enterprise-level operation, additional security plugins and best practices (like regular backups, SSL certificates, and secure hosting) are recommended.

Pros:
  • Highly customizable, suitable for a vast range of ecommerce needs.

  • Large library of extensions and plugins to expand functionality.

  • Integrated with WordPress, making content management seamless.

  • Active community and extensive online resources.

Cons:
  • It might require developer expertise for heavy customizations and maintenance.

  • Performance can be a concern with numerous plugins or heavy traffic, requiring optimization.

  • Costs can become unpredictable due to the potential need for premium extensions.

Pricing:

Being open-source, the basic WooCommerce plugin is free. However, hosting, premium themes, extensions, and potential development costs may add up eventually. For enterprise-level operations, costs can vary depending on customizations and added functionalities. While there’s no monthly fee, WooCommerce charges 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction.

3. Magento

Originally developed as an open-source platform, Magento is now owned by Adobe and is recognized as one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms on the market, especially for medium to large businesses. Its two main editions are Magento Open Source (free) and Magento Commerce (paid, with more features).

Features:
  • Scalability: Magento is known for its scalability. With proper development and hosting, it can handle stores from a few products to thousands, with large traffic volumes.

  • Ease of use: Given its robust nature, Magento can be complex. While the admin panel offers a lot of functionalities, users might find it overwhelming. It often requires a dedicated team of experienced developers to manage efficiently.

  • Customization capabilities: One of Magento's standout features. With access to the codebase in the Open Source edition and a vast marketplace of extensions, enterprise businesses can tailor the platform to almost any need.

  • Analytics: Magento offers built-in analytics and reporting features. Additionally, it can integrate seamlessly with advanced analytics solutions, including Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics.

  • SEO: Strong SEO capabilities with features like SEO-friendly URLs, metadata controls, sitemaps, and more.

  • Payment processing: Supports a wide range of payment gateways and solutions. Integration with most major payment providers is possible.

  • Marketing features: Advanced marketing tools are available, including customer segmentation, personalized promotions, loyalty programs, and email marketing capabilities.

  • Integrations/apps: A vast ecosystem of extensions and integrations. Whether it's CRMs, ERPs, or marketing tools, there's likely an integration available for Magento.

  • Ecommerce features Comprehensive ecommerce tools, from advanced product configurations and inventory management to customer accounts and global selling capabilities.

  • Customer support: For the Open Source edition, support mainly comes from community forums and developers. Magento Commerce customers receive official support from Adobe, which includes technical support and account management.

  • Security features: Regular security patches and updates. Magento Commerce also offers a Secure Payment Bridge for PCI compliance. However, given its popularity, Magento sites can be a target for attacks, so regular updates and security best practices are essential.

Pros:
  • Highly flexible and customizable.

  • Robust feature set suitable for complex businesses.

  • Large ecosystem with numerous extensions available.

  • Scalable to accommodate growth.

Cons:
  • Can be resource-intensive, requiring dedicated hosting.

  • A steep learning curve, especially for those unfamiliar with ecommerce.

  • Higher total cost of ownership due to development, hosting, and maintenance.

  • Requires ongoing maintenance and updates.

Pricing:
  • Magento open source: Free, but comes with hosting and potential development costs.

  • Magento commerce: The starting price for enterprises is $1,988/month. Pricing can be quite high, often tailored to the business's size and needs. In addition to the license fee, businesses should account for hosting, development, and maintenance costs.

4. WixStores

An ecommerce solution offered by Wix, primarily known for its website builder tools. WixStores provides an integrated platform for businesses to create online stores within the Wix environment. As compared to Shopify, Wix holds more appeal to small to medium-sized businesses due to its user-friendly interface.

Features:
  • Scalability: WixStores is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses and can handle moderate traffic and product listings. However, for enterprises expecting rapid growth or massive traffic, it might not be the most scalable solution.

  • Ease of use: Wix is renowned for its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, making it accessible for individuals without coding or web development experience.

  • Customization capabilities: Offers a range of themes and a customizable design editor. There's some flexibility, but it might not offer the in-depth customization provided by more advanced ecommerce platforms.

  • Analytics: Provides built-in analytics to monitor sales, traffic, and other key metrics. Integration with third-party tools like Google Analytics is also possible.

  • SEO: Offers basic SEO tools, such as editable meta descriptions, alt tags, and SEO patterns. The platform has made strides in improving its SEO capabilities over the years.

  • Payment processing: Supports various payment gateways, including its own Wix Payments, as well as others like PayPal and Stripe.

  • Marketing features: Integrated tools for email marketing, social media promotions, and other marketing features. Wix Ascend, a suite of marketing and business tools, can further boost a store's marketing capabilities.

  • Integrations/apps: Wix App Market offers a variety of apps and integrations, covering areas from marketing to inventory management.

  • Ecommerce features: Covers essential ecommerce functionalities: product listing, inventory management, cart functionality, checkout processes, and more. However, it may lack the depth of features seen in a dedicated, large-scale ecommerce platform.

  • Customer support: Offers a range of support options, including a knowledge base, ticket system, and phone support. The quality and response time of support may vary based on the plan chosen.

  • Security features: All Wix sites come with SSL certificates. In addition, the platform complies with various security protocols and ensures secure payment processes.

Pros:
  • Highly intuitive platform suitable for users without technical expertise.

  • All-in-one solution: hosting, themes, and ecommerce capabilities bundled together.

  • Regular feature updates and improvements.

  • Good range of design options with customizable templates.

Cons:
  • Might lack the depth and granularity of features that larger enterprises require.

  • Limited scalability for very high-traffic sites.

  • Some limitations in the depth of customization when compared to platforms like Magento or Shopify.

Pricing:

Wix has several pricing tiers, from basic website plans to Business & ecommerce premium plans. The enterprise plan starts at $500 per month. The exact price can vary based on storage, bandwidth, and features.

5. Squarespace

Just like Wix, Squarespace is a website builder platform known for its aesthetic, user-friendly designs. Over the years, it has added ecommerce capabilities, expanding its utility for the entire business model of any size.

Features:
  • Scalability: Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. However, very high-traffic enterprises or those with complex ecommerce needs might find it somewhat limiting.

  • Ease of use: One of the major selling points of Squarespace is its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface. It's built for users who prioritize design without wanting to delve into coding.

  • Customization capabilities: While Squarespace templates are customizable, there are limitations. It's less flexible than platforms like WordPress, but more user-friendly for those without coding skills.

  • Analytics: Squarespace provides built-in analytics tools, offering insights on traffic, sales, and user behavior. It also allows integration with Google Analytics.

  • SEO: Offers a set of SEO tools as technology partners, including customizable meta tags, clean URLs, and automatic tagging for mobile responsiveness. An SEO checklist is available to guide users.

  • Payment processing: Native integration with Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay for secure payment processing.

  • Marketing features: Integrated email campaigns, promotional banners, discounts, and more. Squarespace also offers tools for social media integration.

  • Integrations/apps: While Squarespace has integrations, its ecosystem isn't as vast as some competitors. However, it covers basics like marketing tools, analytics, and more.

  • Ecommerce features: Features cover the essentials: product listings, inventory management, customizable checkout, customer accounts, and digital products. Advanced commerce plans offer subscriptions, abandoned cart recovery, and advanced shipping.

  • Customer support: Squarespace offers 24/7 customer support via email and live chat, along with a comprehensive knowledge base, tutorials, and forums.

  • Security features: SSL certificates are included for all Squarespace domains. The platform adheres to a set of security standards and practices to ensure user data and transactions are protected.

Pros:
  • User-friendly interface suitable for users without a technical background.

  • High-quality, modern, and responsive templates.

  • All-in-one solution that combines hosting, templates, and ecommerce.

  • Regular updates and new feature additions.

Cons:
  • It might not offer the granular customization that larger enterprises might seek.

  • Ecommerce features might not be as comprehensive as platforms dedicated solely to ecommerce.

  • Limited third-party app integrations compared to competitors.

Pricing:

Squarespace offers various pricing tiers, from personal websites to advanced ecommerce solutions, starting at $49/month (billed annually). By 2023, while specific pricing structures could evolve, enterprises should look at the highest-tier plans for the fullest feature set

Gelato's integration with various platforms

Gelato is a global print on demand network that allows businesses to print and ship custom products from local print partners near the customer, ensuring faster delivery and reduced shipping costs. Gelato offers direct or third-party integration with all the Shopify Plus alternatives, enabling businesses to effortlessly add print on demand capabilities.

Also, integrating Gelato's print on demand capabilities into a Shopify store is straightforward and hassle-free. Store owners can connect their stores to Gelato's platform with just a few clicks without custom coding. Once integrated, store owners can create and add custom products to their stores using Gelato's dashboard. The platform supports various print products, from apparel to posters, canvases, and more. When a customer orders a custom print product, the order is automatically relayed to Gelato, printed by the nearest print partner, and shipped directly to the customer.

One of Gelato's standout features is its vast global network of print partners. Products are printed as close to the end customer, ensuring faster delivery times and reduced shipping costs. Our global alliance of print partners facilitates localized production of various products, including t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and wall art

By leveraging POD services, businesses and artists can effortlessly cater to the diverse cultural nuances of different regions. Gelato's compatibility with major ecommerce platforms makes it incredibly user-friendly for businesses. So, sign up for Gelato today.

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