There was a time when most online eCommerce businesses ran on either Amazon or eBay. Now there's a whole range of great platforms to help you build an online store of your own.
One of the most popular of these is WordPress’ WooCommerce plugin. Just install it on your existing WordPress site and a couple of mouse clicks later you have an basic all-in-one eCommerce site ready to go.
WooCommerce is fantastic, but it's far from perfect. It's not exactly the flashiest bit of software on the planet and takes some finessing to get right. Plus, there are plenty of new players out there doing exciting things in the $4.89 trillion dollar eComm space.
So with that in mind, we’ve put together a definitive list of the best WooCommerce alternatives, covering WordPress plugins and dedicated eCommerce site builders. Let's get stuck in.
It’s September, 2011. Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO is at the top of the charts, The Lion King 3D is in theatres and WordPress is strictly a content management system for blogs and basic text-based websites.
That is until a bunch of eCommerce plugins launch (notably, WooCommerce) and add a variety of fresh features and advanced functionality to empower burgeoning online businesses to sell their products on the web.
Using WordPress as a base, WooCommerce lets you build an eCommerce site and set up your store in a few minutes. You can list products, take payments, track inventory and fulfil orders all from one spot.
And it does a good job. It’s (mostly) free, relatively simple to get started with the basics, and can be highly customizable if you’re the type that doesn’t mind tinkering with some code.
However, there are a few drawbacks:
So maybe, just maybe, there's a better solution out there for you. It's best to keep an open mind (some life advice for you), but especially when it comes to business tools. Which brings us to the main course—looking at WooCommerce alternatives.
So there are two main ways WooCommerce alternatives are served up:
Which solution you go for depends on whether you’re tethered to WordPress, or are willing to take your business elsewhere. And with WooCommerce powering just over a quarter of the eCommerce market, there are plenty of other options.
We’ve split our list into both categories to make it a bit easier to understand what they’re all about and decide what you want to go for. Let’s get stuck into it.
These are the direct alternatives to WooCommerce—they’re available as plugins that you can add to the WordPress backend to help build your online storefront and order processes.
Free trial: 14-days, no credit card required
Good for: The simplest way to add a beautiful eCommerce store to your site
With Paperform’s WordPress plugin you can add a full-scale eCommerce solution to your site with ease (and without any code). Whether you’re selling digital items or hand-crafted physical goods, our platform is all you’ll need to start selling online in a matter of minutes.
It works a bit differently than most products on this list. Instead of tacking on to your WordPress backend, our plugin gives you full access to our versatile form builder. No "lite" version or restrictions—build a custom solution and embed it anywhere on your site.
📚 Learn how to build a one-page website with Paperform.
Manage stock levels and SKUs through our dashboard, add custom pricing rules and coupons, generate custom receipts and even take subscriptions. With support for the top players like Stripe, Square and PayPal and 3,000+ integrations at no extra cost, Paperform really is one of the easiest and fastest ways to sell online.
Free trial: Yes
Good for: Quick and hassle-free eCommerce
Shopify’s Buy Button offers one of the easiest ways to add eCommerce functions to your site without any bells and whistles. Seriously, none. This basic tool allows you to generate a 'buy' button that can be embedded anywhere on your WordPress site.
The button then connects with Shopify—one of the web’s largest online storefront solutions—to run your checkout through their platform. Customize the button to fit your business, then connect with over 100 payment gateways and you're done.
It’s a great solution for folks looking for a super simple way to sell products on WordPress. We can’t emphasise the “simple” part enough. Shopify Buy Button doesn't have any site building functionality, so while it will help you sell stuff, it’s not quite a fully-fledged alternative.
Free trial: Free for up to 10 products
Good for: Cross-platform sales across your website and social media
Ecwid is a bit of a double whammy: while you can use their plugin to add eCommerce to your WordPress website, you can also build a basic store of your own. There's even an option to create links and sell directly on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media channels.
This flexibility sums up Ecwid’s business model. They’re all about giving merchants the power to easily sell what they want, wherever they want it. Like WooCommerce, you can manage inventory, update stock and look after sales all in the same central software.
There’s a reason Ecwid has nearly two million downloads on the WordPress Plugin directory—it really is one of the best ways to add a store to your site. And with Ecwid Shopping Cart, you also get access to a free mobile app that you can use as a POS.
Free trial: No
Good for: An open-source alternative to WooCommerce
WooCommerce and WP eCommerce are both open-source plugins that allow folks to add (you guessed it) eCommerce functionality to their sites. They both offer the same base functionality, from adding products and monitoring sales to configuring tax and analytics reports.
So what’s different? Well, while WP eCommerce and WooCommerce are neck and neck with the core features, the former drops the ball when it comes to things like email integrations, third-party add-ons and payment processor support.
One important thing to keep in mind is that WP eCommerce has an active dev team and community that regularly update the product. As of writing, their roadmap says improved Tax API, recurring billing, new shipping interfaces and 'much more' is just around the corner.
Free trial: No (but they do offer a full refund within 30 days of purchase.)
Good for: A simple avenue to sell digital products.
Maybe you don’t need support for physical products or complex order management processes. If you’re just after a way to sell digital products—from eBooks and PDFs to digital art (or even a WordPress plugin of your own), then Easy Digital Downloads is a nice solution.
Getting started it’s about as simple as it gets. Just download and install the plugin. From there you can add a customizable shopping cart and buy button to your site, as well as add customer account profiles and set up discount codes and coupons.
There are also a range of official and third-party integrations you can buy to power up your site. These give you access to useful tools, however can be quite costly (for example, a Mailchimp integration on a single site costs $49).
Free trial: No, but there's a 14-day money back guarantee
Good for: Monetising online courses and digital content.
MemberPress is an eCommerce plugin that specialises in helping businesses and independent creators build, manage and track membership subscriptions. It’s a suitable option if you're looking to sell online courses or gate content behind a paywall.
Setup is easy. Install the plugin, enter the payment gateway details, add products and you’ll be ready to take signups. You have ultimate control over what your customers can access, and can even build your own password-protected community forums.
The last thing you need when running a subscription business is payment problems (we know that all too well). So to curb any potential issues, MemberPress allows you to enter gateway API keys then adjust settings to each individual gateway. They also have a comprehensive User Manual and a support team on hand if you get stuck.
We’ve covered the best plugins, but there’s a whole world outside of WordPress. Let’s move on to the dedicated eCommerce website builders.
Free trial: 14 days, no cc required
Good for: The fastest and easiest way to sell your products online
What if we told you there was an easier way to sell online? A way that doesn’t require hosting or HTML code or purchasing a WordPress theme? Paperform’s built-in eCommerce features gives you just that: an all-in-one solution for your online store with a fraction of the setup.
Just add our Product question type to list your products and services, then hop into our theming options to customize your page. Tweak colours, fonts and UI, or even translate the site to multiple languages to suit multiple markets. Whether you’re a design pro or a newbie, you’ll be able to start selling in minutes.
You can manage everything about your store from our easy-to-use dashboard. Create dedicated product pages with images, videos or even GIFs. Manage stock, set SKUs and discount codes, or use conditional logic to build a dynamic shopping experience.
Selling digital items? Set up a paywall, take subscriptions and set up bookings and appointments for product calls.
Paperform supports all major gateways with no additional fees, because we think your money is just that—your money. For no extra charge, you can also connect to your favourite web apps to simplify workflows and cut down on busy work.
Automate email marketing, share form entries to Sheets or send customer information to your CRM. With 3,000+ integrations, there’s a solution for everyone.
Oh and we get that sometimes you’ll run into a few snags. It happens. That’s why we’ve got a Help Center chock full of handy tutorials, as well as an award-winning customer support team that can lend you a hand any time. 24/7.
Free trial: Yes - 14 days
Good for: eCommerce websites of any shape or size
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would’ve heard of Shopify. It’s, without doubt, one of the best eCommerce platforms to help you sell things online—whether it’s food, jewellery or the hottest new body scrub.
Shopify gives you all the tools you need to manage your business in-person or online. Build a storefront to fit your brand, embed products and take payments with all the leading gateways. It’s less technical than WooCommerce and simple to get up and running.
It’s hard to find a bad word to say about Shopify. The dashboard is comprehensive, resources are plentiful and there’s an active community that you can turn to if you have any hiccups. Its sales ecosystem also doesn’t require plugins for functionality, and there are a range of solutions for your business as it scales.
Free trial: Yes - 15 days
Good for: A eCommerce platform for large companies
By now you get the gist. BigCommerce is yet another WooCommerce alternative that helps you launch an online store. So how does it set itself apart? Well, it’s a solution aimed at large companies and enterprises, with a few unique features and built-in SEO and conversion tools to help growth.
BigCommerce splits the process into three steps: build, run, grow. Build your online storefront, run your day-to-day inventory management and order processes, then grow the business with practical advice on optimising your site and maintaining a successful eCommerce store.
In terms of features, BigCommerce definitely has WooCommerce covered. From cross-channel commerce to B2B payments and a High Availability infrastructure that promises 99.99% uptime, BigCommerce is premium platform with a capital P.
Free trial: Yes - 14-days
Good for: Aesthetically pleasing eCommerce websites for creatives
Squarespace is a WooCommerce alternative aimed at creative folks who want a website that looks professional and works without much elbow grease. Just apply your branding, upload images and other visuals and stock your online store with product listings.
Unlike Wordpress, Squarespace has eCommerce capabilities built into all plans. You can sell products and services, accept subscriptions and use it as a point of sale (POS) solution if you have a brick and mortar store. There are also handy blogging tools and analytics that are fairly basic, but effective.
While Squarespace’s eCommerce functionality is comprehensive, the emphasis is definitely on form over function. From the (usually) intuitive drag and drop web builder to the vast collection of templates, the building process is quick and relatively simple for any experience level.
Free trial: No
Good for: Flexible, cost-effective eCommerce websites
There was a time where Wix was at the bottom rung of website builders, but in recent years it’s climbed up to be a popular alternative to WooCommerce. This is largely thanks to excellent customization options, high-quality templates and its overall ease of use.
Like many of the alternatives on this list, Wix allows you to sell items and manage your online store across multiple sales channels. You can offer subscriptions, source and Dropship products and keep an eye on things away from the computer with the Wix Owner app.
What about payments? Wix supports credit cards and a range of popular payment options. You can automate sales tax and set recurring payments for memberships and subscriptions. It’s also worth pointing out that, like Paperform, there are no extra transaction fees for online payments.
Free trial: No
Good for: A free alternative to WooCommerce
Like WooCommerce, OpenCart is an open-source eCommerce platform that offers everything you need to create, scale and run your business. Technically it’s “free”, but a lot of features that businesses require—including some important SEO tools—are paid extensions.
For a free platform OpenCart is stacked with features. One that’s particularly useful for specific industries is the ability to customize product variables like color, length and height. Once you’ve built up your online store you can track everything from the Administrator dashboard, including generating sales reports.
There are a few drawbacks that come along with the open-source tag. There aren’t any themes, so you’ll need to get your hands dirty with some custom HTML or CSS if you want your store to look professional. Customer support is also barebones, which is understandable, but less than ideal.
We think Paperform is the best WooCommerce alternative. Shocking, right? If we said another tool it would be like PlayStation recommending you buy an Xbox, or Coca-Cola serving Pepsi at the company Christmas party.
The bottom line is that you’ll have to choose whichever eCommerce tool sounds best to you. If you need a solution for your enterprise-scale business, for example, then BigCommerce would be a no brainer.
But Paperform offers something different. You get full eCommerce functionality without all the hassle that comes with looking after a website. Plus it’s available as a WordPress plugin or as it’s own dedicated platform, so by signing up you can hit two birds with one stone.
Why not give it a go today with our 14-day free trial? There’s no credit card required, so unlike those Netflix trials you keep forgetting to cancel, you don’t have to worry about being charged.
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