Ecommerce Replatforming: 5 Reasons To Consider Shopify Alternatives
If you are a Shopify store owner and are thinking of migrating your ecommerce site to another platform, then this article is for you.
There are several reasons why you must consider a Shopify alternative, the biggest reason being the availability of more features at a better price. After all, this is what every successful ecommerce business owner wants.
Here are some of the top reasons to consider Shopify alternatives.
1. Proprietary lock-in
One of the most significant reasons Shopify is not the right choice for starting an ecommerce business is because it’s a hosted platform.
Although this can be a great choice for many sellers, since all the technical requirements are taken care of on your behalf, it also has an inherent risk of losing the store when Shopify decides to stop its support for whatever features, plugins or add-ons you rely on.
Another major issue of having a hosted platform is migrating the store to a different platform. It’s not easy since everything from store design, policies, and the entire site should be created again from scratch.
2. Costlier themes
There is no denying that your ecommerce store’s design matters a lot. Shopify has several attractive and wonderful themes.
But, there is a downside when it comes to selecting Shopify themes. The first con is that there are only 70+ themes in the official Shopify theme store. Merchants have to use the same designs as their peers, which means the customers will not necessarily identify your store from others. This makes it hard to increase brand awareness among your customers in the long run.
Another limitation with the Shopify theme options is that they are expensive compared to the themes available on other ecommerce platforms.
3. Higher processing fees
Shopify offers a wide range of plans; the lowest is priced at $29 per month, while the highest costs $299 per month. Since Shopify is a hosted platform, you will get the ecommerce features based on the plan you choose.
Shopify may seem affordable at first glance, but as your business grows, you soon realize that it is quite expensive to run your store on Shopify. Shopify has its own processing network and point of sales (POS) framework that eliminates the need for the third-party processors. This results in credit card fees, which means you have to pay extra for the payment provider. As BigCommerce blogger Shelley Kilpatrick notes, if you do not use Shopify’s proprietary payment gateway, sellers incur an extra 2% transaction fee for every sale.
The zero-transaction fee only applies to a few countries, which causes many stores in other countries to use third-party payment platforms like Amazon Pay and PayPal. These alternatives charge 0.5 to 2% as fees per transaction. Finally, if you wish to add other functionality, such as advanced order tracking, you have to pay extra by purchasing and installing a dedicated app from the marketplace.
4. Limited customization capabilities
Shopify is easy to work with as long as you don’t want any custom design for your store. For advanced designing and functionality changes, you need to hire a Shopify designer or learn to design it with the code by yourself.
In simple words, there are only limited options when it comes to customization. Thus, if you wish to unlock more design options like custom fonts, colors, display options of products and so forth, then Shopify is not the perfect choice.
Handling all these on your own will be challenging, which means you have to hire a Shopify developer, which can be a significant expense unto itself.
5. No better control over SEO
Because Google is such a powerful referrer of high-intent traffic to online stores, SEO is arguably the most important type of marketing features offered by any ecommerce solution. Although Shopify does a solid job handling SEO for its sellers on a basic level, you will not have much in-depth control over it.
For instance, you may not have control over the robots.txt file, which makes it hard for you to control the pages that you want to index or noindex.
Besides, Shopify builds your site around non-canonical links, which makes it prone to duplicate content issues. Therefore, you should consider better alternatives, which offer maximum control on SEO to fix site issues promptly.
Shopify might feel like the best ecommerce store builder when you are starting your business. However, the cost of maintaining the store as your business progresses will continue to increase. Therefore, it is crucial to select a Shopify alternative so that you can expand your business easily without the need to hire costly web developers or buy highly priced themes.