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5 Shopify Alternatives in South Africa – Which One Is Right For You?

Today, we are looking at Shopify alternatives in South Africa. If you own an online shop, chances are you have heard of Shopify. It is a well-known e-commerce solution that caters to both small businesses and large enterprises alike. 

But is it the right fit for your business? 

Shopify may have impressive features, but it isn’t the only game in town. 

There are other platforms out there that can work just as well. Let’s take a look at how these alternatives compare and why you might want to consider switching if you run your business using Shopify.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that provides you with a variety of tools to help you sell your products online. 

These include payment processing, order tracking, and analytics. It’s ideal for both small businesses and large enterprises alike with its robust features and flexible pricing structure.

  • Shopify: Choose from three Shopify plan levels — Basic, Shopify, and Advanced — to get enhanced functionality from your small business plan. 
  • Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus is for high-volume businesses. You can configure a custom percentage of revenue ($2,000 or more per month) to get more advanced features on Shopify.

It is a platform you can use to create an online store in South Africa.

Why You Should Switch from Shopify

Shopify is a great platform for setting up an online store. But it has some limitations and can be restrictive in the long run.

The Shopify platform’s restrictions can be a deal breaker for entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their businesses. This is because they don’t have the freedom to customize their site or integrate with other third-party apps. 

For example, if you want to use Google analytics, or if you want to use a different payment gateway, then you’re out of luck with Shopify.

Additionally, Shopify has limited resources when it comes to customer service and support. 

If you are running into any issues with your site then you’ll have to wait up to 24 hours for them to get back to you – which could mean that your sales are taking a hit.

If you want an easier way to handle customer support requests and integrate with other platforms like Facebook or Instagram, Shopify isn’t the best option for your business. 

You can get around this by implementing their on-site apps or third party apps that offer similar features. 

Finally, switching from Shopify could be beneficial because it may cost less than what you have been paying currently. 

This is because the average monthly cost of managing a shop on Shopify is $26/month while the average monthly cost at GVO is $95/month

Features You Should Consider on Your Next eCommerce Platform

If you’ve decided to look for Shopify alternatives in South Africa, here are some of the features to keep in mind:

1). Multiple payment options. 

Your next eCommerce platform in South Africa should allow you to have multiple payment options. 

This can give your visitors a variety of payment options to choose from and help make your site more profitable. 

If your eCommerce site only has one payment option, then that option likely has a higher conversion rate.

For example, if you only have credit cards on your eCommerce site, then there is a high likelihood that most of your visitors will use a credit card to make purchases. 

These are the exact type of statistics that you want to avoid. You want to have multiple payment options on your eCommerce site to give your visitors multiple choice factors.

2). Customization opportunities.

Your next eCommerce platform should allow you to customize your store as much as you want. 

If you want to run a certain type of online business, for example, a tailor-made suit shop, or a car-rental agency, then you should be able to customize your eCommerce platform to run that type of business.

Software like Shopify or Bigcommerce that can run native apps will give you the most control over your eCommerce platform. 

With these types of platforms, your team can build an app that’s completely customized to run an eCommerce business.

3). A flexible platform that grows with you 

You need an eCommerce platform that grows with you. This is essential if you want your business to grow with you. 

You need an eCommerce solution that provides you with the tools you need to scale up your business and grow with it. You need an eCommerce platform that can keep growing with you as your needs change and grow. 

You need an eCommerce solution that can grow with you as your business changes and grows.

The key here is to find the perfect fit for your business so it can grow effectively and reach new heights! 

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the options available on the market today but it does give you a good idea of what’s out there when considering switching from Shopify or starting fresh on another eCommerce platform.

5 Shopify Alternatives in South Africa

Here are the best Shopify alternatives you can try to build your online store in South Africa:

1). BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a cloud-based platform that lets you take care of the marketing, sales, and customer service by itself. 

You can also add third-party apps to increase your business’s capabilities. 

BigCommerce was created in 2009. With this tool, you can easily start and scale your eCommerce business in South Africa. 

The downside? 

The interface isn’t as user-friendly as Shopify.

Additionally, Shopify offers nine free themes versus the five offered by BigCommerce.

2). WooCommerce

WooCommerce is Shopify’s main competitor in South Africa. It has a large number of features that Shopify doesn’t, including various themes and plugins that can help you create your own unique website. 

It also comes with free store creation, which Shopify charges for. 

In addition, WooCommerce is cheaper than Shopify as it can be paid for through monthly subscriptions. 

WooCommerce also offers a wider range of integrations with other platforms like BigCommerce and Magento. 

Finally, it can be easily customized to match your unique brand identity. 

Now the downside of WooCommerce is that it is not as user-friendly as Shopify and requires more technical expertise to build your site from scratch. This could complicate things for newbies who are just starting out in business. 

If you want an e-commerce solution that’s easy to use but offers fewer bells and whistles, then you might want to consider using WooCommerce.

At the same time, despite the plugin being free, you still need to pay for a domain name and hosting.

3). Magento

Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform that’s robust and has all the features you need to run your online store. 

It is scalable, customizable, and secure, and it has good search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities built in. 

On the flip side, Magento does not have as many integrations with third-party apps and services as Shopify, but this is changing over time.

Additionally, while Magento provides security updates and patches, you are responsible for installing them. This can be a deal breaker, especially for the non-techy type.

 4). Wix

Wix is another popular Shopify alternative in South Africa. 

This website builder is great for small businesses with limited resources. 

With Wix, you are not locked into contracts, but you do have to pay for your storage space and domain name.

If you want to work with more complex websites, you can upgrade to a paid plan. 

There are different options for different budgets, and you can scale up or down depending on your needs. 

Wix also offers some free plans. You can start a blog, build a landing page, or add a contact form on a free plan. 

If you want your website to be a little more professional, you might want to upgrade to a paid plan. You can do this through a subscription, where you pay a monthly or yearly fee. 

There are also different domain plans available, which you can scale up or down depending on your needs. 

On the downside, Wix does come with a free plan, yes, but it restricts what you can do with it.

For example, you cannot remove ads and worse, you cannot add a payment option.

5). Squarespace

Squarespace is another one of the best Shopify alternatives in South Africa. 

It is easy to set up and maintain. 

In fact, its users can get started with a free trial for 14 days. It also offers a variety of themes and templates, which makes it easy for your site to look professional right out of the gate. 

However, Squarespace doesn’t have a variety of add-ons as Shopify does. If you need to improve how you sell products online, this could be a deal breaker.

It is also very expensive. The basic package will cost you $19 a month and you will have to pay $33 a month if you want to reduce the number of transaction fees. 

Plus, Squarespace support is limited.

6). OLITT

OLITT is the perfect Shopify alternative in South Africa. Coming just at the right time, OLITT gives you access to everything you need to start selling online right away.

Just like Shopify, you do not need any coding skills to create an online store on OLITT.

But unlike Shopify, OLITT comes with a free plan. And inside, you can even add a custom domain to your account.

In terms of prices, the OLITT premium plan comes in at R439 per year, which is a steal considering the premium features you get access to.

Try OLITT here.

Conclusion

Yes, Shopify is a good solution for small to medium businesses that are looking to develop their online presence. It is one of the most secure and robust e-commerce solutions available today. 

But with these alternatives, it is still possible to build an e-commerce website that looks great and functions well.

A lot of companies are looking to Shopify for their online presence, but there are a lot of other options out there. 

The best thing you can do is take your time and research all the different options available. When you find one that fits your needs perfectly, go for it!

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