Check out the checkouts: Top 20 Shopify Alternatives for B2B and DTC eCommerce
Boasting more than 4.1 million live stores and more than $590 billion generated on the platform since its inception, Shopify is one of the best eCommerce solutions on the market.
So, it’s not surprising that setting up a successful Shopify store is a dream for many. But what happens when you outgrow the platform or want to expand beyond Shopify? From online marketplaces to website builders, there’s a growing list of eCommerce platforms you can tap into to shape your eCommerce dreams. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll break down some of the best options in this article.
Website Builders and Checkout Platforms
- Storefront builder: Wix offers mobile-optimized sites you can customize to your liking to create a memorable customer experience from the storefront to the checkout.
- Wix SEO Wiz: Lay a solid foundation for your SEO efforts with Wix’s advanced SEO tool that helps you create a personalized and well-rounded SEO strategy.
- Logo maker: Don’t have a logo? As a Wix user, you can use the Wix Logo Maker to craft professional logos to brand your store easily. This tool also comes with a library to get shoppers inspired.
- Vector Art Media Gallery: Choose from thousands of hand-crafted illustrations from icons to typography and more.
- Members’ Area: Build a community around your products with Wix’s Members area, which allows your audience to create profiles and engage with one another.
eCommerce businesses can pick from Business Basic ($17 per month), Business Unlimited ($25 per month), and Business VIP ($35 per month).
Newbie sellers, stores with small portfolios, and businesses with minimal design skills.
- Customizable themes and headless commerce setup: Set the right tone for your store by selecting one of BigCommerce’s many themes and tailoring it to fit your brand personality.
- Expansive data storage limits: Got a large portfolio? No problem! BigCommerce offers unlimited file storage with some plans and has a large bandwidth to manage high-traffic volumes.
- One-page checkout process: Tap into the power of optimized checkouts with BigCommerce’s simplified order processing system. This feature reduces friction in the buying process, like lengthy forms, to skyrocket conversions.
- Product variants: From color swatches to different sizes, BigCommerce allows you to show display different product options visually to capture more sales.
- Coupon features: BigCommerce allows users to offer customer favorites like discount codes and vouchers to improve sales.
- Bulk pricing: Whether you want to offer a bundle or kit. BigCommerce makes the process simple. The Bulk Pricing feature allows you to encourage shoppers to buy larger quantities of goods by offering bulk discounts.
The Standard Plan is $29.95 per month, the Plus Plan costs $79.95, and Pro Plan comes in at $299.95 per month.
Fast-scaling brands and enterprise-level brands.
- Embeddable storefront: Already got a website? Make the most out of it by adding online store shopping features to it using Ecwid.
- Subscriptions: Ecwid equips users to leverage recurring subscriptions and billing to increase their revenue, boost customer satisfaction, and scale on autopilot.
- Centralized controls: Manage every aspect of your store from one simple dashboard.
- No transaction fees: Unlike other eCommerce platforms, Ecwid doesn’t charge transaction fees, meaning more money in users’ pockets.
- Multiple store language options: Localization is huge for cross-border selling, which is what makes Ecwid’s multilingual catalog feature so special. Increase your store’s resonance by tweaking languages to fit the audience.
Ecwid offers a forever-free plan.
Billed annually, the costs for Ecwid are; $14.08 per month for the Venture plan, $29.08 per month for the Business plan, and $82.05 per month for the Unlimited plan.
Monthly billing is also available.
Businesses looking to start selling quickly, multichannel businesses.
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- Payment processor integrations: BigCartel allows you to make transactions via Stripe or PayPal. You’ll only be liable for the fees this platform charges as BigCartel doesn’t add payment processing charges.
- Easy to use setup: Simple interface, easy-to-understand navigations, and stylish themes make it very easy to set up and start selling fast
- Business insights: paid plans offer inventory tracking and Google Analytics integrations to help you understand your sales and make informed decisions.
Big Cartel offers a (Gold) free plan, a $9.99 per month Platinum plan hosting up to 50 products, and a Diamond plan hosting up to 500 products.
No listing fees apply to the latter two plans.
Beginner online sellers, independent creatives, and solopreneurs.
5. Adobe Commerce, formerly Magento
- Onsite optimization made easy: Adobe Commerce offers a suite of drag-and-drop tools that create content that’s intuitive to use, personalized assets for specific customer segments, and update content assets fast.
- Product recommendations: Using a drag-and-drop builder and AI-backed tools, users can create groups of product recommendations to display in key touchpoints to drive conversions
- Inventory management solutions: Understand your business stock needs and customer buying behavior with real-time stock data so you can distribute stock to the right locations on time.
- Flexible fulfillment options: Whether you need to ship to a customer’s home or office or arrange a store pickup, you can handle the entire process on the platform with real-time inventory data and sourcing algorithms that accelerate fulfillment.
At present, Adobe Commerce offers two plans; Commerce Pro and Managed Services.
Get in touch to secure pricing.
Medium-sized to enterprise-level eCommerce and multichannel businesses.
Weebly is a web hosting and website builder which specializes in helping businesses create online stores, blogs, and websites stress-free.
- Design customizable themes: With Weebly’s comprehensive theme library users have countless sources of inspiration and guidance on how to style their store.
- Powerful free plan: Weebly allows you to create a website that turns heads without footing the bill.
- Easy website creator: Weebly’s drag-and-drop builder makes putting together websites easy.
- Integrated marketing and analytics: Store owners can monitor the metric on their offers and inventory and guide their strategy. You can also integrate marketing solutions.
Weebly’s basic plan is free. When billed annually, the Connect plan is $10 per month, the Pro plan is $12 per month, and the Business plan is $25 per month.
eCommerce businesses looking for simple software to get started on.
- Customizable designs: PinnacleCart’s open-source nature means users can adjust, add, and remove code to create a unique store. Users can also tap into the page builder tool to craft tailored pages.
- Professional templates: BigCommerce doesn’t leave you to fend for yourself when it comes to design and layout. Pick from 100’s of templates to get set up fast.
- Store analytics: PinnacleCart’s dashboard allows you to visualize traffic and sales information to make informed decisions.
- Growth-boosting solutions: From mobile-ready designs and advanced analytics to DIY and done-for-you marketing solutions, PinnacleCart has proprietary tools that help shop owners grow.
Choose from a free plan, Standard plan $79.95 per month, Advanced $199.95 per month, and Enterprise plan, which has customized pricing
Growth-focused eCommerce businesses.
- Comprehensive customer support: Combining resources and on-hand customer service agents, Volusion helps users get set up and poised for success in eCommerce.
- Fraud defense solution: To protect stores from eCommerce cybercrime, Volusion offers a ground-breaking solution called Fraud Score which analyzes credit cards based on email risk, IP address, banking information, and customer information.
- Extensive features dashboard: Run reports, check your CRM, track orders, study inventory levels, and more, all in one place.
- Security measures: Volusion also implements security measures like SSL certificates to encrypt stored data and tighten up defenses.
- Marketing tool suite: Whether you prefer to sell via SEO or want to experiment with affiliate marketing, Volusion has got you covered. Pick from their customized marketing tools and get started.
Volusion is $35 per month for the Personal Plan, $79 per month for the Professional plan, and $299 per month for the Business plan. Save 10% by paying annually.
Data-focused eCommerce businesses
- No-code website builder: Zyro is a no-code website builder backed by AI solutions that give users a competitive edge. Don’t have a coding background? You can still create customized storefront websites with Zyro’s drag-and-drop website builders and themes. If you like to code, Zyro also allows you to add custom code and edit their CSS.
- AI-backed eCommerce solutions: Tap into Zyro’s AI Image Scaler, Business Name Generator, Slogan Generator, AI Writer, Logo Maker, and more to take your business content assets from good to great.
- Large payments network: Zyro facilitates 70+ payment providers, including point of sale, Cash On Demand, and intermediaries like PayPal.
- Omnichannel fulfillment options: Whether your customers prefer to Buy Online Pickup Instore (BIPOS) or want their order shipped to their home by a specific shipping carrier, Zyro’s expansive fulfillment features can help.
- Multichannel selling and marketing solutions: Sell on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, advertise on ad channels like Facebook and Google, engage in social selling, take up blogging and recover abandoned carts on Zyr’s Business and Advanced plans.
$11.99 per month for the Website plan and $14.99 for the Business plan.
Marketing enthusiasts and omnichannel brands.
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- Flexible eCommerce store management systems: OpenCart has built a solid reputation as a simple yet powerful (and free!) open-source platform to craft enticing stores.
- Unlimited products, manufacturers, and categories: Whether you sell digital products or physical goods, OpenCart can host your goods. You can also upload endless products and manufacturers
- eCommerce tool marketplace: Use OpenCart’s growing list of payment gateways (20+), plugins, themes, and integrations to set your store apart.
- Multilingual platform: Choose from 40 different languages on OpenCart’s latest version to give shoppers an “at home” feeling.
- Multistore option: Run different stores from one dashboard. You can even select different themes, names, designs, and pricing for each.
- Marketing suite: Use tools like discount codes, affiliate systems, and analytics to execute effective, data-driven campaigns.
Businesses with web design experience and large product portfolios
- Powerful, rich tools: From award-winning templates to font galleries, Squarespace offers a comprehensive tool stack to help craft your online store.
- Highly customizable designs: Combine features like mobile-optimized layouts, adjustable text backgrounds, and block layering features to create an aesthetically pleasing store that drives conversions.
- 24/7 live customer support: SquareSpace takes customer care seriously. So much so its round-the-clock customer service has won awards and raving customer reviews.
- Powerful marketing solutions: Broaching SEO, analytics, and much more Squarespace’s solutions ensure users understand how their marketing initiatives are performing to make guide their decision-making.
- Extensive integration: Whether you want to link your CRM or email marketing software, there’s a chance SquareSpace has integration for it as they continue to add to their extensive list.
It’s $23 per month for the personal plan, $33 per month for the Business plan, $36 per month for the Commerce Basic plan, and $65 per month for the Commerce Advanced plan. Save 30% by paying annually.
Design-centric businesses with small collections.
- Flexible infrastructure: WooCommerce’s headless commerce build means designing and adjusting store setup is quick and easy.
- Large payment options: Access a large selection of payment options, including credit card payments, bank transfers, cash on delivery, check, and over 140 territory-specific payment gateways.
- Streamlined backend operations: Access an intuitive Inventory and order management dashboard, along with live freight costs and automated tax calculations. WooCommerce also offers a mobile app so users can process orders on the go.
- Cross-border selling features: Use multilingual content and pricing in different currencies to set your store up for international success
- Inclusive product allowances: Whether you sell digital or physical products, you can use WooCommerce to drive sales
- Jetpack integration for enhanced security: You have the option to implement Jetpack to secure your website, verify customer logins, and prevent cyberattacks.
WooCommerce is free to use. However, you’ll pay for add on like domains and premium tools.
WordPress users seeking eCommerce solutions.
- Conversion boost payment tech stack: Businesses big and small can tap into a wide selection of payment solutions to close sales, including digital and plastic gift cards, invoicing, cashless payments, card detail storage, digital wallet payments, and Google Pay and Apple Pay.
- Transparent, uncomplicated transaction pricing: You can look forward to standardized transaction fees across cards, seasons, and channels.
- Payment and fraud protections: Fight against cyber attacks with Square’s comprehensive defenses encompassing encrypted payments, security monitoring, multi-factor authentication from accounts, and more.
- Fast pay-outs: Square allows you to transfer payments to your bank account after one business day for free or pay a small fee to get instant transfers,
The point-of-sale option has zero monthly fees, order processing charges are 2.6% of the sale price + 10 ¢. Per tap, swipe, or dip.
Buy Now Pay Later options cost 2.6% of the transaction price + 10 ¢ in-person and 6% + 30 ¢ online.
Retailers with an online presence.
- Unlimited, 24/7 customer service: Lightspeed has a reputation for providing excellent customer service. Alongside the on-hand support, as a Lightspeed customer, you’ll get one-to-one onboarding, webinars, and training to help grow your business.
- Integrated payments: Choose a range of payment options to serve your customers and business’s needs, including cash, mobile, and omnichannel payments.
- Customer engagement and conversion rate optimization tools: Manage relationships, boost sales and drive with customer management tools like status allocation,s (e.g., VIP, employee), omnichannel gift cards, CRM tools, customer account creation feature, Customer Lifetime Value calculations, and customer sales history.
- Omnichannel selling tools: Ensure your sales channels operate in sync with one inventory system for all platforms, integrated reporting, branding features, centralized customer data management, and social selling opportunities.
- Manage your store on the go: With Lightspeed’s cloud-backed solution, mobile inventory management feature, simplified employee training platform, and mobile POS, you can show customers your wares and move till to them.
For its eCommerce solution, Lightspeed offers a free plan, its Venture plan for $14.08 per month, and its Business plan for $29.08 per month and $82.50 per month.
B2B eCommerce platforms
- Product showcasing tools: Amp up your online visual merchandising with product collections, online catalogs, and virtual showrooms on par with the best B2C eCommerce stores.
- Appointment setting features: Use NuORDER’s those all-important meetings and close more accounts. For example, the custom list creator helps shoppers visualize their purchases and adjust their collections accordingly. You can also create reports and track sales performance.
- Proposal generator and line sheet templates: Make it easy for B2B shoppers to say “yes” to the sale with sleek proposals and customizable line sheets.
- Order management: Users can create, edit, copy, and ship orders all from the NuORDER platform. You can also access the platform offline.
Prices start from $600 per month. Contact NuORDER for a quote.
Medium to large B2B eCommerce stores.
- All-inclusive B2B eCommerce solution: Pepperi has everything you need to get a profitable wholesale store running, including a website-building application, integrated payment solutions, custom reporting, and accurate insights.
- Sales-driving tools: This platform is designed to help users upgrade sale acquisition, average order value, and increase margins. Pick from Salesforce integrations, mobile order-taking apps, and mobile CRM to product bundling promotion features along with personalized cross-sell and up-sell tools.
- Omnichannel trade promotion: makes it easy for field reps and sales reps to close deals across channels and territories.
- Integration with back-office tools: Link Pepperi with cloud or on-premise ERP and back-office systems to empower field agents and sales reps with the data and tools they need. Users can also access the tools and platform offline across all devices. You can also expand Pepperi’s third-party solutions to cover tasks like shipment tracking, payments, and business intelligence.
Contact Pepperi to get a customized quote.
Medium to enterprise-sized wholesale businesses.
- Complete eCommerce website builder solution: Crafted with data-backed decision-making and user experience flexibility as its foundation, store owners can take advantage of its tool stack to drive significant results.
- MVP Marketplace creator: Want to start an eCommerce marketplace? CS-Cart will give you the necessary tools and platform to make your goal a reality with a minimum viable product. For instance, users can access a mobile app, 500 (and counting) marketplace features, simplified vendor onboarding, a shopping cart, and no code user interface.
- Headless eCommerce platform: For brands that want to level up their eCommerce brand, CS-Cart offers a flexible platform to design and host their store. You can also onboard CS-Cart’s open-source shopping cart software and mobile app software
- Enterprise marketplace platform: CS-Cart empowers large brands eager to create a marketplace with their scalable, high-capacity enterprise marketplace solution. You can also upload unlimited products and sellers to drive growth.
- Custom marketplace: Work with CS-Cart to craft a tailored marketplace, minus the stressful code and platform build, which they’ll take care of.
CS-Cart’s code option is $75 per month, Pro $125 per month, and Advanced for $235 per month when billed annually.
Businesses setting up a marketplace.
- Affordable prices and a simple fee structure: Upload listings for as little as $0.20 and no additional monthly fees. Transactions incur a 6.5%. Sellers can also access bonus listing and advertising credits when subscribed to the Plus plan. The offsite ad fee is also fair at 15%, as you only pay when you make a sale from the ad.
- Handmade product requirement: When you’re a creative, handmade business competing against the big conglomerates with endless factory-made products can be tough. But not on Etsy; you have to make the goods yourself to sell on the platform. Plus, you can sell physical or digital items.
- Powerful business tools: Etsy’s tools equip users to operate, market, and scale their store from anywhere, including a customizable web address, store design features, Etsy ads, various payments, the Etsy Sellers App, social promotion tools, and store analytics.
- Shipping discounts: Thanks to Etsy’s partnerships with reputable shipping companies, sellers can print and use discounted shipping labels.
The free standard plan, only pay per listing ($0.20). The Plus plan is $10 per month.
Hand-craft businesses and creatives.
- Amazon FBA: The world-renowned FBA service enables sellers to tap into a network of warehouses and fulfillment centers around the globe. This benefit makes allows brands fulfillment hands-free and scale faster.
- Brand protection: Amazon takes intellectual property (IP) seriously and has many initiatives to fight fake goods and fraud, including the Counterfeiting Crime Unit. Trademarked brands can apply for the Brand registry program. Once onboarded, they will access tools like Transparency barcodes, an IP violation reporting tool, an automated IP protection tool, and a self-service brand protection solution, Project Zero.
- Global selling network: Selling in one territory but want to take your business global? Amazon allows you to store goods in one territory and ship to multiple countries under its Global selling network for a more affordable rate.
- Multichannel fulfillment (MCF): For brands that sell on multiple sites, MCF helps streamline fulfillment by using Amazon’s fulfillment services to ship goods.
- New seller incentives: Access discounted services and tools as a newbie to the platform to make your resources stretch a little further and increase your odds of success.
- Amazon ads: Use Amazon’s extensive ad network to launch and scale your products and brand.
Amazon’s Individual Plan costs $0.99 per listing plus a referral fee the Professional plan costs $39.99 per month plus a referral fee. Sellers can also incur shipping and storage fees if they use the FBA service.
Brands wanting to eliminate fulfillment and scale worldwide.
- No monthly or set-up fees: Instead, you’ll pay a commission fee depending on the product you sell, which ranges between 6% – 20%
- High-volume marketplace: Leverage Walmart’s 120 million per month site visitors to get your brand noticed.
- Business scaling tools: Learn how to sell effectively and grow your reach and sales with Walmart’s advertising tool suite, including Sponsored Search ads, catalog management, and brand management solutions.
- Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS): If managing fulfillment isn’t your strong point or you need the time to scale, look to WFS to store, ship, and facilitate returns
- A simplified application and onboarding process: Get up and running and learn the ropes quickly with Walmart’s streamlined onboarding process and learning resources.
No monthly fees. Pay a referral fee on each sale, depending on the item.
Established brands and multichannel sellers.
Supercharge your growth with powerful eCommerce platforms
And there you have it! 20 alternatives to Shopify. Whatever solution you opt for next, it’s important to determine fit before you partner up. List each of the business goals and needs, then compare each eCommerce platform’s features and benefits to decide which is the best fit. Test small and adjust your approach based on the data, and you, too, can add multiple stores to your eCommerce empire. Good luck!
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How to Leverage Shopify Collabs to Boost Your Marketing
Thinking about giving influencer marketing a try? The stats are on your side.
Influencer marketing hit $13.8 billion in 2021 and is set to expand an extra 19% to $16.4 billion in 2022.
Whether you sell clothing or car accessories, influencer marketing effectively gets the word out about your brand, builds consumer trust, and drives sales.
And, if you sell on Shopify, good news!
Shopify is one of the latest brands to tap into the booming creator marketing industry with a new program, Shopify Collabs. Built to help brands like yours win big by working with influencers, this unique offer is causing a stir in the eCommerce and influencer marketing world.
This post will explore the ins and outs of Shopify collabs and how you can get in on the action.
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What is Shopify Collabs and how does it work?
Shopify has launched a free tool to help businesses collaborate with influencers. The aim of the game is to make eCommerce brands and creators more discoverable to each other and drive revenue for participating parties. Here’s a quick breakdown of how Shopify Collabs works:
- The merchants using Shopify install the Shopify Collabs tool.
- Creators sign up for a collabs account, which lets them view and search Shopify’s 1 million+ strong merchant directory.
- Merchants can find and manage influencer collaborations on the platform, including sharing custom affiliate links and discount codes and creating curated shops together.
- The influencer gets a cut when shoppers use their link to make purchases using their custom link or code.
- Creators can also make their links shoppable by using Linkpop, Shopify’s eCommerce tool that turns the link in a bio into an online store and provides a landing page to house important links to share with their audience.
- Shopify store owners enrolled in the Shopify Collabs program can monitor orders, stock levels, and customer orders via their Shopify admin panel. This makes it simple to track a campaign’s effectiveness.
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Why Shopify Collabs is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and creators?
Before tools like Shopify Collabs, brands were left to fend for themselves when it came to learning how to collaborate with influencers successfully. This included managing fees, terms, and campaign optimization with multiple creators simultaneously.
The other alternative was to shell out for agency help. However, this choice increased their marketing spending with no guarantee of results. This made it only viable for brands with large advertising budgets.
Now brands big and small have tools like Shopify Collabs to make informed decisions on who to work with to increase their odds of success.
Shopify Collabs could also be a lucrative opportunity for creators hoping to go all in, increase their takings, or strengthen their brand. Just 4% of influencers currently create content full-time.
These factors combined help to enhance the available talent in the creator pool and willing participants in the merchant group, increasing the odds of good matches.
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How influencer marketing can help your brand succeed?
If you’re wondering whether Shopify collab and creator marketing are just more fidget spinner-style fads destined for the trash, think again! When used correctly, they can drive strong results for your brands. Let’s explore some perks you can expect:
Reach more people
Influencer marketing allows you to explore new audiences and territories to find more highly engaged buyers. Also, shoppers have different places they enjoy spending time online. Mixing up the creators you work with can also find other profitable audience segments you would have missed when focusing on alternative marketing channels.
Access user-generated content (UGC)
There’s something about UGC that screams authenticity and gets people buying. Email campaigns with visual UGC report conversion rates 25% higher than those without and UGC boosts web conversions and campaign results by 29%. So, UGC is worth its weight in gold, and with influencer marketing, you get it in droves. From audience members participating in influencer giveaways to heartfelt video testimonials crafted by creators, influencer marketing can help you secure this type of conversion-boosting content.
Improve your marketing ROI
PPC ad costs are on the rise. Google racked in $61.2 billion from ad revenue in Q4 2021, which amounts to a staggering $15 billion rise compared to the previous year’s final quarter results.
With these price hikes, you must look for alternative ways to market your brand and protect your margins and ROI. That’s where influencer marketing comes in. Boasting an ROI 11x that of banner ads, influencer marketing is a cost-effective investment.
Plus, with more AI-backed tools and collaboration-boosting platforms entering the market, influencer marketing is poised to be more profitable than ever.
Uplevel brand awareness
When you’re just starting out or in a competitive niche, it can be challenging to get the word out about your brand. Working with an influencer with a growing following can be just the push your brand needs to be seen, pull your products into the limelight, and take your store global.
Elevate trust and credibility to supercharge sales
Some influencers have fiercely loyal followers who believe in and trust them, especially those with younger audience demographics. 62% of 18-29 year-olds surveyed said they trust influencers more than celebrities, and that figure jumps to 92% for micro-influencers. By working with creators, you can piggyback off their relationships with consumers. In turn, this will increase your perceived trustworthiness and credibility to skyrocket sales.
How to excel at influencer marketing with Shopify Collabs?
Competition for people’s attention online is growing stiffer. So to win at influencer marketing with the Shopify Collabs tool in hand, you’ll need some know-how, cash, and patience. Let’s dive into some steps to get the best results:
Learn how the Shopify Collabs platform works
Before you dive into working with influencers on the Shopify Collabs platform, it’s important to understand what’s in front of you. Take a tour of the Shopify Collabs tool, read its resources, and play around with the features until you have a solid understanding of the lay of the land.
Determine your goals and set a suitable budget
Is it more traffic you’re hoping for? Or perhaps it’s an uptick in qualified leads and sales you’re after. Whatever it is, it’s vital you jot down a clear objective for every campaign.
Next, create a realistic budget to match your plans. For example, if you want to focus on collaborations with micro-influencer, you can have a smaller cash pot for inventory and payment. On the other hand, if you intend to partner with celebs and well-established creators, you’ll need to account for higher reimbursements, legal fees, and admin.
Launch, assess, and adjust campaigns
Like most marketing channels, finding your sweet spot takes a few swings. There are a few things you can do to improve your campaign results. For example
- Enter the influencer marketing game with a winner’s mindset and unstoppable attitude. In other words, be willing to try, fail, and try again.
- Run split tests on top-performing campaigns. You can test areas like territory, target audience, topic, audience sizes, and campaign storyline.
- Monitor your campaign performance, combining your store analytics data with social listening and customer feedback to make appropriate adjustments.
Share, share, and share again
Collaborating with influencers to create awesome content is critical. However, how you distribute it will decide how much you get out of a campaign. Some ways you can distribute your influencer marketing content for maximized utilization include:
- Create a reposting schedule: Discuss posting times with influencers so your uploads don’t clash with them. Post the content to your social channels, pay attention to posting times, and use content formats native to them.
- Get your followers involved: Encourage your audience to share your content (e.g., turn your campaign into a competition in which they share your content)
- Use the content on your product pages: Place your influencer front and center on areas like collections, your homepage, and product photo reels.
- Use the images and videos in your ads: Whether you advertise using email marketing or PPC, find ways to inject influencer content into your campaign. Insert quotes from testimonials and reviews from the influencer(s) and customer for added credibility.
The secret to making Shopify Collabs a money-making machine
Influencer marketing is one of the hottest opportunities for eCommerce brands and creators. But to see success in your influencer campaigns, you’ll need to go in with a documented plan and the desire to make it a reality.
Use Shopify Collabs to streamline your influencer research and negotiations. Work with influencers whose content style and image match your brand and tell exciting stories that resonate with your audience. Before you know it, you’ll have a profitable influencer marketing strategy to aid your store’s expansion.
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The What, Why, and How of Shopify Audiences
Updates like cookie opt-ins, iOS14, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are creating smaller audiences for advertisers to work with. As a result, eCommerce businesses and retailers with an online presence have to find newer, more effective ways to reach their target customers.
Smaller returns, audience pools, and ad budgets continued on popular advertising sites, with platforms like Facebook seeing a drop in average daily uses for the first time in 18 years.
Enter Shopify Audiences.
With its growing data pool and next-level targeting, Shopify Audiences is the saving grace brands have been searching for to reach new buyers.
In this post, we’ll dive into Shopify Audiences and reveal how it can help your business craft higher-converting ad campaigns. We’ll also offer practical guidance to make the most of a Shopify Audiences integration.
What is Shopify Audiences?
Shopify Audiences is an insights exchange network that gathers conversion-related insights from merchants on Shopify who have opted into the program.
From this data, Shopify employs machine learning to craft audience lists of U.S. and Canada-based customers for use on digital advertising platforms, like Facebook and Instagram (and more to come). You can also select items from your product catalogs to showcase in ads and gain an edge over pure-play Facebook and Instagram ad targeting.
Tapping into insights from the millions of opted-in Shopify merchants, allows brands to optimize their marketing campaigns’ targeting in ways that weren’t previously available on ad platforms. Plus, Shopify Audiences operates with trust and transparency at its core, boasting features like an opt-in/opt-out setup and a fair order attribution model (more on that later).
How Shopify Audiences works
It’s easy to implement Shopify Audiences as the next step in your marketing strategy: Create an audience list, then export it to your chosen ad platform (currently, Facebook or Instagram). You can then launch ads based on the list.
For instance, say you sell outdoor equipment like lawnmowers. Once you opt into the solution, Shopify Audiences can gather data on your shoppers. It’ll then create a custom audience of people interested in lawnmowers and related tools, like sprayers and shovels. If shoppers from the custom audience engage and purchase, Shopify will attribute that sale to the campaign.
You first need to check your eligibility to use and install the Shopify Audiences app. You must be:
- A Shopify Plus user
- Located in the U.S. or Canada
- Use Shopify Payments
Once you meet these requirements, sign up for the app to opt into the network through the following steps:
- Head to your Shopify admin and click Apps.
- Go to the Installed apps section and select the Shopify Audiences app.
- Click Set up audiences.
- Choose to turn on the data contribution and consent to Shopify Audiences’ terms and conditions.
- Link the Facebook account you want to use for advertising by clicking Set up.
Once you’ve linked your store to Shopify Audiences, you’ll start contributing data to the Shopify Audience data pool and can craft custom audiences.
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The perks of Shopify Audiences
Shopify Audiences has opened a world of revenue-generating opportunities to online retailers. Below are some of the advantages you can gain from this innovative tool:
1) Improve top-of-funnel marketing campaigns
While you can’t add existing customers to your lists, Shopify Audiences makes up for this by helping you find high-intent buyers. The custom audiences sharpen your targeting and drive more brand awareness.
2) Gain the upper hand in targeting U.S. and Canadian markets
Shopify Audiences is currently a location-specific tool serving the U.S. and Canada, which gives sellers in these countries a competitive advantage over businesses covering other territories, like Europe.
3) Access secure and privacy-compliant data sharing
Data sent to Facebook is used for data matching and then deleted. Also, audiences sent from Shopify to Facebook go through a secure method that you can’t download, which keeps your customer data top secret.
4) Attract and retain more customers for less
Refined targeting and growth-powering reports obtained through Shopify Audiences lead to faster research and higher return on investment (ROI) on ad budgets.
Each custom audience is based on previous buying behavior, so you’ll have the knowledge necessary to craft ads that resonate with your target customer to increase conversions. You’ll also receive live, accurate data on shoppers’ current wants and needs to keep them coming back for more.
5) Fair order attributions for reporting accuracy
Unlike other marketing tools, Shopify Audience isn’t quick to take credit for an order simply because you use the platform. The program’s attribution model accredits an order to an exported audience when a buyer purchases while your ads are live and up to a week after the campaign ends.
Also, if your customer is in more than one audience when they buy, Shopify Audiences will split the order and its total amount equally between the audiences responsible for generating it.
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Best practices for producing profitable ads with Shopify Audiences
To succeed with Shopify Audiences in the long term, it’s vital you adopt a winning strategy and maintain an inquisitive mindset. We’ll help you get started with some top practices that’ll see huge wins with Shopify Audiences.
1) Keep your data fresh and accurate
The quality of your data pools relies on the information you put into them (remember, you can’t update or download an audience once you’ve exported it to Shopify Audiences).
So, ensure the data you feed into your audience list is current and correct. To obtain the best insights on quality and performance, be sure to:
- Schedule time to check your order and customer data regularly (including removing anomalies, duplicates, and errors)
- Use robust tools to manage your inventory and organize store-related information on a clear dashboard
- Create and launch your ads on the same day you send the data to Shopify Audiences
2) A/B test with intent
A/B testing has become a buzzword in the marketing world, with some brands randomly split testing in hopes of finding their golden ticket. But to gain better results from Shopify Audiences, you must approach A/B testing strategically and with a clear purpose. Here are a few testing tips to remember:
- Keep your ad budgets in line with each ad’s audience size.
- Only A/B test audiences on Facebook.
- Consider audiences with U.S. and Canada-based buyers only.
- Exclude your current customers from the campaign you’re comparing it against.
3) Let insights guide you
Use Shopify Audiences’ reporting tools to understand campaign effectiveness and gain relevant, actionable insights from your results. You can then make data-backed adjustments to your ads to improve conversions. Shopify Audiences generates two types of reports:
1) Overview reports provide a bird’s-eye view of how Shopify Audiences campaigns impact your store. You’ll see information like:
- Total orders — Combines all orders from your audiences, including those you’ve archived
- Total sales — Aggregates the number of purchases from all buyers in your audience lists
2) Detailed reports zoom in on more granular metrics like:
- Average order value — The typical amount buyers spend in your store per order, calculated as Total revenue generated / Total number of orders
- Top products sold — The items shoppers in the audience list bought the most
- Orders — The approximate items customers in an audience list purchased
- Sales — The estimated cash earned on orders from an audience list, calculated as Gross Sales (excluding gift card transactions) – Discounts – Financial Refunds + Taxes + Shipping Costs
- New customers — The approximate number of people in your audience list that have become buyers
Tip: Analyze reports on ad campaign spend impressions and clicks on Facebook to gain a more well-rounded view of your campaign’s performance. This will reveal where to double down your marketing efforts to skyrocket leads and sales.
4) Optimize your ads
Although Shopify Audiences is an ad network, it’s not an ad platform. This means you need to nail the essentials of a winning ad for your targeting to succeed. Here are some ways you can upgrade your ads:
- Create eye-catching images and videos (avoid stock photos and videos).
- Use engaging storylines and tone of voice.
- Build sales funnels with optimized landing pages and offers for every stage of the buyer’s journey.
If optimizing Facebook and Instagram ads isn’t your expertise, don’t sweat it. Get help from a Shopify expert for faster results.
5) Remember your other marketing channels
No matter how well your campaigns perform with Shopify Audiences, you also need to nurture your other marketing avenues. Leverage the Shopify Audiences tool to strengthen your Facebook and Instagram ads and diversify your marketing. Once you’ve mastered your Shopify Audiences targeting, some other channels to focus on include:
- Influencer marketing
- Email marketing
- Organic social media marketing
- Pay-per-click ads
- Inbound marketing
Wrapping up – The path to success through Shopify Audiences
If the numbers are falling short in your current ad campaigns, there’s still hope. Shopify Audiences has cleared the path to sharper targeting and higher conversions for eCommerce businesses, both large and small. While it’s still a young tool, you can use Shopify Audiences to gain a competitive advantage, build your customer base, and grow your revenue.
Ensure the data you feed Shopify’s algorithms is current and accurate and split test purposefully and often. Finally, optimize every element of your ads and combine your existing marketing strategies with Shopify Audiences’ powerful network of information. With these tips and best practices, your marketing efforts will soon drive your store towards huge paydays and supercharged growth.
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Shopify vs Magento: eCommerce Platform Migration Basics
This is a guest post from Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Onilab, who has 8+ years of experience in digital marketing and eCommerce web development promotion.
One of the unexpected downsides of managing a successful eCommerce store is outgrowing the platform it launched on. Your business, like a living being, transforms along the way; what covered your needs earlier may no longer be reliable, flexible, and scalable.
Take Shopify and Magento as an example: They make frequent appearances on lists of the most popular eCommerce platforms for thousands of stores. However, they’re very different.
Shopify is the better option for small and medium-sized stores. It lets you set up an eCommerce website without having to think about hosting or hiring an IT team. Magento, in turn, outperforms Shopify in power, customization, and functionality, which is crucial for bigger and fast-growing companies. So, if you’ve been a Shopify client for a while but need to take your store to the next level, consider a platform migration to Magento.
The migration process may seem complicated, so we’ve divided it into digestible pieces for you to understand and make it easier to decide. This article will examine the two competing platforms, the reasons to switch from Shopify to Magento, and the step-by-step migration process.
Magento vs. Shopify
Magento is an open-source website builder based on the PHP scripting language. Its customers include Christian Louboutin, Agent Provocateur, Land Rover, Ahmad Tea, Nestle Nespresso, and more big names.
Magento ensures its clients receive the best functionality and security for every dollar spent. In keeping with this philosophy, the company recently released the Magento 2 upgrade and stopped supporting M1, encouraging merchants to follow their Magento migration steps for the most up-to-date experience. The Magento 2.3 version supports a headless commerce approach to build progressive web apps with an impeccable UI/UX on mobiles and desktops.
Creating an online store on Magento is challenging if you have no IT team or lack the means (or desire) to hire one. But once your store launches on the platform, you can enjoy the limitless capabilities that surpass Shopify’s offerings.
The platform has its downsides, however. Although free to use, most extensions will cost you $60–$600. You’ll also need to pay for hosting, third-party services, and developers. If you require more functionalities and tools, Magento offers a Commerce edition, which starts from $22,000 per year and may rise due to increased customer Gross Sales Revenue (GSR).
Shopify is one of the most popular solutions for eCommerce businesses. Apart from SMBs, major brands like Heinz, Nestle, Rebecca Minkoff, and KKW Beauty also use it. Its popularity is attributed to the ease of setting up a store on the platform.
Shopify charges $29–$299 per month, plus transaction fees for 24/7 support, hosting services, and seamless themes. It provides indispensable elements for stores, including:
- A payment processor
- A blog
- Email marketing tools
The platform’s multi-tenant architecture can slow website performance during traffic spikes though, so an expanding store may struggle to provide a polished user experience.
Although you can use custom code in the back end to change your store, if you need to go beyond Shopify’s basic functionalities and features, you’ll have to leave Shopify for adaptable solutions like Magento.
Why migrate from Shopify to Magento 2
Magento is a free (to use) and customizable constructor, while Shopify is a paid, ready-to-use eCommerce platform.
This difference gives Shopify various limitations, while Magento offers expanded capabilities. Below, we’ll outline the reasons to migrate from Shopify to Magento.
1. Website performance
Fast loading speed is a prerequisite for an eCommerce store’s success. It ensures a better user experience and higher rankings on search, improves online store metrics, and prevents visitors from leaving the website in irritation due to long loading times.
While Shopify has a better overall performance than Magento, it may not handle the needs of a growing business. The bottom line is, you can’t improve the speed of a Shopify store. You operate on what the company offers to you. It’s also impossible to reach the perfect mobile or desktop Google PageSpeed scores.
The self-hosted Magento option provides the opportunity to choose the most suitable hosting provider and boost your store’s performance. It’s especially relevant for huge loads when the proper hosting can save you from other websites affecting your resource. Shopify, however, is unable to provide hosting controls. So, even though Shopify’s performance is initially better than Magento, you have more chances to fix the latter’s issues.
2. Full customization
A Magento store requires solid technical skills, but is customizable. As a self-hosted platform, it gives you complete control over the server and hosting environment. On the other hand, Shopify only needs beginner-level development knowledge for hosting configuration, but it limits access to fundamental performance and customization opportunities. For example, it requires merchants to use its own payment gateway, has a basic category structure, and lacks advanced search functionality.
A point in Magento’s favor is its flexibility and high customization as you gain access to the code. The layered architecture, which separates business logic from presentation logic, lets you tweak the look of your storefront without changing the core business logic.
Magento enables you to configure numerous languages and currencies, as well as different prices for various customer groups. Furthermore, the store owner can manage several stores from a single admin panel.
3. Available features
Magento boasts many extensions, giving it the upper hand in this comparison. The most popular ones (to name a few) are:
- Facebook Business Extension
- Google Shopping by Magenest
- SimiCart Mobile App Builder
- Follow Up Email by Amasty
The extensions allow users to add features to their stores right out of the box. A case in point is Follow Up Email by Amasty: This add-on streamlines sending email notifications, launching campaigns, and specifying coupon rules. Shopify also has various add-ons, but not to the same extent. For example, Magento provides more than 5,000 extensions as opposed to less than 4,000 in Shopify. Plus, Shopify’s are less adaptable, have fewer features, and are more constrained.
4. Options for international trade
The multi-site capability with Magento allows store owners to maintain a single codebase for several websites. As a result, you can have a separate domain for each country and localize websites according to local regulations, taxation, shipping partners, and payment methods.
Magento is also beneficial for running many online stores, which is crucial for taking country-specific localization to the next level, including:
- Local currencies
- Translated text
- Local SEO
- And more
Magento’s multi-warehouse capability assists in managing scattered warehouses from a single source. It boosts operational efficiency, enhances global inventory management, and streamlines resource allocation.
Before opting for Magento, determine if you plan to grow your company. Should the store cover a considerable turnover? Will you need to launch the store at the international level? If you have no intention to scale, you’ll pay extra costs for unnecessary functionalities.
How to migrate from Shopify to Magento
Magento is the upgrade you need to help your growing business continue to flourish. You can migrate from Shopify to Magento manually, with automation tools, or by hiring specialists to do the job for you.
Manual migration is possible for stores with fewer data arrays. However, if each CSV file contains more than 9,000 rows, you’ll need to employ automated tools like LitExtension or Cart2Cart.
Preparing to migrate
Whether you choose to migrate manually or through automation, you have to set up the environment and build a Magento store:
- Install the software, including MySQL, PHP, and Apache, and review the system requirements.
- Install the Magento program on your computer.
- View your storefront and the Magento Admin to confirm the installation and see if you installed the Magento software correctly.
Before changing Shopify, back up crucial files and export data from your back end to CSV files. A CSV file stores data in a table-structured format, which you can use to import and export product, customer, and order information to and from the store.
1. Manual migration from Shopify to Magento
It’s relatively easy to migrate from Shopify to Magento manually: Determine the data to move from the Shopify store, download it, and transfer the Shopify CSV files to the Magento store. Navigate to the Magento admin panel and select “System” => “Import/Export profiles.” It supports data such as:
- Customer main files
- Advanced pricing
- Customers and addresses
Unfortunately, exporting themes is impossible; the only option for moving unsupported data is copying and pasting it from your old website. Be aware, though, you may lose the relationships between the data tables after importing.
2. Automating the Shopify to Magento migration
Automation tools ensure a smoother transfer. We’ll illustrate this migration method using LitExtension. This is a Magento add-on to move your data from one platform to another without the need for coding experience. Its price depends on your store’s number of customers, products, and orders and starts from $29 (the tool conveniently provides a cost estimator on its website).
Set up an account or sign in with Facebook or Gmail, then click “Create New Migration” on the admin board.
Specify the source (Shopify) and target (Magento) stores. Then, insert the store’s URL and API password in the lines shown below.
Download LitExtension Connector to receive a zip file named “le_connector.” You’ll need to upload this to Magento’s root folder and insert the store’s URL as in the source cart step.
The next stage involves selecting entities to migrate, such as products, customers, coupons, pages, etc. You can choose to move all elements or only the necessary ones, and there are extra options to configure the store and map the language or order status as well.
Click the “Next: Start Free Demo Migration” button or skip it and proceed to the “Start Full Migration” button.
After the full migration, you’ll receive an email notification. Hit the “Check result” button to see if everything moved successfully. You can go to the Catalog section to review the imported products.
Dealing with the transferred data
Clear the cache and reindex the data through the following CLI commands:
- php bin/magento indexer:reindex
- php bin/magento cache:clean
Check whether the out-of-stock products are activated and visible from the front end. Install a free or paid Magento theme or develop a new one to restore your storefront’s previous design.
On a regular basis, migrate recent data while the store operates after the full migration. New orders and customers will arrive, which you’ll need to transfer to your new resource. Take advantage of LitExtension Recent Data Migration to update data three months after the complete migration.
Purchase and customize one of the Magento templates for higher quality design and functionality to make your store stand out. Lastly, finalize the migration by changing DNS and switching the domain to your new Magento 2 store.
3. Hiring specialists to handle the migration
Because Magento is a knowledge-intensive platform, you may need experienced programmers to transmit the files to a new platform and obtain the best results from the migration. Budget roughly $18 to $40 per hour for each team member needed for your migration.
Migration specialists will study your needs and budget to determine how best to help you. The team will eliminate issues while keeping you up to date, customize the design, and ensure smooth operations so customers have a seamless shopping experience.
Programmers will also take care of your website’s marketing. This includes configuring the proper redirects, optimizing the home page, and notifying existing customers about the new store.
Platform migration is about transferring an online store and its data, content, and systems from one platform to another. The reasons to change the platform vary as you’re forced to adapt to customer needs, trends, and an expanding product range.
A migration opens up opportunities to manage more orders, customize your store to changing needs, and download advanced features. We focused on comparing Shopify and Magento, examining their pros and cons, why you should switch to Magento, and the migration options.
If your store is rapidly scaling up and requires more customization, Magento is an excellent choice. It’ll boost your website performance, allow you to deal with large, complex orders, and make the store an international selling point.