10 Best Big Cartel Alternatives & Competitors (2022 Comparison)


Looking for the best Big Cartel alternatives? You’re in the right place.

Big Cartel is one of the most popular and affordable ecommerce builders for small businesses and entrepreneurs, but it definitely falls short in a few areas.

But fear not—there are lots of great ecommerce platforms like Big Cartel out there that you might want to use instead. And we’ve listed our favorites right here.

In this in-depth comparison of the best Big Cartel alternatives, we’ll be telling you everything you need to know about each platform including their strengths, weaknesses, features, pricing, and beyond.

Ready? Let’s get started!

The best Big Cartel alternatives – summary

TL;DR:

Sellfy is the best Big Cartel alternative for most artists and makers. It’s easy to use and has all the features you’ll need to start selling online. 

You can even sell print-on-demand merch without needing to subscribe to third-party providers. And there are no transaction fees!

For those wanting additional ecommerce functionality, consider Shopify for building your online store. It’s best suited to larger ecommerce stores. The downside is that you will be subject to transaction fees.


#1 – Sellfy

Sellfy is our overall favorite Big Cartel alternative. It’s a full-featured ecommerce store and print on demand site rolled into one. Like Big Cartel, it’s marketed at creators. But it has some advanced features that Big Cartel lacks.

Sellfy Homepage

You can use Sellfy to sell pretty much anything you can think of. It supports all types of digital products, including ebooks, audio, PSD files, AI files, music, etc.

But on top of that, you can also sell physical, tangible items through your Sellfy storefront with inventory management, product variants, and shipping tools.

And you don’t even have to hold the stock you sell thanks to Sellfy’s innovative print-on-demand feature—something few other platforms offer.

You can upload designs and add them to products in Sellfy’s print-on-demand catalog, then import those products to your store and sell them at your chosen retail price. When you make a sale, Sellfy prints the product and ships it to the customer for you, then bills you for their cut.

This makes Sellfy ideal for influencers and creators with a social following who want to sell their own branded merch. It’s also perfect for artists who want to sell products featuring their original designs.

And it doesn’t end there. In addition to physical products, digital downloads, and subscriptions, Sellfy also has the tools you need to create and sell digital subscription products for recurring payments—and video-on-demand products.

Once you sign up for the platform, you can create your own beautiful store in as little as 5 minutes and customize it to match your brand. Then, add your products and let customers purchase them with the built-in shopping cart and streamlined checkout.

It’s also jam-packed with features to help you sell more products, including upselling, discount code generation, email marketing tools, tracking pixels, embeddable buttons, and more.

Key features

  • Sell all types of products
  • Print-on-demand feature
  • Store builder
  • Themes
  • Emails
  • Upsells
  • SSL
  • Payment gateway integrations
  • VAT & tax setting
  • Coupons

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Easy to use Annual sales are capped at $10k – $200k depending on your plan
Great for creators Paid plans are a bit more expensive than Big Cartel
Built-in print on demand fulfillment
Unlimited products on paid plans

Pricing

Sellfy plans start at $22/month with no transaction fees. Just bear in mind that different plans come with different annual sales limits, so make sure to choose one that’s right for your business.

Read our Sellfy review.


#2 – Payhip

Payhip is a simple but powerful ecommerce platform. Its affordable pricing plans and beginner-friendly interface make it a good alternative for Big Cartel’s target audience of artists and makers.

Payhip Homepage

Payhip has everything you’re looking for in an ecommerce platform. There’s a fully-customizable store builder that couldn’t be easier to use—you can set up your store in minutes without any coding knowledge.

Plus, payment gateway integrations, inventory management tools, digital product delivery, email marketing, a basic online course builder, and more.

And if you already have a website that you want to start selling through, you can just embed Payhip’s high-converting checkout on it in a couple of clicks.

But what makes Payhip great is its simplicity. 

The interface is very easy to work with, the pricing model couldn’t be simpler, and you get a bunch of time-saving features that simplify running your business. For example, Payhip reports and pays digital EU and UK VAT for you to make tax compliance easy.

All of the above make it the perfect choice for first-time sellers and solopreneurs. 

And the best part is that no matter which Payhip plan you sign up for, you get access to everything: all features, unlimited products, and unlimited revenue. The only difference between plans is the transaction fees you’ll be subject to.

Key features

  • Digital products
  • Online courses & coaching
  • Subscriptions & memberships
  • Inventory management
  • Marketing tools
  • VAT & tax
  • Store builder
  • Payment system
  • Email marketing

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Good user interface Support could be better
Broad feature set Transaction fees on Free and Plus plan
All features & unlimited usage on all plans
Great value

Pricing

Payhip offers three plans: Free, Plus ($29/month), and Pro ($99/month). Only the Pro plan has zero transaction fees. 


#3 – Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular and widely used ecommerce platforms in the world—and for good reason. It’s a little pricier than Big Cartel, but its performance, versatility, and feature set are second to none.

Shopify Homepage

Shopify is much more popular than Big Cartel, with millions of users all across the world. There are a few reasons for that popularity, but one of the main ones is Shopify’s versatility.

Unlike Big Cartel, which is mostly only suitable for smaller stores and independent entrepreneurs, Shopify can power any type of business, from the smallest stores to huge enterprises with 7-figure turnovers.

The reason it’s so versatile is in part thanks to its App Store. 

Shopify comes with all the core ecommerce features that most retailers need out of the box, like a store builder, powerful product ordering and inventory management tools, customizable store themes, a best-in-class checkout, and so on.

But you can extend its functionality as needed by installing extensions through the Shopify App Store. There are thousands of free and paid add-ons available, from dropshipping extensions to product review extensions and everything in between.

As far as performance goes, Shopify can’t be beaten. Stores load super fast and the included web hosting is very reliable. Shopify also takes care of all the technical stuff for you like site security and maintenance, so you can focus on running your business.

The downside is monthly subscription fees are a lot higher than Big Cartel. And you’ll be subject to additional transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments (Shopify’s in-house payment gateway).

Key features

  • Order management
  • Inventory management
  • Store builder
  • Free and paid themes
  • App Store
  • Hosting
  • Marketing tools
  • Checkout

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Versatile More expensive than Big Cartel
Huge app store Transaction fees if using a third-party payment gateway
Fast and reliable
Nice UI

Pricing

Plans start from $29/month. You can get started with a free trial.


#4 – BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another very popular ecommerce builder that’s worth checking out. Again, it’s a little more expensive than Big Cartel, but you get what you pay for.

BigCommerce Homepage

BigCommerce has two main product offerings: BigCommerce Enterprise and BigCommerce Essentials. 

Unless you’re running a large business with a very high turnover and complex operations, you’ll probably want to go with one of the Essentials plans.

Regardless of which plan you sign up for, you get all the core ecommerce features: unlimited products and bandwidth, an online storefront, sales channel integration, a single-page checkout, payment gateway integrations, coupon and discount engine, reporting tools, etc.

But the more expensive plans have additional features that can help boost your sales like abandoned cart saver emails, automatically-saved shopping carts, custom product filtering, and more.

BigCommerce has a lot of features that you don’t get on Big Cartel, including product ratings/reviews and native blogging functionality. You can use the built-in blog to drive traffic to your BigCommerce store. To do the same on Big Cartel, you’d have to use a third-party platform.

Key features

  • Page builder
  • One-page checkout
  • Shopping cart recovery
  • Inventory management
  • Customer groups
  • Product reviews and ratings
  • Shipping tools
  • Built-in blog
  • POS integrations
  • Sales channel integrations
  • SEO

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
More advanced feature set More expensive
Great support Takes longer to set up
Blogging & SEO tools
Scalable and flexible

Pricing

Plans start at $29.95/month. A 15-day free trial is available.


#5 – Podia

Podia is a digital ecommerce platform and a great alternative to Big Cartel if you only plan on selling digital goods. 

Podia Homepage

Unfortunately, you can’t really sell physical products on Podia as it doesn’t have the shipping, fulfillment, or inventory management tools you’d need to manage your operations.

However, it’s tough to beat Podia when it comes to selling digital products. 

It has a bunch of innovative features that you don’t get with its competitors. Namely, a powerful Communities tool and built-in learning management system (LMS). 

The Communities tool lets you set up a virtual members-only community space for your subscribers in one click. And the LMS allows you to create lessons, organize them into full-fledged courses, and start enrolling students.

The above feature makes Podia perfect for selling online courses and paid community memberships. But of course, you can also sell regular digital downloads too. If you want to, you can even bundle different products together in subscription packages.

Key features

  •  Site builder
  • Payments
  • Checkout
  • Webinar hosting
  • Email and affiliate marketing
  • Communities
  • Course builder
  • Integrations

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Great Communities tool Doesn’t support physical products
Powerful LMS Free plan subject to hefty transaction fees
Ease of use
All-in-one platform

Pricing

Podia has a free plan with 8% transaction fees. Paid plans with no fees start from $33/month billed annually

Read our Podia review.


#6 – WooCommerce (WordPress only)

WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin for WordPress. It’s a great option if you have a preexisting WordPress site that you’d like to use to start making sales.

WooCommerce Homepage

It’s a super flexible plugin that runs alongside WordPress. As it’s open-source, you can customize it in just about any way you like. This gives you total control over the way you run your store, and which tools and add-ons you use.

Another perk of WooCommerce is that it’s completely free to use both WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin. All you have to pay for is your hosting package. 

If you’re well-versed in website management then this might be a big perk. However, it’s a little more hassle than having hosting and website management in one place, as you do with Big Cartel. 

WooCommerce comes preloaded with most of the common ecommerce functions you need such as payments and checkout software, and order management features. On top of that, there are also tons of free and paid extensions that you can use to get the exact features you need.

Overall, it’s a great choice for anyone that likes freedom when it comes to design and store customization.

Key features

  • Payments and checkout features
  • Shipping management 
  • Mobile app 
  • Email marketing 
  • Tons of extensions available

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Open-source and free (hosting package required) Hosting not included 
Highly flexible and customizable Not as intuitive as some all-in-one solutions
Extensions and Addons 

Pricing

WooCommerce is a free plugin but there are some paid extensions available. You’ll also need to pay for web hosting. We’d recommend using dedicated WooCommerce hosting with Nexcess


#7 – Weebly

Weebly is best known as a general-purpose website builder but it also comes with some ecommerce features you can use to build an online store.

Weebly Homepage

Our favorite thing about Weebly is the price. It’s not as sophisticated as some other ecommerce platforms but it offers superb value for money, with comparable prices and a similar feature set to Big Cartel.

You can use Weebly to create a unique online store in no time. Start with a professionally-designed theme and customize it with the drag-and-drop builder to showcase your products in their best light.

You also get a bunch of smart marketing tools, including customizable email marketing templates, SEO optimization, analytics, and more.

And to help you manage your day-to-day operations, there’s built-in inventory tracking and a straightforward shipping tool.

The Weebly checkout is powered by Square but you can also use Stripe or PayPal. 

Key features

  •  Store builder
  • Customizable themes
  • Emails
  • SEO
  • Analytics
  • Customer reviews
  • Product search
  • Sales badges
  • Coupons
  • Mobile app
  • Gift cards
  • Inventory tracking
  • Shipping tool
  • Automatic tax calculator
  • Shopping cart

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Very affordable Few payment gateway options
Excellent value for money Lacks some advanced features
Beginner friendly
Good templates

Pricing

Plans start at 10 €/month when paid annually


#8 – Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop is a great Big Cartel alternative that offers tons of premium ecommerce features completely free. 

Shift4Shop Homepage

Shift4Shop offers an advanced website builder that requires no coding skills, as well as a range of themes optimized for ecommerce stores. You can run any sort of ecommerce venture using Shift4Shop from dropshipping to subscription sites and more.

As well as website building, Shift4Shop can also be used to manage orders and products, market your business and host your site. It also has features that help you optimize your store for mobile ecommerce. 

Although Shift4Shop is a free-to-use platform, you’ll need to use the Shift4 payment terminal to take your payments, so this is worth noting if you were planning on using a different payment solution. 

Overall, it’s a really great platform that has everything you need to start an online business.

Key features

  • Advanced website builder 
  • Ecommerce themes 
  • Order management 
  • Product management 
  • Mobile ecommerce  

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Free to use  Shift4 payment gateway is mandatory
Good website builder

Pricing

Shift4Shop is free forever as long as you use the Shift4 payment gateway.


#9 – Squarespace

Squarespace is an all-in-one website-building tool with a heavy focus on eCommerce functionality. The platform boasts an extremely easy-to-use, drag-and-drop site builder, and a wide selection of highly optimized ecommerce templates. 

Squarespace Homepage

You can use Squarespace to sell products or services, and it also has booking and calendar functions that can help you manage service businesses. It’s a really versatile option, as there are features for selling subscriptions and even promoting and selling digital products like music. 

Squarespace can also be used to manage essential ecommerce tasks such as shipping and fulfillment, taxes, and payments. You can manage these tasks in a simple unified dashboard.

Squarespace is extremely easy-to-use making it a great choice for beginners.

Key features

  • Drag and drop website builder 
  • Ecommerce templates 
  • Payment management 
  • Shipping and fulfillment management 
  • Sell physical or digital products 

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Easy to use  Limited customization and flexibility
Tons of optimized ecommerce templates 

Pricing

Plans start from as little as $12/month. However, the cheapest ecommerce plans start from $26/month. 


#10 – Wix

Wix is a website-building tool and ecommerce platform that can be used to build highly optimized online stores. The best thing about Wix is that it’s an all-in-one tool. You can use it to build, manage and host your website. 

Wix Homepage

The site builder tool is extremely intuitive, and Wix offers tons of templates that are perfect for ecommerce stores. You can build a functional and professional-looking website in just a few clicks—no coding skills required. 

When it comes to ecommerce, Wix is equally intuitive. You can use it to manage every aspect of your business venture from ecommerce sales to social media and in-person sales. 

You can also use the unified dashboard to manage shipping, payments, and more. Wix’s ecommerce platform is fast, scalable, secure, and very easy to use, making it the perfect choice for people that are new to the world of online sales.

Key features

  • Intuitive site builder 
  • Tons of ecommerce store templates
  • All-in-one ecommerce platform 
  • Inventory and payment management 
  • Shipping management  

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Very easy to use More expensive than some other options on the list 
All-in-one solution (No extra tools required)

Pricing

Plans start from as little as $16/month. Business and ecommerce plans start from $27/month.


Big Cartel pros and cons

Not sure whether to use one of the platforms in this post or stick with Big Cartel? To help you weigh it all up, here’s a list of what we think are Big Cartel’s biggest pros and cons.

Pros

  • It’s very affordable. One of the best things about Big Cartel is the price tag. There are only three plans, and even the highest-tier plan only costs $19.99 per month. And get this? There are no hidden fees on any plan.
  • Free plan. Big Cartel is one of just a handful of platforms that let you start selling for free with no additional transaction fees. That’s another reason it’s so popular amongst new cash-strapped startups and small businesses
  • Good for businesses that plan on staying small. BigCommerce might not be very scalable, but if you only sell a few dozen products per month and you don’t think you’ll outgrow it, it’s not a bad choice. This makes it a good option for sellers like artists that sell original artworks less frequently.

Cons

  • Low usage caps. You’ll be limited to either 5, 50, or 500 products depending on which plan you sign up for. Plus, you can only have 1 image per product on the free plan and a maximum of 5 per product on paid plans.
  • Not very easy to use. We just didn’t really like Big Cartel’s interface. It felt harder to use than we’d have expected given the platform’s target market, and some coding knowledge was required to get certain things done. 
  • Lacks quality. The themes and features in Big Cartel could be much better. It’s a relatively cheap platform, but the quality seems to reflect that. After all, you get what you pay for.

Big Cartel alternatives FAQ

Before we wrap up, here are the answers to some commonly-asked questions about Big Cartel alternatives:

Are there any free Big Cartel alternatives?

Yes, most of the platforms in this list include a free plan—but features may be limited and you may be subject to transaction fees depending on which one you sign up for. We’d recommend trying Sellfy’s free plan.

Shift4Shop has one of the most generous free plans on the market, but it’s only available to users in the US. And of course, WooCommerce is completely free and open source, but you’ll need to purchase hosting separately. We’d recommend a dedicated WooCommerce plan from Nexcess.

What’s the cheapest Big Cartel alternative?

Weebly is the cheapest Big Cartel alternative on this list, with very affordable paid plans starting at just $6/month. But as we mentioned, most platforms offer some sort of completely free plan too.

How do I choose a Big Cartel alternative?

When choosing a Big Cartel alternative, you’ll have to weigh up all your options based on your preferences and the needs of your business. Some factors to think about include:

  • Ease of use
  • Pricing
  • Features
  • Supported products
  • Template options
  • Scalability
  • Flexibility

It’s also worth taking advantage of free trials to get first-hand experience of what it’s like to use each platform before you make your decision.

How do I switch ecommerce platforms?

Before you switch ecommerce platforms, you’ll probably want to export all your data from your current platform so you can migrate it over. Depending on which platform you’re switching to, they may offer some sort of bulk import or store migration feature to make this process easier. 

How do I delete my Big Cartel account?

Big Cartel has an FAQ page on how to close your account, but the basic steps are:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Navigate to Account > Billing > Edit your plan & billing
  3. Click Close shop and follow the on-screen instructions

Choosing the best Big Cartel alternatives for your needs

That concludes our roundup of the best Big Cartel alternatives.

The right choice for your business will depend on what features you’re looking for, how much control and flexibility you need, and your budget—but you can’t go wrong with any of our top three picks:

  • Sellfy is the best Big Cartel alternatives for creative entrepreneurs like artists and makers. It’s very beginner-friendly and comes with everything you need to start selling out of the box, including print-on-demand fulfillment (and zero transaction fees).
  • Payhip is another solid choice for selling digital products. It’s very easy to use and stands out for its simplicity. And its free plan includes unlimited products and revenue, as well as all features.
  • Shopify is the best choice if you want to build a full-fledged ecommerce store. It’s well-suited to larger businesses and offers more flexibility and scalability. But you’ll be subject to additional transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments.

Want to explore even more options? Check out our roundup of the best platforms to sell digital products. Or if you want to sell memberships, try these subscription ecommerce platforms.

Good luck!


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