25 Must-Have Accounting Software Integrations for 2017

Integartions

Is your accounting or invoicing software missing something? Does your current feature set not quite meet the mark?

You may be tempted to throw in the towel, but before giving up on your software completely (and dealing with the hassle of transferring all your data over to a new solution), it’s time to consider the advantage of using your current program’s integrations and add-ons.

Integrations are an excellent way to supplement your existing software; all good accounting solutions come with a number of integrations (if yours doesn’t then maybe it really is time to switch). These integrations can encompass everything from payment gateways and CRM to receipt management and tax support.

We get it—in situations like this it’s difficult to even know where to begin. So to help you get started, we have put together a list of the top 25 integrations to boost your software’s functionality and help your small business succeed in the new year. We chose integrations that are common across multiple accounting and invoicing software platforms and have divided them into categories to make everything even easier for you.

But first, let’s get some basics out of the way.

How Do Integrations (and Add-ons) Work?

The integration process is really quite simple. If it’s even remotely worth its salt, your accounting or invoicing software is already fast friends with other apps or software; like any good business partner, your accounting software should work to introduce you its third-party buddies so you can all shake hands, play nice, and begin working together. Note: Healthy (and legal) human friendships do not usually involve an exchange of money, but you will usually have to pay an extra fee for 3rd-party integrations.

Most often, there is a place to access potential integrations within your accounting dashboard. Once you’ve set up an account with the 3rd-party selection of your choice, data will automatically sync between the applications.

Makes sense, right? Okay, time to move on to the actual list…

Payment Gateways:

Between Stripe, Square, PayPal, Forte, Authorize.net, WePay, and countless other payment gateways, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all your choices. Which is the best for your company? It’s hard for me to say without knowing your exact situation, but it is easy for me to share our Merchant Maverick favorites.

1. Braintree

Compatible accounting solutions: FreshBooks, Hiveage, and Invoicera. There is also API for developers.

Braintree is a popular payment gateway and merchant account service and one of our top choices at Merchant Maverick (we’ve given it a full 5/5 stars). Braintree offers great customer service, as well as a good selection of merchant account features. Some of these features include recurring billing, international account support, buyable pins on Pinterest (still in beta), and strong mobile apps.

Pricing:

  • Credit Card – 2.9% + $0.30/per transaction

If you are interested in Braintree, check out our full Braintree review for more details.

2. PayPal

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro, Invoice2go, Harvest, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, AND CO, Invoicely, LessAccounting, Saasu, KashFlow, ClearBooks, BillingOrchard, Sage One,  Zoho Invoice, Zoho Books, and Wave.

You knew it was coming. PayPal is a world-renowned payment gateway and merchant account used by over 192,000,000 people. The service is easy to use and is available with virtually every accounting and invoicing software. PayPal offers a mobile app as well as free invoice creation.

Pricing:

  • In Store – 2.7%/per US swipe
  • Online & Invoicing – 2.9% +$0.30/per transaction

Price discounts are available for nonprofits and charities.

There is a history of user complaints about PayPal withholding funds, so our recommendation is that you may not want to rely solely on PayPal for your processing needs. For the most part, though, the company is well-liked. To read our full review, go here. If you are interested, we’ve also written a comprehensive review of the mobile version of PayPal.

Payroll:

Your company is growing, but your accounting software can’t keep pace—not in terms of payroll. What’s a business owner to do? Never fear; check out the following integration before throwing your current software out with the bathwater.

3. Gusto                                                                                                            

Compatible accounting solutions: FreshBooks, Xero, QuickBooks Online, and QuickBooks Pro. There is API for developers.

Gusto is a full-fledged Payroll processor (we actually use it for our own payroll here at Merchant Maverick). This software works to manage part-time, full-time, hourly, and salary employees, as well as contractors (or any combination of the five). In terms of features, you can’t beat Gusto. The complete payroll package includes benefits, health insurance, 401ks, reimbursements, vacation days, and sick days. You can even organize employees and contractors by team and pay everyone via direct deposit.

Pricing:

  • Base Price – $39/mo + $6/per employee

Gusto offers a free 30-day trial. To learn more visit the Gusto site.

Project Management:

Project management can be one of the most useful features in an accounting solution (and one of my personal favorites). Sadly, very few software companies offer project management tools—not even Xero or QuickBooks Online. This is when project management integrations come in very handy.

4. Basecamp

Compatible accounting solutions: Blinksale, Harvest, LessAccounting, FreeAgent, and Invoicely. There is API for developers.

Basecamp is used by over 100,000 business owners, just like yourself. The software is completely cloud-based and very user-friendly; it comes with all the features you would expect—projects, tasks, job costing reports—but also includes a lot of unexpected but very welcomed surprises. Some of these extra features include team communication tools and group chat, scheduling, to-do lists, automatic check-ins, reminders, client reviews, and gift certificates. The software also offers mobile apps for both iPhone and Android.

Pricing:

  • $99/mo

Teachers and students can actually access this software for free, and non-profits get a 50% discount. You can also receive a discount for paying annually. Basecamp offers a free 30-day trial.

To learn more about Basecamp, read our full review and/or watch this How It Works video.

5. WorkflowMax

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, MYOB, and MoneyWorks. There is API for developers.

If you are looking for something on the cheaper side, WorkflowMax, a project management and time management hybrid, might be a better choice for your business. For such a small scale software, it is surprisingly common amongst accounting software integrations. Workflow Max’s features include jobs, tasks, timelines, quotes, invoicing, job costing reports, automated notification, and the ability to track time. Pricing is broken up by number of users.

Pricing:

  • 1 user – $15/mo
  • 2-5 users – $49/mo
  • 6-10 users– $110/mo
  • 11-20 users –$170/mo
  • 21-50 users – $250/mo

Learn more about WorkflowMax on their website or read our full review and see why we gave the software 4/5 stars.

Time Management:

Another integral feature often overlooked by accounting and invoicing software is the ability to track time. But hey, that’s what integrations are for!

6. Temponia

 

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Books, QuickBooks Online, and QuickBooks Pro.

“When tracking time becomes saving time.”

That’s the motto of Temponia, a cloud-based time management software. Temponia offers an incredibly beautiful UI as well as scalable pricing plans. The software’s features are well laid-out and organized with a calendar interface. When you sign up for Temponia, you’ll get time tracking, budgeting, reports, reminders, timers, projects, and invoicing (that is better than even some invoicing software).

Pricing:

  • Starter – $5.90/mo
  • Team – $28/mo
  • Business – $49/mo
  • Enterprise – $122.50/mo

You can see pricing details and sign up for a free live demo here.

7. T-sheets

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, QuickBooks Online, and QuickBooks Pro. There is API for developers.

Another time management option is T-sheets—a time tracking software with an optional booking component. This software is cloud-based and provides additional mobile apps. T-sheets differs from Temponia in a few key areas. In addition to time tracking and projects, T-sheets supports job-costing, POT (paid time off) tracking, approvals, shift scheduling, employee alerts and reminders, and a see-who’s-working feature. It is a time management, project management, and booking software all in one. Pricing varies depending on number of users.

Pricing:

  • 1 user – free
  • 2-99 users – Base fee of $16/mo + $5/mo per user
  • 100+ users – Base fee of $100/mo + $5/mo per user

You can receive a discount by paying annually, and a free trial of the software is available for those interested. Check out the T-sheets website for further details.

Point of Sale (POS) Software:

Outgrowing your invoicing tools and looking for a way to take your business’s sales to the next level? Here are our top 5/5 star POS recommendations.

8. Vend

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, QuickBooks Online, and KashFlow. There is API for developers.

Vend, an intuitive SaaS program with great customer service, takes the cake for retail POS, especially for iPad users. Even though Vend is cloud-based, during internet outages the software will continue to work; it simply syncs stored data when the internet returns, which is pretty sweet if you ask me. In addition to operating as a basic POS system, Vend offers reports, inventory, stock control, customer profiles, and gift cards. Here is a basic summation of Vend’s pricing, but be sure to look at each plan in more detail to see which features you’re getting.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Starter – $69/mo
  • Advanced – $99/mo
  • Multi-Outlet – $249/mo

There is a discount available for paying annually rather than monthly. It’s worth noting that Vend offers no API, so you won’t be able to design custom integrations. Learn more about why we love Vend in our full review and take the software for a spin with this free trial.

9. SalesVu

Compatible accounting solutions: QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro. There is API available for developers.

Unlike Vend, SalesVu offers retail, restaurant, and service-industry POS—so whatever your business may be, SalesVu most likely has options for you. Like Vend, the software is easy to use and has good customer service. The system is designed for iPads and iPhones; features vary significantly depending on which type of POS you choose and include inventory, contact management, table reservations, online appointment scheduling, gift cards; you get the drift. The pricing plan is a bit confusing so bear with me.

Pricing:

  • Basic Restaurant Bundle – $75/mo
  • Basic Retail Bundle – $75/mo
  • Basic Beauty and Wellness Bundle – $75/mo
  • SalesVu for Restaurants – $150/mo
  • SalesVu for Retail – $150/mo
  • SalesVu for Beauty and Wellness – $150/mo
  • SalesVu for Professional Services – $150/mo
  • SalesVu for Wineries – $150/mo
  • SalesVu for Health Clubs – $150/mo

There is also an individual pricing module option. For those interested in SalesVu, check out our full review or contact SalesVu to schedule a demo.

Email Marketing:

There’s no monkeying around when it comes to email marketing. Okay, well maybe there is. Save yourself some valuable time and automate your email process with…

10. MailChimp

Compatible accounting solutions: FreshBooks, KashFlow, Harvest, Xero, QuickBooks Online, Sage One, Sage 50 (for Canada and US), e-conomic, Saasu, and ClearBooks. There is API for developers.

MailChimp is a powerful email marketing software combined with basic CRM features. The company processes over 5,000,000 emails every single month and is scalable for any size business. It offers an unbelievable amount of features, including analytic reports, email campaigns, contact lists, API, and a custom email designer. You can also organize contacts by different criteria (like location) and deliver emails by timezone. MailChimp supports multiple users and strong user permissions.

Pricing:

  • Forever Free
  • Growing Business – starts at $10/mo
  • Pro Marketer – additional $199/mo

To learn more about these pricing plans and to see pay-as-you-go options, click here. Check out our full MailChimp review and see why we gave it 4.5/5 stars.

eCommerce:

With more and more small businesses owners selling online, the world needs an eCommerce platform that can keep up. We’ve found just that.

11. Shopify

Compatible accounting solutions: QuickBooks Online, Bench Accounting, Xero, Sufio, Billy, AccountEdge, KashFlow, e-conomic, FreshBooks, Debitoor, and Sage 50. There is API for developers.

If you hadn’t heard of Shopify before, you have now—and I promise you will never live to regret it. Shopify is one of the biggest names in the eCommerce world, and for good reason. The company hosts over 325,000 online stores; it is easy to use and mobile-friendly. We often recommend it here at Merchant Maverick, especially because of the great features and scalable pricing plans. With Shopify, you get 100+ online store themes, branding, marketing and SEO, a shopping cart with secure checkout, payment gateway, store management, basic CRM, social media integrations, inventory management, and analytic reports.

Pricing:

  • Shopify Lite – $9/mo
  • Basic Shopify – $29/mo
  • Shopify – $79/mo
  • Advanced Shopify – $299/mo
  • Shopify Plus – call for pricing

The bigger the plan, the bigger the savings on credit card rates and transaction fees. Check Shopify pricing for more details.

Take advantage of the free 14-day trial or read our full Shopify review for more details.

Expense Tracking:

You probably got accounting or invoicing software so you could rid yourself of your Excel sheet/receipt box bookkeeping habits. So why do those receipts keep piling up? Why is your shoebox still overflowing? The answer is simple: you haven’t tried these expense tracking tools yet.

12. Receipt Bank

Compatible accounting solutions: Sage One, Xero, Twinfield, QuickBooks Online, KashFlow, FreshBooks, and FreeAgent. There is API for developers.

Receipt Bank is one of the most common expense management integrations on the market. Over 60,000 users rely on Receipt Bank to make uploading expenses easier. How does it work? Well, you simply use Receipt Bank’s mobile apps to snap a picture of your receipt. The app then extracts the important information and saves it to the expenses section of your accounting software. Pretty neat, huh? You can also set automation rules to streamline the process even more.

Single User Pricing:

  • 50 Items – $14.99/mo
  • 100 Items – $29.98/mo
  • 150 Items – $44.97/mo

Multi-User Pricing:

  • 50 Items – $25/mo
  • 100 Items – $40/mo
  • 150 Items – $55/mo

There are two larger plans available upon request. Receipt Bank also realizes that anticipating items is tricky and offers a flexible item limit policy. Additionally, you can take advantage of a 14-day free trial of the software so you can become better acquainted with this time-saving tool.

13. Shoeboxed

Compatible accounting solutions: QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Online, Xero, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, and Wave. There is API for developers.

Shoeboxed is another big player in the receipt management world. It is just intuitive as ReceiptBank, albeit a little different. Instead of taking pictures of your receipts, you place them in a free “magic envelope,” send them off, and everything is taken care of for you. Shoeboxed takes the data from your receipts and archives them for you automatically. In addition to expense management, Shoeboxed also offers basic CRM features and reporting. For a full list of features, go here.

Pricing:

  • Lite – $9.95/mo
  • Classic – $29.95/mo
  • Business – $49.95/mo

Learn more about Shoeboxed here.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

Almost all accounting and invoicing software programs come with CRM features, but the quality of these tools varies significantly between companies. If you’re looking for CRM capabilities your current software doesn’t provide, it might be worth investing in a CRM-focused add-on.

14. Insightly

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, QuickBooks Online, and QuickBooks Pro. There is API for developers.

I don’t know if I believe this company when they claim “our CRM gives you super powers,” but I do believe Insightly is a super powerful CRM. Not only does Insightly handle contact and lead management, it also boasts strong project management, a beautiful UI, and well-developed mobile apps. One of the coolest ways Insightly helps generate sales and new customers is by integrating directly with your email, social media site, and website to automatically create an address book of leads. Other features include a calendar, mass emailing features, email templates, support, reports, and the ability to track new sale opportunities.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Basic – $15/mo per user
  • Plus – $35/mo per user
  • Professional – $59/mo per user
  • Enterprise – $129/mo per user

Insightly offers a free 14-day trial of any of the paid plans and a discount for annual subscriptions. Check out Insightly here or watch a quick overview video.

15. Capsule

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, FreshBooks, FreeAgent, KashFlow, Billiving, and ClearBooks. There is API for developers.

“There’s something to be said of the small business which caters to small business.”

Capsule is another CRM option that could be a good choice for smaller operations. Like Insightly, Capsule is easy to use and offers mobile apps. The company maintains strong security and is competitively priced. The Capsule feature set includes contact management, lead management, vendor management, sales pipeline, task management, recurring tasks, and file storage.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Premium – $12/mo per user

Important: Capsule is not designed for large businesses. If you are interested in the software, peruse our full Capsule review and take the free 30-day trial for a run.

Booking:

Keep forgetting your day planner? Unsatisfied with the calendar app on your phone? Tired of losing post-it note scribbled appointments on your desk? Welcome to the world of booking software.

16. Full Slate

Compatible accounting solutions: QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro.

Full Slate is cloud-based booking software that makes it easy to both schedule your own appointments and enable your clients to set up appointments with you. The UI is designed nicely, and everything is color coded for maximum organization. Full Slate offers different calendars for appointments, classes, and personal events (some users might hate this separation, but others seem to love it). In addition to these booking features, Full Slate also has CRM, sales tracking, basic reports, and the ability to set recurring appointments.

Pricing:

  • Just You – $29.95/mo
  • Up to 5 Staff – $49.95/mo
  • Up to 10 Staff – $79.95/mo

Have more than 10 staff members? Call for pricing.

Full Slate doesn’t offer a free trial; instead, the software is free until you exceed 10 booked appointments or 100 events. Read our full review of Full Slate to see why we gave the software 4.5/5 stars.

17. Acuity Scheduling

Compatible accounting solutions: FreshBooks, Xero, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Online, Invoice2go, Zoho Books, and Saasu. There is API for developers.

Over 500,000 people currently use Acuity Scheduling, and for good reason. It is an easy to use, customizable booking software with a strong feature set and single calendar. And to top it off, it’s affordable. Like Full Slate, Acuity Scheduling offers CRM and recurring appointments. But in contrast to Full Slate, Acuity Scheduling supports inventory, company promos, coupons, two-way Google calendar sync, and payment gateways, as well as the ability to track order history and manage time zones.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Emerging Entrepreneur – $10/mo
  • Growing Business – $19/mo
  • Powerhouse Player – $34/mo

Acuity Scheduling offers a free 14-day trial of any of the paid plans. Read our full review to see why Acuity Scheduling also gets 4.5/5 stars.

Customer Service:

Nothing beats service from the boss himself, but if your company is growing faster than you expect, or if you are spending more time answering customer questions than running your business, it may be time for to pass the baton.

18. Zendesk

Compatible accounting solutions: Harvest, QuickBooks Online, and Xero. There is API for developers.

Zendesk is actually the customer service tool used by several major accounting and invoicing software companies. (If it’s good for them it’s good for you right?). Zendesk offers support in the forms of phone, chat, message, text, social media, email, knowledge bases, and help desks. Pricing plans vary in the types of support service offered, so be sure to check out the pricing page before making any decisions.

Pricing:

  • Essential – $5/mo per agent
  • Team – $19/mo per agent
  • Professional – $49/mo per agent
  • Enterprise – $99/mo per agent
  • Elite – $199/mo per agent

Zendesk offers a free 30-day trial and demos that you can schedule at any time. To learn more about how Zendesk works, watch this video and check out Zendesk’s services.

Tax Tools:

Let’s face it, nobody likes tax season. You probably even cringed reading those words. But these integrations can help.

19. Track1099

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro, Xero, Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice, and Intacct. There is API for developers.

Track1099 is a robust tax support tool that allows small businesses to e-file necessary tax forms (the most notable being 1099s, W-2’s, W-4’s, and W-BENS). Come tax time, simply send the proper forms to your employees via email. They will fill them out in an incredibly user-friendly portal (I’ve done it myself and the process is easy as can be). Then you receive a copy of the form, and voila! You’ve completed your taxes as fast as Augustus Gloop can eat a pool of chocolate.

Pricing:

  • 25 Forms – $9/year
  • 150 Forms – $59/year
  • 5000 Forms – $199/year

Note: The type of form you can purchase on these plans is dependent on the plan you buy, so be sure your necessary forms are supported before purchasing. Learn more here.

20. Avalara

Compatible accounting solutions: Sage, Sage 100, Sage 500, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Books, Xero, and Intacct. There is API available for developers.

Avalara is a sales tax solution for small businesses. A few accounting software companies have made Avalara a part of their system out-of-the-box, while many others offer it as an optional integration. Basically, this add-on automatically determines the sales tax for your clients based on geolocation, saving you time (and since time is money, well it’s saving you that too).

The worst part about Avalara is that they do not post prices on their site and request interested persons to call them instead. You’re probably thinking, “So I have to make a phone call? Big whoop!” Well, it wouldn’t be an issue except that the Avalara representatives are incredibly pushy and pricing can be a bit steep.

That being said, this add-on may still be worth it for the ease of automated sales tax. That’s up to you to decide. You can learn more by watching this video and the visiting the Avalara site.

Specialty Integrations:

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Here are a few more specialized integrations that might be the perfect fit for you.

21. For Nonprofits – Sumac

Compatible accounting solutions: QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro.

While many software companies offer nonprofit discounts, there are few software options that are designed specifically for nonprofits. That’s what makes Sumac so great. Sumac is a locally installed program (though you can pay an extra $25/mo for use with the cloud). The software begins with basic CRM (the Bronze plan below) that is tailored to manage and store nonprofit information specifically. The feature set of the software depends on the specific plan you choose, but your choice in features can include time tracking, invoicing, email marketing, donation management, event management, grant management, booking, auctions, and more. Check the pricing plan for more details.

Pricing:

  • Bronze – Free
  • Silver – $20/mo
  • Gold – Custom price, calculate here
  • Platinum – Starts at $400/mo

Sumac offers a free trial of their software. Watch this video or proceed to their site to learn more about how this software works.

22. For Freelancers – Cushion

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero.

Cushion is a simple, easy to use freelancing solution that helps you keep track of your work. The features are limited but effective and the pricing is competitive. With a Cushion plan, you get the ability to track invoices, track jobs, view monthly income, set goals, track expenses, and to view and organize all of you projects in a calendar.

Pricing:

  • Moonlighter – $6/mo
  • Freelancer – $12/mo
  • Studio – coming soon

Check out Cushion if you are interested in this organization solution.

23. For Team Communication – Slack

Compatible accounting solutions: Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books. There is API for developers.

Communication is hard. But Slack has found a way to make it easy. Slack is a powerful communication platform (we use it here at Merchant Maverick, in fact). It allows you to have private or public team conversations, send direct messages, attach images and documents, as well as make calls.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Standard – $8/mo per user
  • Plus – $15/mo per user

If you’re tired of jumping between emails and texts, Slack is a great, affordable solution. You can learn more here.

24. For Partial Payments – Partial.ly

Compatible accounting solutions: FreshBooks and QuickBooks Online.

As you probably guessed from the title, Partial.ly is a payment solution that allows customers to make partial payments on products or services. You can create custom payment plans for your clients who then get access to a personal client portal. The software uses Stripe as its payment gateway. Note: Before you freak out at the credit card rate below, understand that Partial.ly uses this fee to cover all Stripe fees, so you are only charged once.

Pricing:

  • Credit Card Rate – 5% + $0.30/per transaction

Learn more about how Partial.ly can work with your business here.

25. For Everything Else – Zapier

Compatible accounting solutions: Xero, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro, FreshBooks, Wave, FreeAgent, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Books, Saasu, LessAccounting, Hiveage, Proposify, QuoteRoller, and InvoiceNinja. There is API for developers.

I promise I’m not kidding. If your accounting or invoicing software has a Zapier integration, that means you have access to over 750+ apps and integrations. Zapier works as its own sort of API in that it gives you endless connections to apps you otherwise may not have been able to access.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • For Work – $20/mo
  • For Teams – $125/mo

Learn more about how Zapier works and how to maximize your business with Zapier here.

The End

While this may be the end of a post, there is no end to the number of accounting and invoicing integrations out there. I hope that in 2017 you are able to make the most of these powerful tools.

My own New Year’s Resolution is to continue helping business owners like you as much as I can—and preaching the gospel of these 25 hidden gems is the best way I know how. But I can always use more help getting the word out! Let me know which accounting integrations have helped you succeed and if I have missed any of your favorites!

The post 25 Must-Have Accounting Software Integrations for 2017 appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

“”

Top 9 Shopify Alternatives

Shopify alternatives

Shopify, a superb eCommerce platform, may be the shopping cart software software we at Merchant Maverick recommend to many companies. However, we all know there are many companies available searching for Shopify alternatives, particularly in recent several weeks. Basically we love Shopify’s software, we know that may possibly not be the greatest cart for everybody.

Here (in no particular order) we present seven alternative shopping carts that you should try, and explain the Shopify competitors might work much better than Shopify.

Do not have time for you to read a whole article? Check out our best eCommerce solutions for a couple of quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer care, superb website templates, and simple-to-use software, all for any reasonable cost. Otherwise, continue reading for the seven options to Shopify.

Table of Contents

1. LemonStand

lemonstand-logo
LemonStand was initially offered as in your area downloadable software but has gone to live in the cloud recently. Package prices is markedly more costly than Shopify’s (find out more about LemonStand prices in our review), but you receive a lot for the money, because this shopping cart software solution offers limitless products on all plans, and comes packed with a lot of insanely customizable features. A few of the customizations you receive with LemonStand include:

  • Open-source storefront design personalization
  • Product options (size, color, etc., custom SKUs)
  • Custom SSL

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Unlike Shopify, LemonStand doesn’t charge any credit card transaction fees (apart from the charge billed from your selected payment gateway). LemonStand also provides more customizability than Shopify.

If you prefer a custom storefront, LemonStand might be a great selection for you. Just bear in mind that to be able to make the most of LemonStand you’ll most likely need to hire a graphic designer.

2. BigCommerce


Based on Texas-based BigCommerce, greater than 95,000 companies make use of this robust platform to market online. We gave BigCommerce a 4/5-star rating and think about this shopping cart software a powerful choice, designed for high-volume companies. It’s filled with features and prices resembles Shopify’s.

Some awesome reasons for this eCommerce software include:

  • Limitless storage, products, and bandwidth on all plans
  • Simple to use
  • Good customer support
  • No transaction charges
  • Strong Search engine optimization features

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify
BigCommerce does not charge any transaction charges.

BigCommerce also offers more “out from the box” features in comparison with Shopify. If you would like a lot of options, extras, and integrations that do not cost extra, BigCommerce can be a better option for the business than Shopify. Take a look at our BigCommerce versus. Shopify comparison for any more in-depth comparison of those shopping carts.

3. Volusion

volusion-logo
Volusion is among the greatest names in eCommerce, serving greater than 40,000 companies, including Element Outfitters and Evutec. Like Shopify, Volusion is a straightforward-to-use, cloud-based shopping cart software that work well for medium and small-sized companies. A number of Volusion’s most powerful selling points include:

  • 24/7 phone, chat, and email support
  • Limitless product options
  • No transaction charges
  • Abandoned cart feature

Find out more about Volusion in our review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Volusion doesn’t charge additional charge card transaction charges, whereas Shopify does. A couple more benefits of Volusion include one-page checkout as well as an out-of-the-box eBay integration (with Shopify, eBay integration is definitely an add-on).

Bear in mind that Volusion charges you bandwidth overage charges. It’s important to keep close track of your usage should you not would like to get hit using the $7/GB bandwidth charges.

For any much deeper comparison of the shopping carts, read our Volusion versus. Shopify article.

4. Big Cartel

big-cartel-logo

Big Cartel is really a shopping cart software with attitude. It’s a hip, minimalist shopping cart software geared particularly toward artists — roughly millions of musicians, clothing designers, along with other artists use Big Cartel to market their creations. While it’s rather limited when it comes to features and templates, Big Cartel is definitely an affordable shopping cart software which includes all of the essentials an indie artist needs to setup buy online.

With Big Cartel, you receive:

  • Limitless bandwidth
  • HTML and CSS personalization whatsoever compensated levels
  • Inventory tracking whatsoever compensated levels
  • Seamless integration with PayPal, Google Analytics, and Facebook
  • Free 5-product plan

Learn more about this shopping cart software within our Big Cartel review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
Big Cartel does not have as robust an element set as Shopify, but Big Cartel will be a lot cheaper should you not have numerous products to market — the fundamental 5-product Big Cartel package doesn’t have monthly charge. Big Cartel also doesn’t charge any card transaction charges, although it processes all payments through PayPal and Stripe, that charges greater charges than your average payment gateway.

To understand more about how Shopify and large Cartel stack facing one another, you are able to make reference to my Shopify versus. Big Cartel writeup.

5. Magento

magento-logo
Magento CE (Community Edition) is really a free, open-source shopping cart software that works well with mid-large vendors. As opposed to Shopify, Magento is downloadable instead of cloud-based, meaning it’s important to find your personal hosting. Magento is effective, scalable, and have-wealthy, but it isn’t for starters — it’s a better option for established companies who would like full control of their online shop and also have the capital to cover their very own hosting, website design, and security.

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify:
Magento isn’t for everybody, but when these functions suit your needs, you may enjoy it much better than Shopify:

  • No monthly fee (though you’ll have to invest in your own hosting)
  • Better built-in multi-lingual support than Shopify
  • Thousands more apps and add-ons
  • Greater personalization and control

Find out more about Magento CE within our Magento review. Magento also offers a company Edition.

6. WooCommerce

woo-commerce-logo
Wish to start selling in your WordPress website? WooCommerce is definitely an open-source WordPress shopping cart software wordpress plugin that’s liberated to install and employ with any WordPress account. WooCommerce integrates with numerous payment gateways and doesn’t charge any extra card transaction charges.

You are able to download numerous extensions and add-ons to increase WooCommerce’s fundamental functionality, though many of these have a price. Additionally, you will need to pay for your own personel Weblog web hosting.
Listed here are some reasons people like WooCommerce:

  • No monthly fee
  • Seamless WordPress integration
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Developer-friendly

Begin to see the full run-lower of features within our WooCommerce review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify
For companies with WordPress websites, WooCommerce provides the freedom and versatility of the open-source solution. Additionally, it enables you to maintain your data separate from any third-party software platform. To obtain all of the features Shopify offers, you will have a subscription to numerous plugins that bill you monthly. However, with WooCommerce, any add-on features you’ll need can be found as you-time purchases or free, which could save you money over time.

7. 3dcart

3dcart-logo
3dcart is really a fully cloud-located shopping cart software solution. This cart comes packed with features in an attractive cost point. 3dcart charges bandwidth overage charges at $5 for every GB you exceed your limit. For the next charge, to keep your website design services and SSL certificates from 3dcart.

Some helpful 3dcart features include:

  • Support for back orders, wait lists, discounts, gift registries, and much more
  • 50 Plus free templates
  • Product options, including bundles
  • CRM features
  • Search engine optimization tools
  • Integrates using more than 100 payment gateways

For more information on features and prices, take a look at our 3dcart review.

How It’s Better Than Shopify:
3dcart is priced slightly less than Shopify. For $9.99/month, you can buy the “Nano” package, which will come with 10 products, limitless storage, and the majority of the options that come with the greater plans. There is also yet another 15% discount should you spend the money for whole year. 3dcart doesn’t charge any transaction charges.

8. Ecwid

Already have an online prescence setup? Recycle for cash a couple of products in your blog? Ecwid could be the eCommerce platform for you personally.

Ecwid is definitely an eCommerce widget that simply incorporates into nearly every pre-established website. You simply incorperate your products to your admin panel and copy-paste a couple of lines of code to your website. And in a few minutes, you’ll possess a store setup!

Better still, if you are searching to market 10 products or less, you should use Ecwid devoid of charge. See a lot of prices within our Ecwid review.

Listed here are a couple of features you may expect from Ecwid:

  • Limitless bandwidth
  • Automatic updates
  • Sell digital goods
  • Real-time shipping rates

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify
Ecwid is ideal for sellers who curently have an online business. With Ecwid, it is simple to give a store aimed at your website in a relatively inexpensive.

Ecwid also doesn’t charge transaction charges and it has a completely-functional free arrange for retailers who wish to sell 10 products or less.

9. Pinnacle Cart

Pinnacle Cart is really a feature-wealthy SaaS solution that’s existed since 2004. Pinnacle Cart comes packed with features but still boasts incredible usability. Also it costs comparable as Shopify.

Pinnacle Cart may be the bell-and-whistles solution for retailers who’re searching for everything but do not have the tech understanding to have an free option like Magento.

Here a number of Pinnacle Cart’s features:

  • Shipping tracking
  • One-page checkout
  • Limitless admin accounts
  • Limitless product images
  • Real-time shipping quotes
  • Recurring billing

Check out our Pinnacle Cart review to learn more.

How It’s Much Better Than Shopify
Pinnacle Cart offers particularly more features than Shopify out-of-the-box. For instance, you are able to enable one-page checkout and list limitless product attributes. These functions can be found whatsoever cost points.

Additionally, Pinnacle Cart doesn’t charge transaction charges. Plans cost competitive rates.

How you can Make sure Find More Shopify Alternatives

Shopify is definitely an awesome SaaS shopping cart software, however it certainly isn’t your main option. Anybody searching to produce a web-based store should evaluate several shopping cart software providers before selecting the one which meets all of their eCommerce needs. Fortunately, many of these shopping carts provide a free trial offer, enabling you to test the woking platform prior to signing up.

Want much more eCommerce platforms to select from? You can peruse our shopping cart software software reviews or begin by considering our shopping cart software flowchart to determine what platforms may be suitable for your company.

Shannon Vissers

Shannon is really a freelance author and editor located in North Park, CA. Shannon type of wants an apple iphone 7, but she’s not necessarily prepared to lose the headphone jack.

Shannon Vissers
Shannon Vissers

“”

8 Signs You’re Prepared to Leave Etsy (and the way to Get It Done)

When artists, crafters, and designers begin selling their wares online, they frequently reach the same place: Etsy.

Etsy is a superb spot for hobbyists to check the waters and find out if their goods possess a following. Newbie sellers will find their voices, decipher the reasons of shipping, and start to construct some customer.

Etsy shops are simple to setup. You don&#8217t need to have one ounce of technical capability to get began, and payment processing is performed for you personally. Website design, security, and hosting are addressed by another person. You just need to make quality products, list all of them with excellent images and product descriptions, handle customer support, and fulfill your orders.

It&#8217s a crafter&#8217s dream.

However, many Etsy sellers become disillusioned his or her shops grow plus they catch up with to Etsy&#8217s &#8220Quit Your Entire Day Job&#8221 ideal.

They understand that because of so many sellers in one location, it&#8217s hard to establish themselves like a full-fledged business. The work they do gets lost within the flurry of recent products using their company sellers, and individuals seller charges are beginning to include up. At this time, many start to consider switching from Etsy to traditional online retailers, with valid reason.

Possibly you&#8217re reaching this time too, however, you aren&#8217t exactly sure you&#8217re ready for that switch. For the reason that situation, it can help to examine why other retailers have made the decision to ditch Etsy and go their very own way.

Listed here are a couple of signs that you simply&#8217re ready for something different:

1. You’re Prepared to Dedicate Much of your Time for you to Your Store

Should you&#8217re seriously thinking about departing Etsy to determine your personal site, you ought to be a minimum of okay with the thought of being a full-time seller.

Running your personal site requires time. You&#8217ll need to manage your website&#8217s content and make certain that the checkout page is safe and meets PCI standards. Add all of this on the top of the usual order processing, shipping, and actual manufacturing, and you’ll have both hands full!

If dedicating the majority of your time and effort for your business appears inspiring, instead of discouraging, you&#8217re probably prepared to leave Etsy and proceed to greener pastures.

2. You’ve got a Niche, and also you Comprehend the Market

This really is crucial: To be able to contend with marketplaces, you’ll want a distinct segment. Are looking for your audience and market particularly to that particular number of customers.

Identify your customer group, and your buyers in your mind while you build up your new site. Try Entrepreneur&#8217s article on defining your niche.

3. You’re Prepared to Construct Your Brand

Among the best methods to encourage repeat business is defined a brandname. You would like customers to connect with your organization and also to your story. Regrettably, it&#8217s tough to develop a feeling of identity on Etsy. There’s limited space inside your &#8220About&#8221 section that you should establish a brand.

The sad the fact is that many Etsy buyers pay hardly any focus on the store that they buy an item. (I honestly can&#8217t remember the a single Etsy business I&#8217ve frequented.) Like a marketplace, Etsy includes a much more powerful identity than the actual shops it hosts.

If you have your personal site you’ll truly cover the cost of your shop your personal. You are able to grow it with content that&#8217s relevant entirely to your products and style it to appear the way in which you picture. Designing your personal site might take some work, however it&#8217s well well worth the effort. What&#8217s more, website design is not only for trained developers. Because of the rise of easy search engine optimization and drag-and-drop website builders, anybody can produce a compelling, attractive site. (Don&#8217t trust me? Take a look at my article on top 3 Shopping Carts for novices.)

4. You’re Ready to determine Search engine optimization

Whenever you leave Etsy, your greatest challenges is going to be establishing a healthy flow of traffic. On the marketplace, you don&#8217t need to search out website traffic. Customers just come your way.

However, on the internet, visitors aren&#8217t as simple to find. You&#8217ll need to optimize your website for search engines like google: write metadata, use longtail keywords, and write custom URLs for each product. This could by time-consuming and frustrating, as internet search engine standards are continually altering.

However if you simply&#8217re ready to determine Search engine optimization, you will find sources available that will help you learn. And fortunately, some eCommerce platforms make Search engine optimization simpler to apply with built-in tools.

Want more details? Take a look at these 10 Website Builder Search engine optimization Tips or look at this help guide to creating and looking after an online business for the business.

5. You need to Sell a Couple of Non-Hand crafted Products

Etsy doesn’t enable the selling associated with a non-hand crafted products. This will make sense. Etsy is, in the end, a platform for crafters, also it really wants to distinguish itself from Amazon . com and eBay.

However, Etsy&#8217s stringent rules about &#8220what is hand crafted&#8221 happen to be stifling for many sellers. Should you incorporate a manufactured piece in your hand crafted creations (say a purchased clock face inside your handwoven watch), you may be susceptible to suspension or perhaps cancellation of the site.

If you wish to sell manufactured products to create more sales without getting to craft everything yourself, you might be prepared to make your website. Possibly you saw a couple of bracelets on Aliexpress that will go perfectly together with your hands-dyed scarves, and you need to make individuals open to your clients too. If you escape from Etsy, marketing individuals products while increasing your revenue without anxiety about repercussions.

6. You’re Tired of Having to pay Seller Charges

When I&#8217m sure you realize, Etsy charges $.20 on every product listing along with a 3.5% + $.25 transaction fee on every purchase. (You’ll find Etsy&#8217s complete introduction to charges here.)

Individuals charges certainly aren&#8217t terrible (just check out Amazon . com&#8217s complex FBA charges!), though they actually are irritating. Should you&#8217re fed up with having to pay $20/month simply to keep 400 products in your Etsy store, you very well may consider putting that $20/month toward a regular membership with an eCommerce platform.

You could possibly look for a lower transaction rate too, with respect to the payment gateway you select.

If you’re totally baffled by payment gateways and merchant services, I suggest you check out our help guide to merchant services (at the end of the page).

7. You’re Fed up with being Encircled through the Competition

This is actually the number 1 trouble with marketplaces. Although it&#8217s simple for people to find your product or service, it&#8217s just like easy to allow them to hop out of your Etsy shop to another person&#8217s.

Your product or service are continually being when compared to remainder of Etsy, but yet, affordable prices frequently win out, no matter product quality.

Because they build your personal site, you&#8217ll differentiate yourself in the competition making it not as likely that buyers will appear elsewhere.

8. You’re So Over the specter of Cancellation

Etsy is definitely an infamously unpredictable marketplace. I&#8217ve read very many tales of sellers whose shops were canceled for that tiniest reasons.

You need to bear in mind that Etsy is a company on its own, and then any shop that exists inside the companies are under its authority. If Etsy decides your product or service don&#8217t meet its standards, your website is going to be shut lower, there&#8217s nothing that you can do about this.

Now, this isn’t an average problem. Clearly, more sellers run Etsy shops than are banned in the marketplace however, it’s a possibility.

If you&#8217re tired of renting an area on Etsy (and residing in constant anxiety about eviction), get the own place. Make your own online shop and check out it working for yourself.

Isn’t it time for that Switch?

Isn’t it time to start your personal site? Are you currently raring to obtain began? If that’s the case, my first little bit of advice is that this: Wait.

Don&#8217t abandon ship before your liferaft is fully inflated. Before leaving Etsy, you need to make certain that the new website is ready for purchasers and that you’ll be in a position to easily direct customers there.

A sluggish transfer is preferable to a rash one.

Even before you begin creating a new site, I suggest that you simply buy your own domain name. It is simple to get one from GoDaddy. (Note: Go on and buy your own domain name from GoDaddy, but don&#8217t use the website builder or store builder software. They&#8217re both terrible.)

Once you purchase your website name, you need to redirect that URL toward your Etsy shop. After that you can market your new URL while keeping Etsy traffic.

Later, you are able to establish your personal shop while using new URL and your past customers. Read much more about establishing an URL for the Etsy shop within this Etsy forum thread.

After you have your website name, it&#8217s time for you to pick an eCommerce platform. And again, I implore you: Wait.

Selecting the best eCommerce software programs are essential to your store&#8217s success. Before you decide to sign up for any platform, you need to be sure that the vendor you decide on offers the features you’ll need.

The first thing ought to be to write lower a summary of features that you must have to possess inside your eCommerce platform. That list might include unlimited products, automatic shipping calculation tools, an integration with Quickbooks accounting, or perhaps a drag-and-drop website designer, etc. Then, consider a number of platforms before you locate one that provides all of the features you&#8217re searching for.

Whenever you&#8217ve verified the platform you&#8217re thinking about has individuals features, check it out! Most eCommerce platforms offer free 15-day trials. Go ahead and take software through its paces. Make certain it may handle your product or service and product images. Try your hands in the design editor, and make up a couple of mock discounts. You need to be totally certain the eCommerce platform you invest in will come across your store&#8217s needs prior to committing to anything.

Hopefully, you aren&#8217t feeling too at a loss for the job. If you’re, never fear, I&#8217ve done a few of the research for you personally! Listed here are three eCommerce platforms I suggest to Etsy graduates:

Big Cartel

Big Cartel review

A couple of Etsy&#8217s greatest selling points are its simplicity of use and it is community of artists. Big Cartel speaks to both individuals things.

Big Cartel is really a cloud-based solution, and therefore all your store details are located on Big Cartel&#8217s servers and it is guaranteed by them&#8211you won&#8217t need to bother about website security or maintenance. (Actually, all the platforms I&#8217m including within this narrow your search are cloud-based solutions.)

This shopping cart software caters mainly to artists while offering clean website design that&#8217s simple to apply, even though you don&#8217t know any code.

The greatest problem with Big Cartel is you can only list as much as 300 products in your website. To learn more, read our full overview of Big Cartel here.

Selz

Selz, selz review

Selz is a straightforward online shop that connects to any web site you identify. You don&#8217t need to comprehend code to obtain began. Everything can be achieved while using site&#8217s admin and simple web design service.

Selz is particularly great for retailers who sell digital files, whether individuals are printable PDFs, e-books, or mp3s.

The greatest downfall to Selz is its simplicity. If you are considering expanding your store considerably, Selz is most likely not the easiest method to go. For more info about Selz, click the link.

Shopify

Shopify is among the most generally used beginner platforms. Actually, you&#8217ve most likely already heard about it.

This cart is simple to use and it is easier scalable compared to other two options I&#8217ve presented above. It offers much more features than either of these two options above, just like a more complicated discount engine and a greater diversity of website design options.

Individuals features, however, come in a slightly greater cost. The fundamental Shopify plan costs $29/month, though I believe an investment makes it worth while. Check out our overview of Shopify here.

Ready, Set, Quit!

Now you&#8217re equipped with your own domain name, a summary of features, along with a couple of good eCommerce platforms, Personally i think confident encouraging you inside your start up business venture.

Start your personal store, setup your product or service, make your promotions, and obtain selling! And, whenever you&#8217re comfortable, split up with Etsy.

You don&#8217t need them anyway.

Want more details about running your personal store? Take a look at these useful articles:

  • Building an internet site For Your Online Business
  • 7 Characteristics of the Effective e-Store
  • How You Can Build A Website Which Will Keep People Returning
  • 7 Good Reasons To Create Your Own Website
  • Top 17 Methods To Monetize Your Site and Win At Existence
  • 6 Tools Every e-Tailer Should Use

The publish 8 Signs You’re Prepared to Leave Etsy (and the way to Get It Done) made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

“”