What are some high-end alternatives to Shopify?

Douglas Tarr Entrepreneur and Software Architect

August 16th, 2013

I'm building an online store for my wife's fashion business (high-end women's outerwear) and we've used shopify in the past.  However, the themes available aren't really at the level she's looking for (and there aren't that many - less than 50-100 total)  - and they aren't really sophisticated enough.

Are there any alternatives to Shopify that cater to a higher-end market?

Daniel Ice

August 17th, 2013

My background.  I have developed stores on osCommerce, ZenCart, Demandware and Magento.  I have also helped people get running on Shopify as well.  I see your options as 3 fold: hosted solution with a custom theme, an open source solution with custom theme, totally custom site.  I think you can rule the last option out if you don't have a unique spin on shopping (ie, you are not listing products, clicking add to cart, checking out).

Hosted Solution

If you like Shopify and just want a better theme, I would second the others that have advocated getting a designer and developer to make a custom skin for you.

If you don't like Shopify or need more then I would recommend UpShot commerce.  Their pricing is reasonable and they have a really solid team.  They bring a lot to the table and have good developers to help you if need a customization here or there.

Self Hosted / Open Source

Lots of people recommend Magento, but I cannot.  It is a very complicated and hard to scale option.  If you ever want to do something the non-magento way, you are looking at lots of time and developer cost.  Also, as other's have pointed out, it seems like more people are leaving Magento than staying with it.

If you are looking to really customize would recommend Spree Commerce.  It is a Ruby on Rails based cart.  Spree allows you to customize your checkout and almost every other aspect of the cart.  With version 2.0 you can use spree as just an API and have an interfacing app sit on top of it.  Spree can be tested with automated test like rspec.  You can also deploy it to a scalable solution like Heroku.

Hope that helps,

Jason Oliver Founder and Technology & Product Executive

August 16th, 2013

Everyone that I know who's used magento has moved off the platform, eventually. It doesn't scale easily and not without lots of customizations. And since they got purchased by ebay its been pretty down hill on the core platform. 

Upshot Commerce is a platform that is between a shoplify and a demandware. Hybris is good to, but more expensive. At these levels however, you aren't going to find many themes, you'll need to hire a designer, but these systems can support almost any design. They key is that they are very customizable, whereas shopify is more rigid. Let me know if you want an introduction to any of them. 

Aravind Nirmal Kumar Formally Informal

August 17th, 2013

I am sure you can get someone to do a custom theme for your shopify store.

Stefan Broda Partner Program Manager at Atlassian

August 16th, 2013

I'm using BigCommerce for the first MVP of (our sexual health startup). Its a bit clunky but works. It lets you edit all the theme files online so customizing it is possible (but you need to be familiar with html/css).

Blake Caldwell

August 16th, 2013

Another option is squarespace. It is not as robust as shopify or magento, but it's way more simple...and much better looking. 

If they have all the features you need then I'd go with it. One thing to note is that it hosts everything (you don't need to manage your own server). 

Mohammad Forouzani CEO at

August 16th, 2013

You could try themes from Themeforest or just hire a designer to design a custom theme for you - that's what most bigger ecommerce stores do.

Here is the link for shopify themes on themeforest:

Maïté Grisard Field marketing expert

August 16th, 2013

Hey Douglas, 

There is a New-York startup that does e-commerce for designers:

Hope this helps, 

Sharon Schanzer Client service consultant, graphic designer, WordPress developer

August 16th, 2013

Magento enterprise should do the trick.

Stefan Koenig COO & Co-Founder at

August 16th, 2013

Magneto and for social engagement features Best regards, Stefan Koenig 678-427-6777

Eric Sullivan CEO at FoundationLab

August 16th, 2013

Magneto Sent from my iPhone