ShopSite – Is It A Good Way To Start Your Online Business?
2019 January 7th at 3:59
Founded in 1996, ShopSite is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that claims to let you host your online store anywhere - yes, anywhere. And there is also the option to build an entirely new eCommerce website, too.
But despite having over 20 years worth of experience and knowledge in this field, will ShopSite be able to hit the forefront of the eCommerce scene?
Can ShopSite Host a Successful Online Store?
With ShopSite, things are done a little differently compared to other eCommerce providers. Instead of offering everything as an inclusive package, ShopSite outsources its hosting and customer service to a variety of approved third-party partners.
It is worth noting that the cheapest hosting provider for ShopSite is Hostwinds priced at $3.00 per month. This extremely low price is due to a 75% discount on its normal price of $11.99.
As for the ShopSite design, it's fairly basic. While there are 50+ custom themes to choose from, some of the designs are outdated and would benefit from being upgraded.
But if you're approaching ShopSite with an existing website already made, you're rewarded with being able to add order and cart buttons with just a few clicks of your mouse. It's hassle-free and that's something I love.
Overall, the themes were easy to set up too. Mostly due to the fact that there are limited options. However, some users may be fond of this as it results in a user-friendly, simple experience.
ShopSite Features & Add-ons
Unfortunately, most of ShopSite's key features are exclusive to the most expensive plan. These include its effective management and merchant design tools (searchable page and product databases, gift certificates, order discounts and more).
On top of this, ShopSite offers its users multiple add-ons. But if you are used to the more impressive App Marketplaces like Shopify, you may be a little disappointed with those provided by ShopSite.
However, one particular highlight that may save your day is the inclusion of Google Analytics and Constant Contact. The latter of which provides great looking email templates, newsletter promotions, and award-winning support.
ShopSite offers its clients three pricing plans - as well as a free one. If you're purchasing the Starter plan; it is priced at $5.99 month-to-month. You can buy the Manager plan at $29.99 month-to-month, or $495 one-time. The pro plan is priced at $59.99 month-to-month, or $1295 one-time.
|Price Per Month (Annual)||Free||$5.99||$29.99||$59.99|
|Mobile-Friendly on All Pages||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Support||Support Portal & Forum||Support Portal & Forum||Support Portal & Forum||Support Portal & Forum|
As you can see, there isn't much separating the free plan with the starter plan. One thing to note though is that the starter plan includes mobile-friendly pages, while the free plan includes a mobile-friendly checkout only.
In comparison to Shopify, ShopSite comes in at a higher price. The basic Shopify plan is priced at $9.00 per month including hosting. This is compared to ShopSite which has its lowest priced plan at just $5.00 but is excluding a hosting service.
From afar, the price increase is quite substantial from the manager plan to the pro plan. But after taking an in-depth look at the two plans, there are some rather significant differences.
Not only does the pro plan include the Facebook store and gift certificates, but there are coupon emails, product reviews, and global Shoplex international shipping available.
ShopSite Review - The Final Verdict
With eCommerce platforms especially, it's always nice to try before you buy. So the free plan is something that I am definitely keen on, especially considering the steep pricing for the paid plans.
Overall, ShopSite combines heavily-featured plans and an easy-to-use platform. It provides great 3rd-party integration options and plenty of design features to build a respected online store. However, platforms such as Shopify do indeed offer better value for money.
If you do try ShopSite, please feel free to leave your own ShopSite reviews and experiences below.
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