LemonStand has one of the best names in the ecommerce market, and the company also has the powerful platform to go with it. They have released various new updates, so we decided to give the platform a fresh new start from our initial review.
To begin, LemonStand is an ecommerce platform designed for companies that are growing at a rapid pace. It works fine for beginners who don’t plan on customizing much past their own product pages and logo, but LemonStand is best for those companies who want a hyper-customization atmosphere with access to all the website code. In general, if you want to move past the default settings you need at least some experience with code.
This is mentioned on LemonStand’s website, so that immediately tells me the platform is not for beginners who want to run their own website. Although the platform has made strides and is really one of the best ecommerce platforms out there, you need a decent amount of money to use it. The pricing for LemonStand is actually quite reasonable, but the fact that they assume you will also be paying for a web developer means you need a significant amount of cash to pay that developer.
So, we can predict that LemonStand works the best for companies that have a little money and they are moving too quickly for the owners to work on the site much. However, LemonStand seems to do this intentionally, because the platform is built to scale with some of the fastest growing companies in the world, whereas you will run into a ceiling with some other out of the box ecommerce systems like BigCartel and Volusion.
Let’s take a look at the entire review to see if my prediction is right.
Similar to most other ecommerce platforms, LemonStand comes with some features that you can find anywhere, while some of the features are rather unique to the platform.
One of the more unique features is the fact that LemonStand does not take any transaction fees from the stores. Granted, you always have to pay fees to your credit card processor, but this at least helps you save a little bit of money along the way, especially if your store is processing lots of orders.
The best feature by far is the open API from LemonStand. This means you can integrate just about any app or even make your own customization to fit your online store and make it better. Keep in mind that this means you need advanced technical knowledge in many cases, but the LemonStand platform is built on the idea that you will most likely be working with a website specialist.
Features like tracking sales, header tags, unlimited product images, landing pages, A/B testing and custom order statuses are all nice, but the API is the ultimate standout feature, since you can customize anything you want to make your brand look completely unique.
If you want to get your site up and running fast, go with an option like Shopify. If you want to stray away from the cookie cutter site and have a developer on your hands, go for LemonStand. It’s really for the shops that have large expectations and want to grow fast. Learn more about LemonStand features here.
LemonStand Ease of Use
LemonStand use to offer local software, and they seemed to have received a bad rap for that, but their new cloud system is fairly flawless, and it took me no more than five minutes to reach my online store dashboard.
Right before the dashboard comes up you can choose a stylish theme and play around with the frontend right away. I honestly don’t think the LemonStand backend is anymore complicated than options like Shopify, but things start picking up in terms of complexity when you start working with the API.
I like how they give you a quick link to the backend and frontend of your site, making it cut and dry for beginners. The backend interface is similar to the way WordPress or Shopify is setup, and I might argue that it’s even easier to figure out what’s going on since they give you some icons and large buttons to move around on the left.
I like to test ease of use by adding a single product, and it took me no more than five minutes to punch in all the information for a computer I randomly decided to sell as my mock product. The product module has an accordion style navigation system, making it clear on what options you have when adding a product.
I particularly like that you can change all your SEO, manufacturer, discounts, shipping and subscriptions settings all from the add product page; and of course they have a bulk product upload button.
LemonStand has a 14-day free trial, which helps merchants understand if the platform is right for them. You can check out all of the features that come with the different levels of pricing here. To break it down a little for you, these are the main differences:
- The Startup Plan – This comes in at $49 per month and you can have one staff user and can place unlimited products on your store.
- The Professional Plan – At $89 you receive everything from the Startup plan along with two staff users, priority support, digital product selling, webhooks and more.
- The Growth Plan – At $149 you get everything in the previous plans along with 10 staff users, subscriptions, custom fields, concierge setup and more.
LemonStand Templates and Design
Much of the design work comes into play before you even reach the dashboard. This is nice so you can see a somewhat working store before you even add any of your products. In terms of what the designs look like, they are clean and functional.
Obviously the true customization comes into play when you tap into the API, but I actually enjoyed the default theme that came along with my test site. I would be rather proud to call it my online store once I uploaded the proper logo and products.
When modifying the designs you have direct access to the code for every page on your website.
Let me be very clear here: Designing your website for LemonStand requires coding knowledge. Sure, you can just leave the defaults, but even changing some of the smallest components on your site requires a knowledgeable developer. There is no drag and drop editor for the beginners out there.
It’s a little confusing trying to compare LemonStand to something like Shopify, so here’s the best breakdown:
- Shopify and LemonStand are on even ground in terms of the out of the box features and design elements.
- This means that if you don’t know a thing about code and don’t plan on changing much, either works fine.
- However, if you don’t plan on hiring a developer, don’t know much about code and you want to customize your site more than changing the logo / colors in the template, Shopify is easier to tweak for beginners.
The LemonStand inventory management isn’t all that different from the market standards. You can create your own categories, tags, collections, product types and more.
You can always track your product inventory and block sales when you run out of stock. There’s nothing special here, but LemonStand has the essentials.
LemonStand SEO and Marketing
SEO and marketing comes into play on the product level in LemonStand. Basically you can fill in all of the SEO information for your products without worrying whether or not Google is going to index your site.
Unlike other online shopping cart solutions where you may have to download a plugin, the folks at LemonStand have SEO functionality programmed into your site, and you can always modify what the search engines see if needed. As for marketing, the sky’s the limit with integrations. You can work with email marketing tools, sync with social media and more.
The LemonStand payments setup is fairly simple, and you can see all the details you need before you even start paying for a LemonStand account. I counted eleven different payment processing options, from Authorize.net to Paypal, which is more than enough options in my opinion.
LemonStand isn’t all that detailed on how they keep sites secure, but in short, the company keeps copies of your site files on 36 different servers throughout the world and they never store customer data.
The company also uses SSL encryption on every page your site, not just the checkout pages. Not to mention, the content delivery network is available to every customer no matter which plan you opt for.
LemonStand Customer Support
Customer support is where LemonStand really excels. The ecommerce platform was built on jumping in when companies were moving so fast they couldn’t handle a website alone. The company provides free email and phone support, and depending on your ecommerce plan, you may receive preferred support.
LemonStand also offers detailed resources such as user guides, theme documentation and the standard company blog for updates and tips on managing your site.
Like stated before, LemonStand has the features, but you don’t get the advanced drag and drop editor you receive from options like Shopify and Volusion.This is ideal for a fast growing company that has a web developer on the team but I would at least give a spin with their 14 days free trial.
Share your thoughts in the comments section if you are considering the LemonStand platform for your store.