There are many eCommerce solutions and tools out there. Depending on your needs, you can choose to opt for a hosted or self-hosted platform. For some users, a hosted solution is a good idea. On the other hand, others might need a self-hosted installable script. Foxy is one such eCommerce platform that allows you to quickly setup an eCommerce store and start selling online.
In this review, we will be taking a closer look at Foxy. Formerly known as FoxyCart, this particular eCommerce platform has been around for quite some time by now. But just how good is it? Read on to learn more about Foxy.
Before going any further, let us first look at what Foxy has to offer and what makes it different from the other eCommerce platforms in its league.
Foxy: An eCommerce Solution That Just Works
Initially, Foxy began as a hosted eCommerce solution that went by the name of FoxyCart. With a range of premium plans, FoxyCart was fairly like Shopify and other hosted eCommerce platforms.
Foxy, however, is different. Instead of being a hosted solution, Foxy attempts to integrate with your existing Content Management System. In essence, Foxy lets your Content Management System handle your website and focuses solely on the eCommerce workflow.
Here is how it works:
Understanding the Mode of Operation
Let us say, you have an existing website. You are currently hosting with a web hosting provider of your choice. Alternatively, you have built it using a hosted solution like SquareSpace or Wix. irrespective of the platform that your website is based on, Foxy can integrate with it.
Now, you already have existing content in the form of blog posts and pages, etc. furthermore, you have also integrated a range of production and marketing tools, such as MailChimp, Google Analytics, an affiliate management program, etc. But what if you wish to add an eCommerce store?
This is where Foxy steps in. it leaves your current website data untouched — be it your blog or other content. Instead, it relies purely on the eCommerce aspect of things. Need to manage inventory? Got coupons for discounts? Recurring payments, checkout, shopping cart management, taxes, checking for fraudulent orders, etc. can be handled by Foxy with ease. This leaves you worry-free and you can focus purely on developing your content and promoting your eCommerce store.
Here are some of the external services that Foxy can integrate with:
- Campaign Monitor
- Amazon Web Services
- Mad Mimi
- And more!
Beyond that, Foxy can also integrate with various payment gateways so that orders can be placed and processed seamlessly. This includes PayPal, Amazon Pay, 2Checkout, Apple Pay, BrainTree, Authorize.net, World Pay, Stripe, etc. Furthermore, Foxy also supports various cryptocurrency payment options. So if you wish to accept Bitcoin payments with ease on your eCommerce store, Foxy is the ideal pick!
Now that we have seen what Foxy can do, it is clear it does fit in the definition of a hosted eCommerce platform anymore. It is no longer a “do it all” solution. But what does that make Foxy for us?
Digging Deeper and Doing More with Foxy
For people running eCommerce websites and online merchants, Foxy serves the purpose of simplification. You would have come across various solutions that work seamlessly for a wide variety of tasks. For example, there are blogging platforms that can be used to create an eCommerce store, and vice versa. But intermingling the two does not always serve the desired purpose, does it?
Let us take up an example. Say, you have a blog hosted on a shared hosting solution. Now, technically you can run an eCommerce store by adding a few plugins and extensions to your blogging platform, such as WordPress. But will your hosting be scalable enough to cope up with eCommerce? Considering the fact that more and more countries are now imposing compliance requirements on eCommerce stores, simply creating an eCommerce store is not enough.
But there is nothing to worry, because Foxy can do just that for you. You can still run your blog on the hosting structure and platform of your choice. However, your eCommerce pages such as shopping cart and checkout can be served via Foxy’s infrastructure. This means you do not have to overburden your blog with additional plugins for payment gateways, worry about fraudulent orders, security compliance for eCommerce, etc. Here is a brief summary of things are expected to work with Foxy:
You keep running your website or blog or even the store using the platform of your choice. This platform can be WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, anything that you prefer.
Once you have integrated Foxy into your website or blog, you can “outsource” the eCommerce features to Foxy. Checkout pages (including one page checkout methods), user management, product and inventory management, discounts, taxes, shipping rates and currency exchange rates — everything can be taken care of by Foxy.
In this manner, you can simplify your life by not worrying about various compliance measures and requirements that come associated with eCommerce management solutions. You will still be responsible for your own data and products, but you do not have to deal with the way online commerce works. Foxy handles that for you.
Foxy offers multiple pricing models that can suit everyone’s needs.
- The Standard Plan is priced at $20 per month (or $15 per month, if paid annually). It includes the first 100 transactions per month, but charges 15 cents per transaction thereafter. Further, this plan may just not suffice for most eCommerce users — there is no custom SSL included. You will have to pay an additional $100 per year for custom SSL certificate. Naturally, this is an overkill as similar SSL certificates can be had for a lot lesser from other providers.
- The Advanced Plan costs $300 per month (or $250 per month if billed annually). It offers first 100 transactions for free every month, and 5 cents per transaction thereafter. The better part is that a custom SSL certificate is included for no additional charge. Note that this plan comes with priority support, unlike the Standard plan.
- For higher end users, there is an Enterprise plan option. This starts at $2000 per month. Features included are custom TOS, high volume processing, and more.
By the looks of it, Foxy does not seem like the cheapest option out there. However, considering the fact that the target audience includes users who wish to save their time by letting Foxy take care of eCommerce for their site, the pricing can be justified. With Foxy, you are paying for peace of mind and ease of use.
With that said, is Foxy worth the trouble?
Assessment of Foxy: The Good and Bad Parts
Foxy has a lot of potential in its own right. Considering the fact that it can integrate with various other Content Management Systems, Foxy can serve the needs of many people who might otherwise be relying on an existing software for managing their site. For instance, you may have built your website with Wix, but do not wish to use it to sell products online. Foxy is the apt solution in this case.
Another praiseworthy aspect of Foxy is that all the plans come with unlimited products and sales. In other words, you can add unlimited products, subscriptions, discount coupons, tax rates, even unlimited store managers or admins! There is no limit on the number of sales that you can generate or items you can sell. Unlike many other eCommerce solutions that limit the number of products or transaction on their lower tier plans, Foxy grants you complete freedom of growth.
On the downside, however, the charges per transaction are not something everyone would like. In fact, the 100 or 1000 free transactions limit per month (based on the plan you opt for) is just not doable for many bigger eCommerce stores. While for smaller stores such limit will probably not be hit too often, most bigger online sellers will find that they are losing a part of their revenue per sale, even after paying a monthly subscription fee! This gives the impression that Foxy is eyeing only the smaller sellers who do not generate more than a few sales per month.
If you are bigger store owner and have thousands of transactions every month, Foxy may not suffice for your needs — unless you are comfortable paying a small fee per transaction.
Another noticeable downside for Foxy is that its developer documentation is not as good as that of other eCommerce solutions. It could have been more detailed, possibly with real word code solutions and examples.
Verdict: Is Foxy Meant For You?
Thus, it can be said that Foxy is, in essence, an eCommerce management tool rather than an eCommerce platform. It lets you manage and curate your online store. It takes the boring tasks of payment gateway management, order validity and authenticity checks, product validation, etc. away from you. Instead, you can safely focus on running and promoting your online store.
Foxy also offers PCI compliance. This makes it even more secure and provides an additional boost for online store owners and buyers that are looking for that added bit of security.
Now, should you consider using Foxy? Or will you be better off avoiding it?
Foxy can suit your needs if:
- You need an eCommerce solution that plays well with most other third party software.
- Or, you already have a website or blog in place along with a marketing strategy. You are only looking for an eCommerce management tool that works well with payment gateways, online transactions, etc.
- You do not need to host your eCommerce tool on your own servers.
On the other hand, Foxy may not be suitable for you if:
- You are looking for a solution that can be hosted by you.
- Alternatively, you do not need to integrate with other solutions.
- You have numerous transactions on your store every month and you would rather not pay the small transaction fee.
All said and done, an eCommerce platform is only as good as you make it. Foxy tags along well with your existing setup. It can be moulded to suit your needs. For folks looking for an ultimate eCommerce mechanism, Foxy should not be considered. But if you are in need of a tool that lets you sell online quickly and easily, Foxy is a commendable and reliable option.
Have you given Foxy a spin yet? Note that for developers, testing and developing sites to work with Foxy is free of cost. You need to pay only when you take your store live. So go ahead, give Foxy a try! Plus, if you need more help deciding which eCommerce platform is best for you, check out other reviews here.
And if you already are a Foxy user, how has your experience been? Share your views and thoughts with us in the comments below!