LemonStand was once one of the best names in the ecommerce market, and the company also had a powerful platform to go with it. It was a place for many creatives and small businesses to sell products, but unfortunately, that has come to an end.
If you're curious about our thoughts on LemondStand, feel free to read our review on the platform below. If you're more interested in migrating from LemonStand to another platform, we have a tutorial for that as well.
How to Migrate from LemonStand to a New Platform
This is the place to be if you're a LemonStand customer in need of a new ecommerce platform. You have plenty of options to choose from, many of which offer reasonable pricing and solid infrastructures for selling.
Which Platforms Should You Consider?
We have reviewed hundreds of ecommerce platforms, so we recommend trying out as many as you can before buying. After all, it would be a pain to jump from one platform to another only to find out you have to do it again. Therefore, test out some of the free trials and play around with those platforms that provide free plans. It's important to keep an eye on things like integrations and features, since you might already be paying for services that were previously integrated with your site.
We also suggest viewing templates from all platforms. The reason for this is because the templates often dictate exactly what your website is going to look like. If you don't like the idea of drastic customizations and would prefer having a website that looks good right out of the box, the templates are where you want to focus.
Having said that, these are the primary platforms we recommend for those attempting to migrate from LemonStand:
- Shopify – This is one of the most popular platforms out there, and for good reason. The monthly rates are reasonable, and everything is included with that rate such as hosting, domain name, and full online store. The templates are plentiful and you have access to a wonderful app store for expanding upon your current feature-set. View our full Shopify review here.
- Bigcommerce – This platform is known for its professional-looking templates and high-powered feature set. I personally think Bigcommerce has some of the best designs on the market. In terms of features, Bigcommerce also has an app store, but it relies more on built-in features, which are more plentiful in Bigcommerce than in Shopify. Similar to Shopify, things like hosting, domains, and product management are all included in a monthly package. View our full Bigcommerce review here.
- WooCommerce – This is the best option for those interested in self-hosting. Essentially, this means that you go find your own hosting and place WordPress (a content management system) and WooCommerce (a plugin) on that hosting server. WooCommerce and WordPress give you far more control over your website than the others listed above. You can get a template, then customize anything you want through custom coding or by utilizing plugins. It is technically free, but you would have to pay for hosting, a domain, and potentially a premium theme and plugins. However, many of these items can be found for free. The main downside is that you have to manage the entire setup. So things like backups, security, and speed optimization are all on your plate–as opposed to having a company like Shopify handle them. View our full WooCommerce review here.
It all depends on your needs and skills, but all three of the platforms listed above are viable alternatives to LemonStand, and you can transfer your LemonStand website to any of them. If you would like to learn about other platforms and see some comparisons of the most promising options, feel free to read our analysis and comparison of the best six ecommerce platforms.
Subscriptions or Recurring Payments
LemonStand had a good reputation for recurring payments and subscriptions, so it seems that many of its merchants took advantage of these capabilities. If you want to keep around those recurring payments, Shopify, Bigcommerce, and WooCommerce all have excellent plugins and extensions to take care of that. Some of them even have a few built-in tools.
How to Migrate from LemonStand to Shopify, Bigcommerce, and WooCommerce
The first step when migrating to any of these platforms is to backup and export all of your store contents.
What must you export?
- Custom data
- Product catalog
Although some developers might be able to transfer over some design files, it's more likely that you'll have to try to duplicate your past design with a new template from one of the platforms. Yes, it's unfortunate that you have to go through all of that design work again, but that's typically what has to happen.
As for exporting specific elements from your store, here's a helpful outline:
Use the following steps to export the necessary items:
- To export your themes – Go to Theme > Advanced > Export.
- To export your sales numbers – Go to Dashboard > Sales Reports, then download the file as a ZIP.
- To export the product catalog – Go to Product Catalog > Products > Export.
- To export your customer list – Go to Customers > Customers > Export.
- To export your subscription orders – Go to Orders > Subscriptions > Export.
- To export your regular orders – Go to Orders > Orders > Export.
As you can see, each of these exports has to be done separately. The good news is that some companies don't have to complete all of the exports. For instance, everyone won't need to export subscription orders. You also might consider skipping the store themes and choosing one from your new platform.
Additional Data Exports
Sometimes your store may have more detailed store data that needs to be exported. The only way to extract this data and move it into a new platform is to utilize LemonStand's advanced API.
We recommend this only for designers and developers who know what they're doing.
That being said, here's the Rest API documentation to pass along to your developer if need be.
A few of the special exports you can complete with the API include:
- Custom product fields
- Pricing Tiers
- Customer groups
- Order discount history
- Tax classes
- Blog content
- Much more
Common Steps for Switching Your Store to a New Platform
After you've exported all of the data needed, it's time to transfer the rest of the store over to a place like Shopify, Bigcommerce, or WooCommerce. It depends on your requirements, but more often than not that means you'll have to do things like switching your DNS and accessing your SSL key.
Here are the guides on what to do for the most common situations:
- For switching your DNS to a new store – Go to My Account in LemonStand, then Store > Pick the right store > Change Name or Domain.
- To find your SSL – You must contact the LemonStand support team.
- To gain access to your shop after leaving LemonStand – Make sure that your primary shop name is “storename.lemonstand.com.”
- If you need to pause any subscriptions – Contact the support team or utilize the API.
- If you need to move over subscription payment tokens – Also contact the support team.
Canceling your LemonStand Store
Once you've moved everything over to the new platform and tested that all elements are working, you should definitely delete the old LemonStand store.
Here's how to do that:
In LemonStand, go to My Account > Store > pick out your store > Delete.
It's a bummer that we have to see such a promising ecommerce platform leave, but hopefully, this guide helps you seamlessly move to a new ecommerce platform like Shopify, Bigcommerce, or WooCommerce.
Importing data and transferring over assets is different for all platforms. WooCommerce has some good information about it in its knowledgebase. So does Bigcommerce. You can also find plenty of information about this for Shopify.
Our Last LemonStand Review (Updated in January 2019)
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 front end right away. I honestly don’t think the LemonStand backend is any more 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.
All LemonStand core features are now available in every pricing plan. The only difference is in the number of orders you are allowed to take each month.
To break it down a little for you, these are the main differences:
- The Starter Plan – This comes in at $19 per month with only 75 orders per month and standard email support.
- The Growth Plan – At $69 you get up to 300 orders per month and standard email support.
- The Professional Plan – At $199 you get 1000 orders per month and priority email support.
With all plans, you get unlimited products & variants, unlimited storage, and bandwidth, no transaction fees, unlimited staff user accounts.
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. They've added support for a lot of payment gateways over the years, and currently, support a whopping 95 gateways in over 100 countries, and also offer advanced features like recurring billing for all supported gateways.
In fact: they support more payment gateways than any of the ecommerce platforms out there, and also don't charge customers with transaction fees like the other ecommerce platforms.
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 plans 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.
Also, they've consistently been praised for their fast response times and personalized support. Full marks for this one.
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.