From loads of feedback from our users, it's clear that systems like Shopify, Bigcommerce and even WooCommerce can become difficult to scale up after a certain amount of time.
It's not always the case, but many business owners would like more freedom and design opportunities, with fewer transaction fees.
Zoey presents an interesting offering to those in this situation. No, it's not for startups who are trying to squeeze in a website at $15 per month.
Zoey.com is billed as a premium ecommerce platform for ambitious businesses. Sounds vague, but in general it acts as a solution for people who feel like their online store has surpassed the functionality of more popular options, like Volusion, Shopify and Bigcommerce.
It makes sense, so we wanted to see if it's worthwhile for ecommerce stores to make the migration after a certain period of time.
The World's First Drag and Drop Editor?
They say it's the world's first drag and drop ecommerce editor. I don't know if that's true, and I don't really care much. The fact is that they actually offer a drag and drop editor, so that's good enough for me. The big question is: Does it perform well?
The answer is, yes. It's not often you stumble upon a drag and drop editor with this much grace. You never really have to worry about touching a line of source code, and the elements drop into place no matter where you put them. If you have a problem with the editor, the support reps will even get in there and make some changes for you.
Free Responsive Themes
Both theme and app stores are offered with your Zoey subscription, and the themes look modern and stylish. I'd argue that they are more targeted to niches and more interesting looking than the themes you find on Shopify. Which is a pretty huge claim. Oh, and you don't have to pay a dime for any of the themes. The goal with the themes is to use them as a starting point. Then you can customize like crazy and brand them to your own company.
Discounts, Gift Cards and Abandoned Cart Recovery
Built-in discounts are key features in the Zoey system, and you gain access to flexible discount rates with rules for targeting. Customer group pricing gives a certain selection of people certain rates, while the gift cards are wonderful for selling to existing customers. The idea being that they will buy the gift cards for potential customers.
Oh, and you can send out emails and evaluate reports based on those who leave their shopping carts.
Fast, Scalable and Secure Hosting
Many of the popular ecommerce platforms have checkouts hosted on their own servers. That's not the case with Zoey, because you get a full hosting plan on your own domain. The checkout runs through your site, and each transaction is completely secure. Our favorite part is that some of the plans offer content delivery networks, speeding up your site quite a bit.
Over 50 Payment Gateways
This isn't really an improvement from Shopify or Bigcommerce, but it's nice knowing you can get everything from PayPal to Authorize.net.
Nifty Migration Tools and Services from the Biggest Platforms
This is one of the big reasons we recommend migrating to Zoey after you feel like another platform isn't cutting it. The Zoey company pretty much does all the work for you. They even have some migration links at the top of their website, showing that they are used to this type of thing.
No Transaction Fees
Some of the plans in Volusion, Shopify and Bigcommerce force you to pay some transaction fees. Although a 2% fee may not seem like much, it adds up. Zoey doesn't ever charge you fees, so as you expand your business, you don't have to think about how much money you're losing.
A 14 day free trial is available for you to test out the Zoey platform. You don't have to punch in any credit card information, and it provides most of the features you would expect from the main plans.
- Professional – Pay $89 per month for a business that brings in up to $500,000 per year. You receive hundreds of built-in features, unlimited products, storage and bandwidth, no transaction fees, a responsive design, product filtering, advanced analytics, real time shipping rates, a checkout hosted on your domain, and integrations with Amazon, eBay and your POS.
- Business – Pay $199 per month for a business that brings in up to $1,000,000 per year. You receive everything from the Professional Plan, along with the ability to build your own theme, multiple languages and currencies, a CDN, customer group pricing, migration services, a sitewide HTTPS and support for Google Trusted Stores.
- Premier – This plan starts at $559 per month, and it's for a business with custom requirements, integrations and more advanced functionality. You receive everything from the Business Plan, along with on-boarding and training, custom design support, custom app integration, custom feature development, priority support, an account manager and in-region hosting.
If you go for an annual payment plan, expect to save 10% on all of the prices I outlined above.
The Zoey support team is more than just a group of people who you can call when your site crashes. It's become clear that they run their organization like a partner for your business. Besides the fact that you get an account manager with the Premier Plan, the company seems to make some hard sales pitches against many other platforms.
Their goal is to show that it's difficult to scale up with platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce. And, you know what? They're right to some degree. Therefore, Zoey helps out with any migration from those systems, and if you have your own problems along the way, the knowledge base is filled with goodies. We like that you can request an app or feature in Zoey, and creating a support ticket is fairly easy. Along with a forum, tutorials, a blog and social media outlets, Zoey has most support fronts covered.
Who Should Be Using the Zoey.com Ecommerce Platform?
This is one of the easier suggestions I've come across, because small businesses should start out with something like Shopify or Bigcommerce. Once you start really scaling up, it's a good time to migrate to something like Zoey. Although the Zoey company obviously wants you to start it all with their platform, I can see some major cost issues coming along for lots of startups.
However, it's pretty clear that other starter platforms could hinder your growth, so once you begin reaching the higher priced plans for other platforms, think hard about moving your shop to Zoey.
Do you have any experience with Zoey? Give us your input in the comments below.