Bluepark Review (2022) – A Good UK Alternative to Shopify?

Bluepark Review

What is Bluepark?

Bluepark is one of the UK’s longest established ecommerce platforms, having been around since 2004. They offer an all in one, fully hosted ecommerce platform, backed up by their UK based support team.

They are also very popular on UK business forums but are they a good option for UK ecommerce businesses?

bluepark logo

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Total out of 5

4.1

14 Day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required

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Bluepark Pricing

Bluepark have three offerings when it comes to their packages and they are well suited to small and medium size businesses.

bluepark logo

Retail

£24.99/m

Up to 500 Products
No Turnover Limit
No Transaction Fee
500mb Data Storage
Standard UK Support
42 Free Themes

bluepark logo

Business

£39.99/m

Up to 2000 Products
No Turnover Limit
No Transaction Fee
1gb Data Storage
Standard UK Support
42 Free Themes
B2B Features
Product Reviews
Bulk Email Newsletter

bluepark logo

Enterprise

£59.99/m

Unlimited Products
No Turnover Limit
No Transaction Fee
2gb Data Storage
Standard UK Support
42 Free Themes
B2B Features
Product Reviews
Bulk Email Newsletter
Ebay Integration

The pricing is very competitive and the monthly fees are slightly lower than their competition but you do need to factor in an SSL certificate that will cost you £69.99 + vat for one year or £119.99 + vat for two years.

You will have to make sure that your images are optimised to make sure you do not go over the storage limits, you can purchase an additional 1gb of storage space for £10 a month once you are on the enterprise package. This can be done up to a maximum of 12gb.

While the packages are really good, I think Bluepark would do well by having a specialist package for larger businesses.

If you are interested in seeing how Bluepark’s pricing compares to other UK platforms, check out my How Much Does a UK Ecommerce Website Cost post.

Free Trial

Bluepark do like to let you try their platform out before you buy. You don’t need to input any credit card information to take advantage of their free trial, all you need is your name and email address. If you want to start your free trial, just click the button below.

Free 14 Day Bluepark Trial

No Credit Card Needed

Customer Reviews

Before I get full on into my review, I thought I would take a look at what some of their existing customers thought of the platform. For this I looked on Trustpilot, Facebook and Google.

Trustpilot Logo

4.9 out of 5

FaceBook Logo

No Reviews

Google Logo

4.6 out of 5

Bluepark Features

Bluepark offer all of their users a host a great features for building an ecommerce store from their entry level Retail package all the way up to the Enterprise package.

With Bluepark, you get all of the features already installed, which means you don’t have to go and install apps and as you move on to the larger packages, you do get more and more features to help you grow your business.

Ecommerce Tools

  • Onsite Search Tool – let your visitors enter a search term rather than trying to find the product manually
  • Embed YouTube Videos – increase sales and conversion rates by embedding a YouTube product video on your product pages
  • Product Comparison – lets your customers compare two of your products side by side to see which one is the better option
  • Shareable Wish Lists – let your visitors share their wish list with their friends and family
  • Product Labels – advertise new products or any special offers that you are running
  • Language and Currency Auto Detection – grow your business internationally with auto conversion into local languages and currencies
  • Related Products – show your visitors other options that you have available
  • Customers Also Bought – show your customers what other have bought alongside the product they are buying
  • Digital Products – offer digital and/or physical products to your customers

Marketing and SEO

Marketing

  • Affiliate Network – create your own network of affiliate marketers to promote your products for you and manage it from the Bluepark dashboard
  • Email Newsletter – create and manage your email marketing directly form the Bluepark dashboard
  • Social Sharing – let your customers share their favourite products to their social media accounts
  • Coupons Discounts – create discount coupons for marketing campaigns
  • Abandoned Cart – send auto emails to customers who have abandoned their cart and encourage them to return and complete the purchase
  • Google Shopping – add your product library to Google Shopping and many other shopping feeds
  • Back in Stock Notifications – send customers automatic emails when products they are interested in come back in to stock

SEO

  • Blog – add content to your site in the form of blog posts
  • SEO Friendly URLs – automatically generated SEO friendly URLs, these can also be edited if you want to improve them
  • Custom Meta Data – set your own product titles, meta description and keywords
  • Automatic 301 Redirect – automatically redirects your pages and products when you change the URL structure
  • XML Sitemaps – automatically generated XML sitemaps for search engines

Reporting and Analytics

To help you keep track of how well your website is performing, Bluepark offer a range of reports including:

  • Top Sellers
  • Referral Conversion Rates
  • Top Notification Requests
  • Top Wish List Additions
  • Google Analytics – easily link your Bluepark website to your Google Analytics account

Honestly, Bluepark offer a lot of features even with their basic Retail package and far too much for me to list here without copying their website word for word!

Payment Gateways

You want to get paid when you sell online and Bluepark offer a great selection of payment gateways including:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • SagePay
  • Worldpay
  • Klarna

The selection of payment gateways is very good an most of the options for UK businesses are there, with Amazon Pay being the only exception.

Do Bluepark charge transaction fees?

No, they do not charge transaction fees on any package.

Bluepark Theme Selection & Customisation

Bluepark offer a great selection of 42 free, mobile responsive themes (Bluepark call them templates).

If you want a custom theme, then you can contact one of their design partners who will build one for you and prices start from around £700.

Bluepark Theme Selection

When it comes to customisation, Bluepark isn’t short of options and it could be argued that there are too many options.

The Bluepark theme customisation is based on blocks and you can choose which ones are displayed, not only on each page but also where on each page as they all have the option to add/remove left and right sidebars.

This is really good as it gives you a lot of control over the look and feel of your site but this isn’t available from a live builder, which can mean going backwards and forwards between the back and front end of your site.

Where there gets to be too many options is when you start going into the settings for the individual blocks and also the advanced settings for your chosen theme and this can be very daunting for anyone new to building websites.

Bluepark Customise Theme

One area that definitely needs improvement is the footer options as this is all done by HTML, which is going to be beyond the skillset of a lot of people.

When it comes to customisation, Bluepark has the tools and offers a lot of control but it feels more geared towards web designers, who understand the technical aspects, rather than businesses who just want to build a website to sell their products.

Bluepark Support

One of the things I was really impressed with when I ran an online store with Bluepark was the quality of the support. While not 24/7, they will respond to you as soon as they can and the quality and helpfulness of the responses was always really high.

They also have a community forum that is a great place to ask questions and there is input, not only from Bluepark staff but very knowledgeable users. The beauty of the forum is that there are people in there all the time and in some cases you can get an answer quicker than if you contacted the support team directly.

Bluepark Web Hosting and Performance

While features are an important part of an ecommerce platforms offerings, the quality of their servers is hugely important as you want your site to be performing as well as it can. Bluepark say the following about their servers:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • 99.9% Uptime
  • 24/7 Server Monitoring
  • Daily Back-ups

Now while all that does sound very impressive, what does this mean for real world performance?

Well to test the Bluepark platform out, we took 5 of their customer example sites and ran them through Pingdom’s Speed Test Tool using their London, UK server and through Google’s Page Speed Insights once a day for 5 days to get a good spread of date and you can see the average results below:

Pingdom Logo

Load Time:

1.22 Seconds

Google Logo

Mobile Score:

37/100

Google Logo

Desktop Score:

69/100

Bluepark performed very well, especially in the load times, with an average of just over 1 second. The Google scores were a little behind the competition and some improvement on the mobile scores would be good to see but overall, there are no major issues with the performance of Bluepark.

To see how Bluepark performed against it’s rivals in terms of speed and performance, check out my Fastest Ecommerce Platforms post.

How Easy is Bluepark to Use?

Having impressive facts and figures is one thing, being easy to use is another! So in this section, we will be looking at what it is like to get started with Bluepark, manage your inventory and manage your orders, to help give you an idea as to what the platform is like to use.

Getting Started

Getting signed up to Bluepark is very simple as all you need is an email address and to create a password and you are good to go.

On your first log in to the admin dashboard, you will be greeted by a short set up guide, that takes you through 5 basic steps to help you get your store up and running, this is accompanied by a helpful video showing you how to complete these steps.

They also leave the contact details for the support team with the set up wizard, so should you run into any problems, it is easy to contact them.

Bluepark Set Up Guide

The dashboard itself is very well laid out, with the sidebar navigation menu containing clearly labelled headings, which when clicked on, open a selection of subheadings that once again are well labelled. Overall, the admin area is very simple and easy to use.

Inventory Management

Adding a new product is relatively simple but as is a recurring theme with Bluepark, there are lots of options to choose from and it does take more time to add a product to Bluepark than some other platforms.

This is because they have a tabbed layout for the add new product page, with each containing a selection of options but one quirk with Bluepark is that if you want access to all of the tabs, you need to create the product and then go back in and edit it, then it will add tabs for:

  • Related Products
  • Attributes
  • Options
  • Variations
  • Additions

And this just means that the workflow for creating new products isn’t the most optimal.

Bluepark Add Products

Organising your inventory is very simple as Bluepark have opted for a traditional category structure and this can be multi-levelled, allowing for main and sub-categories. As with the add new product page, there are tabs that need to be worked through when setting up a category but they are much simpler than the product ones.

To manage your inventory levels, Bluepark have built a bulk editor into the main product overview page, which allows you to quickly and easily update stock quantities. There is also a nifty margin calculator that will show you your gross margin per product and you can quickly mark products as active, featured or discontinued.

For any other edits such as product title etc, you will need to go back into the product and edit it that way.

Managing Orders

You want it to be easy to manage your orders as hopefully this is the area of your website where you are going to be spending most of your time.

With the Blupark platform, you manage all of your orders easily. You can update order statuses and print of invoice and packing slips in bulk or individually. If you use any third-party order management or shipping software, then you can export your orders in CSV format.

Conclusion

Bluepark Review

Paul @ EcommerceGold

bluepark logo
Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Summary

Is Bluepark Any Good?

There are definitely a lot of plus points to Bluepark as an ecommerce platform as it is feature rich, has simple pricing options and has very good UK based support and is a platform to consider as an alternative to Shopify.

The main downside is that it is not the most user friendly platform, especially for those new to ecommerce and building websites as the amount of options available may be a little daunting, meaning that Bluepark does have a steeper learning curve that some of their competition.

The Good:

• Good UK based support
• Well laid out set up tutorial
• Good theme selection
• Theme customisation options
• Well laid out admin dashboard

The Not so Good:

• Some features like the blog and email newsletter aren’t the easiest to design or manage
• Sometimes there are too many options within certain sections of the dashboard
• Having to buy an SSL certificate on top of your package

So there it is, my full review of the Bluepark platform. A really good option for UK businesses, especially if you are moving from another platform and want more control over your site.

4.1

Free 14 Day Bluepark Trial

No Credit Card Needed

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