What is Shopit?
Shopit is a UK based, fully hosted ecommerce platform that offers all users a full set of ecommerce features but unlike every other option out there, base their pricing on the amount of traffic your site gets, rather than a set monthly figure.
Which all sounds very interesting but is Shopit a good ecommerce platform for UK businesses?
Total out of 5
30 Day Free Trial
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Because Shopit pricing is based on the amount of traffic your site gets, there isn’t a set fee that you pay every month. This basically means that Shopit is Pay as you go but below is three examples of the max price you would pay based on estimated traffic levels:
1,000 Visitors /m
5,000 Visitors /m
15,000 Visitors /m
This is a very unique way of pricing and is very different to pretty much every other ecommerce platform on the market and the claim by Shopit is that this can save anywhere from 30-80% against the equivalent set of features from their main competition.
There is one big advantage to this type of PAYG pricing based on traffic and that is that you can save money when traffic levels are low, which could be beneficial to companies that are seasonal.
One downside to this is that it could make budgeting a bit more difficult as you won’t know what you are paying until you know how much traffic you have had.
Usually in this section we would list customer reviews but as Shopit is still a relatively new company, there aren’t really any reviews out there and we only found one Google review.
5 out of 5 – 1 Review
Shopit Ecommerce Features
Shopit Ecommerce Tools
Shopit advertise that you get all of their features from day one, which sounds great but what do you actually get?
- Unlimited Items – list as many items you want on any plan
- Product Variations – offer variations and child variations on your product, you can also create kits or groups of products
- Multi-site – create multiple storefronts and manage them from one dashboard
- Translate – translate your multi-site into local languages to target different markets
- Unlimited Staff Accounts – create unlimited staff accounts and assign them roles to help manage your business
- B2B Features – including volume discounts, trade accounts, estimates and quotations and 30 delayed payment option
Shopit Marketing & SEO Tools
To generate sales on your ecommerce website, you are going to need a selection of tools to not only get customers to your site but also encourage them to buy, so what does Shopit offer?
- Coupons & Discount Codes – offer discounts on individual product or whole categories, with either a fixed or percentage based discount
- Facebook Shop – sell directly within Facebook to help increase social sales
- Instagram Advertising – advertise your products directly on Instagram
- SEO Tools – create SEO friendly URL’s, generate sitemaps and automatic redirection
- Blog – create blog posts for content marketing
Shopit Payment Gateways
Shopit offer their own payment gateway that offers incredibly low rates of 1% + 10p transaction fees for UK businesses and allows you to accept over 100 currencies.
Outside of the Shopit payment gateways, there is a limited selection of 2 options, which are:
Now while these will definitely get the job done and Shopit Payments and Elavon are very cheap in terms of fees, it still would be nice to see a slightly larger selection of options.
Shopit Shipping Options
Shopit has native integration with Shipstation, which gives you access to all of the major shipping providers in the UK in one place, it also allows to ship internationally to the USA, Canada and Australia.
You can also create your own shipping options, including:
- Flat Rate Shipping – a single shipping price for all orders
- Free Shipping
- Order Weight – shipping rate based off the weight of the order
- Order Total – shipping rate based of the total value of the order
Shopit Theme Selection & Customisation
Shopit offers a small selection of 8 themes that you can choose from but they are all free to use and nicely designed.
Now while the themes are nice, the theme customisation isn’t great and quite basic with what you can do from the theme customizer as you can only really edit the the images and links within the sections, there is no options to add, remove or rearrange the sections.
The customisation is also limited to the homepage, there are no options for product or category pages and custom pages such as about me are created in a separate section of the dashboard and it is limited to a HTML editor.
One good thing about the customisation is that you do have access to the theme code, so if you are comfortable with editing twig code, you can achieve quite a lot.
However, if you are not, it does feel quite limited as to what you can do and this is where the addition of a drag and drop builder would make a big difference.
To customise the navigation menu and footer, require you to edit code snippets and once again, which could be a bit daunting if you aren’t used to editing code.
When it comes to support, there are two main options:
- Email support tickets
- Live chat
Both of these are accessible directly from the admin dashboard and support is available between 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday.
Shopit also have a knowledgebase, which includes both documentation and videos guides to help you with some of the main parts of the Shopit system.
Web Hosting & Performance
All of Shopit’s stores are hosted on Google’s Cloud Hosting, which is one of the largest and also most secure hosting platforms in the world and this should provide solid, secure and reliable hosting for their stores.
While this is great to know, what does it actually mean in terms of performance as hosting isn’t everything, the platform itself also needs to perform well and to try it out, we put them to the test by taking 5 customers example sites and running them through Uptrends speed tool for both mobile and desktop to see how well they performed.
Overall, Shopit performed well across all tests and are one of the few platforms to average more than 50 on mobile, which is definitely a good thing.
Load times are good as both averaged under 3 seconds but they would need to bring that down closer or below 2 seconds to be competing with the UK’s top performing platforms for load time.
How Easy is Shopit to Use?
Getting Started with Shopit
Getting started with Shopit is not as quick as some other platforms as there are a few steps to the process. The initial set up is pretty straight forward as you are first asked for your name and email address before being sent an email confirming your email address, you are the asked some basic details, including:
- Email Address
- Basic business info (name, address etc)
- What stage your business is currently at
- Which theme you would like to get started with
The next part is where most of the time is taken up as it takes between 8-10 minutes for your account to be set up before you can access your dashboard, which hopefully will be improved in the future.
Once you have complete the sign up process, you are taken through to the admin dashboard, which is very well laid out with a simple, easy to read interface.
On your first sign in, you are greeted by a short set up guide, which includes 4 main steps:
- Add a new product
- Configure store settings
- Edit your design
- Get paid (add payment method)
Each step includes a couple of different options, which is a nice touch and for the products for example offers options if you are migrating from another platform.
Navigating the dashboard is pretty simple and the main sidebar navigation menu is well labelled but it does take some playing around to find out where everything is.
Adding New Products
Adding a new product in Shopit first requires you to select if you want the product to be a simple, variable or kit as the pages are slightly different for each.
But whichever one you choose, the add new product page is a single page layout and while all the sections are there, they don’t seem to be in the right order, for example, the product description and price are in the bottom half of the page below things like SKU codes and product weight.
It just doesn’t feel like the page has a good flow to it and isn’t as intuitive to use as some of the add new product pages from other platforms.
One thing that is missing from the page is the ability to set stock levels, these are set in the stock area of the dashboard. So you need to create the product and then go and set the stock level, it would be better if this could all be done on one page.
Organising Your Inventory
Shopit have kept it very simple when it comes to organisation as they have gone with a category structure that allows users to create both parent and child categories and for each category, you can also add an image and set the meta data, which is better for SEO.
To add a product to a category, you need to do this on the product creation/edit page, there is no option to do this directly from the category creation/management page.
Managing Your Inventory
Inventory management is quite limited from the product overview page with Shopit as they don’t offer much in terms of a bulk editor as all you can do from the product overview page is:
- Set visibility
- Set primary category
- Add product filter attributes
- Add secondary category
As mentioned in the add new product section, setting your stock levels is done in the stock section of the dashboard and this isn’t the most intuitive section to use but there is the option to create different stock locations, which can make inventory management of multiple locations a lot easier.
Order management with Shopit is pretty good and is easy to manage from one page, you can also create orders manually which is a nice touch. They also offer some bulk options, including:
- Printing packing slips
- Providing estimated delivery dates
- Updating orders statuses
There are also option for individual orders including being able to email the customer directly from their order page, being able to save the order as pdf and being able to print an invoice. You can also export order information but this needs to done in the reports section of the dashboard.
Is Shopit any good?
Its not bad but it could be better.
The pricing does make Shopit an attractive proposition as it is a unique approach but the platform itself does have room for improvement.
The first one is theme customisation as a drag and drop builder along with easier options for navigation menus and footers would make it much easier to use.
The second is the inventory management as the add new product page doesn’t have an optimal layout and the stock management could have a better workflow.
The foundations are there for Shopit to become a good ecommerce platform.
The Not so Good: