ShopWired Review (2020) – A Good UK Alternative to Shopify?

ShopWired Review

ShopWired is one of the UK’s leading fully hosted ecommerce platforms. The platform was launched in 2013 and since has grown to a user base of over 8,500 ecommerce websites that includes big names such as Wowcher and EDF Energy.

But is ShopWired any good? Well that is what I am going to be looking at in this review as well as seeing if it is a good alternative to Shopify for UK Businesses?

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

Total out of 5

4.2

14 Day Free Trial, No Credit Card Required

Disclosure – this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you sign up to services via a link in this post, I do receive a commission, which helps keep the site running and at no cost to you. BUT in no way does this influence my review of the platform, if I don’t like something then I will say so!

ShopWired Pricing

It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out or are an established business looking to grow their online presence, ShopWired have a package that will suit your needs.

Pro

Pro

£29.95/m

Up to 750 Products
Up to £75k Annual Turnover
No Transaction Fee
Free SSL Certificate
Standard UK Support
15 Free Themes
2 Admin Accounts

Advanced

Advanced

£59.95/m

Unlimited Products
Up to £200k Annual Turnover
No Transaction Fee
Free SSL Certificate
Standard UK Support
15 Free Themes
5 Admin Accounts
Advanced Reports
B2B Features

Premium

Premium

£119.95/m

Unlimited Products
Up to £500k Annual Turnover
No Transaction Fee
Free SSL Certificate
Priority UK Support
15 Free Themes
15 Admin Accounts
Advanced Reports
B2B Features
All Apps Free

ShopWired changed their pricing structure in the Autumn of 2019 from a set fee to a tiered structure where the plan you are on depends on what your annual turnover is.

Initially, I wasn’t a big fan of this but after thinking it over for a while, it does make sense. The reason why I think this is because as your website and business grows you are going to need not only more resources and probably features but also more support, which you do get on the higher packages.

If you are a big businesses and the plans shown aren’t suitable for you, the ShopWired offer an Enterprise package that starts from £149.95 + vat a month. This is a more tailored solution so that it fits your business perfectly.

Free Trial

Trying before buying is always the best thing to do and ShopWired completely agree, that is why they offer you a 14 day free trial so that you can get a feel for whether the platform is right for you or not. You don’t need to hand over any credit card information until you are ready to take out one of their packages. To start a free trial with ShopWired, click the button below.

Try ShopWired Free for 14 Days

No Credit Card Required

Customer Reviews

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

Trustpilot Logo

4.7 out of 5

FaceBook Logo

5 out of 5

Google Logo

4.3 out of 5

ShopWired Features

The ShopWired platform offers their users a lot of different features to help you start, build and grow an ecommerce business. Some of these features are built in to the platform and some can be installed by way of Apps or Extensions.

Apps are single click installation (and removal) to help you quickly and easily add functionality to your store. Extensions are features that you can add to your site but they need to be coded in, you can do this yourself if you are comfortable doing this or you can pay a one off fee and the ShopWired team will do it for you.

Ecommerce Tools

  • Multi Buy Offers – create discounts such as buy one get one free or three for the price of two
  • Product Extras – Up sell related products directly in your basket
  • Multi-Currency – sell internationally by displaying your pricing in US Dollar or Euros at the click of a button
  • Product Reviews – let previous customers leave reviews on your products
  • Ebay Integration – manage your Ebay store from your ShopWired dashboard
  • Digital Downloads – gives you the flexibility to sell digital products and/or physical products
  • DropWired – dropship directly from AliExpress in your ShopWired dashboard

Marketing and SEO

Having a good selection of tools and features to market your site is extremely important when it comes to ecommerce and the ShopWired platform offers a great selection, including:

Marketing

  • Google Feed – easily submit your product inventory to Google Shopping
  • MailChimp Integration – create and grow an email marketing list with the help of MailChimp
  • Gift Vouchers – sell gift vouchers for your online store
  • Reward Points – build repeat business by offering customers reward points on every order
  • Abandoned Cart – automatically send emails to customers who abandon their carts to encourage them to complete the purchase
  • Create Sales – offer a percentage discount off a selection of products
  • Discount Codes – create discount codes for marketing campaigns or special offers
  • Social Share – let your visitors and customers share your products on their social media accounts
  • Back in Stock Notifications – let customers request notifications for products when they are back in stock

SEO

  • Blog – create content on your ShopWired store, great for SEO
  • Custom Meta Data – set custom meta data for all of your products such as title, description and keywords
  • SEO Friendly URLs – automatically generated URLs that are search engine friendly, can also be edited
  • Sitemap – automatically generated sitemap that can be submitted to search engines

Reporting and Analytics

You want to see how well your ecommerce store is performing and ShopWired offer a very comprehensive set of reporting features to really let you analyse your business, including:

  • Gross Profit Report – use product cost price to generate a gross profit report on sales for a selected period
  • Sales by Product
  • Sales by Category
  • Payment Methods
  • Sales by Month
  • Failed Searches – see what your customers were searching for but didn’t find
  • Visitors – break down of your sites visitors, including conversion rates and pages viewed

Payment Gateways

ShopWired offer a very good selection of payment gateways for UK businesses to use on their stores, including:

  • PayPal Express Checkout
  • Stripe
  • Amazon Pay
  • Klarna
  • Worldpay
  • Sagepay
  • Barclaycard EPDQ
  • Nochex
  • Payment Sense
  • Elavon

If you are using a payment gateway that isn’t listed amongst the ones that ShopWired integrate with, you can contact the support team and they will look into whether or not they can make it work for you.

Do ShopWired charge transaction fees?

No, unlike some other platforms, ShopWired do not charge any transactions fees.

ShopWired B2B Features

While the ShopWired platform is great for B2C ecommerce, it really stands out from the crowd when it comes to its B2B features. All of the B2B features are included as standard in the Advanced Package and they include:

  • Bulk Discounts – offer your customers a percentage or fixed price discount when ordering in bulk
  • Quotation System – customers can request quotes for items, which can then be sent via email with a link to pay
  • Trade Accounts – offers a lot of options including:
    • Application for trade accounts, which can be approved manually or automatically
    • Different pricing for trade customers, can be done individually or by assigning groups
    • Trade only products and/or categories
    • Restrict trade accounts to offline payments such as bank transfer or cheque
  • Credit Accounts – allow customers to checkout and and then charge them on account
  • VAT – display prices with or without VAT

These are all features that can be used with all of the other features mentioned above and it is one of the most comprehensive list of B2B features that I have seen with an ecommerce platform.

ShopWired Theme Selection & Customisation

In 2020, ShopWired updated their theme selection as they are using a new platform on which their themes are built, which they have called Version 4. The new selection totals 20, free to use, mobile responsive themes, with an upgradeable version, that comes with some extensions installed for £89+vat.

If you want, you can have a bespoke theme made for you by the ShopWired design team, there are two options to choose from. The Pro design packages costs £3495 + vat and the Advanced is £3995+vat.

ShopWired Theme Selection

With the addition of the version 4 theme, also comes a new live customizer. This new features has improved the theme customisation experience within ShopWired.

But the amount of control you have over the look and feel of your site is still quite limited but includes the ability to change the colours of the site, the text snippets placed around the theme and the images that appear on the homepage.

ShopWired Theme Customisation

When it comes to the layout of the theme, there aren’t any options such as being able to change the sections that appear on your site, these are set by the theme.

You can control your link lists, these are lists of links to your chosen pages in terms of what is in them and where on the theme they are placed. Another thing that I do find a little strange is that the amount of customisation you can do does vary from theme to theme.

ShopWired Support

ShopWired offer really good support, when I ran a shop on the platform all of my queries were answered quickly and efficiently. They also have a relatively small team so you would often deal with the same person again and again, which is nice.

While they don’t offer 24/7 support, they will reply to you as soon as they can. You can contact ShopWired support on the phone and live chat during normal business hours which are 9.30am to  5.30pm Monday to Friday or email them at any time.

While the support is really good and the responses are very helpful, I think having support available over the weekend would be a good addition.

ShopWired Web Hosting and Performance

Ecommerce stores are very resource heavy, this means they need to hosted on very good servers and ShopWired opted for some of the best in the world. They chose to use the Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is definitely enterprise level and is the host of choice for many big businesses such as Pinterest and Adobe. But what do you get?

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited File Storage
  • PCI Level 1 Compliant Servers
  • Global Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • 99.95% Uptime
  • Continuous back-ups
  • And most important Blazing Fast Servers

Sounds great doesn’t it? Well yes it does but I don’t like to take companies on their word, so I put them to the test.

For this, I took three of their customer example sites and ran them through Pingdom’s speed test tool (London Server) and Google Page Speed Insights to see how well they performed. To get a good selection of data I ran the three sites through the tool, once a day for three days and you can see the results of the three websites below.

Average Load Time:

Average Load Time:

1.44 sec
Google Logo

Mobile Score (Avg):

24/100
Google Logo

Desktop Score (Avg):

53/100

ShopWired performed really well in the load time test, with the average load time of 1.44 seconds coming in well under the golden 2 second mark. The Google test does show their is some room for improvement, especially on the mobile side.

If you want to see how well ShopWired performed against their competition, then check out my Fastest Ecommerce Platforms UK post.

ShopWired Review Video

How Easy is ShopWired to Use?

So I have taken you through all the features of ShopWired but how easy it is to use?

For me ease of use is just as important as the specs, because being able to use the platform easily will make things so much easier for you when your site is up and running.

When I am reviewing how easy a platform is to use, I look at 5 main areas and they are:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Navigating the Dashboard
  3. Adding and Managing Products
  4. Managing Orders

Getting Started

ShopWired make it really easy for you to get started with their platform, simply fill out their start trial page with your email address, name and business name and you are good to go.

ShopWired Setup Tutorial

Once you have signed up to the trial, you are taken to their dashboard homepage and they straight away have a tutorial that you can follow to help get your online shop up and running. This is one of the better setup guides I have used and covers nearly everything you need to do to make your site ready to go live.

The only thing that they don’t include in the setup guide is about the pages you need to have on your site such as Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. It would be a nice section to see added but ShopWired do have template documents for both of these pages that you can easily edit to help make sure that your site is legal.

To add to this, their documentation is also very well written, just in case you can’t figure out how to do something.

Navigating the Dashboard

You need to be able to get around your admin dashboard easily and struggling to find where sections are can frustrating and a waste of time.

I really like the ShopWired dashboard, the sidebar makes it really easy to navigate from section to section. There are also not too many options, you just have what you need. It doesn’t matter what section of the dashboard you are in, you can get back to your homepage just by clicking the dashboard button.

Adding and Managing Products

Being able to manage your inventory quickly and effectively is hugely important when running an online store. There are three main areas that are important to me on this and they are adding products, managing your products and being able to organise your products.

I have to say that ShopWired have done a really good job on all three points. The add product page is a well designed, one page layout that you scroll from one section to the next and includes everything you could want to give your products the best chance of success.

ShopWired Create Product

There are two things you usually want to do when managing stock. The first is to edit your product listing and you can do this on the view products page and you have the option to view or edit the product, editing brings up the product page that you filled out when you created the product and you can change whatever you need to.

The second is adjusting stock quantity, this is really easy and can be done on the manage stock page. You don’t have to go into the product to edit it, you can just add or remove quantity directly on that page.

Finally you want to organise your products so that they are easy for not only you to find but also your customers. ShopWired have gone with the tried and tested category method and it is as easy to do as creating and managing a product. There is also the option to create sub-categories which is great for creating a good hierarchy.

Managing Orders

Hopefully this is the area of your dashboard where you are going to spend the most amount of time. You want this part to be really simple to do as the more complicated it is, the more likely mistakes are going to happen.

Fortunately ShopWired let you try this part of the platform out before your site goes live. This means you get to see what happens when you receive an order, how you can process it through the dashboard and how to cancel orders and do refunds.

Once again, this is something that ShopWired has done really well and you can manage orders individually or update them in bulk. You can also print orders off directly from the dashboard or you export them via a CSV file if you use a third-party order management software.

I found the whole order management process really easy to use at every stage and the auto send emails contain all the information you want to make it just as easy for the customer to know what is going on as it is for you to manage it.

Conclusion

ShopWired Review

Paul @ EcommerceGold

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

Summary

So is ShopWired a Good Alternative to Shopify?

Yes, ShopWired is definitely a good alternative to Shopify. The platform is easy to use, whether you are a beginner or someone who is experienced when it comes to running ecommerce stores. It also offers a great selection of features across a variety from ecommerce to marketing and reporting.

The only real downside to the platform is the limitations of the theme customisation but other than that it is a great platform, especially if you are looking to create a B2B ecommerce business.

The Good:

• Setup tutorial covers nearly everything you need to do
• Good selection of high quality, free responsive themes
• SSL Certificate included
• Product management is well designed and easy to use
• Order management process is really good
• Good, consistent page load speeds
• AliExpress integration for Dropshippers
• B2B features

The Not so Good:

• Theme customisation doesn’t give you enough control over the look of your site
• Having to code in Extensions, doesn’t make them easy to use

4.2

Try ShopWired Free for 14 Days

No Credit Card Required

ShopWired Alternatives