Set-up and Design
Great solution for low volume stores or merchants looking for an entry-level solution. Shopio is a new player in the market and it shows a great deal of potential.
The Good – Shopio is simple-to-use, comes with a built-in blog and a nice newsletter feature, includes 24/7 live chat support and doesn’t nickel and dime you on features. It also has a great tax system and comes with some payment gateways you won’t find anywhere else.
The Bad – Some marketing features that more advanced users might come to expect are lacking AND they charge a 1% transaction fee on their lowest priced plan. Shopio doesn’t calculate real-time shipping and (at the time of this review) it only comes with 5 templates.
Cool Features – The built in blog was one of our favorite cool features as it was very easy to use and saves online business owners the headache of setting up one themselves. Shopio also has an advanced tax management system that is not commonly found in other eCommerce solution software.
To Sum It Up – Shopio definitely shows promise, though it still has some ground to cover in order to market well to more established online stores. We recommend it for online merchants who are just getting started in eCommerce and want more features than a WIX or SquareSpace offer, but aren’t yet ready to jump into something like Pinnacle Cart or Big Commerce.
Store Setup and Design
Like most eCommerce solution, Shopio appears to have an intuitive “Quick Start” feature that will guide you through the online store set-up process. Just make sure you don’t close the screen during this process (like our ZippyCart team did) because all of your work will disappear and you won’t be able to find it. Fortunatey, Shopio make set-up pretty simple so setting up an online store is a breeze, even without the QuickStart feature.
As nice as it was getting started, we quickly hit a speed bump when we clicked on “Themes” and was dropped into the “Theme Store”. At this time Shopio has only 5 templates, which is way under industry standard, but it’s seems like they are going to be adding more soon. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and would recommend potential online business owners check on that and even look for a few free responsive design theme options so they will scale to fit on any tablet, phone or PC.
The Theme Settings feature continues on to allow you to upload your logo, change site colors, add a slider, change fonts, manage social media and more. There was nothing too ground breaking here but it gets the job done. One nice feature is the ability to change the default text on the site very easily without getting mixed up in the code. It’s a great feature and we wish more eCommerce solutions did it the “Shopio” way. Additionally, you can also use this feature to change your store from English to any language in the world.
The Theme Editor also allows Shopio’s more tech savvy users to make quick changes to the code. All .tpl files are here along with about 7 CSS files. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to download the template to your favorite HTML editor if you prefer to work from the desktop.
Overall we found the set-up tools good for the eCommerce newbie but believe the experienced store owner is going to wish they had more control.
One thing is for sure, you won’t be purchasing Shopio for its marketing tools. While is does come with a great built-in blog, it really only has a handful of notable marketing features. These include:
- Coupons and discounts
- Ability to send out newsletters
- Custom eMail templates
- Best-selling products
- Customer groups
Hopefully the Shopio team will be adding more marketing features soon, but in the meantime, these should get a new online store owner up and running.
All Shopio stores use their 128 Bit SSL certificate so transactions run through Shopio are encrypted. Also, all of their data centers are PCI-compliant. The following payment gateways are included with Shopio:
- Garanti Bank
- PayPal Express
- Payu India
- Payu Turkey
Product and Store Management
Shopio has pretty standard product management tools but it does give you the ability to add “Brands” to the system, which is nice. It’ll give you the ability to create multiple product options (variants) and add multiple images to products. Other than that you should only expect Shopio to collect basic product information. We really liked the tight integration with both Google Adwords and Google Webmaster Tools, along with the fact that adding additional content pages is a breeze with Shopio. You simply click “add page”, put in your content, images, video or anything else you need and click “Save”. Quick and easy, just like we like it.
From the store management perspective, you can expect more from Shopio when compared to a SquareSpace or Wix. For example, you can select if registration is required, not required or optional during checkout. You can control units (Metric or Imperial) and currency. The search engine optimization tools are sufficient for users and Shopio includes a feature we see lacking in most carts, URL redirects.
Shopio doesn’t offer real-time shipping so you’ll have to set up the shipping calculations on your own. However, if you’re running a store that requires some advanced tax management, this might be the solution you’re looking for. It gives you the ability to manage taxes at the country, state and even down to the zip code level. That’s something not found in every cart. Because of this great feature, we were surprised to note that one report that most merchants really need is missing, taxes by date. The reporting feature does include bestselling products, products sold per order, order overview, orders by customer and newsletter subscriptions.
Shopio offers several different forms of support, 24/7 online chat, tutorials, articles knowledge-base and videos. We tested the 24/7 live chat and got the feeling that if your question was anything more than basic, they were more of an answering service that transferred your question to an expert, who will email you back the next day. It was kind of like submitting a ticket to a live person.
Live Chat: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Online Manuals and Knowledge Base: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
We did a number of internet searches, looking for merchants who have used Shopio, and found that most of the reviews posted were generally positive.
Shopio is clearly new to the eCommerce game and has some catching up to do. That said, it shows quite a bit of promise and has enough horsepower under the hood for most merchants that are just getting started, as well. But the advanced tax management system and user friendly interface might be just enough to move Shopio into the “Buy” column for some online sellers. The ZippyCart team recommends that more experienced users or online store owners doing over 50k a year might want to pass on this one and look to a more robust solution.