Advertiser Disclosure

Zoey Commerce Review

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Need a better shipping solution?

Check out ShippingEasy

Date Established
2014
Location
New York, NY

Pros

  • Advanced features
  • Attractive templates
  • Well-designed UI
  • Advanced design tools
  • Wholesale/B2B features

Cons

  • Expensive monthly cost
  • Limited customer support

Overview

They say that when you find the right platform, you just know. And I think I know. Zoey is everything I’ve ever looked for in an eCommerce solution. I think…I think I’m ready to pop the question.

Zoey Commerce, your theme templates are beautiful. You come with the usability of Shopify and the functionality of Magento. I’ve got to ask you: Will you partner with me in building an online store?

For a long time, I’ve been recommending two different platforms to two types of users: Shopify to merchants who are looking for a code-free selling platform, and Magento to developer-types who need lots of customizability and functionality. Zoey bridges both worlds.

A SaaS (Software as a Service) solution built on Magento, Zoey remains distinct from Magento but fits into the community already in existence. Plus, like Magento, Zoey comes with powerful functionality right out of the box.

Fortunately, unlike Magento, Zoey is not difficult to set up or maintain. In fact, Zoey is a cinch to use. You can edit almost every aspect of your template without ever touching a line of code. The thought of it makes me a little giddy.

The only potential downfall of Zoey is the cost, which is too steep for startups; however, Zoey should fit most other businesses just right. In particular, Zoey is great for businesses that plan to sell both B2C and B2B as they include features for both of these business models.

Keep reading for a full independent review of Zoey Commerce.

Get Started With Zoey

Pricing

Zoey has changed its pricing several times in the last few years. Lower level plans were recently discontinued, which was indicative of Zoey’s shift in focus to B2B/wholesale selling. While I love all of Zoey’s B2B features, I was disappointed that the newer pricing model excluded the cheaper, more accessible pricing plans. This change took Zoey out of the running for a lot of smaller merchants who previously could have benefited from the platform. Nevertheless, Zoey’s pricing is not unattainable; it’s just better geared toward wholesale businesses, mid-size businesses, and larger organizations.

In a less-than-shocking turn of events, Zoey adjusted its pricing yet again in the second half of 2018, this time decreasing the monthly cost by $100-200 depending on the package level. While $299 a month for the starter plan is still cost-prohibitive for many small businesses, it’s certainly a step in the right direction!

Here’s the latest pricing breakdown:

Entry

  • $299/Month
    • B2B & B2C On One Site
    • Two Staff Accounts
    • Five Customer Groups
    • 25,000 SKUs
    • Email Ticket Support
    • Tiered Pricing
    • Payment/Pricing/Shipping By Customer Group
    • Flexible Discount/Promo Pricing
    • Access Restrictions
    • Basic Quick Order Form
    • Advanced Registration/Approval
    • API Access
    • Google Analytics Enhanced eCommerce

Power

  • $499/Month
  • All The Above Plus
    • Five Staff Accounts
    • Ten Customer Groups
    • 50,000 SKUs
    • Tiered Pricing By Customer Group
    • Quantity Increment By Customer Group
    • CMS Pages By Customer Group
    • Advanced Quick Order Form
    • Table Category View
    • Multi-Language & Currency
    • Multi-Language SEO
    • Advanced Custom Options
    • Product Attachments
    • Google Shopping Feed
    • Glew.io Analytics

Advanced

  • $699/Month
  • All The Above Plus
    • Ten Staff Accounts
    • 20 Customer Groups
    • 75,000 SKUs
    • Priority Email Ticket Support
    • Request A Quote
    • Single Sign-On Compatibility

If you purchase a yearly plan, you’ll benefit from a 10% discount (or 15% for the Advanced plan).

But before you purchase a single month, I recommend you sign up for Zoey’s Free 14-Day Trial (no credit card required) for a commitment-free sample of the platform.

Get Started With Zoey

Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

Cloud-based. Although Zoey shares many characteristics with Magento (a locally-installed software), it is not the same software. Instead, it is a web-based version of a similar program.

Specific Size Of Business

I would recommend Zoey to almost all mid-sized to large businesses. While I love Zoey’s features and usability, startups and small businesses may find the pricing too steep. In this case, I recommend they start with Shopify and then take advantage of Zoey’s migration service when and if their company grows to be more than Shopify can handle.

Zoey is especially well-geared for B2B businesses who’d also like to sell B2C. Take a look at our feature list to see what Zoey’s B2B features include.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Zoey to merchants who want, first and foremost, customizability. While Zoey can be customized to fit the needs of many platforms, it is not quite as flexible as its locally-installed, open source counterpart, Magento. For example, you won’t be able to edit raw HTML. All tweaks to Zoey’s web design must be made through their visual editor.

Hardware & Operating System Requirements

None! You should note, however, that Zoey’s Control Panel only supports Google Chrome.

Ease Of Use

Zoey offers a Free 14-Day Trial of their product, and they make it easy to sign up. Just enter your email address and create a password. Zoey will request a bit of information about your store, and then they’ll send a link to your inbox.

Here’s what I found upon clicking that link:

Zoey’s dashboard is comparable to those of other industry leaders. It’s clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Best of all, Zoey makes their setup process easy to locate and follow.

You’ll be guided through every step of setting up, and you can easily see which steps you’ve completed.

In general, Zoey scores highly in terms of admin ease of use. Adding products is simple. You can use the sidebar to the left to create advanced features for your products (like variables and product options) and ensure that your products rank well on search engines.

I tested out the discount functionality as well to see if it’s as advanced as Magento’s. It is. You can make your discount apply to any group of products under seemingly any condition.

There’s also a built-in blog feature (which is nice for a lot of reasons: blogs can boost both your traffic from SMS and your SEO rankings).

Furthermore, web design with Zoey is highly user-friendly. It is, quite possibly, the best theme editor I’ve seen (more of this in Web Design below).

As a whole, Zoey’s admin is stellar.

Features

Like Magento, Zoey comes with an extensive feature set. You can take a look at Zoey’s features for yourself by exploring the drop down bar underneath the “B2C” tab, or you can read through my summary below:

Marketing

  • Discounts: Flexible rules allow you to make your discounts as specific as you’d like.
  • Customer Group Pricing: Set different prices for different customer groups (especially good for B2B selling).
  • Gift Cards: Let your current customers find future customers on your behalf.
  • Abandoned Cart Features: View abandoned cart reports. Set up persistent shopping carts and email marketing campaigns to reduce your cart abandonment rates.

Product Tools

  • Faceted Search: Let customers find what they want quickly by filtering your products based on attributes.
  • Swatches: Display accurate images for the product attributes your customers select.
  • Up-Sell & Cross-Sell: Advertise related products to boost your sales.
  • Unlimited Attributes: List products in different sizes, colors, and styles.
  • Sell Digital: Make sure to disable shipping for your digital products.
  • Sell In Bundles & Kits: Sell any sort of multi-product package you’d like.

Operations

  • Real-Time Shipping Rates: Integrate with UPS, FedEx, and USPS for up-to-date and accurate shipping rates.
  • Manage Inventory: Set up low stock notifications so you only sell products you have.
  • Omnichannel Tools: Integrate with a POS system and connect to Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
  • International Sales Tools: Sell in 80+ languages, using 168+ currencies and 50+ international payment gateways.

SEO Tools

  • Sitewide HTTPS: HTTPS is not only good for security; it also boosts SEO rankings.
  • Built-In Blog: Create content that keeps customers returning.
  • Built-In Customer Reviews: Boost future customer confidence by allowing your current customers to rate and review your products.
  • Content Delivery Network: A CDN lets you distribute your content to servers worldwide so that your content delivers to your customers’ browsers in less time.
  • The Works: Take advantage of an automatically generated sitemap and customizable H1 tags, title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs. Zoey’s mobile friendly designs should help boost your SEO score too.
  • Glew.io Analytics: Use Glew analytics to view stats on abandoned carts, marketing, products, and more. Glew is available as a paid add-on for merchants on the Entry plan, and it is included for free with the Power and Advanced plans.
  • Google Analytics: You can also access Google Analytics’s reporting tools.

B2B Features

  • Restrict Site Access: Allow only pre-approved customers to access your site for B2B selling.
  • Generate Quotes: Let customers check estimated quotes before buying.
  • Restrict Access To Categories & Products: Hide entire categories or individual products from certain customer groups.
  • Table View For Products: Facilitate efficient product selection and ordering by using the specialized Order Form Theme.
  • Advanced Quick Ordering: Let customer add multiple products to their cart at once using SKU and quantity.
  • Request A Quote: Allow customers to request a quote for their order. Customize your pricing accordingly.
  • Custom Shipping & Payments By Customer Group: Set rules to allow certain customer groups access to different shipping and payment methods. You can also set minimum order amounts per customer group.

Web Design

Zoey comes with 7 templates to choose from, all of which are free and fully mobile responsive. They’re also very modern. These designs fit right in with current design trends.

Here are a few of the themes available:

You may be thinking, “Wow, seven themes isn’t a lot,” and you would be right. Seven themes are very few to choose from. Fortunately, Zoey provides strong drag-and-drop editing tools that you can use to make any of these themes your own. These seven themes are really just jumping off points for your own custom design.

In my opinion, the best part of Zoey’s web design (by far) is the drag-and-drop editor, which is the most advanced visual editor I’ve ever encountered. Zoey is continually making improvements to this editor.

You can use the drag-and-drop editor to change every element of your web page. This isn’t just a tool that lets you change a few colors or fonts or move a couple boxes. You can move any part of your website to any other location. You can edit every bit of text and every image.

Zoey does not currently allow users to edit raw HTML. Instead, they recommend merchants use the visual design editor for a grand majority of adjustments. Users, however, will be able to make some limited edits to a site’s styling and decoration using CSS. In addition, you can access HTML for your site’s Body Start and Body End (below the header and above the footer).

I’m really blown away by the visual editor’s capabilities. Sign up for a trial and try it out for yourself. It was even (dare I say) fun to use.

Integrations & Add-Ons

Zoey has 90+ apps available in their marketplace (when you don’t count the payment gateways). While that’s far below the number of apps many platforms offer (Shopify comes to mind), it isn’t too bad.

Here are few of the more notable integrations:

  • Brightpearl: Multichannel Retail Management System
  • GoDataFeed: Pushes Products to Marketplace
  • MailChimp: Email Marketing Management
  • ShipperHQ: Shipping Rate Calculator
  • ShipStation: Shipping Labels and Packing Slips Generator, Automated Order Processing
  • TaxJar: Automatic Tax Calculator

Payment Processing

Zoey integrates with over 50 PCI compliant payment gateways, including about 30 options for American merchants. The most popular payment solutions include:

  • PayPal
  • Sage Pay
  • Amazon Payments
  • Authorize.Net
  • Stripe
  • Braintree

Customer Service & Support

All customers have access to basic technical support. You can submit a ticket at any time (response times are below), and you can look into Zoey’s documentation to solve problems on your own. Here are the types of support you can expect with Zoey:

  • Documentation
  • Submit a ticket
    • Monday through Friday 9am–6pm EST.
    • Hours are extended for urgent tickets (e.g. site is not responsive, checkout does not function).
  • Product Announcements
  • Blog
  • Q&A (Community Forum)
  • Request New Feature
  • System Status

I tested Zoey’s support team myself by submitting a couple web tickets. I received responses to both my inquiries in under an hour, and one of my tickets was answered in just three minutes!

Some users complain that Zoey does not provide any phone support. While I agree that’s a bummer, I am also highly satisfied with the support I received via web ticket.

Negatives Reviews & Complaints

It’s clear that Zoey has lots to offer merchants. Nevertheless, Zoey also has areas in which they could improve. After all, no software is perfect. Take a look below at a few of the complaints current users voice about Zoey:

  • Pricey For Small Businesses: As far as pricing goes, Zoey is on the upper end of mid-range. It isn’t the most expensive option, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest. While Zoey is great for businesses who need to grow, the price is too heavy for merchants who are just starting out.
  • Price Increases: Zoey raised prices three times since 2016 (now offset a bit by the latest decrease, of course). I understand that businesses have their own reasons for price changes, but I like to see a bit more stability in pricing than Zoey has shown. You should note that during these price increases, existing users were grandfathered over and were able to retain their lower rates.
  • Limited Customizability: Just like Magento, Zoey has lots of features already built-in. Unlike Magento, Zoey is not fully customizable. If you want any additional features, you’ll have to integrate them via add-ons or wait until Zoey releases those features in an update.
  • Occasionally Lacking Documentation: A few users say Zoey’s documentation doesn’t always have enough detail to help resolve issues.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

If you couldn’t tell from my introduction, I’m sort of a fan of Zoey, and I’m not alone in my fandom. Many users love how Zoey enables them to run their online store. Take a look at a few of the specific benefits that users comment on most frequently:

  • Drag & Drop Editor: Hello, drag-and-drop editor that actually works. Where have you been all my life? Users love that this editor lets you change every aspect of your storefront. You have full control, and you don’t have to figure out that scary HTML and CSS.
  • Easy Setup: The start-up guide for Zoey is simple. If I only sold a few products, I could easily have gotten my store up and running within a couple days. If you’re thinking about making the switch to Zoey, they offer migration services to help you do just that.
  • Feature-Rich: Users love that Zoey comes with loads of features already built-in and ready to use. You won’t have to go searching for a lot of add-ons and integrations to fill in the gaps. This will save you loads on development expenses.
  • Responsive Support: Merchants say Zoey’s customer service is quick to respond to inquiries and requests.
  • Frequent Upgrades: Zoey is constantly improving features and fixing errors. They release a summary of their upgrades every month.

Security

Zoey is PCI compliant and features sitewide HTTPS. They monitor their infrastructure 24/7 to guarantee your site’s security.

Zoey now also provides Google’s reCAPTCHA for newsletter signup forms (actually, Zoey requires that you use it).

Final Verdict

I’ve been singing Magento’s praises ever since I first encountered the platform. The only problem? Magento is a pain to download and use. Zoey solves all of that. With Zoey, you can have the power of Magento and the ease of use that usually goes along with SaaS platforms. It’s really the best of both worlds.

While Zoey is not perfect (too pricey for some and not 100% customizable) it’s a very good option for most mid-sized merchants.

Go ahead and give Zoey a test run. Find out if it has the features your company needs and try out that drag-and-drop editor for yourself. The trial is commitment-free, so you have absolutely nothing to lose.

Get Started With Zoey

Liz Hull

Liz Hull

Liz Hull is an eCommerce Writer for Merchant Maverick. In her two years with Merchant Maverick, she has tested and reviewed over 40 eCommerce platforms and published two ebooks on the topic of online selling. Liz has also been published in Startup Nation and Home Business Magazine Online. Liz has a BA in English and Spanish from George Fox University.
Leave a comment

8 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Shahen Udu

    Thanks for the detailed review!! Quick question, can I use Zoey to create a B2B marketplace where buyers and sellers can open their own stores? Like AliBaba.

    Thanks in advance!!

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      Liz Hull

      Hi Shahen,

      Thanks for your comment! At this time Zoey does not include any marketplace features. Although we don’t typically review marketplace software on Merchant Maverick (we call them multi-vendor solutions), I have written a blog post on the subject: Tackling Multi-Vendor eCommerce Solutions. In it I compare three solutions: Yo!Kart, CS-Cart, and X-Cart.

      Best of luck on your search for the right software!

      Liz

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

        Katie

        Hi Liz,

        When did you write this review? I’m considering using Zoey, but I just went to their website (today is 1/8/2018) and the Entry plan (their cheapest) is $299/mo. Their second-tier plan is $500/mo., and it says those prices are only valid until January 31, 2018. I’m wondering if they are going to increase prices again in February.

        I’d like to know when you wrote this review to try and get a feel for how often they are changing, and more importantly, increasing, their pricing structure.

        Thank you,
        Katie

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

          Liz Hull

          Hi Katie,

          Thanks for the question! You’re absolutely right that Zoey has raised their prices since our last update in August. I originally wrote the review in Oct 2016 when Zoey’s lowest plan began at $79/mo. Since then they have increased pricing twice: first to $199/mo and then, as you’ve seen, to $299/mo. I don’t think Zoey necessarily has plans to change their pricing model yet again next month (it isn’t uncommon for an eCommerce software to list a good-until date on their pricing), but it is a possibility.

          After reading your comment, I called in to Zoey to ask a few questions. Here’s what I found out:

          The Zoey representative I spoke with informed me that there are no plans to increase pricing in the near future. However, he says that the best way to lock in a price is to subscribe to an annual plan (which will give you a discount as well). I don’t usually recommend subscribing to an annual plan with any software before you’ve had a few months testing it out. Instead, you might consider starting with a monthly plan and then switching to annual payments.

          In addition, the Zoey rep told me that during one of those price changes in the past, they grandfathered customers over to the new plan (while respecting the original price they signed up for). So, if/when Zoey changes plans in the future, you may (or may not) be able to stay on at the same price as before. If there will be an increase in pricing, they will give you an advance notice of 30 days before the change takes place.

          Thanks so much for bringing my attention to this. I’m a huge fan of Zoey otherwise, it is disappointing to see an increase in price.

          Best,
          Liz

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

            Katie

            Thank you, Liz! Very helpful information.

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

              Tu

              Question:
              My partner and I want to develop a site that allows multi vendors to sell their products on our site to buyers. We also would like to set up a vendor support system as well. My partner has developed one website years ago using Xcart but otherwise we have limited to no experience. Does Zoey have the ability to create and maintain these functions and would a beginning learner be able to do it? Thank you in advance.

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                Liz Hull

                Hi, Tu.

                At this time, Zoey does not have any multivendor features. If you’re hoping to find a platform with that sort of functionality already built-in, I’d recommend you take a look at Yo!Kart. It’s a relatively easy-to-use multivendor solution.

                You might also consider X-Cart (which it looks like you’ve already tried) or CS-Cart.

                I talk about all three of these platforms (and their pros in cons) more in depth in this article.

                Hope that helps! Good luck!

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                  Rich Ziolkowski

                  I’ve been using Zoey Commerce as our site’s platform since January 2016 and I’ve found it to be an excellent, rapidly growing eCommerce backbone for our store. I signed up knowing that there would be growing pains as the platform matures but the speed of the updates, the ease-of-use and simplification of archaic Magento tools, the superlative support team, and of course the excellent drag-and-drop editor have allowed me to quickly and easily manage the look and feel of my storefront freeing up time to focus on sales, marketing and product sourcing. For a small-to-medium sized business Zoey has all the tools I need to manage my site. As the review above said it is not 100% customizable, which in practice means that unlike Magento or a BigCommerce you can’t upload a pre-built site from an editor like Dreamweaver for example. You can however access the source HTML or CSS for the headers or footers so 3rd party tools like Sumome and Google Analytics are easily embedded. This is bad if you really, really need to upload custom pages and get into the nitty gritty, but the available tools in the editor mostly compensate for this shortcoming. To me the fact that I can make 99% of the customizations I need and am not shuffled towards a list of “web developer partners” when the default templates fail is a big plus.As for pricing, I didn’t really find it much more, if at all, more expensive than options like BigCommerce. Even better, there is no percentage of sales “vig” like on Shopify so your revenue is your own.All-in-all, Zoey Commerce is not perfect as the reviewer said, but the team behind it is ambitious and responsive and is regularly rolling out meaningful improvements to speed, stability and usability all at a market rate price without any hidden surprises.

                  5

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                  Leave a Reply

                  Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

                  Your Review

                  Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
                  Please read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.

                  Share