Zoey Commerce Review
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.
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 the developer-types who need lots of customizability and functionality. Zoey is the best of both worlds.
In 2014, Uri Foox released Zoey, which is a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution built on Magento. While Zoey remains distinct from Magento, it 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 a bit steep for startups; however, Zoey should fit most other businesses just right.
Keep reading for a full independent review of Zoey Commerce.
As of February 2017, Zoey has implemented a new pricing structure. They have discontinued their $89/mo Professional Plan and introduced a new Business Plus plan.
I am very disappointed that the new pricing model excludes the cheaper, more accessible Professional Plan. This change takes Zoey out of the running for a lot of smaller merchants who previously could have benefited from the platform.
Also, while the previous pricing model granted unlimited products in all packages, merchants are now limited in the number of products they can list on their sites. Those product limits are very generous, but I certainly can’t call that change an improvement.
Nevertheless, Zoey’s pricing is not unattainable by any means; it’s just better geared toward mid-size businesses and above. Here’s a breakdown of the new pricing model.
- Unlimited Storage
- Three Staff Accounts
- 100,000 Products
- 100 API Calls per Minute
- Access to App Library
- Advanced Insight Analytics
- Abandoned Cart Reporting
- Blog Capabilities
- Content Distribution Network (CDN)
- Gift Cards
- Multi-language and Currency
- Sitewide HTTPS Option
- Premium Search Technology
- Wholesale Management Tools
- Zoey-Managed SSL Certificate
- Unlimited Ticket-Based Support
- Up to Two Scheduled Support Calls per Week
- All of the Above Plus
- Six Staff Accounts
- 250,000 Products
- 200 API Calls per Minute
- Advanced Permission Restrictions
- Premium Search Analytics
- Bulk Update Shipment Information
- Google Shopping Feed
- Automated PCI Scanning
- In-Region Hosting
- Up to Four Scheduled Support Calls per Week
- Starting at $599/month
- All of the Above Plus
- Fifteen Staff Accounts
- 500,000 products
- Unlimited API Calls
- Custom SSL Certificate
- Create and Install Private Apps
- Create and Install Custom Themes
- Identity Provider / SSO
- Priority Support
- Up to Five Scheduled Support Calls per Week
If you purchase a yearly plan, you’ll benefit from a 10% discount.
But before you purchase a single month, I recommend that you sign up for Zoey’s Free 14-Day Trial (no credit card required) for a commitment-free sample of the platform.
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 similar software.
Specific Size of Business
I would recommend Zoey to almost all mid-sized businesses. While I love Zoey’s features and usability, startups and small businesses may find Zoey’s 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.
I also wouldn’t necessarily recommend Zoey to merchants who have lots of web experience (or employees with web experience) 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.
Hardware & Operating System Requirements
None! You should note, however, that Zoey’s Control Panel only supports Google Chrome. Read more about web browser compatibility.
Ease of Use
Zoey offers a Free 14-Day Trial of their product, and they make it easy to sign up for one. You just enter your email address and create a password, and 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 the industry leaders (Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento). It’s clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Best of all, Zoey makes their setup process easy to locate and follow.
They guide you 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.
Like Magento, Zoey comes with an extensive feature set. You can take a look at Zoey’s features for yourself by clicking around the drop down bar underneath the “Features” tab, or you can read through my summary below.
- 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.
- Marketing integrations: Integrate with MailChimp, Nosto, Optimizely, and Springbot.
- Abandoned cart features: View abandoned cart reports. Set up persistent shopping carts and email marketing campaigns to reduce your cart abandonment rates.
Product tools (View the full list)
- Faceted search: Let customers find what they want quickly by filtering your products based on attributes. Fun fact: with other platforms, this feature is usually only available in enterprise solutions.
- Swatches: Display accurate images for the product attributes your customers select.
- Up-sell and cross-sell: Advertise related products to boost your sales.
- Sell digital: Make sure to disable shipping for your digital products.
- Sell in bundles and kits: Sell any sort of multi-product package you’d like.
- 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. Read more about international selling.
- Restrict site access: Allow only pre-approved customers to access your site for B2B selling.
- File manager: Upload and attach documents to product pages. This is great if your products require a bit more description than you have space for on one webpage.
Analytics (View the full list)
- View Purchase Funnel Report: See where customers abandon their purchases.
- View product sales: See which products sell more consistently than others.
- Real-time reports: View your customers’ interactions on your site as they happen.
SEO tools (View the full list)
- Sitewide HTTPS: This is only available for the business level and above. 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.
Zoey comes with 22 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 couple examples of the themes available.
The best part of Zoey’s web design (by far) is the drag-and-drop editor. Zoey claims to have made the first drag-and-drop editor. I’m not so convinced of that (I’ve seen plenty of drag-and-drop, or “visual” editors before), but one thing’s for certain: this is the most advanced drag-and-drop editor I’ve ever encountered.
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 color or fonts or move around 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 has recently introduced their new design tool: Blocks. Blocks simplifies the design process by providing a few pre-made design templates that you can use within your webpages.
I’m really blown away by this 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 82 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), for a platform that’s only three years old, 82 is not 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
Zoey integrates with over 50 PCI compliant payment gateways, including 34 options for American merchants. The most popular payment solutions include:
Customer Service & Support
All customers have access to live technical support. You can submit a ticket at any time (response times are below), and you can schedule up to five support phone calls a week (depending on your plan). Here are the types of support you can expect with Zoey.
- 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
- Q&A (Community Forum)
- Request New Feature
- Schedule a Phone Call
- System Status
I tested out Zoey’s support team myself by submitting a web ticket asking a simple question about customizing my checkout page (which, by the way, isn’t really possible at this time). I received a response within seven minutes. Seven minutes! At this time I had just spoken with a sales representative and confessed that I was a reviewer.
Suspecting that my account had somehow been flagged as priority, I created another email address, added a different phone number, started a new trial and tried again. This time I received a response in under an hour, which is still a very good response time for an eCommerce platform.
Negatives Reviews & Complaints
I was unable to find many customer reviews about Zoey Commerce. This isn’t terribly surprising since Zoey has only been around for about two years and still has a fairly limited client base (they’ve only got about 600 clients currently). Still, I normally see a few more customer reviews online (perhaps you can solve this issue in the comments section below).
In absence of other user feedback, I’ve compiled a short list of what I consider to be Zoey’s primary drawbacks:
- Pricey for smaller businesses: As far as pricing goes, Zoey is fairly middle-of-the-road. 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.
- 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.
- Can get bogged down: One other third party review site called Zoey a “heavy” platform. If you tack on a lot of extensions, your platform simply won’t be as nimble as it was before.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
If you couldn’t tell from my introduction, I’m sort of a fan of Zoey. (Sort of a team-jerseys-hanging-in-my-closet-kind-of-fan.) Here’s why I’m so excited about Zoey.
- Drag and drop editor: Hello, drag-and-drop editor that actually works. Where have you been all my life? I 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 CSS.
- Easy setup: The start-up guide for Zoey was 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: 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.
For a few merchant success stories, you can also browse around Zoey’s blog.
Zoey is PCI compliant and features site-wide HTTPS on higher level plans. They monitor their infrastructure 24/7 to guarantee your site’s security. Read more about Zoey’s infrastructure.
Zoey now also provides Google’s reCAPTCHA for newsletter signup forms (actually, Zoey requires that you use it).
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 kind of 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.