Zoey Commerce Review

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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.

An 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 a bit steep for startups; however, Zoey should fit most other businesses just right.

Keep reading for a full independent review of Zoey Commerce.

Pricing

Zoey has recently implemented a new pricing structure (for the second time in two years). Lower level plans have been discontinued, and pricing now begins at $299/month.

This restructuring supposedly represents Zoey’s shift to focus on B2B/wholesale selling. While I love all of Zoey’s B2B features, I am disappointed that the new pricing model excludes the cheaper, more accessible pricing plans. This change takes Zoey out of the running for a lot of smaller merchants who previously could have benefited from the platform.

Also, this restructuring reduces the number of products merchants can list at each price point. Those product limits are still pretty generous, but I certainly can’t call the change an improvement.

Nevertheless, Zoey’s pricing is not unattainable; it’s just better geared toward wholesale businesses, mid-size businesses, and larger organizations. Here’s a breakdown of the new pricing model:

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
    • Advanced Registration/Approval
    • API Access
    • Advanced Analytics (50k Page Views)

Power

  • $499/month
  • All The Above Plus
    • Five Staff Accounts
    • Ten Customer Groups
    • 50,000 SKUs
    • Priority Email Ticket Support
    • Tiered Pricing By Customer Group
    • Quick Order Form
    • Multi-Language & Currency
    • Multi-Language SEO
    • Product Attachments
    • Google Shopping Feed
    • Advanced Analytics (75k Page Views)

If you purchase a yearly plan, you’ll benefit from a 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 a similar program.

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 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.

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. 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 (Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento). 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.
  • 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 & 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. Read more about international selling.

Analytics (View the full list)

  • View Purchase Funnel Report: See where customers abandon their purchases.
  • View Orders: 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: 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.

B2B Features

  • Restrict Site Access: Allow only pre-approved customers to access your site for B2B selling.
  • Restrict Access To Categories & Products: Hide entire categories or individual products from certain customer groups.
  • Quick Bulk Ordering: Let customer add multiple products to their cart at once using SKU and quantity.
  • 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 21 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…

theme-1

theme-2

You can edit these themes using HTML and CSS editors, WYSIWYG editors, and Zoey’s drag-and-drop editor.

In my opinion, 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 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 announced that they’re rolling out a design editor upgrade for merchants who request it. They say that they haven’t totally worked out all the bugs yet and documentation is limited, so they recommend that only merchants who need a new design tool (or are comfortable with an imperfect product) go through with the upgrade at this time. Zoey will continue to improve the new editor and will make it generally available later this year.

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 107 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 cart that’s only a little over 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

Payment Processing

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

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.

I tested Zoey’s support team myself by submitting a web ticket asking a simple question. 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 a little over three years and still has a fairly limited client base. 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 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. What’s more, Zoey has raised prices twice since 2016. I understand that businesses have their own reasons for pricing changes, but I like to see a bit more stability in pricing than Zoey has shown.
  • 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 & 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 through Zoey’s blog.

Security

Zoey is PCI compliant and features site-wide HTTPS. 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).

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 is software review writer living in Oregon. As of late, she can often be found haunting eCommerce forums and waiting on hold with customer service representatives. When she's free, Liz loves to rock climb, watch Spanish dramas, and read poorly-written young adult novels.
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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!!

      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

        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.

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