When I was pitched SimpleShop, it seemed like good timing. With Covid-19, the world (if it wasn’t already) is now having to sell online, almost exclusively. So, a lot of small businesses that weren’t involved with ecommerce before, will be looking at easy/cheap/fast ways to sell via ecommerce now.
SimpleShop has been around since 2014, and seems to be growing at a healthy pace. It isn’t as big as Shopify or Wix, but it does seem more personal and far better featured for the money. At the time of writing (April 2020) in GBP the cost of SimpleShop is less than a third of the cost of Shopify’s lowest tier, and SimpleShop charges no transaction fees, unlike Shopify.
The admin area layout is really intuitive, and very easy to use. One click access to most things is common, and the onboarding for new users is really slick – the process runs you on rails to a complete shop during your trial period (14 days by the way, with the option to extend).
The themes are well made, and the new 2020 themes are actually quite advanced. Lots of good animations, CSS effects, and smart typography, definitely some up to date design trends here.
Payment gateways as standard are Stripe, Paypal, and Worldpay, with the option of offline payment. SimpleShop unsurprisingly tell me that Stripe and Paypal are the most popular, and that many stores use SimpleShop’s inbuilt subscription option to rebill customers monthly or yearly for subscription products via Stripe.
Given so much of the stock/core functionality for ecommerce is the same nowadays, it’s mainly a case of checking the fundamentals are there – order management, tax settings, emails to fire out, shipping labels, plugins etc. All present and correct here. There’s a nice selection of plugins, that again, much like the rest of the platform, are incredibly easy to integrate and use. Print on demand plugins are also forthcoming via Printful, which is due to launch next month.
Having seen some of the stores that SimpleShop powers, it’s a big mix as you’d expect, but a lot of small ecommerce stores are running on this platform very successfully. At £9/$14 a month with no commission or contracts, it’s easy to see why. One small thing that often gets missed is that in their pricing structure there’s no limits on the number of sales a store makes or products they list, other platforms often bump you up a tier once you hit a certain sales number – not so here, reassuringly.
All in all, this is a great choice for the eCommerce beginner, or the small retailer looking to sell online for the first time. It’s powerful enough to handle all store’s needs, but simple enough to get to grips with quickly, and cheap enough to justify for a side hustle or hobby business. The plugin selection is lighter than some other platforms, but I am informed that new plugins are launching all the time, so this small limitation will expand over the coming months. Print on demand certainly fills a need at this attractive price point, as I’m sure will dropshipping, too.
Cheap pricing and no commission, fair tiers
Themes are good
Support is friendly and fast
Plugins are not as numerous as other platforms