Shopio Review – My Recent Experience Launching a Webstore

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Shopio Review

Launching an eCommerce store whether you are stocking or creating your own products or following a dropship model has become very popular in recent years.

The pandemic has only increased the entrepreneurial spirit as many look towards the internet to build businesses from home.

Not so long back, the barrier entry was high. You would either have to know how to build a complicated e-commerce store or finance a professional to do so, (they did not come cheap).

The landscape is very different today with the likes of Shopified, WooCommerce, and WordPress, and other easy-to-use platforms, all helping you to start selling online.

I have tried many of these with earlier ventures. However, Shopio recently gained my attention because of its low-cost model. It seemed an ideal platform for me to test new enterprises and products, fast.

I hadn’t heard much about them, but at just $20 to get started I decided to give Shopio a try.

Here is my opinion on the service and whether I would recommend it to others.

Shopio Review Summary

PRICING: 2 WEEK FREE TRIAL [Basic: FREE] / Starter: $24/mo, Pro: $49/mo, Empire: $99/mo 

The Pros
  • Setting up a webstore is made simple
  • No setup nor transaction fees.
  • Provides a one-page checkout system
  • Secure website & payment transactions (PayPal, 2CheckOut, Stripe, and more)
  • Advanced tax management tools
  • Shipping calculation system
  • Allows for discount codes and coupons.
  • In-built blogging CMS, SEO, and analytics
  • Phone, email, and live chat support.
  • Free domain name, hosting & themes
The Cons
  • Any fee paid is non-refundable
  • Doesn’t integrate with other eCommerce platforms
  • Business & Enterprise plans are less competitive

My View After Launching a Site Using Shopio

What I like most of all about Shopio is the all-in-one package that it provides. I was able to launch a 50 product store in a matter of days for just $20. The selection of quality themes is impressive, and the fact hosting, security, and domain purchase are all handled in-house really did make things easy.

The amount of payment gateways is a bonus too. Managing product imports and inventory is intuitive and didn’t give me any problems, (however I have used various eCommerce services before this one).

If you are looking to integrate your store with other platforms (Amazon, eBay, etc), you should look elsewhere as these features are not part of Shopio.

That being said, the total package Shopio provides, even on the $20 account is perfect for beginners. If you are interested I recommend taking the 14-day free trial and giving the service a try.

For enterprise users, the fee is less competitive (currently at $149 a month), the aforementioned lack of integrations could cause problems too.

Overall, however, Shopio has raised the bar on the features they offer in what is a very competitive market. This could well be to lure customers away from the established “big boys” (looking at you Shopified). For the customer, this can only be a good thing.

What is Shopio?

shopio logo Shopio is an easy-to-use e-commerce platform designed for use by non-technical webstore owners.

Its fully-featured, SEO-ready CMS allows one to update, delete, and schedule the publishing of content.

Its range of services and system tools are designed to cater to the spectrum of trading needs of small to medium-sized businesses. It has no setup nor transaction fees.

It also comes with pre-coded templates and themes that can be used to build the webstore via the drag-and-drop system of its website builder.

Relatedly, it provides a one-page checkout that makes it easier for the customer to pay for billed products. These services are packaged into 4 service plans – the Startup, Business, Professional, and Enterprise plans.

The key differentiator between any two plans is the product limit set by Shopio. Each plan comes with a free domain name, a free blog, and a responsive template for mobile commerce.

Introduction

Ecommerce-Software-Shopping-Cart-Solution-Shopio

Shopio is owned by IdeaSoft Yazilim San, itself a company that was established in 2005 in Turkey, but now has offices in California.

Each of the plans available on Shopio comes with a free domain name, a free blog for hosting text content, and a mobile commerce platform for building mobile-friendly (or at least mobile-ready) webstores.

It also supports domain extensions. It is evident that these plans integrate web hosting operations into their core business model. Equally, it provides a website builder for free so that the SMB can custom design its webstore.

Shopio has a competent customer support department that can handle customer concerns and queries.

Regarding the functionality of the webstore, apart from built-in blogs and mobile commerce provided off-the-shelf when one signs up as a subscriber, there are also advanced tax management tools for handling transaction taxes, a shipping calculation system for calculating shipping charges, and a discount management system for setting discount codes and coupons, along with the discounted amount.

Let’s take a look at some of Shopio’s main features.

Shopio Main Features

Ecommerce-Software-Shopping-Cart-Solution-Shopio

Assorted Free Services

Shopio offers two key services for free. These services are related to setup and transaction processing. In simple words, there are no transaction fees nor setup fees, hence reducing the barrier of entry to online commerce for customers.

Web Functionality

This relates to web hosting, design, and security. To begin with, IdeaSoft has secure cloud servers where it can host webstores running on the Shopio platform.

These servers have an excellent uptime, which ensures that the webstore is online throughout the subscription period. This eliminates the reputation risk posed by website downtimes, which usually scare away customers and cause search engines to de-rank the webstore. Currently, Shopio guarantees its subscribers an uptime rate of 99.95%.

IdeaSoft is a leading provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, and this has been extended to Shopio where this SaaS model allows for upscaling the performance of individual webstores, thus allowing any webstore to handle large volumes of traffic when needed.

In fact, all its service plans are generously packaged in terms of bandwidth, with the cheapest plan providing a 5GB bandwidth that can comfortably handle about 5000 simultaneous visits.

Online Security

ssl security

Regarding security, Shopio provides 256-bit encryption for its secure socket layer (SSL) protocol, and this is extended to each and every webstore hosted on the platform.

As expected, each webstore is assigned an SSL certificate, which plays a role in improving the webstore’s online visibility because Google and other search engines now prioritize websites with SSL certificates over those websites that lack this certificate.

The key benefit of this high-level encryption is that transactions are secured, and customers can enter their card data without fearing that this data will be intercepted by man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.

Additionally, Shopio is built using a secured Laravel framework which provides for authentication and authorization of users (the users, in this case, being webstore owners).

Likewise, its backend scripts are stored in a secured database that is protected from SQL injection attacks, while passwords are encrypted using bcrypt encryption.

Additionally, there are HTML filters to guard against cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. There is also protection against cross-site request forgery (CSRF).

Web Design

Ecommerce-Theme-Shopio-Theme-Store
Example of some of the themes available on Shopio

About website design, Shopio comes with a catalog of pre-built templates and themes that one can use to design his/her webstore. These responsive themes ensure that the webstore is displayed well on personal computers and mobile devices.

Equally, Shopio gives the merchant great freedom in customizing any of the themes, thus allowing the merchant to add a logo, brand name, and custom images, as well as set the font and color scheme of the webstore.

One can do all this without needing to code anything. Therefore, one does not need knowledge of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript to use Shopio.

Even so, Shopio provides the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files of each template when requested, and this allows a developer to have more granular control over the development and design of the webstore.

Furthermore, Shopio allows web developers to build their own custom themes from scratch.

Product Management

Ecommerce-Product-Management-Features-Shopio

The web functionality of Shopio extends to its product management system which is a hierarchical file system that allows the merchant to create 5 product categories called levels. In terms of file storage, each level is a directory where files are stored.

Each file contains the details of a single product. Its drag-and-drop system allows one to easily create these levels, label them, and populate them with product data.

Additionally, Shopio allows the merchant to import product data from another webstore. This allows for migrations from another e-commerce platform to Shopio.

Regarding product pages, Shopio allows one to theme it by setting its color scheme, design layout, and appearance using the design template.

This also allows for custom-sizing the product photos, as well as displaying unique product data such as product color and dimensions, which is quite important for a clothing store as it shows the viewer how the cloth looks like and its size.

Another unique feature of this product management system is its integration with the tax management system of Shopio.

This allows the merchant to display the different tax rates that apply to the same product in different nations (or tax jurisdictions).

Check-Out System

Shopio-Payment-Gateways-Integrated-Payment-and-Merchant-Providers-by-Shopio

As mentioned, Shopio allows for secure transaction processing, and a key process here is checking out the shopping cart, which requires the customer to pay for the items bought.

Basically, checking out is equivalent to paying the cashier in the brick-and-mortar business. Shopio provides a one-page checkout that makes it easier for the customer to pay for the billed products.

This is important as an easy checkout increases the likelihood of the customer paying for the product, thus minimizing the rate of terminal cart abandonment (i.e the customer leaving the webstore without purchasing even though (s)he was willing and capable of buying the products).

Currently, Shopio integrates the following payment gateways and processors in its transaction processing system: Authorize.net, PayPal, 2CheckOut, Stripe, Braintree, and a whole lot more.

Content Management

As mentioned, Shopio comes with an in-built blogging platform that features all the necessary blogging tools, including an extensible content management system (CMS).

This CMS has been tailored to serve the content marketing needs of the webstore. As expected, it allows one to write dedicated product reviews and publish them.

The CMS also allows one to easily update, delete, and hyperlink posts. Moreover, one can schedule when pre-written posts – that have been saved as drafts in the CMS – are to be published.

Moreover, the CMS allows one to enable or disable the posting of comments by readers.

Search Engine Optimization

seo

Another unique function of this blogging system is to boost search engine optimization (SEO) of the webstore. As expected, it features a tagging and labeling system that prioritizes keywords, including long-tail keywords.

There are also forms provided alongside the text editor where one can input metadata that is to be used for SEO.

SEO metadata, along with keywords, increases the chances of search engine spiders crawling the webstore, and then using the metadata and keywords to improve the ranking of the webstore on the search engine results page (SERP).

This guarantees better online visibility of the webstore in organic search results returned by Google and other search engines.
Shopio provides SEO functionalization for each page in the webstore.

It allows one to set the meta-title, meta-tags, descriptions, keywords, and customize the URL for any page. It also automatically creates XML sitemaps that can be submitted to search engines.

For the merchant, this makes it easy to have the webstore verified by search engines. Additionally, Shopio supports URL redirection, as well as allows one to integrate the webstore with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

This SEO support plays a key role in marketing the webstore using search engine marketing, where an improvement in SERP ranking increases the online visibility of the webstore.

Marketing and Analytics

analytics

As mentioned, Shopio allows the merchant to integrate Google’s Analytics and Webmaster Tools with the webstore, and this provides for traffic monitoring and tracking of visitors.

The most conspicuous benefit of this analytics is a display of sales performance of different products so that one knows which products sell well and which ones are turning into dead stock.

Likewise, one can follow the sale trends, thus allowing the merchant to plan a targeted marketing campaign.

Shopio also comes with a robust discount and coupon management system that allows the merchant to generate coupon codes and set discounts for a selected assortment of products.

This system allows the merchant to set the discount as a specific amount, or a percentage of the sale price. Additionally, it supports bundling of products into packages that can be sold to select groups of customers, and this reveals that it supports segmentation of customers into groups, as well as prioritization of specific customer groups.

Customer Support

Shopio provides customer support through 3 main channels – phone support and live chat support are provided during office hours, along with email support.

There is also a support center and knowledge base that contains documentation on how to solve common problems or avert them entirely.

Shopio has published a manual on how to set up, run, and theme a webstore. It also explains how best to use the CMS platform, and take advantage of its flexible hosting plans for upscaling.

Service Plans

Ecommerce-Plans-Pricing-Ecommerce-Software-Solution-Shopio

As mentioned above, there are 4 service plans. The key differentiator between any two plans is the product limit set by Shopio. This product limit also sets the file storage space and bandwidth allocated to the webstore.

Understanding this allows one to easily comprehend how upscaling should be matched to the size of the webstore. This size is determined by the number of items that the merchant intends to upload in his/her webstore.

The 4 service plans are explained below. To start off, one must know that none of the plans charges any transaction or setup fee. Equally, each service plan comes with a 14-day free trial after which one is charged the subscription fees.

Even so, any subscription fee paid is not refundable after one cancels the subscription. All subscription plans are priced on a per-month basis.

Startup Plan

This is the basic subscription service. It allows one to set up a webstore that can have a maximum of 100 products, and the allocated bandwidth is 5GB.

The maximum file storage size is 5GB. This plan comes with a free webstore domain, support for mobile commerce, online customer support, a built-in blogging system, advanced tax management, hard-coded support for payment gateways, and a calculation system for shipping and carrier rates, as well as discount and coupon engine for offering sales.

Business Plan

This subscription plan allows one to set up a webstore that can have a maximum of 500 products, and the allocated bandwidth is 10GB. The maximum file storage size is 10GB. It comes with all the features of the Startup Plan.]

Professional Plan

This subscription plan allows one to set up a webstore that can have a maximum of 2500 products, and the allocated bandwidth is 25GB. The maximum file storage size is 25GB. It comes with all the features of the Business Plan.

Enterprise Plan

This subscription plan allows one to set up a webstore that can have an unlimited number of products. Its bandwidth and file storage size is unlimited. It comes with all the features of the Professional Plan.

Features available on all plans

1 Ecommerce-Plans-Pricing-Ecommerce-Software-Solution-Shopio

Pros & Cons of Shopio

pros and cons

Pros of using Spocket for dropshipping
  • Setting up a webstore is simple and straightforward.
  • No setup nor transaction fees.
  • Provides a one-page checkout that makes it easier for the customer to pay for the billed products.
  • Secure transactions.
  • Each webstore is assigned an SSL certificate.
  • Features a functional design, easy-to-navigate user interface, and an easy-to-use admin dashboard.
  • Comes with advanced tax management tools for handling transaction taxes, a shipping calculation system for calculating
  • shipping charges, and a discount management system for setting discount codes and coupons.
  • Provides a free website builder so that a trader can custom design the webstore.
  • Comes with a catalog of pre-built templates and themes that one can use to design the webstore, and also allows web developers to build their own custom themes from scratch.
  • Servers have an excellent uptime to keep the webstore online 24/7.
  • The blogging system comes with a fully-featured CMS that enhances SEO and supports content marketing.
  • Integrates with Authorize.net, PayPal, 2CheckOut, Stripe, and Braintree.
  • Comes with a robust discount and coupon management system that allows the merchant to generate coupon codes and set discounts.
  • Provides customer support through 3 main channels – phone, email, and live chat support.
  • Provides 4 service plans which allow for upscaling.
  • Each plan comes with a free domain name, a free blog, and a responsive template for mobile commerce.
  • Each service plan comes with a 14-day free trial.
The Cons
  • Any fee paid is non-refundable should one cancel his/her chosen subscription.
  • The number of supported gateways is small to cater to the needs of traders selling products to customers residing outside Europe and North America.

Shopio Vs The Competition (Sendowl, Sellfy, & More)

BEST BUDGET

SENDOWL

BEST FOR PRINT-ON-DEMAND

SELLFY

PAYHIP

BEST FOR ONLINE COURSES

PODIA

BEST FOR PHYSICAL PRODUCTS

SHOPIO

EASYSTORE

PRODUCT TYPES

Digital, Physical Membership, Subscriptions

Digital, Physical, Print-on-Demand & Subscriptions

Digital, Membership, Subscriptions

Digital, Courses, Membership, Subscriptions

Physical Products

Physical Products

UNLIMITED PRODUCTS

NO

(Amount Depends on Plan)

YES

YES

YES

NO

(Amount Depends on Plan)

NO

(Amount Depends on Plan)


HOSTS YOUR WEBSTORE

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

EMBED INTO OTHER PLATFORMS

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES (Websites & Social)

YES

(Depends on Plan)

FILE SECURITY

PDF Stamps, License Keys

PDF Stamps, Unique download links

PDF Stamps, License Keys

PDF Stamps, License Keys

N/A

256-BIT SSL



N/A

256-BIT SSL



BUILT IN EMAIL MARKETING

NO (Integrations Only)

YES

NO (Integrations Only)

YES

YES

Depends on Plan

UPSELLING & DISCOUNTS

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Depends on Plan

TRANSACTION FEES

0%

0%

5% (Free plan)

2% (Plus Plan)

0% (Pro Plan 

0%

0%

0%

PLANS

Stnd: $15/mo

30 products

Prem: $24/mo

100 Products Bus: $39/mo

250 Products

Start: $29/mo

Bus: $59/mo

Prem: $129/mo


Start: $0/mo

Plus: $29/mo

Pro: $99/mo

Start: $39/mo

Mid: $79/mo

Top: $179/mo

Start: $19/mo

Bus: $59/mo

Pro: $89/mo

Top: $149/mo


Free: 1 Sales Channel

Lite: $17/mo

2 Channels

Stnd: $34/mo

7 Channels

Top: $77/mo

13 Channels

In terms of dedicated, all-in-on e-commerce platforms that we have reviewed on Vault50, Shopio gets a big thumbs up due to the fact both digital and physical goods can be sold. It is also packed with features to suit large webstores listing thousands of products.

In terms of digital products, Sendowl is a quality budget option. They have a standard plan priced at $15 per month that allows for the sale of 30 products. In my opinion, this is one of the best ways for beginners to dip their toes into digital product sales.

That being said, Payhip also has a low-budget option, (in fact the starter plan is free). The difference here is 5% transaction fee is added to every sale you make. Value for money is very much dependant on your sales price point and volume.

Sellfy is another great all-around e-commerce platform. I especially rate their print-on-demand services. Available on all plans, it allows entrepreneurs to sell custom apparel and merchandise with ease. All printing and delivery are handled in-house by Sellfy.

If this is a business model you are interested in, these guys come highly recommended.

A mention should also go to Podia for those looking to sell online courses. They have dedicated features purely for this type of digital product, making it very simple to get started.

About V50

The editorial team here at Vault50.com is made up of a number of writers based all over the world. Our interests and experience cover the full range of what we talk about here. Clare Turner is one of our key contributers writing about the home. David Lachance is our resident e-commerce and business guru, if it's anything to do with that, he's your man. Kevin Simpson takes care of the website layout and publishing and also heads up our education section, with in-depth reviews and articles on courses and training. Find out more about all of us here.

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