Golden buzzer for you if you think that e-commerce is a great way to make money online.
According to Statista, over 250 million United States buyers have purchased a product from an online store as of 2020, and this figure is expected to cross over 270 million buyers by 2024.
Findings from Adobe Digital Economy Index revealed that the eCommerce industry is expected to hit 1 trillion dollars by the year 2022.
So now would be a good time to go into e-commerce.
That being said, you might not know how to get into action if you have no previous knowledge of setting up an e-commerce store.
Many dread having to invest real hours and resources to test and examine several e-commerce platforms to find which platform is most viable for their business model.
If, this is you – take a breath and relax.
Zoey is a very powerful e-commerce solution for businesses of all sizes, typically the ones that are bent on growing their revenue.
The platform is very flexible and it includes tons of features, while still being intuitive and easy to use by anybody, even persons with no prior technical knowledge.
Not to mention, Zoey integrates with diverse third-party solutions to facilitate eCommerce features such as payment, subscriptions, data analysis, verification, shipping, etc.
Also, it has a mobile app, which allows Zoey users to manage their online stores conveniently while on-the-go.
Let’s take a deep dive into some of the best Zoey features that make it an ideal platform for your B2B e-commerce business.
Zoey’s visual design editor lets you build and customize your eCommerce website without coding skills. Not to mention, it is a simple drag and drop design editor.
This means that you can easily customize your e-commerce pages using a wide range of design tools, without writing any code.
And don’t worry if you are not a graphic designer.
Zoey has a rich library of free, responsive themes for both desktop and mobile, with prebuilt design assets such as menu, slideshow, buttons, etc., to help you quickly customize your theme.
It also has a Themes and Fonts Manager that lets you easily control fonts, font sizes, color, etc., across your site, and with only a few clicks, too.
And it lets you preview your designs on mobile or desktop to help you detect and correct any issues before publishing it to the world.
Despite being primarily meant for B2B e-commerce needs, Zoey has a broad array of tools that can be adapted to also meet B2C requirements.
Zoey has a couple of customer management methodologies which you won’t find elsewhere.
For starters, the platform allows you to control what your visitors will see on your e-commerce site.
With its customer group feature, Zoey provides access restriction by placing your customers into groups.
How does this work?
For example, you can control what discount is available to customers based on the number of products they purchase, decide on showing the most valuable products first to new customers, or feature promotions only for returning customers.
It’s all up to you to do what’s best to give your buyers a unique shopping experience.
And this customer segmentation feature also lets you offer different payment options such as credit cards, PayPal, or future payments.
Likewise, Zoey also provides a customized search feature that lets customers in particular groups see advanced results customized for them.
When it comes to online businesses, analytics is essential.
Unlike a brick and mortar business, you cannot see your customers and talk to them face to face to help them find what they are looking for if you are running an online store.
You’ll have to depend on an analytics tool to get insights as to what is happening in your store.
To get real-time analytics for your Zoey store, you will have to rely on Google Analytics. This is because Zoey does not have a built-in tool for tracking website visitors, although it has a dependable inventory management reporting tool.
On the other hand, Zoey also integrates with Facebook Pixel and Google Event Tracking which enables you to monitor your online store visitors..
In doing this, you will be able to understand your buyers’ patterns and know what strategies to double down on.
Just like other standard eCommerce platforms, Zoey can be integrated with a good number of third-party applications to meet your extensive business needs.
These apps cut across a wide range of categories, and there are no shortages of apps for one category. Some of its supported categories include accounting, payment gateway, catalog, marketing, drop shipping, inventory management, etc.
For example, Zoey integrates with notable payment gateways like Amazon payments, Sezzle, and PayPal.
With Zoey’s mobile app, you can manage products, customers, and orders from your mobile device, whether iOS or Android smartphone.
An exciting feature of Zoey’s mobile app is its offline support. Once you’re signed in, the app will cache all necessary data and information you need to work with, thereby allowing you to work even in areas with no internet connection. This makes it the perfect app for fieldwork in any part of the world.
Conversely, you can monitor or review information, access customers’ data, create orders, generate sales quotes, and perform barcode scanning right from Zoey’s mobile app; hence, even while on a vacation trip, you can manage your business with Zoey’s mobile app.
Zoey has a helpful customer service team that can be reached via email or phone. Alternatively, you can also reach them by filling their contact form.
Conversely, Zoey has an active social media presence on top social media platforms.
In terms of resources, the Zoey Academy consists of marketing insights, videos, webinars, and eCommerce tips that can help users to make more sales.
Zoey’s pricing information depends entirely on your business needs, whether as a wholesale or B2B business user.
However, you can leverage their 14-day free trial for the Zoey demo, which doesn’t require you to enter your credit card details when you sign up. Afterwards, their sales team will provide you with a personalized pricing scheme.
Shopify is arguably the most popular and feature-rich e-commerce platform in the market at the moment.
In barely over a decade of operation, the company has managed to exceed $82 billion in gross merchandise volume and has more than 600,000 store owners using its platform.
Interestingly, Shopify has achieved these feats because it is reputed to be one of the few platforms that are able to offer you all of the functionality you need to get your startup or business up and running online.
The main reason for this is that Shopify offers a very nice and condensed package and features, which we shall take a look at in a bit.
So many e-commerce users like Shopify because it houses everything you need to succeed in e-commerce on its dashboard, including orders, products, customers, analytics, and so on.
So it really is an all-in-one solution.
One thing Shopify has going for it is its ease of use.
Even if you are a newbie to design and code, using Shopify will be a walk in the park for you after you use it a couple of times.
When you first log in to your dashboard, you will see a clean and organized page.
There’s no explanation video to tell you what to do, but Shopify points you to three actions: add product, customize theme, and add domain, any of which you can choose to begin with.
You can do a bunch of things from the menu page that have to do with the daily store management.
From the settings page, you can control shipping methods, taxes, and other configurations.
You can easily add products with a few clicks and strokes.
Once you are in, there’s very little you can’t do.
The platform has over 100 themes with different style variations, and they are all mobile responsive.
Among these themes, a couple of them are free while Shopify prices the rest between $140 to $180, and you can get support from their third-party developers.
All Shopify themes I have come across are bright, elegant, and easy to navigate.
You can easily customize your theme without writing any code with the sections and theme settings tools.
The sections contain your store’s widgets such as slideshows, newsletter, photo galleries, etc., and can be arranged by simple drag-and-drop.
On the theme settings, you can adjust colors, fonts, and font sizes.
If you prefer to use your own codes to build your store, Shopify lets you do that too, but you’ll need to know a little about Shopify’s proprietary language called Liquid.
Shopify built-in analytics is the one place to get information about all your products.
From the Analytics center, you can provide financial reports, overview dashboard, sales, customers, acquisition and behavior reports, depending on your plan.
Additionally, Shopify integrates with Google Analytics, which enables Shopify store owners to track website visits and sales.
Using Shopify is like using an iPhone where there are a lot of features involved with it, but you can always make it better.
So if there’s something that is not included in your online store, you can include an app.
Since the redesign in 2018, using the app store couldn’t be any easier.
Just as there are over 2000 Add-ons, there are tons of reviews of each app that would help to better inform your choice on which app suits your business.
There’s pretty much nothing you need that you won’t find in Shopify’s app store.
Integrating third-party Shopify apps can be free for a select few, but a lot of them will require that you pay their monthly subscription fee even if the initial installation is free.
So you will want to be careful on how you go about installing these apps because, even though Shopify is one of the most affordable e-commerce platforms, it can easily become very expensive for you if you rake in too many subscriptions.
Although Shopify is active on top social networks, there is no contact form for pre-sales inquiries.
To get support on Shopify, users are required to log in to their Shopify store. However, users can get support via the Shopify community forums and help center.
Plus, the Shopify Compass is a learning hub that contains resources, tutorials, and courses for Shopify users.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period, with no credit card required.
It has four pricing tiers, which includes:
- Shopify Lite – $9 per month
- Basic Shopify – $29 per month
- Shopify – $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify – $299 per month
On the other hand, Shopify also has an advanced plan i.e. Shopify Plus which is ideal for large volume merchants.
To help you put things in perspective, here are the pros and cons of Zoey and Shopify.
- Easy-to-use customer management features
- Users can increase their chances of making sales due to audience-specific targeted offerings
- Fast learning curve
- Reliable inventory reporting
- Diverse third-party integrations
- Helpful customer support team
- Zoey is somewhat expensive.
- Easy to use interface
- Multiple design themes for store customization
- Comprehensive built-in analytics
- Support for third-party integrations
- Multiple learning resources
- Advanced subscription plans are expensive
- No built-in email marketing feature
Shopify has built its popularity over the years, and among the top eCommerce website builders. Nevertheless, Shopify makes it easy for beginners and newbies to set up an eCommerce store and make it attractive for prospective customers.
It does not stop there. You can easily integrate third-party payment gateways with your Shopify store to help your customers pay with ease. As a beginner you do not have to struggle to know how you are performing, Shopify’s built-in analytics tool will help you monitor your store performance.
Simply put, Shopify is a good platform to start your eCommerce journey as a beginner.
If you want an eCommerce platform with rich features and wide third-party integrations, then Zoey is a good option for a beginner.
With its visual design editor, you can design your online store without technical knowledge. You also get to target your audience based on the group category they fall into.
On the other hand, if you are just starting out, using Zoey might not be an attractive option when it comes to pricing.
Nevertheless, Zoey is ideal for beginners that are non-tech-savvy.
Here are some of Zoey alternatives you should check out:
- Pinnacle Cart
- 3d Cart
You can check out some of these Shopify alternatives:
- Big Cartel
In this post, we have taken a look at two of the best e-commerce solutions you can use to set up a profitable e-commerce store.
We have also examined their best features to see which one better suits your business strategy to generate profits.
The big question is which one of these platforms is better?
Well, it depends on your needs.
Shopify is ideal for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users of e-commerce that are looking to speed up the development process by not spending much time and resources on coding themselves or a team of engineers.
Zoey may not be ideal for beginners because of its price, but it is recommended for B2B businesses that have already established themselves elsewhere, and are looking for a more sophisticated platform.
However, whichever one you end up choosing, your effort matters just as much.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.