Selling online has come a long way from the early days of the internet when everything had to be hand-coded and self-hosted. Now, modern ecommerce systems let you drag-and-drop pictures, cut-and-paste text, and animate ads to make setting up shop easier than ever.
These recent developments make it so easy that anyone can build a high-quality ecommerce store using the right platform. While many of the leading platforms have updated with the times, there are a few like Snipcart that still have a few usability issues that may make you scramble for another option. Here’s a deeper look at Shoprocket, a Snipcart alternative that’s easier to set up.
What is Snipcart?
Snipcart is one of the leading embeddable ecommerce platforms that anyone can use to start selling products or services online. It provides the essentials that you need to get started, including an online store and payment processing.
The History of Snipcart
Snipcart has been around for more than 10 years now. It was developed by Spektrum Media out of Quebec City, Canada. There is a lot to like about Snipcart. However, it's not built for the less technical users.
Snipcart positions itself as an easy way to "Add a Shopping Cart to any Website" - but that's only true if you're a developer. Trying to integrate Snipcart into your website if you're not familiar with coding is a complex and difficult task.
The Big Limitation: Still Involves Hard Coding
If you are a beginner in selling products and services online, then Snipcart may not be a great fit for you. There is one big limitation that may make you search for another option.
In order to add new products to your store, you need to physically write the code in your web page. There's no option to create (or even edit) products via a user-friendly dashboard like Shoprocket, instead you have to five into your website code every time you want to make a change.
For example, here's you embed a simple buy button into your page with Snipcart:
<button class="snipcart-add-item" data-item-id="starry-night" data-item-price="79.99" data-item-url="/paintings/starry-night" data-item-description="High-quality replica of The Starry Night by the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh." data-item-image="/assets/images/starry-night.jpg" data-item-name="The Starry Night"> Add to cart </button>
We call the above method, "static" because it cannot be changed dynamically. If you want to modify any of the product attributes (like price, stock levels, or even the name) you'll have to open your code editor and manually make that change. Shoprocket uses a completely "dynamic" approach. Embed just once, and manage all future updates via our dashboard,
Even if you are well-versed in coding, these problems create workflow issues, especially for your client/merchant.
For beginners, this can be a major problem, but it is still a problem for more experienced shop owners. If this is the case, then you may want to look for an alternative, like Shoprocket, that has this problem solved by using a more modern approach.
What is Shoprocket?
Shoprocket is a modern ecommerce platform that makes it easy for you to sell products and services anywhere. Shoprocket’s focus is to make selling as easy as possible, which is why we did everything we could to modernise the shopping experience. We use the latest bleeding-edge technology to make transactions more secure and seamless, removing all loading transitions and archaic hurdles like "create an account to checkout", for a better customer experience.
More than that, Shoprocket is a platform that makes it exceptionally easy for you to create an online store, and embed products into other channels like your website, blog, landing pages and even your social media accounts. With Shoprocket, there's no coding required.
Our system makes it easy to create a storefront and manage all your content for products right from the dashboard. Then, you can embed them wherever you need to, without worrying about programming. For beginners and veteran ecommerce business owners alike, this is a major step up from platforms like Snipcart.
Here's an example embed using Shoprocket, it's a single code snippet embedded into this post directly, that dynamically loads the products, filters, sort options, cart and complete checkout into the page instantly. Any changes made to these products via the dashboard are reflected below in real-time. The best part is, we never use iFrames, meaning the content is part of your own website, and can even be crawled and indexed by search engines.
Key Features to Compare
The issue with hardcoding products into your page is a major one, and Shoprocket has it resolved. However, there are other features that make Shoprocket stand out as a better option than Snipcart and many other platforms. Before you commit to any solution, look at the key features which have the biggest impact on your ability to run your business.
Shoprocket vs Snipcart Pricing Options - How Much Do They Cost
Shoprocket and Snipcart have very different pricing methods. The pricing structure of any platform is without a doubt one of the most important features to compare. It directly affects how you make money on the platform and some pricing structures have you pay far more than others. Here is a comparison between Snipcart and Shoprockets pricing.
Snipcart uses a pay-per-transaction structure, meaning you pay a percentage of each transaction plus payment gateway fees. For Snipcart, this means you pay 2% of the total sale, plus the payment gateway fee per transaction.
While this may look great on paper, a deeper look at this pricing method at scale reveals the problem. That 2% can lead to you paying significantly higher costs as your sales increase. You may end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees if your business takes off and is more successful.
Many new sellers are lured into this transaction fee pricing model. 2% of nothing is a good deal after all! But if believe you'll be successful with your store (and you should) then you have to think about what that 2% could equate to in the future. What is your expected annual volume? $1,000? $100,000?
On annual sales of $100,000, you would be paying $2,000 to Snipcart. That's $1,652 more than you'd pay to Shoprocket if you were on our Lite plan.
It's also important to note, that although Snipcart advertises itself as "just 2% for everyone" - there's actually a secret minimum monthly fee of $13. So even if you don't make any sales, you'll still be billed $13 every month.
Shoprocket uses a tiered-plan system of pricing. Rather than paying a transaction fee on every sale, you choose a plan based on the features that work best for you. Then you pay a monthly fee based on the plan you choose. That means that your costs are capped at whatever the price of your plan is, plus transaction fees based on which payment processor you choose.
There are no surprise costs that increase as you become more successful, with Shoprocket you keep 100% of your sales, plus all payments are processed via your own payment gateway, so the funds will reach you immediately.
Shoprocket & Snipcart: What Do They Have In Common?
While Shoprocket is the better option, it does have features in common with Snipcart that make them both effective ecommerce platforms.
For example, both platforms give you the ability to sell both physical and digital products, which is something that not all ecommerce systems allow. They also give access to a merchant dashboard where you can manage your store and track performance. Perhaps the best feature is that they both give you access to an extensive network of help and technical support.
The key difference here is that Shoprocket has more features and those features have been highly refined to make them better than what Snipcart has to offer. Not only does Shoprocket run smoother than other ecommerce systems, but it is also more secure and loaded with automation, marketing, and management features that make running an online business much easier.
Shoprocket Exclusive Features & Characteristics
Shoprocket has a few features that make it a clear better choice than Snipcart. Shoprocket has the ability to integrate with third-party systems to make running your business easier than other platforms. It can integrate with services like Zapier, which lets you integrate an endless number of third-party apps to create a truly connected business management system.
Shoprocket’s integration features also include label providers so that making shipping labels is easy. For any other apps that you want to integrate, take advantage of Shoprocket’s automated webhooks. They allow outside systems to pull information from Shoprocket. If you have a dashboard that you like to use, just have it use the automated webhooks to pull that data from Shoprocket and continue using your dashboard.
The Bottom Line: Shoprocket is Better for Everyone
There are many reasons to choose Shoprocket over Snipcart, but it's the combination of features, a modern design, and pricing that lets you keep more of what you earn, which makes it the right choice.