This developer-first shopping cart lets you build your custom ecommerce website and of course retro-add a fully-fledged online store to any website. Snipcart doesn’t mess with your workflow or even impose its way of thinking (working) on you.
The ecommerce side of things is completely decoupled from developing a site so that you can add and run an online shop on top of any tech stack. Or in other words, it separates the commerce logic from the frontend. This means you can use whatever technology you like, from WordPress to Jamstack and anything in-between. It also means you’re not locked in a walled garden (read closed ecosystem).
Snipcart is a spin-off of the web agency Spektrum. It was conceived because a client wanted to add ecommerce to their old website. But instead of messing with the existing code base, the developers of the agency came up with the idea of adding the shopping cart only in the frontend. It was launched in 2013 and is based in Quebec, Canada.
Pros and cons of Snipcart
- It’s highly customisable, so you can make it look just as you want with CSS & JS.
- It works with any tech stack, be it old or new.
- It can be extended on the frontend and backend with webhooks and APIs.
- There’s a forever free plan so that you can test drive it
- You need a backend developer to integrate other services via webhooks with Snipcart
- The free forever plan’s support is limited to the help centre
- Not for large businesses
Who is Snipcart for?
If you’re a developer, be it an individual or an agency, Snipcart offers a very fast way to add an online store to a website. It’s also interesting for businesses of any size who want to extend their current website to sell products and services online and plan to run a small to a mid-scale online store.
How easy is Snipcart to use?
You notice straight away how Snipcart places developers first. The signup process doesn’t ask for your credit card details. Once you’ve completed the signup process, you have to get a small tour that makes you acquainted with the interface.
Once the sign-up is completed, you’ll see the dashboard. It’s the backend of your online store where you manage your orders, customers, and other tasks related to running a store.
The elements in the interface organised and grouped to be helpful. They’re also clearly labelled. There is also no endless submenu to get lost in. Anyone should be able to come to grips with it in a matter of minutes.
Because Snipcart is added to an existing website or web application with its established look and feel, there are no templates or themes. The cart has a default theme that can be customised to your liking.
Marketing and SEO
You have the possibility to add any metadata and custom field that you want with a few lines of code. That means you can add metadata for SEO as you see feet.
You have the option to create discounts, send emails to recover abandoned carts, and send recovery campaigns.
Out of the box, you have the option to connect your online store with Stripe, Paypal, Square, Braintree, Mollie, and Authorize.net. You even can integrate your own payment gateway or add a deferred payment so that your customers can pay by check or any other manual payment method.
All communication made with Snipcart is secured with SSL. However, since it relies on HTML for product information, it crawls your site after adding each item to the cart to check that an item added to the cart exists and no attribute has been tampered with. If it doesn’t match, the transaction is blocked.
Wherever you are on Snipcart’s website, you see in the lower right-hand corner a chat icon. They typically answer within a day. Even though it’s quite a small team, they offer excellent support. This is especially important if you want to customise everything (read think out of the box and do something unexpected).
The documentation is well-organised and detailed with videos where the subject matter might otherwise get complex.
Snipcart offers 3 plans including the forever free. If your monthly sales fall under $500, you’ll be charged 2% per transaction, otherwise, it will cost $10 per month.
There’s also a custom plan where your revenues get deposited directly in your account without any middleman. This plan is for sites with high sales volumes – that is turnover of more than $25K per month.
Is Snipcart the right solution for you?
Snipcart is an interesting solution for developers who want to add a shopping cart to an already existing site. With all the freedom to customise comes also the responsibility to take care of hosting, building, and maintaining your site. This means Snipcart is not a good point to start. It isn’t an all-in-one shopping cart where everything is taken care of so that you only need to add your products.
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