Switching E-Commerce from ShopLocket to Snipcart: User Interview

Originally founded in 2011 in Toronto, fellow Canadian startup ShopLocket recently announced that they were shutting down their e-commerce service. Acquired by PCH International in early 2014, the ShopLocket team will now keep working with their parent company.

By June 30, 2015, their embedded e-commerce tool will be officially discontinued.

This means users need to re-locate their e-commerce and find a new solution for their online businesses. ShopLocket had become quite renowned for its handling of pre-orders and hardware-related e-commerce. Like us, they also allowed users to add e-commerce functionalities to any website quickly. Unlike us, however, they didn't focus as much on offering a customizable shopping cart to technical users.

So we weren’t surprised when we received a few emails and support tickets from ShopLocket users wanting to move their store to Snipcart. As a matter of fact, a few of them already made the switch. We took the time to speak with one of them, Michael Assad, VP Sales & Marketing at Argenia Systems. He recently went live with Snipcart for the ClearBlue Ionizer site (a nice solution to reduce pool and spa maintenance and chemicals).

We went ahead and asked him a few questions about the ShopLocket - Snipcart transition. We thought his answers might benefit ShopLocket users currently looking for an equivalent e-commerce alternative. You can read the quick interview with him below.

Interview with Michael Assad

Q: How did you find out about Snipcart as an alternative to ShopLocket?

A: I found Snipcart with a Google search when I was researching shopping cart solutions for our site. I searched for something liked ‘Embedded Shopping Cart’. I already knew about ShopLocket at the time. A friend was using it on his site and recommended it. I ended up going with ShopLocket because they were local and they did everything I needed when I tried it out.

Q: How long would you say it took you to switch from ShopLocket to Snipcart?

A: Overall, it took about an hour to switch over including the back-end setup and integrating into my Weebly site with the appropriate styles. I had 5 products set up in ShopLocket and sold them on 2 pages.

Q: Did Snipcart provide all the features you needed for your online store at ClearBlue Ionizer?

A: Yes. The great thing about Snipcart is that you can build your site and product pages however you like. Whereas ShopLocket has a pre-defined widget for the products, Snipcart gives me more freedom to set up the product pages the way I want. At first, I was disappointed by the lack of product management, but once I figured out how it integrates, I liked it better.

Q: What resources or features could have helped you during the transition?

A: The only thing that was a little weird was adding styles to the ‘buy’ links. When I first tested out the links, it worked fine. Then, when I added the styles from my site to the links, they stopped working. It took a minute to realize that I needed both styles. That was really the only thing that got me. Otherwise, it’s extremely straightforward.

Q: What would you say the biggest difference between ShopLocket and Snipcart is?

A: The biggest difference is that ShopLocket provides a full product management system, whereas Snipcart is just the cart portion. Considering most companies have their own product management system, this is a more efficient solution. The product management in ShopLocket was a bit of a pain. The ShopLocket product pages also created an SEO issue because they are published as web pages and there is no way to block them from Google with robots.txt or other methods. This led to an embarrassing situation were an end customer found our wholesale pricing online. We had to ask the ShopLocket support to manually block the pages from Google.

Overall, the functionality is very similar once you get them both set up. Snipcart is simpler, easier to set up and less work to manage.

We’d like to thank Michael for trusting our e-commerce solution for his online store at ClearBlue Ionizer. And for taking some time to chat with us, of course. If you’re currently a ShopLocket user looking to make the switch to Snipcart, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email. Our support team will be happy to help you in the transition.

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