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If you’re a small business owner looking to break into the world of ecommerce, you’re not alone. Whether starting an ecommerce business as your first endeavor or adding an ecommerce element to your existing operation, online stores have quickly become the norm for customers looking to buy any number of products. Regardless of your business background, one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you begin your online store is choosing an ecommerce platform.
Your ecommerce platform will be the base from which you build your online business—and therefore it should have the capabilities you need, as well as conform to your business’s budget. For a platform that caters largely to beginners and purports simplicity and ease of use, you might consider Selz. What is Selz? Selz is a multichannel ecommerce solution that allows you to sell your products in a way that’s best for you. In this Selz review, we’ll explain more about the basics of the Selz platform, the features it offers, pricing, as well as dive deeper into Selz reviews from customers. Finally, we’ll offer top alternatives so that you’ll have all the information you need to determine the right ecommerce platform for your business.
A small business in their own right, Selz is an ecommerce solution that provides businesses with multiple ways to sell their products online. Founded in 2013, Selz is relatively new in the world of ecommerce but, due to their multichannel platform and ease of use, has grown quickly—and now supports thousands of merchants across the globe.
This being said, Selz offers business owners the opportunity to sell their products and services through the channel they prefer. You can use Selz to create an online store, starting with one of their website themes and using the drag and drop store builder to customize it to your brand. Selz also gives business owners the capability to add “buy now” buttons, product widgets, or full stores to their existing website to sell products. Finally, Selz allows you to make a Facebook store and utilize their services through this social media platform. Whichever method you choose, Selz provides web hosting, an SSL certificate, and perhaps most importantly, payment processing.
With Selz, you can choose from four service plans, the most basic of which only costs your business transaction and credit card processing fees. Furthermore, Selz gives you the ability to try their platform for free for 14 days, no credit card required.
As we’ll discuss in greater detail shortly, the specific features you receive with Selz will depend on which of the four plans you choose. Taking this into consideration, however, let’s explore the whole of the functionality that Selz has to offer businesses as an ecommerce solution:
With Selz, you can build and launch an online store—no technical or programming knowledge required. Selz gives you the ability to choose from their 25 free themes and then allows you to customize it to your business using their drag and drop store builder. With this tool, you can change colors, images, fonts, and layouts to fit your business’s brand. Additionally, online stores developed with the Selz service include a built-in blogging platform, giving you the opportunity to publish content and sell products all in one place.
Furthermore, as we previously mentioned, Selz provides web hosting as well as a free SSL certificate for every page of your site. Plus, you can use a Selz domain name for your store, bring in your existing domain, or register a brand-new one using the Selz platform.
In addition to building an online store, Selz also allows you to sell using your existing business website or by creating a store on Facebook. You can add products to your website, blog, or social profile by embedding customizable buy now buttons, widgets, or your entire Selz store. With these embeds, customers will be able to purchase products directly from your website. If your business site runs on WordPress, you can install the Selz plug-in and easily add ecommerce functionality without having to copy and paste any code.
If you want to sell your products on Facebook, you can create a fully functioning, mobile-responsive Facebook store using the Selz platform. You will be able to manage this store from your Selz dashboard, sync your inventory to your Facebook page, and utilize Facebook tools like advertising and chat.
One of the free theme templates Selz offers on their platform. Source: Selz
Selz has payment processing built into their platform. With their payment gateway, Selz Pay (which is actually powered by Stripe), you can accept all major credit cards. Selz processes all payments for you and deposits funds directly into your business bank account, Monday through Friday—no additional accounts required. You also have the option, however, to use the PayPal payment gateway to process credit cards as well as PayPal payments.
With Selz, you can charge your customers in over 100 different currencies and get paid in whichever of the 20 available currencies you choose. Additionally, Selz automatically calculates the appropriate taxes at checkout, including U.S. sales tax and EU VAT.
The Selz platform includes their built-in online shopping cart, which enables customers to check out directly on your site. Selz also gives you the ability to customize your checkout, adding forms, checkboxes, terms and conditions, delivery information, gift details, and more. Particularly beneficial for digital product sellers, Selz includes a “pay what you want” feature that can enable customers to designate their own prices for products. For post-purchase, you can choose to automatically send your customers order confirmation emails, as well as redirect them to exclusive content or custom thank you pages. Plus, for customers who have items in their shopping cart but have not completed checkout, you can send abandoned cart recovery emails and include special offers and incentives.
Moreover, to fulfill completed orders, Selz offers shipping tools that allow you to integrate with major shipping services, send order notifications, and process refunds as necessary. Along with tax calculations, Selz allows you to provide real-time shipping rates and options at checkout.
With Selz, you have the ability to sell physical products, digital products, or services. You can create your products with multiple images, categories, subcategories, and variants for characteristics like size, color, or weight. Selz also allows you to manage your inventory by setting and tracking stock levels and automatically pausing sales when an item is sold out. Additionally, the Selz platform includes SEO optimization tools, with product and category specific meta tags, titles, and URLs.
For managing and growing your customer base, Selz gives you the ability to create customer profiles and build your mailing list using email marketing platforms, as well as offer loyalty programs, discounts, or free shipping. You can also integrate with comment and rating apps to engage your community on your product pages and communicate directly with customers using in-app messaging.
Although you can sell physical goods, as well as services with Selz, this ecommerce platform also offers functionalities specifically for businesses looking to sell digital goods. These services, which they call their “digital ninja” features, allow you to sell ebooks, videos, online courses, and apps. With unlimited hosting and unlimited bandwidth, you can host and sell as many digital products as you want.
In addition, you can offer automatic delivery, send direct to Kindle, or download to Dropbox for ebooks, and sell videos as downloads or rent them as streaming videos. Selz helps you protect your digital products with PDF stamping, limited downloads, and license keys. Finally, Selz offers automated product updates to let previous buyers know about updates to your digital products and let them download for free with no charge to you.
To help you track your ecommerce business operations, Selz includes real-time sales analytics accessible at any time through your dashboard. You can also connect third-party web analytics tools like Google or Bing Analytics and export sales, referral, and traffic reports to .csv files to add them to any external systems you use.
In addition to Google Analytics, Selz offers a variety of one-click third-party integrations through their app store. These add-on options include popular platforms like Mailchimp, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Salesforce, QuickBooks, Xero, Freshbooks, and Disqus.
For all of their paid plans, Selz includes 24/7 customer support via live chat. You also have the ability to schedule a one-on-one setup session with a Selz expert for assistance getting started with the platform. Additionally, all Selz users have access to email support, the Help Center, as well as FounderU, which provides Selz how-to guides, FAQs, and general business tips.
Resources offered by Selz in FounderU. Source: Selz
Now that we’ve explored the different features Selz can offer for your ecommerce operation, let’s break down the ultimate cost of Selz services. Three factors will contribute to this overall cost: the Selz plan, transaction fees, and credit card processing fees. Selz does not charge fees for setup, cancellation, or PCI-compliance.
As we mentioned earlier, Selz offers four distinct plans—Free, Lite, Standard, and Pro. The plan you choose, therefore, will dictate the subscription fee you pay to use Selz. Likewise, the feature set that you receive with Selz will also be specified by your plan.
This being said, the Free plan, as you might expect, costs $0 per month. If you use the Free plan, then, you’ll only have to pay transaction and credit card fees. The transaction fee for this plan is 2% and the credit card fees are 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
The Free plan includes:
The Selz Lite plan offers greater functionality in that, first and foremost, you can create a fully customizable online store. This plan costs $19 per month if you choose to be billed monthly, or $17 per month if you choose to be billed annually. The transaction and credit card fees for the Lite plan are the same as the Free plan: 2% transaction fee and 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction credit card fee. In addition to the features from the Free plan, Selz Lite also includes:
The third level of Selz subscription options is the Standard plan. This plan not only offers more capabilities than the previous two, but also a lower transaction fee. The Standard plan costs $29 per month for monthly billing or $23 per month if you’re billed annually. The credit card fees remain the same, but the transaction fee is only 1% with this plan. Once again, the Standard plan includes all of the features of the Free and Lite plans, plus:
The final and most robust plan that Selz offers is their Pro plan. This option costs $49 per month for monthly billing and $35 per month for annual billing. The credit card fees are stagnant at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction, but there is no transaction fee with this plan if you use Selz Pay. If you use PayPal to accept payments, however, you’ll pay a 0.5% transaction fee. In addition to everything included in the previous three plans, Selz Pro also offers:
Taking into consideration all of the information we have discussed regarding Selz, there’s no doubt there are benefits to using this ecommerce solution for your business. Here are a few:
Starting an ecommerce business can be difficult, and even more so if you have limited technical knowledge and can’t set up your online store. Selz strives to eliminate these issues and, by all accounts, succeeds. The Selz platform makes it quick and easy to design and customize your online store using their templates and drag and drop builder. With online credit card processing, shipping integrations, and other operational tools included in the platform, you have the essentials you need to manage your ecommerce business from the get-go.
Another notable benefit of using Selz is that there are, in fact, multiple ways to use it. You can use the Selz platform to create a completely new online store, or you can simply add ecommerce functionality to an existing business website or social media page. Selz gives you the ability to add buy now buttons, product widgets, or your whole store—allowing your customers to shop and purchase products without leaving your website. With all of these different channel options, Selz gives you the opportunity to sell in the way that works best for you and your business as well as utilize services and tools you already have.
In addition to their capabilities for physical products or other services, Selz offers functionality specifically for selling digital products. Not only does Selz provide unlimited hosting and bandwidth for digital sellers, but also other significant features like automatic delivery and updates, limited downloads, PDF stamping, and license keys. Although there are ecommerce platforms on the market that are specific to digital goods, like FastSpring and Sellfy, Selz truly has comparable features, plus the added benefit of selling physical products, as well.
On the whole, Selz reviews online are notably positive. Although this platform is relatively new in the ecommerce world, customer have and continue to review their experience with Selz favorably. With all of the Selz reviews out there, the most common feature that customers highlight is Selz customer service. Even though Selz does not, in fact, offer customer support via phone, users again and again praise their customer service saying that it’s both accessible and helpful.
In addition to this common thread, customers writing Selz reviews often mention how easy it is to create your store with Selz and use it for your ecommerce business. Reviewers also comment that the Selz interface is clean and intuitive and the themes available are professional and well-made.
Despite these advantages of Selz, there are drawbacks to think about as well. Here are two worth considering:
Although Selz has four different plans and a range of ecommerce features, it is lacking in some of the more advanced options than other platforms on the market offer. For example, Selz only gives you the ability to use Selz Pay or PayPal for payment processing, whereas platforms like BigCommerce offer a variety of payment gateway and provider options.
Similarly, even though you can integrate your Selz store with third-party tools, the selection is relatively limited in comparison to other solutions. Because of some of these limitations, therefore, if you’re looking to house a large ecommerce operation or start one and scale quickly, Selz probably doesn’t have the extent of functionality you’d require.
Although Selz offers a free plan and the monthly fees of the remaining three plans are under $50, there are a few reasons why the cost is a downside of their platform. The most significant issue with the cost of Selz is the transaction fee. Selz charges a transaction fee in addition to credit card processing fees for all of their plans except the Pro plan. If you look at other ecommerce platforms, you’ll see that most of them do not charge this transaction fee, unless like with Shopify, you use a third-party payment processor instead of Shopify payments. In essence, then, this is a cost that you can totally avoid with other solutions.
Furthermore, taking the features and functionality of the Selz plans into consideration, you would really need to get the Standard or Pro plan to efficiently run an ecommerce business. Once again, although these plans don’t have particularly high monthly fees, the transaction fees plus the limited capabilities don’t justify the cost when compared to other offerings—which can provide comparable or even better functionality at a very similar cost.
As we mentioned, the majority of Selz reviews online are positive. However, there are a few reviewers who mentioned problems with Selz that they would like to see improved. Along these lines, some reviewers have commented that Selz is not scalable, is a little expensive, and can be buggy. Additionally, others feel, as we have said as well, that it does not offer as many integration options as other ecommerce platforms. Finally, some Selz reviews mention features that should be relatively standard, like the editing of sales receipts, that are only available in the higher plan levels.
With all of the ecommerce solutions available for small businesses, you should definitely consider some Selz competitor platforms before making a decision. Here are two alternatives to think about:
With their vast customization and integration options, plus user-friendly platform and different plan offerings, it’s no wonder that selling on Shopify is one of the most popular ways to start an ecommerce store. Compared to Selz, Shopify in fact, offers many similar features, including a low-cost plan that allows you to sell on an existing website or social media platform.
Although the Shopify plans are progressively more expensive than Selz, Shopify can provide the advanced functionality and scalability that Selz lacks. Plus, for Shopify Basic—which gives you all of the essentials you need to run your online store—you’ll only pay $29 per month, on top of the 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction fee for credit card processing. Unlike Selz, Shopify only charges an additional transaction fee if you use a third-party payment service instead of Shopify Payments.
Moreover, if you’re interested in the simplicity and ease of use associated with Selz, Shopify has these benefits as well. In fact, Shopify is known for their usability—allowing any type of business owner to create and customize a store that they can effectively manage.
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Although you may typically think of Square for point of sale technology, in March 2019 Square released a relaunch of their online store platform, making it a worthy competitor to Selz. Like Selz, Square Online Store has a free plan offering; however, Square’s free version is much more robust. With the free Square Online Store, you can start with a website design and use the store builder to customize and launch your store. You also can accept payments through Square, manage products and inventory, and integrate with Instagram. Using the free version of the Square Online Store, you’ll only pay the fixed rate of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
For more advanced features, you can choose from the Square Online Store paid plans, which range from $16 per month to $79 per month. With these plans, like with Shopify, you’ll be able to more effectively grow and scale your operation than you can with Selz. Additionally, if you want to accept payments in-person or work in conjunction with your retail store or restaurant, Square Online Store integrates easily with Square point of sale.
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At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can decide which ecommerce platform is best for your business. This being said, if you’re looking for a platform praised for ease of use and customer service, Selz is a choice worth considering. Although you need to use one of the paid plans to actually create and make the most of your online store, Selz certainly can provide you with the essentials you need to get your ecommerce operation started.
However, you should also remember that there are alternatives out there, like Shopify and Square, that are worthy competitors to Selz. In particular, if you’re looking for scalability, advanced features, and don’t want to pay a transaction fee on top of credit card processing fees, you’ll want to explore other ecommerce platform options. Ultimately, the right solution for your business will not only provide you with the ecommerce features you need, but will also fit your budget and allow you to create and manage your online store in an effective way.