Bluepark is a UK-based ecommerce platform established back in 2004.
Similar to other popular ecommerce platforms like ShopWired and Shopify, Bluepark is an all-in-one website builder and ecommerce solution.
In this review, we’ll explore the Bluepark platform, focusing on its pricing, features and support options.
An introduction to Bluepark
Bluepark is an all-in-one website builder and ecommerce platform that offers a range of features and tools to help businesses establish an online presence and make sales.
The website builder lets users create a website without needing coding knowledge, while the ecommerce functionality lets users set up and manage their product catalogue, process online payments securely and handle order management and fulfilment.
Bluepark - Pricing plans
Bluepark has three different price plans which will suit different businesses depending on their needs.
- £24.99/ month (+VAT)
- Essential features
- Numerous free themes available
- List up to 500 Products
- No transaction fees
- 500mb data Storage
- No limit on turnover
- Standard level support.
£39.99/ month (+VAT)
- The Business plan includes everything from the Retail plan, but adds:
- Additional features
- List up to 2000 products
- Priority support
- 1gb data storage
- B2B features.
£59.99/ month (+VAT)
The Enterprise plan features everything from the Retail and Business plans, but also adds:
- All features
- List unlimited products
- 2gb data storage.
Bluepark- Free trial
Bluepark offers a free 14-day trial for those wanting to test the platform before committing to a paid plan. It has to be said that Bluepark's free trial is comprehensive, providing access to all of the platforms features, as well as support. This gives new users a chance to explore all that Bluepark has to offer before making a final decision.
Signing up is simple, you’ll just need an email address and name- no credit card information is required.
Bluepark - Reviews
When assessing which platform to go for, it's always useful to take a look online to hear the opinions of real users.
Bluepark - Trustpilot reviews
Trustpilot is good for getting a general overview of a platform as it takes scores from numerous reviews to give an average score.
Trustpilot also lets businesses claim their profile, meaning they can reply directly to user reviews and dispute any reviews that may be fake or spam. This makes Trustpilot a fairly trustworthy source for reviews.
Bluepark has an excellent score of 4.8/ 5 stars on Trustpilot out of 286 user reviews.
Bluepark - Platform features
Bluepark comes with a range of features to help you build an ecommerce website. Unlike many other platforms, all of Bluepark’s features are native to the platform, meaning you won’t need to download additional apps or plugins.
Whilst the lack of needing to download additional features is useful, it does mean that if you want additional features that your package doesn’t currently offer, you’ll have to move up to a higher plan.
It’s also worth pointing out that, if you’re looking for a specific feature that isn’t available on any of Bluepark’s plans, there’s nothing you can do. For example, most other ecommerce platforms, like ShopWired for example, have their own additional apps that can be downloaded to give your store new functionality, as well as apps from third-parties.
Let’s now take a look at Bluepark’s full feature list, but remember, you’ll need to be on the Enterprise plan to benefit from all of them (although you will get to sample them all on a free trial).
- Customers also bought- let users see what other products were bought by people looking at the current product
- Related products- show users products related to the current one
- Product comparison- compare products side by side to let users decide the best one
- Search website- let users search manually for products by entering search terms
- Wish lists- create and share wish lists of your favourite products
- Digital products- offer both physical and digital products to customers
- Product labels- attach labels to products to show what’s new or on offer
- Youtube embedding- embed Youtube videos to your product pages.
- Email newsletter- create email marketing campaigns from within the Bluepark dashboard
- Affiliate network- create a network of affiliate marketers to help promote your products
- Social sharing- let customers share their favourite products to their social media pages
- Discounts – create discount coupons for marketing campaigns
- Abandoned cart – send automated emails to cart abandoners and offer them an incentive to return and complete the purchase
- Google Shopping – send a product feed to Google Shopping
- Back in stock notifications – send automated emails to let customers know when a product is back in stock
- Blog – add blog continent to your website
- XML sitemaps – automatically generated XML sitemaps for search engines
- SEO friendly URLs – URLs are auto generated but can also be edited to give you full control
- Add metadata – choose your own meta titles and descriptions with keywords
- Automatic 301 redirects – automatically redirects your pages and products if you change the URL structure
- XML sitemaps – automatically generated XML sitemaps for search engines
Reporting and Analytics
Bluepark helps you monitor the performance of your website and sales figures with some useful reporting and analytics options:
- Top sellers- view which of your products are most popular sellers
- Top wish list- see which products have been added to wish lists the most
- Referral conversions- view how many referrals bought products
- Google Analytics – easily link your Bluepark website to Google Analytics.
Bluepark - Payment gateways
Bluepark provides a great selection of payment gateways to ensure seamless online transactions for your business. The available options include:
With these payment gateways and more, Bluepark covers a wide range of popular choices for UK businesses, offering flexibility in accepting payments from customers. However, there are some payment gateways missing that we’d like to see, like Amazon Pay for example.
Bluepark - Additional transaction fees
Unlike many other ecommerce platforms, there are no additional transaction fees for using Bluepark. However, each payment gateway provider may charge their own transaction fees, so this is something you'll need to research when choosing a payment gateway.
Bluepark - Design and themes
Bluepark has 42 free themes to choose from. These themes are all responsive, meaning they're optimised for mobile devices as well as desktop. Bluepark’s themes can also be customised to help you build a store that looks and functions how you want it to. However, it has to be said that the theme customisation options aren't the most intuitive to use. For example,
The platform adopts a 3-column structure, consisting of two sidebars that can be toggled on or off, and a main center column for content. Additionally, users can choose from a variety of blocks to add to these columns, providing further flexibility in design.
While Bluepark's customisation capabilities allow for a high degree of control over the appearance of your site, the workflow for making these choices is not as streamlined as it could be. Currently, users need to navigate to the admin area to make their customisations and then switch to the front end of the site to see the changes. Bluepark does not offer a live preview feature, which would allow for real-time adjustments and previewing of the site's appearance.
For those who want something a bit more bespoke, Bluepark do also offer custom themes which are built for you by their design partners. However, pricing for these themes start at around £700, meaning your overall cost of using the platform could skyrocket.
The footer options in Bluepark could also benefit from improvement as they currently require HTML customisation, which may be challenging for individuals without advanced technical skills.
Overall, whilst Bluepark offers a level of control over the website's design, the platform's customisation features may feel more suited for web designers and users with an understanding of technical aspects, rather than businesses seeking a user-friendly solution to build a website for selling their products. This is where a platform like ShopWired, with its live editor and no requirement to add HTML code to the footer, may be a preferred option.
Bluepark - support
Bluepark’s UK-based support has received generally good reviews online.
Although Bluepark's support may not be available 24/7, they claim to respond to inquiries promptly as priority support is offered on all packages. The problem with this, though, it's not clear how "priority support" can be offered to everyone as 'priority' implies a higher level of service given to specific customers or situations. However, it remains unclear how Bluepark distinguishes and prioritiSes support requests among all users.
In addition to direct support, Bluepark has a forum where users can ask questions and seek guidance. The forum serves as a valuable resource as it not only features input from knowledgeable Bluepark staff but also from experienced users.
Bluepark - Hosting and performance
Beyond Bluepark’s list of features, another important aspect of ecommerce platforms is the quality and reliability of their servers. Bluepark claims to have:
- PCI compliant servers
- 99.9% uptime
- 24/7 server monitoring
- Daily back-ups
Using Bluepark for the first time
So, on paper, Bluepark looks to be a solid ecommerce platform with a comprehensive set of features, but how easy is it to actually use the platform for the first time? Let’s take a look.
Getting started with Bluepark
Getting started is a simple process that only requires an email address and password to create an account. Upon logging into the admin dashboard for the first time, users are greeted with a helpful setup guide consisting of five basic steps to quickly get their store up and running. This guide is accompanied by an informative video tutorial.
The admin dashboard is well-organised, featuring a sidebar navigation menu with clear headings and subheadings. Navigating through the dashboard is intuitive and user-friendly.
Adding a new product to you store with Bluepark is straightforward but can take slightly longer compared to some other platforms. For example, the product creation page follows a tabbed layout, and to access all the available tabs, the product needs to be created first and then edited. This can be a minor inconvenience in the workflow of adding new products.
Organising your inventory is made easy with Bluepark's traditional category structure, allowing for multi-level categorisation. Setting up categories involves working through tabs, which are simpler compared to the ones on the product creation page.
Bluepark provides convenient tools for inventory management, such as a bulk editor on the main product overview page to update stock quantities efficiently. A margin calculator helps determine gross margins per product, and products can be easily marked as active, featured, or discontinued. For other edits like product titles, users need to access and edit each product individually, which again, can interrupt the workflow and slow things down.
Managing orders is pretty straightforward. Users can easily update order statuses, generate invoices and packing slips in bulk or individually, and export orders in CSV format for integration with third-party order management or shipping software. These features streamline the order fulfilment process, allowing businesses to efficiently handle their customer orders with ease.
Overall, Bluepark offers a user-friendly interface for managing inventory and orders, ensuring an efficient and organised experience for users.
Bluepark offers an all-in-one website builder and ecommerce solution. It has received positive reviews and offers a range of features, themes, and payment gateways. And with UK-based support, Bluepark may be a tempting platformfor UK-based ecommerce businesses.
However, while Bluepark may be a solid option for some, we think there a few things missing from the platform that we'd like to see. For example, theme customisation can become quite complicated with no live preview and with the need to add HTML code the footer to customise it. Users without technical skills may find themselves needing to pay for a bespoke theme, which can see the costs of using the platform rise considerably.
Then there's the lack of additional apps and plugins to bring wider functionality to your website. If there's a feature missing you need, you'll either have to pay for a more expensive package or use another ecommerce platform.
With the above in mind, Bluepark may be more suitable for users with technical expertise or for those who know exactly what features they need and don't mind not having additional plugins.
Of course, as the UK's number one rated ecommerce platform, we will always recommend ShopWired as a solid alternative to Bluepark. With ShopWired, you'll benefit from a whole range of additional apps if you need them, you can use the live editor to preview your theme before making it live and you can take advantage of a range of direct integrations with third-party services such as Xero or Kashflow, print on demand services and our own dropshipping service- DropWired.
You can sign up for a 14-day free trial with ShopWired to find out for yourself.