Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Shopblocks?

Shopblocks is an ecommerce platform. That means it is a system to create, manage and host an online shop. Shopblocks provides you with everything you need to sell online. Add your products, design your shop then launch it live onto the internet. From there, Shopblocks enables you to take payments, process orders and manage special offers. If you would like to sell your products online, Shopblocks is the only platform you need. However Shopblocks isn't just limited to online shops, use our tool BlockLab to create the perfect brochure site or landing page for your business.

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Why doesn’t Shopblocks use Templates or Themes like the other ecommerce platforms?

We believe Templates and Themes are one of the most dangerous liabilities your business can acquire. The damage Templates and Themes are doing to thousands of small businesses worldwide is incalculable, yet many other ecommerce platforms advocate their use. Why? It’s all a matter of cost. A bespoke website design typically requires an investment of tens of thousands of pounds up front and hundreds more every time you need to make a change. We believe all businesses should have a website designed specifically around their needs and to make that happen, we created BlockLab.

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What is BlockLab?

BlockLab is a tool invented by Shopblocks to give our users an unprecedented level of control over their online shop’s design. Other platforms only allow basic customisation such as adding your logo and changing a few colours. BlockLab gives you total control over the layout, design and information content of your pages so your website can be customised to your exact business requirements without requiring expensive designers and developers.

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Do I need to be a designer or developer to change my shop’s design?

Absolutely not. We invented BlockLab to ensure that all Shopblocks users can change their shop’s design in any way they like without requiring the help of expensive designers and developers. Most ecommerce platforms provide some level of design customisation, but BlockLab is completely different. As opposed to making simple colour changes or adding your company logo at the top of the page, BlockLab provides a level of control that no other ecommerce platform comes close to matching. With BlockLab you can change the design, layout and branding of your website, with total control over fonts, colours, images and other styles to create a site tailored to your business and your products.

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Which Shopblocks subscription plan is best for me?

Our Pro plan gives you everything you need to launch a successful online shop and our Plus plan opens the door to more advanced integrations with third party systems for growing businesses. Our Orbit plan takes this even further with seamless integration into eBay, Amazon, Etsy and other marketplaces so that you can sell products elsewhere and manage orders in Shopblocks. With no transaction fees, unlimited products and data, and Shopblocks help and support, all Shopblocks plans provide everything an online business needs to succeed.

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What are ‘card processing fees’?

Each time one of your customers pays you through your website, card processing fees apply with your payment provider. Our main payment provider is Stripe, although we support many more including SagePay, Worldpay, and PayPal. All card processing companies charge fees each time a transaction is processed and this is an inescapable part of selling online, so ensure these fees are factored into your own pricing so that your business remains profitable. Stripe has a number of advantages over alternatives such as PayPal, SagePay, Worldpay and the many others. The main benefits are the user experience your customers enjoy when paying you (we think Stripe provides the best customer experience by far) and the simple, transparent pricing. We have partnered with Stripe because they provide everything you need to sell online in a simple, profitable way. On the Pro, Plus, and Orbit plans, Shopblocks does not charge any additional fees.

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What is Stripe and do I have to have a Stripe account to use Shopblocks?

If you want to sell online, you need a way of processing credit and debit cards – this is what Stripe does for you. Stripe is a fantastic service for businesses selling online. It provides a simple, transparent way of taking payments online. Stripe has low pay-as-you-go pricing, with no up-front costs, no monthly fees, no refund costs, no hidden fees, and no contracts. One of the best features of Stripe is that it provides everything you need, so there is no need to set up a ‘merchant account’ with your bank which can be a lengthy and frustrating process, especially for new businesses. It is by no means mandatory to have a Stripe account to use Shopblocks - we support a number of payment methods including Worldpay, SagePay, and PayPal.

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How much will I pay for Shopblocks? Are there really no hidden fees?

Paying for Shopblocks is simple. We have a monthly subscription fee that applies to Pro, Plus, and Orbit accounts, this gives you access to the platform and gives you the ability to launch your online shop. In addition, each time you make a sale through your website, card processing fees from your payment provider will apply. This is an inescapable part of selling online for businesses using any ecommerce platform. Shopblocks do not add any additional processing fees. Most other ecommerce platforms advocate the use of alternative ‘payment gateways’ which incur their own fees in addition to fees paid for a ‘merchant account’ with your bank, or a separate merchant account provider such as Elavon. Be careful using these alternatives as their pricing is far from transparent, and usually differs depending on the type of card your customer pays with. With Stripe the pricing is much easier to understand and you can view more information at https://stripe.com/gb/pricing.

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How do I cancel my Shopblocks subscription?

Send us an email from your registered email address requesting the cancellation of your account and we will get in touch to confirm. Before your subscription is terminated, if you need a copy of your data we will arrange for this to be sent to you.

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How many products can I add to Shopblocks?

Subscribers to the Pro, Plus, and Orbit plans can add as many products as they like to Shopblocks. 

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What does ‘unlimited products and data’ mean?

Unlike most ecommerce platforms, we don’t put a limit on how many products you can sell, or how much data in general you add to the system (such as product photos, videos, descriptions etc.). However, a fair usage policy does apply to protect our system. If you need to add more than 20,000 products or store more than 20GB of data (both of these limits are far higher than most businesses need) then speak to us and we will look at your situation individually.

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Can I use my own domain name with Shopblocks?

Yes, see our Learn section for more information on adding a Custom Domain.

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Can I try Shopblocks without providing an email address or billing details?

Yes, we offer a completely anonymous demo for anyone wanting to try Shopblocks before signing up. During the demo you can start adding products and setting up your online shop, but your data will be deleted after 7 days. To save your data at any time, simply register for free and your data will be safe and secure until you are ready to launch your shop.

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How can Shopblocks afford to offer a free subscription plan?

Our mission is to help new businesses get started and grow. Shopblocks is the only ecommerce platform offering active shops a subscription plan with no monthly fees. On our Startup plan, each time you make a sale through your website, we take a 3.6% transaction fee. This is in addition to the card processing fees your payment provider takes (e.g. Stripe takes 1.4% + 20p on each European credit or debit card transaction). In this example, you pay 5% + 20p fees, so taking a £100 order through your website would result in £5.00 being taken in fees and £95.00 being credited to your bank account 7 days after the sale. Contrast this with selling an item through eBay (using PayPal for payment) where a total of 13% in total fees is typical. On our Pro plan, total transaction fees are usually under 2%. The Startup plan remains free forever as long as you launch your shop within 30 days of registering and sell at least one item each month. Inactive shops are charged £5 per month. See our Terms for full details.

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Why do I need to provide my credit/debit card details when signing up to the Startup plan?

We require a valid credit/debit card on file for all Shopblocks subscribers. If you are on the Startup plan, no subscription fees will be taken each month as long as your shop is active (which means it is live and sells at least one item each month). If you upgrade your subscription we will start billing you automatically. Some of our customers also benefit from specialist paid upgrades purchased via the Shopblocks App Store. We will never charge any fees without your agreement.

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How do I get help using Shopblocks?

We provide email support 24/7 and aim to respond to any query in under 24 hours. We provide live chat and telephone support during office hours (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays). If you have a question, email us and a member of our support team will get back to you as quickly as possible.

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What currencies/languages can my shop use on Shopblocks?

Shopblocks is a UK based ecommerce platform, optimised for businesses all over the world. You can sell your products anywhere with Shopblocks, and we support multiple currencies and have the ability for you to translate the core system into different laguages. The Shopblocks plugin library also has plugins enabling your customers to view prices in alternative currencies.

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Who owns the data I put into Shopblocks?

You do. Your data remains yours and we will never access, copy or share your data with anyone else. We will backup and protect your data (see Terms for further details). If you want to leave Shopblocks we will give you all of your data back.

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How do I benefit from referring friends to Shopblocks?

In the ‘My Account’ section of Shopblocks you will find a unique referral code that you can send to your friends. If they sign up to a Shopblocks subscription plan (including the Startup plan) both you and your friend will receive £25 and you can use your code as many times as you like. See our Terms for full details.

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What is with the Shopblocks Eagle?

We believe Shopblocks can help your business soar like an eagle in outer space, and our friendly eagle reminds us of this fact. We borrowed this line from theoatmeal.com and we recommend you check out their comics.