Ecommerce Platform Review: Jimdo
Shopping online is all the rage, so why aren't you and your business cashing in? The time has never been better to open an online store, especially considering the wide selection of ecommerce platforms available for creating professional-looking results, even without a degree in programming or web design. We reviewed some of the most popular providers to help in making your choice and in this article, we'll take a look at one of them, Jimdo.
What is Jimdo?
Jimdo is a Hamburg-based company that provides a range of software solutions, including a website builder that we at EXPERTE.com also reviewed. In our opinion, the company's site builder achieves an excellent balance between ease of use on the one hand, and versatility/functionality on the other, making the solution particularly appealing to beginners. In this review, we'll assess whether Jimdo's ecommerce solution does the same.
Pros and Cons
2 editors with an AI-supported option for beginners
Easy to use
Fast support response time
Few details provided about the different packages and their features
Limited product management
Lack of features in both editors
Not for digital products
Configuration & Usage
To open your Jimdo shop, you'll need an account. Once you've confirmed your registration via email, you'll be taken to the setup assistant. Here, it's necessary to enter some information about your store, such as, whether you run it yourself, or with a team, and where your customers are based. You'll also have to input a name for your shop, and can link it with an existing Facebook page, or Google Maps location.
Then, you'll need to configure a few style preferences, and voila, Jimdo will automatically create a design for you. There isn't any ability to select from templates here, and shortly after registering, we received an email welcoming us to Dolphin. But, didn't we just register for Jimdo? What's Dolphin?
Registration only takes a few moments, however, Jimdo could be a bit more open about precisely what it is that is offered.
Dolphin (Creator) is one of two Jimdo editors. The AI-supported website builder is the smaller brother of Jimdo Creator, the service's standard editor. Dolphin is specifically designed with beginners in mind, to help them more quickly create an online sales presence by (slightly) limiting their freedom of design.
We don't take any issue with Dolphin, in fact, we commended it in the site builder review we conducted. What does bother us, however, is that Jimdo markets its ecommerce solution not as Dolphin, but as Jimdo. If we were unfamiliar with Jimdo, we wouldn't have known the difference, or perhaps, would have never happened upon the more powerful Creator. Jimdo didn't allow us to choose between which of the two editors we'd like to use.
We began with Jimdo Dolphin, the service's AI-supported editor designed with beginners in mind.
In the fourth section of this article, we go into a bit more detail regarding the differences between the two editors. Regardless of which you use though, the dashboard remains the same. Here, you can manage your projects and adjust general account settings.
In the sidebar menu to the left, you'll find Overview, Statistics, Domains, E-Mail, Branch Entries, and Settings. Through the last of these, you can only make a few adjustments to analytics or the website language.
More advanced settings relating to your shop as well as corporate and tax information can be specified in the editor. We would have preferred for design aspects to be handled in the editor, and more contextual or content-related ones in the dashboard, as is common amongst the other providers we looked at. The advantage of this approach is that you can create multiple shops in the dashboard, and then configure their individual tax and delivery settings in the editor.
You can view all of your projects in Jimdo's dashboard.
Overall, Jimdo's user interface is well-arranged and clear enough for beginners not to get lost in it. In particular, the editors are intuitive and make create a professional online shop fairly easy.
Unfortunately, there were a few bumps in the road, the biggest of which was the lack of clarity regarding the two different editors and their functionality. We also found the division of settings between the editor and the dashboard to be somewhat illogical. Rounding out our list of complaints was the absence of an app store or market for third-party add-ons.
Score: 3.7 / 5
In Jimdo, product management is carried out in the editor, and not through the dashboard. Accordingly, there are two different areas for your products, depending on whether you use Jimdo Dolphin or Jimdo Creator. Below, we'll explain how to use both, as well as how to add new products in Jimdo Creator.
Product Management in Jimdo Dolphin
In Dolphin, you can manage your products through the upper menu bar by selecting Store > All Products. This will open a sidebar showing you a list of your products which you can edit, delete, duplicate, or add to. In addition, it's also possible to create multiple variations of a single item, and group products into categories. Inventory management, however, is not provided.
Generally speaking, Jimdo Dolphin is really only designed for small projects, however, we had to dig around to find out what "small" actually means. Once support got back to us, it turned out that "small" entails 80 products or less (on the other hand, Jimdo Creator doesn't limit the number of products that can be marketed in a store).
As mentioned, we couldn't find any information relating to this limit on Jimdo's website, or a table showing the differences between subscription packages. The only hint we scrounged up was an article on the service's help center, which states: "We’ve noticed that the Dolphin store performs best with up to 100 products." Although this is more of a recommendation for optimal use, than a fixed limit, we would advise anyone considering building a medium-large sized online store to err on the side of caution and use Jimdo Creator rather than Dolphin.
Adding a new product in Jimdo Dolphin.
Product Management with Jimdo Creator
In Jimdo Creator you can browse through a list of your products on the sidebar menu under Shop > General – but only after you've added your first product. It isn't possible to add new products directly in the somewhat stale-looking product list, but only in the editor by adding a new content block.
Then, enter a title and a description for your product, add pictures, and finally, a price. Under Additional Options, you can also input the weight, quantity in stock, and estimated delivery time. It's also possible to add a brief description to your product(s) or categorize them using tags, both of which will only be shown on the product page.
You can also add variations by clicking on the "+ Add Variation" button should you have different color or size options. Here too, it's possible to add individual prices, weights, estimated delivery times, and quantities in stock.
Unfortunately, your options for adding new products are somewhat limited. For example, each change is registered as a new product, meaning, that a color variation is seen identically to a size variation by the platform. This means that it isn't possible to add different characteristics on the product page, making product selection somewhat less intuitive for your clients.
For example, if you offer a hoodie in three sizes and three colors, you'll need to create a variation for each size, and each color (or 9 variations in total) as opposed to 3 variations (for the colors) before adding sizes to each. Other online store building software does a much better job of this. Oddly enough, so does Jimdo's Dolphin editor.
In terms of product variations, Jimdo Creator's options are fairly limited.
Similarly, product categories are also missing from Jimdo Creator. You can add tags to products and group them on your site, however, they won't be organized into defined collections, making it harder for your customers to purchase similar or related items. As a result, the service lacks some of the most important tools for not only creating a well-organized online store, but also one that is convenient for your customers to browse.
Jimdo's inventory options are very basic. You can manually edit your in-stock quantities here, and enter the text to be shown based on the quantity available. You can also set notifications for when your inventory dips below a certain amount. Here too, other ecommerce platforms offer more possibilities, such as the ability to hide products that are sold out.
Jimdo allows you to set notifications for when a limited quantity of a product is available.
Unfortunately (we sure are saying that a lot in this review), Jimdo doesn't support the sale of digital products. To market something for download, you'll need to employ a fairly hefty workaround: For each file, you can create a password-protected sub-page and send customers a link and password after payment. This requires you to monitor every single transaction, whereas other platforms completely automate this process for you.
Jimdo can definitely improve in a lot of areas relating to adding and managing products. What's surprising is that the tool designed for beginners, Jimdo Dolphin, offers more functionality and features than Jimdo Creator. At the same time, a store created using Jimdo Dolphin can only sell a limited number of goods (between 80 and 100) which means that users are caught between a bad choice, and a worse one; namely, put fewer goods up for sale, or create a shop that is less functional.
Neither of these is a particularly 'good' option, and in crossing its wires, Jimdo does itself a serious disservice.
Score: 2.7 / 5
Personalizing Your Store
We're sure that in Jimdo you'll spend more time in its site builder/editor than you would on other ecommerce platforms. This is because it allows you to directly add products to your store and manage and follow your orders. The divide between the frontend of your online store and its design 'behind the curtain' is somewhat smaller than among other providers since changes can be seen and edited directly in the live preview.
This approach makes personalizing your online store easier than it is when using most of Jimdo's competitors, with both editors scoring thanks to how intuitive this process is made.
Personalization with Jimdo Dolphin
In Jimdo Dolphin you're provided with a live preview of your webstore in a simulated browser window. In the upper menu bar, you can select from Design, Pages, and Store. Under the first of these (Design), you can change the color scheme, fonts, buttons, and animations, but that's all. You aren't given more options for themes, likely because Dolphin is all about simplicity.
It isn't possible to freely design an online store in Jimdo Dolphin, but as a result, creating a shop is much easier.
Under Pages, you're able to manage different pages on your site. Once you've created a new page, it will automatically appear in the menu. Here, you can view all of the ready-made pages that are important for your online store, such as a shopping cart or Terms & Conditions. Text, images, and titles can be edited directly in the live preview, however, placeholder text is included for most of these as well.
Your website is made by grouping different content blocks together, each of which you can move and edit to a certain degree. If you hover your pointer over the space between two blocks, a button will appear which says "+ Add Block", allowing you to add new content blocks to the page you're working on.
Here, you'll also find ready-made content such as "About Us" blocks, text blocks, slideshows, banners, or contact forms. There's nothing extraordinary here, however, all of the basics are present. For each block, you can select a color scheme that suits the page.
If using Jimdo Dolphin, don't expect a wide variety of design options, however, it will be easy to quickly create an online store that looks professional with an absolute minimum amount of effort. Should you prefer more creative freedom, we recommend using Jimdo Creator.
Personalization with Jimdo Creator
Jimdo Creator also allows users to work on their frontend facade directly in the editor's live preview. The main menu, which is located on the sidebar, can be expanded by clicking on the hamburger icon in the top left. Here, you'll see submenus titled Design, Shop, Blog, SEO, Domains and Emails, Settings, and Questions. Under design, you can change the template of your page, at any time. As of the time of review, there were 40 different options to choose from here.
In the Style area, you can customize the template you've chosen to meet your preferences. Here, you'll find two modes: If you are satisfied with the template's default settings, you can stay in easy styling, which only allows you to change the color scheme and the fonts, much like in Dolphin. However, if you want to alter individual content blocks, you'll need to toggle "Style by Element" on.
Jimdo Creator provides somewhat more design freedom than Jimdo Dolphin.
Like in Dolphin, any store that you design using Jimdo Creator will be comprised of content blocks. The selection is somewhat bigger than in Dolphin, and you can incorporate add-ons or elements like search widgets or a calendar by copying and inputting snippets of HTML code. Here too, we should mention that under Design > Advanced > Individual Layout you can directly work with your page's HTML and CSS code(s).
All of Jimdo's designs are optimized for mobile devices, and it's possible to switch back and forth between them through the upper menu bar at any time.
With Jimdo Creator, your online store is also optimized for display on mobile devices.
Generally speaking, Jimdo Creator is better suited for fine-tuning an online store, whereas Jimdo Dolphin is more for getting something together in a hurry. In comparison to most other site builders, such as Wix, it's harder to 'break out' of Jimdo's templates and customize your store's look without working directly with the site's code.
Jimdo also doesn't support multiple language localizations directly. It is possible to create them, but you'll have to repurpose your store's first navigation level to a language menu, thereafter adding submenus for each language, and adding/translating your site's pages by hand.
In contrast to other ecommerce platforms, which integrate this into site navigation, the workaround in Jimdo is rather time-consuming and in our opinion, unnecessarily complicated.
With that said, Jimdo's Dolphin and Creator editors are nothing to shake a stick at, thanks to their intuitiveness, and the ease and fun with which they make creating an online store, even for beginners.
Score: 4 / 5
In order to sell your products, you'll need to add a payment method. Jimdo Dolphin offers two options for this, PayPal and Stripe, both of which support a range of credit and debit cards. As expected, the options provided in Jimdo Creator are a bit more extensive, including invoices, payment in advance, payment on delivery, payment on pickup, or personal checks.
Payment options can be found in Jimdo Creator under Shop > Settings.
Similarly, for delivery, there are also differences between Jimdo Creator and Jimdo Dolphin. In the latter, four delivery and tax regions are included, for which individual delivery costs and times can be manually input.
In Jimdo Creator, the settings are again more extensive: You can set delivery costs for entire continents, regions, or even countries, which are linked to the product's weight or its tags. It's also possible to offer free delivery after a certain order total has been reached, a feature missing from Jimdo Dolphin.
In Jimdo Creator, it's possible to set delivery costs for individual countries.
Under tax settings in Jimdo Dolphin, you can select from four regions (home, EU, Europe, and worldwide) and add VAT for each. This isn't possible in Jimdo Creator, however, you can enter a general VAT which is applied, changed, or removed depending on the product and where it is delivered to.
Tax settings can be modified in the editor directly.
Order management is also performed entirely in the editors. In Jimdo Dolphin, you can view all orders in the similarly named option under the My Shop heading.
Jimdo Creator divides orders into active and completed ones, the latter being stored in an archive. Through the overview, you can filter your orders based on different criteria or search through them. By clicking on an order, a detailed view will open which shows information about the invoice and delivery addresses, as well as a handful of options that you can select to take further action. For example, you can mark an order as paid or sent, or even send an email to the customer.
Jimdo Creator's order management system is excellent.
Unfortunately (there's that word again), Jimdo doesn't support multi-channel sales, since there's no option to integrate social media platforms or marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. The same applies to dropshipping since Jimdo lacks the necessary integrations for this. In this regard, other ecommerce platforms are certainly more versatile.
It also isn't possible to charge prices in your shop in different currencies.
Jimdo's performance in terms of generating sales on your online store depends on your requirements. At its core, all steps for placing an order are looked after, and the payment and delivery settings are up to the task. If you want to create different language localizations of your site, accept orders in multiple currencies, or integrate additional tools and services into your store, we advise looking elsewhere, as 'Jimcan't'.
Score: 4 / 5
Marketing & Analytics
As far as marketing options go, Jimdo isn't all that well-equipped. It's possible to offer discounts (percentual or lump sum) in both editors and to include a minimum order amount and/or period of validity. However, you can't limit these to certain products or categories. Again, other ecommerce platforms offer more versatility here.
In Jimdo Creator's product menu, you can also set a base price, so that when you launch a sale or promotion, customers will be made aware of the difference. Further options, such as offering customers discounts at checkout, or to specific groups of clients aren't available.
Jimdo also doesn't include an embedded tool for collecting and displaying product ratings/reviews. This function can be integrated into Jimdo Creator using third-party widgets, however, this is not the easiest thing in the world for a beginner to do.
In both Jimdo Creator and Jimdo Dolphin it's possible to create simple discount codes.
Basic SEO settings are also available in both editors, so long as you're a paying subscriber.
The SEO menu is located in the upper right of Dolphin's interface, after clicking on the three dots. Using this, you're able to add titles, descriptions, and keywords for your site's main page. For subpages and product pages, Dolphin automatically takes care of this for you.
Those who go with the straightforward Dolphin editor probably aren't interested in detailed SEO settings, however, it would still be nice to have the ability to manually input titles and descriptions.
This is possible in Jimdo Creator through SEO > Settings > SEO. Here, you can also input individual URLs for subpages. Beyond that, you're also able to use the rankingCoach SEO trainer (at cost), to develop and apply a customized SEO strategy for your online store.
Jimdo Creator offers access to considerably more SEO settings than Dolphin.
Statistics & Analytics
Jimdo handles analytics somewhat differently in both of its editors.
In Jimdo Dolphin, analytics can be viewed directly through the dashboard. These include an overview of your page visitors, referrals (from where they've happened upon your website), and page views. Embedding Google Analytics is possible through the settings menu (under the Analytics tab), however, Facebook Analytics can only be integrated into Jimdo Creator.
Turning to Jimdo Creator, the statistics aren't accessible directly through the dashboard, but rather through the SEO submenu in the editor. Here, you can view basic information about visitors and page views, however, a significant amount of information that is critical for an online shop, such as your earnings, most popular products, or visitor behavior, aren't provided. This can be somewhat compensated for by integrating the analytics tools offered by Facebook and Google.
There's definitely room for improvement in Jimdo's statistics department; in both of its editors.
Jimdo covers the basics, but just. The German provider can do much better.
Score: 3 / 5
Both Jimdo Dolphin and Jimdo Creator have their own customer support areas filled with useful articles. Thanks to the full-text search feature, it's possible to quickly find precisely the answers you need. Unfortunately, the articles aren't all that captivating and mostly text-based. Images, Gifs, or Videos are few and far between. Missing entirely from the help area for either editor is information about the differences between the two.
Jimdo's email support reacted quickly to our query.
For a more human touch, the only option Jimdo offers is email support; you won't find a hotline or live support chat. In Jimdo Dolphin, you can get in touch with support by clicking on the help button at the bottom to the left of the editor. After clicking on this, scroll down to the "Leave a Message" button and click on it. In Jimdo Creator, simply click on Questions in the sidebar menu to file a support ticket. For VIP clients, premium support promises to respond in less than one hour.
We received a competent answer to our query in around one hour.
As such, we found Jimdo's support to be above average, however, we would have preferred more options for getting in touch.
Score: 4 / 5
Jimdo offers three subscription types for online stores: Basic, Business, and VIP. Each package includes an SSL-Certificate and a free domain for the first year. Significant differences are really only in terms of the bandwidth (10 GB, 20 GB, or unlimited), storage (10 GB, 15 GB, or unlimited), and the number of subpages (10, 50, or unlimited).
There are also some differences in the number of features: The ability to add product variations, different shop designs, advanced discount options, and base price strikethroughs are available only in the Business and VIP packages In addition VIP subscribers can also look forward to the legal text manager, automatic entries on platforms like Facebook and Google, professional design analysis, and VIP support.
Jimdo does not charge transaction fees, so you'll only need to worry about the fees charged by your payment gateway.
Your choice of editor plays no role in the price, however, you can only select one of the two.
An overview of Jimdo's prices can be found here:
|Price per month||$15.00||$19.00||$39.00|
|Transaction Fee||0 %||0 %||0 %|
|Contract period (months)||12||12||12|
|Number of Products||10||50||unlimited|
Let's start with the positives. We liked Jimdo's ease of use: Both of its editors are much more convenient than those of its competitors, allowing anyone to create an impressive-looking online store in a matter of minutes. When reviewing the service's site builder, this ease of use was enough for us to award it a positive overall score.
However, this is a review of Jimdo's ecommerce platform, and here, we wouldn't be doing our job if we glossed over all of the shortcomings we encountered. These start with how the provider advertises the service, which to us, could do with greater description and transparency. We repeat: Nowhere or at no time during registration were we informed of the differences between Jimdo Dolphin and Jimdo Creator, or given the choice between one or the other. We received a download link for Jimdo Dolphin, and only by way of our knowledge of the provider, were we able to access Jimdo Creator.
While on the topic of Dolphin and Creator, it's perhaps useful to ask precisely what audience Jimdo's is targetting with these solutions? The former allows for categories and product variations to be created with multiple characteristics, however, only supports small shops (between 80-100 products, depending on the source) and greatly restrains your ability to personalize your store. On the other hand, Jimdo Creator doesn't limit the number of products that can be added, and permits greater design freedom, however, makes it unnecessarily complicated to add multiple characteristics to products. Neither of these editors offers a 'good' solution, but rather a 'what can you do without' one.
Taken together, it seems as though Jimdo's offerings weren't really well-thought-out, and those aspects which bothered us for the service's website builder, are magnified in its ecommerce platform.
Jimdo is the only ecommerce platform that offers two editors. If ease of use is important to you, but you'd prefer some more options in terms of adding products and marketing, BigCommerce is worth checking out. This platform impresses thanks to its product management features, powerful sales generating abilities, and solid marketing and analytics. Personalizing your online store is easy thanks to the editor's limitations.
Should you be in the market for a more design-friendly solution, our overall winner Wix might be right up your alley.
Additional alternatives can be found here: