Pricing


#22

Hi @markdown

Someone should have been in touch with you, I will chase it up. My apologies.

Drew


#23

Hi @markdown

Firstly my apologies on behalf of the team and I, we understand that this has been quite frustrating for you.

I’ve spoken to Drew and followed up with the rest of the team here and we can’t find a record of your communication with us. I’ve forwarded your email address onto the team and someone will be reaching out to you shortly.

Would love to get to the bottom of why you’re message appears to have not made it through. Can you confirm where you were trying to contact us through? e.g. moltin.com/contact

Thanks,
Adam


#24

I confirm it was through the contact form at moltin.com/contact

I’ll add that I feel like your communication regarding pricing is deceiving. From what I remember, a few months ago you had a free tier allowing up to 30,000 free API requests a month. Encouraged by all the developer documentation & tutorials openly available, I assumed there would be some kind of progressive pricing and spent a few days building a PoC only to find out from a sales rep that the free tier has been replaced by a 30 day trial and the entry price is now in the 4 digits per year range…

Why not offer progressive pricing in lower tiers to allow smaller shops to gradually ramp up their business?
It seems like your strategy has shifted to larger enterprise clients, leaving behind smaller shop-owners and dev shops. Not very developer friendly for a developer-oriented service :sweat:


#25

Just chime in here and say I also did not receive pricing information months ago so I moved on. The lack of transparent pricing is a real bummer. Stripe a company that is a real ‘developer focused’ company has transparent pricing. Adyen, AWS, Microsoft, Google, any store you ever purchased something from, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Contentful. All seem to be open. Yet you’re not.

I doubt the pricing will change, seems rounds of funding and a new enterprise focused CEO has changed any ‘developer focused’ culture. You’re not developer focused.


#26

Hi

Thank you to everyone who has given us feedback around this, it hasn’t fallen on deaf ears, we are always keen to hear what our community feels about Moltin and will be discussing this internally going forward.

Thank you

Drew


#27

The reason Shopify is so successful is because of developers. They pay more to partners now than the company makes. That’s because their parters are developers and they bring in tons of business. I’ve thought about trying to build something custom for clients with Moltin and always gave it up and just went with Shopify. Click subscribe, pay $29 a month, build store, test market.

That’s why so many companies on Shopify go from $0 to $100 Million now. Because they were given a start. Couldn’t you simply move to a requests model like AWS, GCP or Azure? They’re all open with pricing.

The day Moltin opens your pricing is the day we align to building with it. Because I cannot suggest a client get a store built then guess what cost it will be for them.

:+1:


#28

You actually got a four digits / year pricing entry range quote? I actually built a shop back then (assuming the same as you) which hasn’t publicly launched yet. If what you said is true, there’s no way my client can keep using moltin.


#29

To be fair, I didn’t even get down to an actual price as the salesperson was waiting for me to make an offer. I think he mentioned a few thousand a year entry range so I just gave up.

I agree with @uwaterdog above and can’t help but think Moltin is shooting themselves in the foot. I personally love the headless CMS approach but and ended up rebuilding my site using Shopify’s API…


#30

i did contact trought here -> https://moltin.com/contact/ . no answer at all. still waiting for a reply to consider using moltin for my project.


#31

Hi all,

It appears we’re having some internal issues with our contact form not forwarding the “other” query type correctly to our team. @iambirgitte is working on getting this resolved this week.

In the mean time, rest assured we have all contact form submissions on hand and our team is working through them and will be in touch with you @fagioli.

Thanks,
Adam


#32

Dw, check their home page now. “looking for an eCommerce platform like Shopify? You’re in the wrong place” lol. As if it was the fact we wanted Shopify. No, people wanted upfront pricing and a contact form that worked.


#33

Just created an account to say that you just lost another potential customer. Shame really, since the product looks decent, but I have no interest in getting into bed with a company that has no defined pricing structure, no published pricing, and gets their salespeople to have the customer ‘make them an offer’. If stripe can cater to multi-billion dollar businesses, yet still manage to onboard a fledgling business in 2-3 clicks with clear, transparent pricing, then I see no reason as to why a small ecommerce startup cannot do the same. The only cookie cutter experience here is the one Moltin is currently providing.


#34

Hi, @jsmitty000, @uwaterdog, @fagioli, @markdown, @studioscholz, @hamza, and @feedback ,

Just wanted to jump-in on this thread and introduce myself. I am the new VP of Marketing at Moltin, just started a few weeks ago.

There are several important points covered in the thread ^, and I want to address each of them:

  1. Non-response to contact form submissions: This was a miss on our part. As @ajsturrock mentions, we had an issue with our contact form routing - so we had a period of time where many of our form submissions were going into a black hole. We’re fixing that now. Apologies for the radio silence!

  2. Pricing: I can see how our current lack of published pricing could be confusing and potentially imply that we now only care about huge enterprises. That’s not the case… we had some issues with our previous pricing model that we had on the site, so we decided to take pricing down off the website so that we could talk with potential customers and gather data that would lead us to a better outcome for customers and for us.

  3. New website messaging: I’d actually love your thoughts on the new “If you’re looking for something like Shopify, you’re in the wrong place” messaging on our website. We think Shopify is great, so it wasn’t meant in any way to disparage Shopify - they just have a very different offering from Moltin for a different type of user and project type. We found that a lot of people that landed on Moltin.com were not really sure what we offered, and they were looking for more of a traditional “out of the box” commerce platform like Shopify. Therefore, we wanted to rally the “builders” that use and love Moltin today, and we wanted to eliminate the ambiguity amongst people that land on our site about what we provide.

Finally, an ask - would any of you be willing to jump on a ~10 min phone call with me? I’d love to pick your brain and get your thoughts on our pricing model, and how we can better support developers who are working to build the next great commerce experience. If you’re willing, please let me know. Thanks!

-Greg


#35

Hi Greg,

I’d be happy to have a call to discuss Moltin. Send me a PM if interested and we’ll take it from there.


#36

Brace yourself this is long and it’s pretty opinionated so take it with a grain of salt. There will be many mistakes as I’m just blurting out. Also, just opinions, which means they’re wants more than needs in some areas.

The below points become even more ironic from Shopify’s blog as the one thing they’re talking about now is how important page speed is. It’s the number one most important factor for eCommerce.

The irony of Shopify sticking to one server location - “Number one, site performance and page speed are paramount. Especially when you go global.” - 2018 Shopify Plus BF report shows speed as the number one issue, constant talks about performance updates. But still slower than a well designed Moltin store! Because the front end and backend are decoupled! Two options, go API first, or move servers closer whilst still using liquid. Find it so strange to talk about how important it is, then do nothing about the main issues.

Moltin is a far better choice for so many options. My advice.

Go global with servers in several locations like Zeit or Auth0 so that speed is never an issue. Major issue with Shopify is the fact the servers are centrally located.

Make integration with services such as MailChimp first class so that building the basics infrastructure isn’t needed.

Follow something like https://www.forestadmin.com and allow customers to build custom fields within their Moltin dashboard. No one has the time to build a custom Admin 1,000,000 times. No one wants to either.

Developer and theme store so that it’s easy to find partners. Currently it’s not easy at all.

Keep all links on customers on domain to stop ad blocking, firewalls and government blocks.

Enterprise want to be in China and Moltin currently works, but it isn’t great. Shopify is totally dud and workarea.com is usable.

Sell on FB, Instagram and google shopping is pretty standard now should be implemented in the core.

Need more integrations with third party services that are core to shipping, warehouses, accounting and the likes.

Pricing

Hate contact pages. Completely hate them.

You have a few options:

Revenue share under 0.5-0.2% without compromising the modularity of the payments system + a fee to keep the lights on the servers. Aka the “You grow, we grow” model. Shopify has done well with this, but now it’s more “You grew and we’re struggling to keep you happy because we like control”. Keep building without asking to control what your customers build and you’ll be fine. Build it and they will come.

Below will confuse small stores, store owners and entrepreneurs, but make sense to developers, although it trips up developers like yourself as you are currently have a consumption to cost issue.

I wouldn’t talk about an API call. It’s confusing to a store owner. Bundle the entire payload request into a price and sell it as a click, tap, change. Say $0.00005 per click, change, update or whatever and you’re paying $50 at 100,000 of them. Simple math will say maybe a customer will do 10 page views and change variants 10 times. That’s 10,000,000 per 100,000 customers at $500USD. At $5000USD for 100,000,000 changes. Obviously this depends purely on your pricing model I just used a random model. But figure out what can be put completely into that payload price like imgur.com and sell it. 8c a GB is their model.

Imgix doesn’t talk about API calls, transformations, CPU time or anything else. They simply package GB and sell it. They buy GB for x and sell for y. If you make everything one flat rate than even at scale everyone knows what they’re doing.

I would follow Imgix 100%! It forces you to engineer for the problem of pricing not over think the problem of pricing. It’s quick math! We all know computing and data usage is getting cheaper, the costs lower and the scale increases yet Imgix has stayed 8c for years whilst revenue increases. Pretty simple. Engineer enough money in to be able to work at scale across multiple locations and do things the other stores aren’t and you’ll be fine. People know if they scale on your platform they’re scaling on the backend of something truely global like auth0.com or zeit.co

The above might not work because Imgix is static and Moltin is API Request heavy or dynamic. But it still stands that deployment and hosting are becoming cheaper for Moltin and it’s also getting much easier to self host.

So the third way:

There is no structure here just thoughts.

On the marketing side. Shopify is seriously limited in a few areas.

  • Localisation, payments, translations all take apps

  • Content management (headless CMS) it’s so bad many users are moving to anything that offers more control

  • Checkout page customisation (which is a double edged sword)

  • Blocked in China (slow in APAC, Australia, China, Singapore) this is due to putting every client on cdn.shopify.com

  • Lacks incredibly in headless eCommerce (here is where you can win)

  • No checkout or cart api directly accessible easily

  • Has endless plugins that aren’t great. You lose access to the world of better API’s such as Twilio

  • No custom fields. Hate this, every store is different.

  • Subscriptions is hugely popular, yet Shopify wants users to have a plugin for that core function

  • Servers stuck, even on enterprise in NA, just unbelievable to me

  • Web-hooks are non-existent

  • Shopify is completely missing the third wave of eCommerce because of its love affair with Liquid

  • Shopify payments or pay a 2% fee (ridiculous)

  • Terrible for the next wave of eCommerce which is “Ship everywhere, serve everyone”

  • Lack of subdomain (hate this so much) not a problem with Moltin

  • Shopify is completely missing the server-less era and instead making people use Shopify scripts -_-

  • Shopify is 2-3 years behind the headless, PWA movement.

The positives of Shopify

  • Has thousands of well trained experts, they’re well paid through commissions, so projects are less expensive

  • Documents, tutorials and support 24/7

  • One of the most well designed and simple admin panels

  • Includes the basics of any eCommerce platform, emails, order handling, CRM - This is why it’s winning

  • Known to scale during spikes. Easy to manage. Fast enough**

  • Is moving to headless or API driven commerce slowly (if they come, well it’s over for others)

  • Has the ‘Shopify checkout effect’, I see companies copy the Shopify checkout, one of your clients remarkable.com has done so. Because it’s obviously effective.

  • Connects with every 3PL and Shipping, automation, accounting software needed HUGE PLUS, this is hundreds of thousands/hours of development time saved

  • Payments revenue share - pretty sure Shopify is 0.2% on enterprise. Which is not terrible and makes a lot of sense considering we all know commerce is going to continue to grow.

In short on Shopify, the strengths are that the ecosystem of APP’s is great, but in limited amounts, they’ve drank too much of the ‘I don’t want to focus on that’ cool-aid. The simplicity of the dashboard and its ability to manage the simple parts, such as email and CRM is great. Where it gets lost is, the plugins for the functions Shopify should have, such as product filters, tags and lists whilst viewing collections. Or anything payments related, such as subscriptions. It’s terrible for international stores or stores that want to tailor to the third wave of ‘ship everywhere, serve everyone’.

For marketing

I think you don’t do a good enough job selling just how good some stores are on the Moltin platform. Which Burrow, Bombinate both look far better than any Shopify store I’ve seen. As both are React heavy, reactive and FAST. You simply CAN’T build these stores on Shopify.

Customers you should have right now that are on Shopify, Spree, Solidus or Magento

koala.com - Trying to do interesting nuxtjs work with Shopify, but it’s not working well. Add to cart then checkout and the store loses it’s domain name and ends up on myshopify.com (it’s 2018, unacceptable)
hismileteeth.com - Subscription payments heavy. Not built for Shopify and Shopify is not built for their business model. But they needed Shopify at the start. Grown to $100,000,000 run rate.
Soylent.com - Subscriptions based. Originally on custom Django backend. Moved to Shopify. Arguably a worse UX for their users as some users have said it’s not the same.
boostedboards.com - React heavy on Shopify, but still, would be better off on Moltin. You can only add one item to the cart at a time -_-
spelldesigns.com - Moving to workarea.com because the liquid + CMS is so terrible in Shopify. Also Australian based. Load times are in the 2 second range (unacceptable) decoupling the front end and backend would help.
blackmilkclothing.com - Moved to Magento, would have been better off on Moltin. Did so as they were Australian based and the load times SUCKED.
mvmt.com - Stuck in a poor platform for what they’re trying to do with Shopify. Look at how many apps they load on first page load. Terrible performance.
hawkersco.com - Out grown the platform, it’s obvious as they have 5+ different sites for globalisation, when one would suffice (see remarkable.com for how that works well). Each site is poorly managed.
the5th.com - Wordpress + Shopify (really…)
Glossier.com - They simply do not need to be on Solidus. They could have done a much better job being on Moltin and done practically the same things.
Goop.com - Again why are they on Spree? It’s your traditional, sell x for y to z person.

Why a developer has a hard sell with Moltin

Right now store owners are like ‘what the hell is this’, “where’s the admin panel with all the basics?”. If this wasn’t the case there would be a lot more people that were Moltin specialised developers. Shopify is such an easy sell. So is Bigcommerce, WooCommerce or Magento.

Thoughts on sales channel

Are you a platform for developers which don’t have the money for the company, don’t make the decisions and don’t run the company? Store owners pay developers who build stores. If the store owner doesn’t have a valid reason why to spend money, then they simply won’t. This is the same for enterprise. “Yeah but why? Shopify is cheaper, faster to market and Its already got people doing hundreds of millions of dollars”. Which a developer can reply, “But we get complete control”. “Ok great, but do we make money? Do we know we will make money and how much does Moltin even cost?”

Why selling to the developer for eCommerce isn’t a main selling point. Because most companies have a lot of PREMIUM choice with eCommerce. They don’t have a lot of PREMIUM choice when it comes to payments, voice and SMS. Usually it’s limited to the market you want to be in and the payments accepted, the SMS that works in that region etc. But with eCommerce, there is Spree, Solidus, Magento, just in enterprise open source, far more control than you can offer. Magento knows the future is headless. What’s to say that Magento comes out with a hosted headless offering. Then what makes your offering unique? Then you have the big boys IBM, SAP, Oracle. Stay clear of that. You’re not “enterprise”. That is Enterprise. Saying you’re Enterprise is going to make no Enterprise customer go, oh this 10-100 people team can compete with Oracle.

I don’t see Moltin in the leaders yet the stores being built are LEADERS in their designs

I don’t see Moltin here at all which is strange. If only people knew.

Thoughts on naming

Talk about the services not the API’s. API’s are a feature of your services. A store owner understands the words platform or service. They don’t understand API. “What’s an API?”

Break your API’s into seperate things, clearly show they are in-fact different things, with names. Currently it is too difficult for store owners to understand what a schema is and diving down into each page shows that some API’s seem to do the same thing by the wording.

Moltin eCommerce PLATFORM

Schema: Content. Creation. Connect. Roots. Join. Connect. Together. Tether.
Display content without limits

Inventory: Products. Product. Items. Collections. Box.
Complete control over your products

Payments: Payment. Payments. Billing. Charge. Charges. Lightning.
Take multi-currency payments recurring & one off

Orders: Customer. Customers. Clients. Collect.
Fine grain customer & order management

Cart: Persistent. Global. Bag.
Multi device shopping cart with automatic sync

Checkout. Simple Checkout. Final. Process.
Completely custom designed checkout flow

Authenticate (why you don’t sell this as a feature I don’t know) Lock. Vault. Secure.
Build secure social login, email and mobile auth

We only want enterprise developers!

Think about any store owner. They started with an idea that they either knew would get to $100,000,000 or they started with an idea and it just happened to get to $100,000,000. What you want to portray is that, It’s not incredibly easy to start here, but’s definitely worth it, but when you’re ready for global, we’ll be ready, do you want to invest now or later? Shopify is ready for both, it’s just starting to annoy people with how limited it is once they do get over $10,000,000.

This can be solved with some simple themes made for Moltin using React, Vue or whatever. Have a theme store? PWA first, reactive first, next wave first.

Need more developers that can help build for now and then later too.

Tags

Focus on brand, business, build, grow, global, local, dream, big, better, content, control

Don’t focus on API’s. Don’t be condescending. “You wanted Shopify, well go there then” - News flash, everyone does goto Shopify…

You have lost control over your store
Build the business you want not the business your eCommerce platform provides you

Your brand is bigger than you think
Be ready for anything your brand will face with the best modular eCommerce platform in the world.

Grow to what you never imagined
Don’t lose control over your brand whilst you build your ideas

Your business was meant for big
Get the best modular eCommerce platform in the world so your business can scale globally

Creative brands scale globally here
With Moltin free yourself from creative constraints whilst you decide what’s best for your store

Build what you didn’t think was possible
Scale from 0 to 100 with Moltins best in Class eCommerce API platform

The best brands are built on creativity
With Moltin get access to eCommerce software usually only available for the big players. Limitless creativity. Global scale.

We won’t hold you back
Take your brand global today, not tomorrow, with complete creative control over your ideas.

You didn’t even think this was possible
With our world class eCommerce platform your brand will be built your way. Scale globally, accept payments how your customers wants, translate languages, all whilst being incredibly fast and modular.

There you go, there’s my thoughts.


#37

Hi, @uwaterdog, I just wanted to acknowledge how much I and the rest of the Moltin team appreciate the insights you shared in your response above. Your response clearly took time to put together, and I really appreciate the level of detail and well-rounded perspectives you shared.

We got a ton of great insight from your response, so I am sensitive about asking for more of your time, but please just let me know if you’re ever open to jumping on the phone to discuss this in more detail.

We will keep you and the forum posted over time as we continue to advance and evolve our offerings. Again, thanks for sharing these great insights.

-Greg


#38

Not a problem. Look forward to the team releasing some pricing. Is there any news on when that will be available? I’m about to start another project and at this time it looks like it’s becoming another Shopify setup. Because we simply don’t know where the pricing starts with Moltin.