Every time someone wants to sell their products on the internet, the first place that they would go to are online marketplaces. I am sure you have heard of Etsy and eBay which are some of the more established platforms, but there are also new ones popping up. In this Storenvy review, you’ll soon find out the pros and cons for using such platform and why I recommend to create your own webstore instead.
What Is Storenvy and How Does It Work?
It is basically a marketplace for independent brands to list their products (clothing, jewelries, home decor and etc.) on two types of channels – the Storenvy Marketplace and/or a custom storefront.
The more viewers like a certain product, the more ‘envies’ (similar to Facebook ‘likes’) you’d get, which will indirectly give more exposure for your brand.
When an item is sold through the marketplace, the company takes 10% of the total sales. If it is sold through the storefront, you get to keep 100% of the profit.
1) It doesn’t cost anything to get started. Unlike Etsy, they don’t charge for listing in the marketplace and you can create an online store for free.
2) As long as the item is original, you can sell up to 500 products at one time. Storenvy doesn’t seem to restrict mass produced items either, so this means wholesale products are allowed. This is a good opportunity for those who wants to get involved in the dropshipping business model.
3) The merchant user dashboard is very detailed in showing the in/outs of products and audience behaviors. It even allows you to link to Google Analytic for better monitoring.
4) Traffic to your listing is largely driven by social, so if you are active on Tumblr, Pinterest or Facebook, actively sharing the listings can contribute to the number of ‘envies’.
5) For a fairly young online marketplace, I am impressed by their knowledge base section. It offers a lot of helpful information to guide beginners in their startups.
1) The free online store offers no personal branding in terms of domain names because what you are actually getting is a subdomain like cathys.storenvy.com. If you want to use a custom domain, you need to purchase from a domain registrar and have it hosted on Storenvy’s server for $5/month.
2) The default theme for every online store is the same. If you want something unique, you would have to customize it with codes which most beginners don’t have the knowledge of.
3) The online store as it is, is not SEO friendly. Using subdomains, lack of blogging feature and not implementing Google Search Console are some huge disadvantages to ranking on the search engines.
In the knowledge base, they did briefly mentioned about using keywords to improve SEO, but it doesn’t teach how to search for keywords relating to your products. Without search engine presence, you are limited to only social traffic where you have to work heavily to earn ‘envies’ from your audience.
4) Depending on what kind of products you have, you might not necessarily find the targeted audience on Storenvy marketplace.
For example, here’s a nursery bedding seller who sells on both Storenvy and Etsy. Judging from the number of reviews and sales, it’s obvious that she makes a lot more on the latter platform.
5) There have been a lot of complaints regarding Storenvy sellers, that they took received the customer’s payment and never deliver the products. Since there’s no one to regulate the background of these sellers, such incidents are inevitable especially on public platforms.
Although you might not be that kind of person, associating your store with this company will put your business reputation at risk.
So, Is Storenvy Worthy of Your Time?
While it might seem like a legitimate platform, the main issue that concerns me is how sellers promote their products besides using social channels. The marketplace is quite competitive and without paying for promotional tools, it’s actually quite difficult to get noticed.
Even with a so-called custom online store, you don’t have anything substantial to drive search traffic since the store features aren’t built for ranking in the first place.
On the surface, it seems like a good place to try out online selling, but once you learned about their limitations, you are likely to move onto eCommerce platforms that are SEO-friendly or create your own WordPress website. These two options do require some investment, but the value that you are getting is more business exposure and potentially more sales.
About 90% of people who failed in selling online think that their products are not good enough. Sometimes, it could be because of the platform that they are using. If you build on a strong platform from the very beginning, the outcome of your business could be way better than you think.
I use these tools and training from Wealthy Affiliate to start my online business and I think you should too.
Hopefully this review has clearly given you a better idea about selling on Storenvy. If you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them in the comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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