6 ways Storenvy.com will change the way you buy and sell online
By Adam Hendle
I recently had the pleasure of taking one of the first looks at the new format of Storenvy.com 2.0. I was so blown away with what I had seen I had to rush to write this article to start spreading the word about Storenvy 2.0. In the following article I will explain what is Storenvy is and why it is going to be an absolute game changer in the market.
So what is Storenvy?
Before we dive into how Storenvy.com is going to change the online marketplace I figured it best to give you a short rundown of what the company does right now. Simply put Storenvy gives indie companies an online storefront that allows them to sell their products to consumers without having to hire a high price web designer to make them an online store. As of right now the leader in this market is BigCartel.com, but after seeing Storenvy 2.0 I can quickly see BigCartel going the way of Myspace. Storenvy is combining the ideas behind sites such as Bigcartel, ETSY, Amazon, WordPress and adding the social aspect of Facebook into one lethal marketplace. Simply put this site is going to revolutionize the way that indie companies sell items online and how consumers buy from them.
So what exactly makes Storenvy 2.0 so special?
Storenvy gives small upcoming companies a huge voice to help market and sell their products
One of the main problems that upcoming clothing and product companies have is gaining the attention of an audience in which to sell their products. After they sell to all their friends and families they are usually stuck with a ton of shirts/products and the aching feeling of what next. This is where Storenvy is going to step in and help out. While there is no substitute for marketing and branding your company Storenvy is really going to help get your name out there and here is how.
Let’s just say as a customer you are a huge fan of XXXX Clothing, but you already own all their shirts and are looking for something new. Storenvy will be able to show you all the clothing companies that are similar to XXXX clothing, by analyzing which companies have similar customers, product tags and descriptions allowing you to easily find similar companies that you may like. Companies such as Amazon.com already do this when you are looking for books, music and movies, but up to this point very few companies have done this for the indie clothing and products market. Lets take this idea a step further, lets just say that you are looking for “zombie” t-shirts for the upcoming Halloween season, you will be able to type in the word “zombie” and see every company that has tagged their item with the word “zombie” whether that be zombie t-shirts, jewelry, posters, etc and from their browse and buy from a ton of great companies that you otherwise may of never heard of!
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Storenvy gets social
At this point it is no secret that everything online has become or is becoming social. Ideas such as Social networking and social bookmarking have become everyday occurrences for most of us, Storenvy has recognized that trend and has integrated that idea into shopping. They have seamlessly integrated features such as Facebook Connect, which will easily allow users to make posts directly to their Facebook wall whenever they love a shirt, buy a shirt/product or leave a comment on a shirt that they want their friends to see.
Storenvy is also aiming to be the world’s first online mall. The guys over at Storenvy realize that shopping is inherently a social activity and are striving to make the online experience of shopping as fun, easy and interactive as shopping at your local mall. Storenvy is also encouraging and hoping customers “hang out” on their front page, where they can browse thousands of stores while seeing what’s new, popular and on sale all the while encouraging interaction between Storenvy users. They are also in talks of having a weekly live video show that would highlight new stores as well as showcasing some of the best of what Storenvy shops have to offer, which would further the sense of a community and interaction on the site.
What I see as the ultimate catalyst for the interaction between users and creating an online mall experience is going to be the Storenvy customer profile page. As a user Storenvy.com you will build a online personality/profile similar to that of your Facebook account. This profile will allow you to add friends and monitor what they have been viewing, loving and purchasing. As a user you will also be able to become a fan of an online store as well as be able to “like” products. By “liking” and becoming a fan of shops Storenvy will start to tailor its recommendations towards your personality. Your Storenvy user profile will also be viewable by your friends. Lets face it, we all love knowing what our friends are wearing and buying and by being able to view our friends pages you will be able to find new companies that they may have found and leave comments about their findings!
Shop across unlimited stores
As mentioned above Storenvy is really aiming for this site to be an online mall in which a user can browse thousands of shops making purchases from unlimited number of different companies all in one checkout process. This to me is what is what is truly revolutionary about the site. As a customer you will be allowed to view thousands of independent sites while adding products from those sites to your cart. Once you are ready to checkout you will be presented with shipping options for each item from each store. So if you want one item rushed and the rest sent standard that is not a problem. You also have to remember that there will be more than just clothing companies opening shops on Storenvy. Theoretically you will be able to buy a CD from your favorite new band, pickup a new shirt from XXXX Clothing and then go to another shop to pick some accessories to complete the outfit all in one shopping experience.
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From a developer,designer or store owner standpoint this is one of the true beauty parts of Storenvy. Absolutely everything is customizable, from text color, to background images to how the products are placed on the page. Storenvy has given the user complete control with very simple tools to help along the way. Aside from being able to tweak individual elements of your store’s page I have been told that overtime there will also be preset themes to choose from, making the task of designing a store even easier. The customization area of the site is a dream come true for web designers. Storenvy is taking a WordPressesque approach in letting designers develop themes and save them for others to use. This is going to create a new market for web designers to show off their talents and make some money with. You can already see it with WordPress, there are hundreds of custom WordPress theme design sites and it doesn’t take to much foresight to see sites dedicated to creating custom themes for Storenvy storefronts coming in the near future. Lastly if you already have paid someone or love your BigCartel store page, Storenvy allows users to copy their html code from BigCartel and paste it into Storenvy getting you up and running in no time!
Did I mention it’s Free?
Are you excited yet? If your not maybe this will do it for you; all of the features mentioned above will be absolutely FREE! You will be able to post an unlimited number of products to your store as well as have immediate access to all the features that Storenvy offers right out of the box with no monthly fee and no cut from sales. Go ahead and pinch yourself, you are awake and there is no catch. I have been told that down the road Storenvy may be adding Myspace and Facebook widgets that may have a small cost, but as of now everything will be free!
Award Winning Screen Printing Service
On top of all of this, Storenvy also houses an award winning screen printing service. I have had hands on experience with several garments that they have produced and I can honestly say that their prints are over the top when it comes to quality. Just recently we selected our top 10 Upcoming Clothing Lines, and without knowing it 7 out of the 10 brands selected already use Storenvy for their printing services. Bottom line is Storenvy is putting together the complete one stop shop for apparel companies.
In closing I was honestly blown away with the scope of this project. This site could easily have been broken into several different projects and sites, but the guys over at Storenvy have been laboring away for the past year making it a one stop source and shop to benefit the industry. I eagerly await the launch of Storenvy 2.0 which should be rolling out in the next month or so. It is going to be interesting to see how this changes the marketplace and what companies like BigCartel are going to do to combat against this new assault.