Storenvy Sold To Mystery Buyer 2016 Update #4
Storenvy has under went a lot of changes since 2014 as already noted in past updates for 2016 and the latest news is potentially all positive.
In April 2016, Storenvy was able to resolve the connection issues some of its store hosts were experiencing using PayPal in Australia and Canada to the great pleasure of those selling from those international countries.
A "Cancel Sale" option was also added that allows the store to internally mark a invoice as cancelled. This was an important update since previously the only option was to either leave an invoice as marked paid or to place it on hold.
Though the Cancel Sale feature does not initiate a refund or related processes, it does allow an invoice to be noted as cancelled for reports, business and tax related records. Useful in situations where a refund has been initiated by the seller, a customer backed out of a sale or when a fraudulent purchase has occurred.
Other big news was made about Storenvy on Twitter and Instagram, when Storenvy's founder Jon Crawford announced he had sold Storenvy on April 8, 2016.
While no other official statements have been released or made public directly from Storenvy, nor the mystery new owner, lead associate Brock Cody confirmed the sale of Storenvy, when asked on its Facebook Group for Store Retailers.
What does this mean for Storenvy. the possibilities are open to the imagination. That being said, Storenvy potentially gains new financial capital that could allow it to become a more stable and viable marketplace in the online world of marketplaces.
The sale may also allow Storenvy to stabilize internally with the addition of more customer service representatives, coders and marketing associates. It may also help in the area of product development.
A recent poll conducted by Randy Dreammaker on the Storenvy Facebook Group (Group participants can view it here), suggests there are a considerable amount of features its store retailers desire, most prominently at the top of the poll is the ability to offer calculated shipping.
Desired Features being requested in order are:
1. Calculated Shipping
2. Product Advertising Widget that can be placed on websites, blogs, tumbler..
3. Phone App
4. Display product prices in customers currency
5. Offering a wider selection of store themes
6. Cancel Store Orders (Storenvy made this Available as of April 2016)
7. Free Shipping Notice that appears on products with free shipping
8. Allowing additional characters for keywords/tags
9. Ability to delete multiple products at the same time.
10. Ability to import products from eBay, Etsy, Amazon, etc.
11. Sub Categories
12. Ability to log-in and switch between multiple store accounts
13. Sort products (in the dashboard) by name, quantity, inventory
14. More customization options... ie choose size and choose color
15. Customer request button,like Etsy, that can be converted to an order
16. Ability to edit product descriptions quickly from one page / Bulk editing of product info
17. Option for easy integration for promoting products to Google, etc.
18. Products Searchable by SKU #
19. Splash page to welcome customers
20. Ability to add animated gif
21. Year to date & prior year sales stats and analytics / Generate sales reports
22. Notifications when people leave comments on products or delete the 'feature''
23. Make directional keys usable when typing the note to customer when marking as shipped so using them doesn't close out the screen.
24. Edit tracking info
25. YTD (Year To Date) totals in the Sales box of the Dashboard.
Many of the requested features are likely implementable, with Storenvy already implementing (6.) Cancel Store Orders, while under the directive of founder Jon Crawford.
What is unclear, though most Storenvy sellers appear to be taking a positive and optimistic position, is the direction its new owners will move forward. Presently, with the high increase in new store owners transitioning from Etsy, Storenvy is potentially poised to become a strong force in the online marketplace world of resellers.
Since 2014, Storenvy's vision or direction has began to become murky as its focused shifted from being custom store centric to being marketplace centric. It also suffered from challenges in being an online marketplace that offered free custom stores, but not having a viable long term vision for generating a profit.
This changed in 2015 when Storenvy began final value commissions on sales and shipping costs at 10% similar to Ebay, that occurred within it's marketplace. Later in 2015, it began charging commissions on any sales lead it could attach between its marketplace to one of the free custom stores.
The potential enormous value of Storenvy comes from it being built as a custom store platform first and marketplace second. This could allow the new owners of Storenvy to be different from Shopify and Big Commerce's monthly fee based offerings, different enough from Etsy (who recently began offering semi-custom stores in direct competition to Storenvy and Shopify), yet closed to the likes of Ebay, by allowing visitors to its marketplace to also have direct access to that sellers/retailers custom store with a lower flat commission between the marketplace and the custom store fronts.
Currently, marketplace visitors are kept entirely on the marketplace with no direct link to the custom stores where sales or additional products may be being offered. Commission fees apply to both the marketplace and custom stores when Storenvy can "identify" it contributed a lead to a sale that occurred directly on the independant custom store.
This means, if a shopper locates a product from the marketplace, and ends up on the custom store from that's store direct advertising via a flyer or e-mail, all future sales that occur on that custom store pay the 10% commission. This can also occur when a store or product is located via a search engine like Google, where both the custom store and the marketplace page for the store appear next to each other in search results. If a customer driven to a custom store directly by the store searches for that store by name instead of using the provided link the second time and ends up on the marketplace instead, all future sales are tied to a commission.
Between end of 2014 to the middle of 2016, Storenvy has lost around 20,000 stores, dropping from around 65,000 to its current 44,000. While 44,000 is a significant amount of stores and brands, 20,000 is a considerable decline.
Considering Storenvy currently does not charge for its custom stores, it potentially seems like a great deal, a monthly savings of $30 to $40 a month. However, at 10% commissions on the total value, a store with high volume of sales and name notoriety, will quickly surpass that monthly $30 to $40 a month fee that they would pay on Shopify or Bigcommerce. This essentially makes Storenvy merely a stepping stone between a business selling on a marketplace place like Etsy, Bonanza or Ebay and a fully custom store like Shopify and Bigcommerce. Once a stores commissions go beyond the monthly expense of a Shopify or Bigcommerce stores monthly fee, it is to the Storenvy sellers advantage to move its shop, assuming that the majority of sales are being self driven, rather than being obtained directly on Storenvy's marketplace.
Lots of potential for Storenvy's new owners lay ahead. Will it become the next marketplace in the online retail heavens and clouds where eBay, Etsy and Amazon reign? Will it shift to a monthly custom store format and join the ranks of Shopify? Will it become it's own entity? Only the future holds the answers; what is clear, is that it will move in a direction that its new owners see as the greatest potential for making Storenvy a viable and competitive marketplace to generate the greatest amount of income.
Founder, Jon Crawford started Storenvy with a vision to provide free and economical custom store fronts for small businesses that desired to enter the online arena. It is unlikely that the word "free" will exists in the long term of Storenvy, under its new management.