I decided I would tackle the first question from IndigoMuse in a post all it's own, because I really liked the question and it's a subject I can kind of rant about.
IndigoMuse asked: How did you decide to use Storenvy as your sales platform vs other platforms on the market? Love your product concept :D
First of all, thank you! :)
Now, for the part where I rant about Storenvy.com. I have done so in a previous post that you can read here but I want to highlight some more reasons that I love them as a sales platform.
Storenvy.com was the first e-commerce site I ever heard of. I was at my very first ever craft show, and another vendor told me about this site a guy she knew created that was a free place to create an online store. I had never heard about sites like Etsy, Big Cartel and Artfire at the time, so the idea of an online store was exciting! As soon as I got home from the craft show, I sat down and opened my shop on Storenvy.com. When I joined, there was less than 500 launched stores on the site. Today, there is 16,866! I joined in April, 2010, so the site has grown crazy fast and they have added lots of incredible new features to the site. It has been such a fun experience to watch them grow and expand and add new ways for merchants to share and grow their brands!
Obviously, I know about Etsy, Big Cartel, Artfire, Yardsellr and all the other e-commerce sites now. I would still never consider switching to a different platform. I love Storenvy.com. The people behind it are incredible, and the kind of people I want to support. They take the time to get to know their users. They chat with users on Twitter every single day and the admin team actually frequent the site's user forums to chat with the users. They listen when users suggest new features or have a complaint. They share milestones like admin team birthdays and funny office stories, and really make you feel like you are a part of their team, not just someone using their site. They are approachable and quick to respond and human. Their emails and messages aren't uppity and formal. Even their bot messages that notify you that you have made a sale are fun and witty and encouraging:
"You must be doing something right because the sales keep on rolling in!"
"You've done it again!"
"You keep raking in the orders. Nice work!"
"Wow, you're doing great. Keep it up!"
And there are more fun, witty messages that come with sales notices, but you get the idea. :) Aren't they fun?!
Then, there's the obvious perk: Storenvy.com is 100% free to use. This statement is from their "about" section:
"No monthly fees, no setup fee, no listing fees & no commissions. We believe selling online should be as easy as blogging. That’s why we make opening and running your online store completely free."
Not to be redundant, but, there are no fees to list, no fees to sell. You can list unlimited amounts of items, and never pay a dime (outside of Paypal fees, which you will incur pretty much anywhere you sale). No commission is taken from your sales. Um... Is that awesome, or what?
They do have opt-in features, like Super Discounts, which I ♥! For $2.99 a month you have the option of offering Buy X Get X, percent off, dollar off, or free shipping, either with a coupon code, or without. They allow you to apply the discounts to certain items, or to your entire store. You can set expiration dates, number of uses available for the discount, and a minimum purchase amount required. It is a really great tool for a business owner to have, because it allows you a variety of ways to reward your customers for loving your brand. ♥
AND Storenvy.com is also completely customizable. You can dive right in, add a banner and change some colors, and have an epic store in minutes! Or, you can break out the CSS and do some custom features, like adding slide shows, music, tabs, landing page - anything you can imagine! Etsy is so white and boring and plain. I honestly do not like shopping on Etsy because everything just blends together. :\ But Storenvy, man. It's a shopping experience. You can visit the Markets, and browse beautiful, colorful, fun shops. Each shop is incredibly different, giving each merchant the chance to really stand out and make a statement! Customizing your storefront on Storenvy.com is incredibly easy, and there are lots of great graphic designers who offer Storenvy.com customization packages if you aren't feeling up to trying your hand at CSS. Another great perk is for $4.99 a month, Storenvy.com will domain host for you. I recently bought luanded.com, directed it to my Storenvy shop - and my views have quadrupled! It's definitely worth the $4.99 a month, I think, to go from luanded.storenvy.com to luanded.com. So much easier to remember and tell people! :)
I also really love that Storenvy.com looks out for their merchants and provides them with great links to articles about growing indie brands, like social media, marketing, design and photography tips, and also hooks up with other companies like Moo.com and Stickermule.com to score freebies and deals for their merchants! I recently got some super cute minicards from Moo and 100 awesome die-cut Mon-stor stickers from Stickermule at a steep discount!
And I still have more to yak about this is getting reeeeeeeeeeally long, so I will stop here. :) If anyone has any questions about Storenvy.com, leave me a question in the comments and I will answer it for you!
And don't forget to stop by the Ask Me post and leave a question for me! :)