Storenvy rebrands as a digital mall powered by social for discovering cool products

storenvy

Storenvy, an e-commerce platform for independent and big box retailers alike, is shaking up its digital retailing game by pivoting into an Internet storefront. Starting today, Storenvy is aiming to establish itself as the leading Internet mall and the Amazon of niche consumer products.

Historically Storenvy has been recognized as a competitor to Shopify, Magento, and BigCartel; these are B2B, software-as-a-service business types. An entrepreneur with a product to sell but with little knowledge about building their own e-commerce site would turn to one of the above solutions for a fast way to get a site up and running with minimal hassles. 

Storenvy however is shaking up the age-old B2B business model and highlighting its new marketplace. Starting today, when you visit Storenvy.com, the landing page presents a grid of products aggregated from Storenvy sellers. These are hand curated products that Storenvy’s team is publishing on the front page for now. Below that are algorithmically curated picks of the most popular products. If you dig deeper into Storenvy, you’ll find a plethora of filters and categories for shoppers to find new and creative products that you can engage with or purchase. Some of these categories can be found under its navigation bar, which organizes products by genres like “Tech,” “Art,” and “Food.”There’s really nothing you can’t find that’s sold by someone on Storenvy. Its robust search engine and social discovery portal cuts through the noise of nearly 500,000 products and 6,000 new products added weekly by users, to find the ones that would most interest you. 

There are definitely some similarities between Storevny and Etsy. But what differentiates Etsy from Storenvy, as founder Jon Crawford explains, is that Etsy sells hand-crafted products and didn’t start off as a B2B ecommerce platform. Despite the differentiation, like Etsy, Storenvy is providing its network of sellers an extra distribution channel for their products to be discovered. “We think of ourselves as the Gutenberg printing press of stores, which democratizes and empowers regular people,” says Crawford.

storenvy feed

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Strorenvy’s rebranding. Storenvy is also a social shopping destination. Users can follow stores, follow friends, comment, Like products, and even connect with the community in a public forum. You can see what your influencers and friends are discovering and purchasing in real-time through a feed on a user’s homepage called, “MyFeed,” which might convince you to make the same purchase. But there’s a secondary importance to the engagement features like commenting, Likes, and follows. Sellers can build up loyal fans and followers like influencers do on YouTube or Tumblr.

Inspired by YouTube’s strategy, Crawford eventually hopes that Storenvy celebrities will emerge from the group. “What we’re shooting for is that if you’re selling spectacular products, you could become a star much the same way that YouTube create a world where a person who’s really entertaining or talented can become a star through YouTube. We want to do the same thing for products.”

In terms of Storenvy’s direction moving forward Crawford tells me that he often draws comparisons between his company and Tumblr. Despite the WordPress, Typepad, Bloggers of the world, Tumblr decided to tread in a different direction by offering a stripped down, extremely easy to use social blogging platform that wasn’t focused on selling features to power users. Tumblr then transitioned its platform into a network for content discovery through social features. Like Tumblr, Storenvy may have started out B2B by building the infrastructure for stores and merchants from the beginning, but the team always had in mind that it was going to rebrand to the look and feel of a retail shopping experience.

“Companies like Volusion, BigCommerce, Shopify, and there are fifty or so of these companies, they’re all very similar. And they’re all in a feature war, and they’re all in a price war. We decided that it doesn’t make sense to compete on features or price. What we want to compete on is community size, critical mass, and network effects. That’s what made Tumblr a success,” Crawford explains.

While starting today the frontend marketplace has finally been launched, Storenvy of course will continue to support its e-commerce platform.

Edit: Added updated screenshots, and removed references to MyStorenvy, which was a feature that has been removed with the redesign.

Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Deals

Need a new tablet? The best iPad deals for January 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Mobile

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Deals

Save over $350 on the Refurbished iPad 4 for a limited time

Looking to buy an iPad without having to pay that iPad price? For a limited time, you can pick up a refurbished iPad 4 for as low as $137. That's $363 less than you would pay for something brand new.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.