Storenvy was founded in 2010 by Jonathan Crawford, who has since left the company after its acquisition by The Opensky Project in 2016. Originally designed as an online store builder, Storenvy expanded into an online social marketplace in 2012 with the addition of Storenvy Marketplace. Storenvy’s goal is to become the “Amazon for independent storeowners,” giving creative small businesses and merchants a chance to sell their goods on both their own storefront and a marketplace online. The company is based out of San Francisco, CA.
Shift4Shop is a feature-rich eCommerce platform serving businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries across the globe. Offering an unmatched free eCommerce solution, the company provides everything you need to start — and grow — your business. This turnkey eCommerce experience includes powerful tools to help businesses succeed — a robust website builder, product and order management, customer marketing tools, and more. Customers can choose from dozens of professionally designed, industry-specific templates, all of which are mobile-friendly, SEO optimized, and highly customizable.
If you’re starting an online business for the first time, then you’ll probably want as many easy-to-use features at your disposal to make setting everything up quick and simple. It may seem like Storenvy is the eCommerce platform that can do all that, especially since it has a free plan. But, once you start building your online store with them, you’ll immediately run into hurdle after hurdle. Do you want to customize your store to look unique and not like every other Storenvy store? Then you’re out of luck, because you’re stuck with a Storenvy subdomain, logos plastered on your site, and only one theme to choose from unless you outsource your web design. Do you want to market your business and get the word out that you have an online store? You’re alone in that venture too, because Storenvy offers you no SEO tools to help boost your ranking and locks essential marketing features behind paywalls. Are you making sales on their large social marketplace? Then say goodbye to your profits, because Storenvy is taking 10% of every sale. And, if you ever run into an issue that needs to be solved urgently, then prepare yourself to wait for a late email from their small support team, because they have no other form of support.
With Shift4Shop, you can start your first online store without the hassle and stress. All the essentials you need are included, from comprehensive SEO and marketing automation tools to full freedom in customizing your branded online store and URLs. Shift4Shop doesn’t punish you for selling more and doesn’t limit you based on how many products you want to sell, allowing for unlimited products on every plan. With a 24/7/365 support team and a plethora of built-in tools immediately at your disposal, Shift4Shop never wants to get in the way of your business’s success.
One of the more attractive aspects of Storenvy to merchants is its free plan. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes obvious how necessary the features that are locked behind premium plans can be to the success of your online store. If you want to sell up to 2,000 products and enable essential eCommerce tools like discounts and a custom domain, you’ll need to upgrade to their $14.99/mo. Plus plan. If your business needs require you to list up to 5,000 products and you need automated discounts, then you’ll be forced to upgrade to their $29.99/mo. Pro plan. On top of forced upgrades, you’ll have to pay a 10% commission fee for every transaction either made on the Storenvy Marketplace or made by a shopper who found you through the marketplace. With Shift4Shop, you’ll be able to sell unlimited products and have access to tons of tools out-of-the-box – no upgrade required. There are no transaction fees with Shift4Shop either, meaning all the profit you make stays with you.
Optimizing your online store for search engine ranking is one of the most important things you can do to ensure people can find you and buy your products. With Storenvy, tools that allow you to do this are entirely non-existent, meaning you have no true control over your SEO with their service. Their built-in SEO settings have major issues as well, such as product URLs being riddled with random numbers and letters. To make matters worse, your storefront on the Storenvy Marketplace is more likely to rank higher than your actual online store, meaning most of the sales you’ll get from search engines will have you paying a 10% commission fee. With Shift4Shop, on the other hand, you have total control over your website’s SEO, giving you access to some of the most comprehensive tools in eCommerce at your fingertips.
“As an independent artist, I was looking for an affordable way to start an online store and sell my creations. I came to Storenvy because they had a free plan and seemed promising, especially with the expansive marketplace that I’d have access to. But that marketplace became more of a blessing than a curse once I found that most of my sales were coming from it, meaning I was paying a 10% commission fee to Storenvy on almost every sale. Even when shoppers would buy directly from my storefront, I’d be charged a “Marketplace Assisted Sale” 10% fee if they originally bought from my marketplace storefront. I ended up losing a lot of profits to Storenvy, making their free plan a lot more expensive in the end.”
– Ex-Storenvy Customer
While Storenvy allows you to build your own online store with their service, it will never be truly your own. No matter how much customization you make in their limited theme editor, you’ll still be stuck with a “Join Storenvy” sticker at the top right of your website and a Storenvy logo at the bottom. It doesn’t stop there, because all merchants on the Hobbyist plan are forced to use URLs that are Storenvy subdomains, which can only be changed to your own domain if you upgrade to their Pro plan and pay a $4.99/mo. domain fee on top of it. Shift4Shop, however, gives you full freedom over how you want your online store to look and function; there’s no forced Shift4Shop branding whatsoever and custom domains are included free with every plan.
Storenvy only offers one theme, which is called “Cooper.” This theme is extremely basic and feels outdated, which isn’t helped by the fact that Storenvy’s tools for site customization are limited to changing colors, fonts, and adding/removing layout options. Aside from choosing whether you want to display your logo or header, there isn’t a lot to change here. If you want any other theme, Storenvy directs you to third-party designers for that (which can come at an extra cost to you).
Shift4Shop offers over 40 free themes that you can enable and customize for your online store. Every theme is unique and designed with advanced functionality, ensuring that you’ll find something that works for your specific eCommerce industry. You won’t have to go back and forth with third-party designers either, because free Shift4Shop themes are all built and tested by in-house developers to perfection. Based on Shift4Shop’s Core Template Engine, and customizable with their new Core Editor and Drag n’ Drop HTML builder, any core theme you choose from Shift4Shop can become uniquely your own.
All your favorite software integrations are available with Shift4Shop, letting you run your business however you prefer. Automatic integration with Shift4 Payments is available too, alongside access to the most alternative payment methods from any eCommerce platform.
With Storenvy, you simply won’t find most of your favorite popular integrations. They also only integrate with two payment gateways, Stripe and PayPal, meaning a good amount of your customers may be barred from shopping with you.
Shift4Shop has an expert customer service and technical support team based in-house and ready to help your online store at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (even including holidays). You can get your questions answered and problems solved by contacting our team at any time via any of our support channels, such as phone, live chat, ticket submission, and more.
Storenvy only offers a single point of contact for support, which is email that is limited to their specific office hours. Many users have reported that Storenvy’s support email is slow to respond, so if you need an urgent response to an issue that your store is having, then you’re stuck waiting for an email back.