Last week we looked at Shoply and what sort of solution it might pose for sellers wanting to move away from eBay, but not ready for their own website. Shoply have now announced a number of changes to the platform which make it a much more viable option for many people:
- The fee structure has changed: the “basket fee” is gone.
- The free account now offers 15 products with 2 photos each (instead of 10 with a single photo).
- Premium shop upgrades now available: list up to 50 products with 5 photos each, for £12.99 a month.
- Support for digital download products like MP3s and ebooks.
- Improved Facebook integration so you can sell on Facebook in a couple of clicks.
- Custom domain support so your Shop can live on your own domain
This is looking a lot healthier. Dropping the basket fee was definitely the right move on Shoply’s part. Support for digital downloads also looks smart: buyers who can’t list these products on eBay now have somewhere to sell that’s going to be easy. I just hope Shoply keep things cleaned up, because the “1p cookie recipe in return for positive feedback” listings on eBay were just horrible. And their site copy has been majorly cleaned up. Good move, Shoply guys 😉
There are a lot more shops on Shoply than last time I looked, so things are definitely moving in the right direction. But it does worry me still that everything’s aimed at sellers, not buyers. The email I got informing me of the changes they’ve made said:
As the number of sellers on Shoply grow so will the number of buyers. This helps all of us make more sales.
A marketplace can only succeed if it has more buyers than sellers: otherwise, it’s just moving the money round in a circle. It looks to me like Shoply is relying on its sellers to pull their friends from Facebook and other social media platforms onto the site. As I said in my last piece, that might work for shops selling off their owner’s unwanted possessions: it won’t work for eBay merchants who are used to eBay delivering buyers to their door (why would I bother driving traffic to Shoply when I can send it to my own website instead).
I’m still rather wondering who this is aimed at, though the dropping of the basket fee makes me think it might just have legs – and at least Shoply’s management are listening to user feedback. That makes a refreshing change.