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How to Copy Big Cartel Products to Storenvy


Storenvy Importer


I have offered the Storenvy Importer for a year now and today I launched a new feature. You can now copy products from Big Cartel and add them to your Storenvy account.

The importer has been tried and used by thousands of sellers on Storenvy. I believe it is the only way to get started moving your products to Storenvy from another online location. You can upload 100’s of product images via CSV in minutes. If you were to manually create 50 products with 2 images each you have to upload all 100 images direct to storenvy manually or you can use the importer and it will download them from Etsy, Big Cartel or the urls you put in the CSV file.

Try it today for FREE! There is a free level of use and then a low one time fee of $20 for unlimited use.


Be patient in the beginning – advice for selling online

I am working with different sellers daily, one of those sellers is Sylvain Willenz. Sylvain shares some awesome encouragement below.  If you are selling on Big Cartel or anywhere online for that matter please take a moment to read his thoughts.

sws shop

Tell us about SWS. How did you get started selling online? What do you sell? How many people in your business?

I am an industrial designer. I run an office for design in Brussels, called SYLVAIN WILLENZ DESIGN OFFICE – SWDO. We are a team of 4-5 people. We design furniture, lighting, textiles, accessories amongst others. We design for companies around the world which produce the products, market and distribute them. A couple of years ago, when the phone started ringing non-stop with customers calling us directly wanting to buy the products we design, I decided I should have an shop. My clients and I agreed that it was a good idea that I would become part of their retailer list, just as a normal shop. The perfect name for the shop was SYLVAIN WILLENZ SHOP – SWS. So basically, I have become a retailer of my own designs, produced by various international companies. We also have a few additional items, like bags and mirrors which we produce ourselves and which are exclusively available from SWS.

How are you attracting customers to your blog and Big Cartel hosted store?

Mainly with Newsletters, Facebook and the press, which luckily follows my work with enthusiasm and regularly publishes it through printed and online features. We have individuals purchasing our products, either for themselves or as gifts. But what is interesting is that we noticed that many architects started to be interested in our retailing services as we deliver worldwide. End of 2013 we provided products, mainly lighting for some architectural projects in Turkey, the US, various places in Europe and also in Australia. The shop has literally brought us a whole new audience.

sws shop

What’s the biggest thing you have learned selling online?

First of all, that you need to be patient in the beginning. In my case I was getting a little discouraged the first year as the sales were random and low but my partner Johanna (who also has an online shop for textile accessories, told me to persevere at least for 1 year and see what would happen. I did that, whilst I carried on with some basic promo through social media, and I can say it was worth the efforts and patience. SWS now represents more than 50% of our office turnover after it’s second year of existence. The online shop is not only good in terms of business, it has brought up many other opportunities, we’ve made new connections and relationships with people that are now happy to buy our products so easily. It’s also informed the way we work and think about products. And overall, it is great fun and very rewarding to run our shop.

sws shop

In closing…

Thank you to Sylvain for sharing. If you want to connect with other sellers consider signing up to be notified of our seller’s community starting out soon.

Creating buyer personas to find your customers

As you are trying to grow your ecommerce sales on Big Cartel or even a marketplace like Storenvy you need to review your target market and your approach of marketing to them. So let’s define your buyer personas and confirm your content marketing is speaking to the right people.

Creating a buyer persona is about the who, what, when, where and why of your potential customers. I believe the goal is to help you understand the buying behavior of a customer before they ever show up. Then you can tailor your content efforts towards a few different types of customers. In the end I hope your marketing and messaging will be more purposeful and attract people ready to buy from your shop.

Ask yourself the following questions to get started with personas for your ecommerce site.

Who are your buyers?

Consider age ranges, male or female, and maybe some core beliefs. If you sell a product made of recycled material you might consider selling to someone with the core belief of recycling. But you still might want to develop a persona for someone who doesn’t base buying decisions on that since they still might like a quality product that you offer.


Why are they making a buying decision?

Time to understand the problems, goals or interests the buyer might have in making a purchase. Perhaps your product provides a specific solution to their problem. Maybe your product can offer them a glimpse of a different lifestyle or perhaps it simply makes them feel good/pretty/strong, you get the point.

When do they buy?

Timing is key. Figure out seasonality or a specific timeframe people are buying your products. If you sell seasonal products make sure to understand when someone is buying Valentine’s cards. You need to market these early in December and January or you might miss out once February rolls around.

Where do they buy?

Finding your target customers is obviously important. You have an online store so of course you want them to be online. But perhaps your customers prefer mobile, in store, social networks, trade shows, concerts or other venues when making their purchasing decisions. Big Cartel and Shopify now offer iPhone apps for in person sales and Big Cartel , Storenvy, Shopify and others all offer Facebook stores for your products.

Putting it all together

You should ideally be able to create multiple personas of potential buyers. I recommend jotting these personas down on an index card so you can reference them later. 

Now review your store, your blog, social networks, all your content. Is it speaking to the people you just described as your potential and best customers? If not make a plan to start changing one or two things a week. Start sharing posts or updates on topics your buyer personas would be interested in.

Be consistent and methodical for a few weeks with these strategies. Report back. I would love to find out how understanding your buyers helped increase sales on your Big Cartel shop.

Tools for Storenvy and Big Cartel Sellers

Just a reminder of all the great apps I have built over the last year or 2.

BoxTruck – sell ebooks, music, and other digital files on Storenvy

Storenvy Importer – import product titles, descriptions and images from Etsy or CSV to Storenvy.

Envylytics – get an email every morning about Storenvy orders.

Parkestry – put a store widget for Storenvy or Big Cartel products on any site.

Big Cartel WordPress Plugin – free plugin to display products on your self-hosted wordpress site.

TaxJar – state sales tax reporting for PayPal, Amazon and Shopify sellers

Big Cartel Themes – inexpensive themes for your Big Cartel shop


Full Screen Background Images for Big Cartel Themes

More and more shop owners are asking for a full screen background image for their Big Cartel theme. But first let me remind you how to add a repeating pattern background image to your theme.

Simple – Big Cartel Repeating Background Setup

To start you will want to login to your Big Cartel account and click the ‘Customize design’ link in the top right menu. You should then see the design editor as picture below with your default theme selected and your shop preview. Remember don’t hit Save until you want your changes displayed on your live shop.

big cartel designer

The Big Cartel design editor UI


Now you will want to click on the small wrench icon to view the customize tab for your current theme. Regardless if you are using one of the 4 current free themes or you are customizing your own theme based on one of those 4 you should now see the background image upload option, just below the header/logo image upload option.

big cartel bg upload

Click the plus sign and select your repeating pattern from your computer. I was able to find a free pattern to use at this site. Once the upload completes if you are using the default CSS for the themes you should see your pattern display in the preview area. See below.

big cartel bg pattern

Enough with the retro patterns you want full screen awesomeness on your Big Cartel theme.

Advanced – Adding Your Full Screen Background Images

Go ahead and upload your amazing photo or graphic to the background image uploader. Remember you want this thing to be noticed and look amazing to your shoppers so make sure the image is at least a width of 1024 pixels and height of 600px.

Head over to the <> tab to see the Advanced template editor. You want to click on the CSS template to edit. You can find and edit the theme css or simple head to the bottom and paste in the following code.

Paste the following at the bottom of your CSS :

{% if theme.background_image != blank %}
body {
background: none;
background: url("{{ theme.background_image.url }}") no-repeat center center fixed;
-webkit-background-size: cover;
-moz-background-size: cover;
-o-background-size: cover;
background-size: cover;
{% endif %}

Go ahead and share a link to your store once you get your background image added.