A week ago, I was having a conversation with a developer friend of mine. He asked me if I had heard about this new marketing platform for WordPress products called Epitrove marketplace.
He wasn’t exactly sure how it worked but suggested that I check it out.
I took a look at their website first but felt that I needed some more, first-hand details. So, I went ahead and contacted their team.
Is it just another marketplace for WordPress products? Here’s what I got to know.
Epitrove Marketplace on a Mission
Epitrove is a marketplace. At least for a WordPress product buyer, that’s what it is. It has a collection of products from different vendors.
Quite like Envato. But not exactly. It claims to be a whole lot more.
When I spoke to the team, they were enthusiastic enough to send me a detailed email about the platform where I got more information.
Although it functions as a conventional marketplace, Epitrove aims to tackle the problem of “too many products” in the WordPress ecosystem.
It wants to bring forward genuinely good products and wants to give WordPress product vendors a chance at the traffic they deserve.
Epitrove promises to:
- Improve WordPress buyer experience by making it easy for product seekers to find the right product in a short amount of time;
- Market good products by heavily promoting them on its platform through social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and strategic cross-promotions.
Although this seems like a good cause, one can’t help but wonder if Epitrove is simply blowing issues out of proportion to sell itself as a brand?
Do these problems really exist? And are they that big a deal?
Is there a problem of “too many” products in the WordPress ecosystem?
Considering that there are independent plugin shops and freelance websites selling plugins, it’s safe to assume there are about 60,000 plugins that exist today.
Every year around 6,000 new products get added to the WordPress repository, and the number keeps growing.
The advantage product seekers have is that they have a choice. The disadvantage is that they have a lot of products to choose from.
There are websites that help them, though. Influencer websites write listicles ranking the “best” products from a particular category.
You have product reviews to compare products. Demos. Videos. You name it.
But what usually happens is people opt for the most popular product and not necessarily the “best” or the most “ideal” product for their needs.
It’s pack mentality – you want to do what most people are doing and want to use the products most people are using.
But that’s not the best way ahead, is it?
|The Product Hunt Labyrinth: The Average Product Search Journey |
Let’s say a person is looking for a contact form plugin. He goes to the WordPress repository and downloads a popular plugin.
All is good. He’s got what he needed. Except, not exactly. He wanted a plugin that saves form responses in the backend, and this plugin doesn’t do that.
Not a problem. It was a free plugin anyway. He’ll just replace it with another free plugin. But this one doesn’t have a drag and drop page builder.
He’ll keep trying till he finds the right product.
He then has to spend some time making the plugin compatible with his theme. Hopefully, he doesn’t have to invest in a developer to do the job for him.
And, then what about compatibility with other plugins on his site? He could ask for support, but then with a free plugin, there isn’t any pressure on the developer to offer timely help.
After a bit of struggle, he’s able to set up forms on his site and starts receiving some entries.
After a few weeks, his users are complaining that the form takes too long to respond. And he realizes that the form plugin is slowing down his website.
Okay, finding the right plugin is a big problem.
If the user had the right plugin, to begin with, if he were assured of timely support, things would’ve been different.
Finding the right WordPress product is about using a product for a while only to realize that you would’ve been better off choosing a different product in the first place.
Some plugin seekers might never discover the right product as it is buried somewhere deep in the repository or on a platform you’re least likely to discover.
Which means if the right product is aptly marketed, you’re bound to have lower stress levels and a better WordPress experience.
This brings us to #2…
Is marketing a challenge for WordPress product vendors?
Given the above scenario, it’s nearly impossible for new product vendors to break into a saturated WordPress product market even if they offered niche features.
Simply uploading a product on a marketplace is not enough. For a product to get the attention, they need to invest in marketing it.
But most product developers are focused on building the product and supporting customer queries.
They either don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to market their product.
Marketing assistance can be of immense help to product vendors and can get them the difference in revenue they need to keep supporting and bettering their product.
There’s no doubt, though, that marketing is a challenge for WordPress vendors.
And if Epitrove claims to be providing WordPress vendors marketing assistance, they need to give the platform a serious look.
How does Epitrove marketplace solve these problems?
Epitrove wants to be a platform that genuinely brings forward the right products.
These good products don’t necessarily have to be the most popular products but are full-featured products that are as good as the most popular products.
Epitrove’s task is to make it easier for people to make better decisions by providing good options.
It aims to be a marketing platform for good products so that people have the right products to choose from, instead of going with the most popular or being overwhelmed by too many.
Just to be clear, it doesn’t plan on replacing any of the existing popular marketplaces, it just aims towards simplifying people’s buying experience.
It intends to be a platform where you don’t have to go with the popular product just because it is popular, but you can choose from a variety of excellent products instead!
But how will they decide which products are “good?” The one customers need for his business.
To cater needs of many, it will need many different products, and by that, it will not differ from various other marketplaces.
To maintain the platform’s quality, Epitrove has set strict standards for vendors by expecting them to maintain code quality, provide timely support, and improve their products regularly.
For genuine and dedicated WordPress vendors, this shouldn’t be a problem.
In return, Epitrove promises to market their products, provide them the needed information and statistical data to help improve their products that give product vendors a competitive advantage for being on the platform.
Does Epitrove Seem Promising?
If Epitrove successfully achieves what it has started to do, it will be a platform that could easily beat out its competition.
The good part is that Epitrove is built and maintained by WisdmLabs, a company that’s been around in the WordPress ecosystem for a while.
They know the challenges of the system and have a dedicated marketing team to back their efforts.
Will Epitrove deliver? Will it bring forward new, deserving players that challenge market leaders? Will it change the way WordPress owners shop?
Only time will tell. But it looks like a curated marketplace that Epitrove promises to be is one WordPress needs, and one, vendors will be glad to be a part of.
What are your thoughts about Epitrove? Drop a comment to let me know.