31 Aug 2016

Major changes at Zazzle

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, I've been very busy working on my three Zazzle stores.

My main store Wildmacnz which houses my clothing, household goods, greeting cards and poster designs etc. 

My business store Wildmacnzbusiness which is where I house all my business card, flexi magnets and other business related designs.

And lastly my Electronics store Wildmacnzelectronics which houses all my phone, laptop and tablet case designs.

I hadn't looked at any of these stores in nearly three years. With all the stuff going on in my personal life with my husband being laid off and then us moving house and town, I just ignored them and as is usually the way, life kept happening and things changed without me realizing. One of the major changes being that Zazzle had hidden a lot of my designs that hadn't sold, so they are no longer visible to the public. I never noticed anything as my sales were getting better over time so I just thought everything was as I left it. 

What a big surprise! But actually it was a good surprise. It took some of the pressure off me. How you ask?
Well, for a long while before my personal life took a sudden left turn, I was creating designs and then putting them on as many products as I could, that suited the design. I never used quick create, I didn't like the idea of my designs going on everything at once especially when not every image is suitable for every product. When new products were released I put all the existing images on the new products if they suited, however this didn't leave me much time for creating new designs. Just keeping up with the old ones was becoming a full time job! I started to slip further and further behind. It felt like I was trying to run up a downwards traveling escalator that was speeding up.  In short I put too much pressure on myself to create a large store, thinking that this was what I needed to do to get seen in the marketplace and get sales. I was wrong. My sales picked up even though a lot of my products were no longer visible for sale in the marketplace. I was focusing on the wrong things.

This reshuffle from Zazzle eased the pressure off me to create more and more and made me look at fine tuning what I already have. It allowed me to take a step back and really think about:
  1. What I really wanted to sell in my stores. 
  2. What I wanted my stores to look and feel like to a customer
  3. What I enjoyed creating. I hate making some products so why am I making them?
  4. Why have some of my products not sold? Wrong design for the product? Have I aimed at the wrong audience for a certain design? Is the design just old and outdated now, especially designs with the date on them?
  5. Keywording and descriptions. Are they letting me down?
  6. What have I sold? This was an eye opener. Some of the designs that hadn't sold were on on products I hated making. Could this be related? 
  7. Do I really need three stores or should I condense down into just one or two?
These are all questions I've been slowly working through for the last few weeks as I delete crap/outdated designs and products I hate making, that haven't sold anyway, and rework my keywords and descriptions on designs I want to keep. It's a painstaking process, but one I'm very happy to do. I can see light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a lightweight streamlined store filled only with designs and products that I'm happy to make and are more likely to sell well.

This is my most popular tie. My watercolor painted scooter design on a yellow background. This scooter is also available on other colored backgrounds. My scooter sells well on multiple products so it makes the cut and will stay in my newly designed store.

The top picture is of a new wrapping paper design I created last week. Now I have time to create new designs which is the part I really enjoy doing. 

I love another new feature that Zazzle introduced whilst I wasn't looking, 

Collections. (see pic above)

Collections are a great way to showcase groups of products either by theme, product or by grouping useful things together, such as, matching birthday cards, gift wrap and envelopes for example, or matching designed cups and plates. I've only just started using this feature but I can see loads of possibilities with it.

All in all, although Zazzle has created lots of new work for me, I welcome the changes as a new beginning for my stores. As I try to simplify other areas of my life, be it creative or home life, it makes perfect sense for me to simplify my stores too. 

I hope you may find this post useful if you have a Zazzle store that you haven't looked at in a while. You may be surprised with the changes. It can be a shock, but I think it's good to take a step back from time to time and reassess what it is you really want to accomplish. Sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees.

Have a great week :) 

11 Aug 2016

Week 51 of 365 Challenge Shopfront Week

Wow my second to last week already, time has really flown this year!

This week's images were taken both in my small town and in the nearby city so hopefully I have some variety.

My two favorite images this week are the third and fourth shown here. The third was taken in the city early one Saturday morning before people had started to move much. The umbrellas are still down and I like the early morning light.
The fourth image was taken in my town one evening when it was dark and the window dressings were lit. I liked the color of these two dresses and accessories in the window. I had a lot of outside reflections to contend with but I still like the colors and feel of this image. It's quite grainy but I'm pleased I took it anyway. I didn't have my camera with me for any of these shots this week so they were all shot with my phone.

Next week's challenge is my last for this project and it's one that I swapped earlier due to bad weather. Night week. Hopefully I can get some shots I like.

Have a great week :)