Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Must Fix"

Shop Azodnem

The past few months have found me spending most of my creative energies over at my CafePress Shop, where I have been diligently reworking and revamping every single section. The Shop has 203 sections. I'm still not done. Why am I doing this? Allow me to explain. Prior to this, I hate to admit, it had been quite some time since I had actually touched any of my online stores, despite the fact that they have and continue to supply a fairly loyal trickle of cash every so often exactly when I need it. So, I decided my shops were overdue a little love...

When I logged into my CafePress Shop, I was honestly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of new products that have been added since the last time I had poked my head around... shower curtains, new coasters, jewelery, wine charms, etc... So, after going through some of the tools available to shopkeepers that have been designed to "help", I opted on the one that would add bulk items across all the sections of my store all at once. "Yay!", I thought! "Problem solved!" >blink< >blink<

Perhaps, I didn't quite understand what that option actually would do. Yes, all the new items were indeed added all at once... all across my store... everywhere and anywhere... unfortunately, with no regard to whether the design actually fit on the product, or where and how it would land on it. Products were named whatever the associated file name was... including its file extension.

Obviously, I don't blame CafePress for that. It's an automated feature. It did exactly what it was supposed to. I'm a grown man with grey hair in places I never knew men could get them... I know better. I should have read the instructions. Fully. Kiddies, take note! Not about the grey hair... but about the instructions. Being a Sagittarius, and a compulsive neat freak with control issues, I was about to lose my fragile little mind. "Must fix. Must fix", became my mantra. I say it my sleep, and sometimes even when I poo.

So began my quest to "fix". I decided I would look at this minor bump in my road to riches as a learning experience (read instructions), and as an opportunity to make my shop even better. Enter Google. Now, despite the Sagittarian propensity to act and behave as if we know everything, we actually do not. Not always. I know, it's shocking. Sit down for a moment to catch your breath if you must. I came across a lot of articles that offered some free advice on how to boost your CafePress sales. As with all things, you keep what resonates and leave aside what doesn't...

So, here's what I started doing:

1. Descriptions. Every design and section is now getting a unique description. It adds flavor. Some designs are even getting little teasers on the section's main page to entice shoppers to click on them. As I am doing this, I'm also going through all of my uploaded images, and not only adjusting their descriptions, but correcting their file names and updating their keywords. It takes time to redo all of this, but honestly... I am already seeing results. It's worth the time-commitment.

2. Several articles suggested setting your shop's pricing bracket to "Premium". That's the most expensive pricing tier that you can set your shop at. I actually set my shop to the "Marketplace" pricing tier, instead. My logic on that was whether a customer comes across your product over at your personal storefront or through CafePress's main site, the prices will be the same.

3. Some designs cross-link to other ones in their descriptions if the designs have a commonality among them that might interest shoppers. For an example, see "The Brides of Adam".

4. I created a secret, "hidden" section that has every single product in it, placed in the order that my OCD needs to see them. I make a copy of it, then after selecting all the products on the page, I change their descriptions and names all at once, and swap out the image... and viola, an entirely new section is added or an old one is redone in as little as half an hour. Of course, I still do a quick run through everything just to make sure it's all good... "Must fix."