Monday, May 2, 2016

Getting the Hang of Zazzle

I’ve been going up the wall lately on optimizing a controlled and organized Zazzle store.  Before products were arranged in any and all kinds of order.  This left visitors scrambling all over the store.  Which isn't good!  Even I came frustrated with the disarray I’d created.  Added to my organizing, I’ve also been reviving the color of my original uploads from 2012.  A few color correcting techniques in the drawing process have stepped up since 2012.  So the difference from then and now were a little too noticeable for me to ignore.  
I wouldn’t call it grueling, but I’ve been up until like 4am all weekend redoing all my previous faults.  I think we've all been there, where it's late but we tell ourselves just one more action before we sleep.  Then one action leads to ten.  
So here are a few of my considerations to optimizing a fresh Zazzle store.

1.      Fill in your SOCIAL MEDIA tags and upload any media content you may own.  Because I do Youtube, I had plenty of media content to upload.  From drawing videos to Zazzle unbox/unbaggings, this was easy.  It helps increase your store and zRank to have at least 10 unloads available.  Outside of that, it gives visitors an idea of who you are and what you represent in the Zazzle community.  So I made sure to step the media content up.
2.     CATEGORIES.  I’m not 100% on the images I used to separate the merchandise categories, but it looks a hell of a lot better than an unorganized mess.  I basically separated each kind of item for visitors up front.  That way he or she won’t have to go through Zazzle's uninspiring default category branches.  Nor do visitors have to scroll and search.  What’s available is right there!  I’m pleased with this change.  However, the process of categorizing products was a frustrating.  In my opinion, Zazzle isn’t the best at laying out instructions.  Added to that opinion, it doesn't help when some shop changes takes hours to show.  I can't count how many times I refreshed and back-buttoned looking for results that weren't there until the following day.  Nevertheless, I had to Google how to categorize Zazzle store products.  But once you understand how to create categories, it becomes almost second nature.

3.      FEATURED COLLECTION.  Because I started Zazzle to create a line of writing journals, I built what’s called a collection (more below) featuring them.  Then, as seen, I stuck them as a Featured Collection.  I’m still on the fence if I want to keep it in the center of the Home page, though.  Part of me wants to place it at the bottom.  Eh.  Work in progress.  The important thing for me is it’s there in place of a jumble of random products.

4.      COLLECTIONS.  Besides organizing the store per product category, I also organized by artwork.  And further by the featured character.  Creating at least 10 collections increase you zRank, so I had plenty to put together.  I see collections as a place for visitors who like a particular character/artwork.  Here he or she can go to that collection and see every product featuring the character/artwork.  This leaves visitors from jumping from category to category during a search.
Putting all this together and more gave my store the 100% store completion I aimed for over the weekend.  It’s all still a work in progress.  I've had the store up since 2012.  And while I've done adjustments throughout, actually taking the time to learn Zazzle's store mechanics brought me a wealth of information and confidence for its future.  It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it to optimize and give your store a personal style and user-friendly appearance.  So I can’t stress enough how important it is not to sleep on the small stuff on your store.  Learn these mechanics now if you haven't.
Now, I have to get back to more re-uploads.  Keep you guys posted on the relative progress all this generates.
(For those with a Zazzle store, please share a link to your store in the comments below.  Let’s rally together!)
Comic Towel

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