Search Results Dominated by Few Sellers 2 pages: [1] 2
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 4:28:17 AM
Hi,

I will start this thread by saying that I think it is great that certain Zazzlers have been able to make quite a career for themselves. It is very inspirational to see what can be achieved.

However, do any of you find it strange that literally one-third of the products on the first page of search results on very popular search terms like "rustic wedding" are sold by one store?

The store owner I am referring to actually has more than one-third of the product listings. I did some looking around on the Internet (Pinterest, websites etc.) and figured out that this store owner owns at least 2 other stores that also show up in the first page of search results, but under a different designer name. So this owner's products are actually half of the 60 products listed.

As I said, I am all for people knocking it out of the park with marketing and promotion, but it seems strange that the results are so heavily skewed. I would think that Zazzle would not encourage this kind of domination either.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Dawn
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 9:31:13 AM
I don't think it's strange so much as inevitable. High sales get you on the front page and being on the front page gets you high sales. It's a feedback loop which leads to domination by those who saw the trend building and acted on it before many others did.

I doubt Zazzle cares one way or the other. A sale is a sale. They make the same amount of money regardless of which store generated the sale.

Trying to beat them at their own game probably won't work. Just go for a different niche.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 10:10:48 AM
Susannah Keegan wrote:
I don't think it's strange so much as inevitable. High sales get you on the front page and being on the front page gets you high sales. It's a feedback loop which leads to domination by those who saw the trend building and acted on it before many others did.

I doubt Zazzle cares one way or the other. A sale is a sale. They make the same amount of money regardless of which store generated the sale.

Trying to beat them at their own game probably won't work. Just go for a different niche.


Maybe inevitable but still really unfair. Using the statement that the sell so they are seen, they are seen because they sale; there are thousands of good designs that don't sell because they aren't seen. Since they haven't sold they are not going to be seen on the Zazzle website.

It may be good for Zazzle, but not so good for the designers. I really would like to see the lesser know but good designs and designers highlighted and promoted once in a while. One of the reason people give up on this site is because of the frustration with making sales. And when they give up, it pushes the few promoted designers even higher up the ladder.

I have noticed that a lot of the promoted products have the same graphics as other products that are in the "new" product category. A lot of the graphics on the best sellers are "free" graphics which are also used on thousands of other Zazzle products by other designers. The only reason they get sales over others is that Zazzle is promoting them
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 10:11:20 AM
I agree with Susannah about it being a feedback loop. The eventual result of that, absent intervention, is stagnation.

Having watched this go on for a while now, I've become convinced that Zazzle isn't interested in growing or in showcasing the diversity of design available to it from designers' efforts. The site has become very one-note in what it presents in home-page promotions and in its search results.

It's very discouraging to target a niche, and find your works being shut out of search results for it, more often than not.

I have lots of ideas that I don't pursue, simply because there's no point in bothering, given the way the marketplace works to favor a tiny subset of sellers.

We're told the antidote is to promote! promote! promote! But I'm not convinced. Promoting requires a different skill set from designing. Not all of us have it.

I've also come to believe that Zazzle isn't really about helping artists sell their work. It's more of a platform for promoters to make money by referring what's popular. There's that feedback loop again.

Unless and until something changes, I don't see myself leaving the plateau I'm stuck on. I've become a hobbyist, but even that requires receiving positive reinforcement now and then. It would be fair to say that I'm feeling very uninspired by Zazzle these days, but maybe that's just the result of us going in opposite directions.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 10:13:00 AM
Amen Fuzzy^^^^^ what you said
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 11:41:32 AM
Thanks for all this wonderful feedback. I am glad to know that I am not alone in thinking that this domination of the system is not good for anyone, be it the designers, Zazzle or customers.

My biggest complaint isn't necessarily that it "isn't fair" that some shop owners dominate the results. They were business savvy and got in at the right time and did the work.

My biggest problem with this complete takeover of the search results is that Zazzle seems to not care that its looks like a one-trick pony. You see the same designs, over and over again, ad nauseum. Take a wood background, slap some lace, string lights and mason jars with baby's breath on it, and you're good to go! I'm not saying this isn't a cute design, but it shouldn't be so omnipresent that customers think that is the ONLY rustic design available to them. I know as a customer I would feel more inclined to shop at Minted, where they seem to really care about the quality and innovation of the work being produced. Actually, if I were getting married now, I would likely purchase something from Shine Invitations, which offers simple yet exquisite invitations and has an excellent reputation from impeccable customer service. Their customers literally rave about the service they got. That's the best type of marketing you can get.

Zazzle has everything it needs to continue to excel on the marketplace IF it takes care of its designers and customers first. A sale is NOT a sale. If designers start to flee the site and customers get discouraged with the lack of quality and innovation in the designs, they will take a hit. This is business and you have to listen to your customers, be they the people buying the products or the people producing them. Give talented, rising designers a fair shake and they will do everything in their power to help your business grow. Treat them like inhuman, design-making robots and your company will go bust.

Just my two cents.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 12:07:23 PM
Dawn wrote:
Thanks for all this wonderful feedback. I am glad to know that I am not alone in thinking that this domination of the system is not good for anyone, be it the designers, Zazzle or customers.

My biggest complaint isn't necessarily that it "isn't fair" that some shop owners dominate the results. They were business savvy and got in at the right time and did the work.

My biggest problem with this complete takeover of the search results is that Zazzle seems to not care that its looks like a one-trick pony. You see the same designs, over and over again, ad nauseum. Take a wood background, slap some lace, string lights and mason jars with baby's breath on it, and you're good to go! I'm not saying this isn't a cute design, but it shouldn't be so omnipresent that customers think that is the ONLY rustic design available to them. I know as a customer I would feel more inclined to shop at Minted, where they seem to really care about the quality and innovation of the work being produced. Actually, if I were getting married now, I would likely purchase something from Shine Invitations, which offers simple yet exquisite invitations and has an excellent reputation from impeccable customer service. Their customers literally rave about the service they got. That's the best type of marketing you can get.

Zazzle has everything it needs to continue to excel on the marketplace IF it takes care of its designers and customers first. A sale is NOT a sale. If designers start to flee the site and customers get discouraged with the lack of quality and innovation in the designs, they will take a hit. This is business and you have to listen to your customers, be they the people buying the products or the people producing them. Give talented, rising designers a fair shake and they will do everything in their power to help your business grow. Treat them like inhuman, design-making robots and your company will go bust.

Just my two cents.


Thank you for posting this. It is good to know that we few on the forums who sometimes get labled as "problem children" are not alone in the way we feel.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 1:15:09 PM
This is particularly discouraging to peeps who have been here for months and have yet to make a sale (me, me, me!! lol). I click on the links in the daily newsletters hoping I'll eventually see one of my products, but every single time it's the same products from the sale sellers. It's a shame Zazzle won't put the time and effort into promoting those of us that are fairly new and sprinkle our things in with the more productive sellers.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 1:21:02 PM
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
This is particularly discouraging to peeps who have been here for months and have yet to make a sale (me, me, me!! lol). I click on the links in the daily newsletters hoping I'll eventually see one of my products, but every single time it's the same products from the sale sellers. It's a shame Zazzle won't put the time and effort into promoting those of us that are fairly new and sprinkle our things in with the more productive sellers.



I could go for a sprinkle right about now.......

Zazzle used to post gift ideas and some of my items were in there, which generated some sales......no longer.....
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 1:35:16 PM
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
This is particularly discouraging to peeps who have been here for months and have yet to make a sale (me, me, me!! lol). I click on the links in the daily newsletters hoping I'll eventually see one of my products, but every single time it's the same products from the sale sellers. It's a shame Zazzle won't put the time and effort into promoting those of us that are fairly new and sprinkle our things in with the more productive sellers.


What daily newsletters?
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 1:45:29 PM
I think one solution would be if the "Today's Picks" actually change on a daily basis. I notice the items on "Today's Pick" will actually be up for about three days. If they change daily more designers can be featured.

And they should be handpicked to make sure they feature different designers.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 1:50:49 PM
MissRhoadie1981 wrote:
I think one solution would be if the "Today's Picks" actually change on a daily basis. I notice the items on "Today's Pick" will actually be up for about three days. If they change daily more designers can be featured.

And they should be handpicked to make sure they feature different designers.

Handpicked isn't really practical on a site this size, though. That brings us back to the algorithms used to search and curate products - and back to the feedback loop that creates stagnation.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 1:53:52 PM
Felosarix wrote:
MissRhoadie1981 wrote:
I think one solution would be if the "Today's Picks" actually change on a daily basis. I notice the items on "Today's Pick" will actually be up for about three days. If they change daily more designers can be featured.

And they should be handpicked to make sure they feature different designers.

Handpicked isn't really practical on a site this size, though. That brings us back to the algorithms used to search and curate products - and back to the feedback loop that creates stagnation.


Yes that's true.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 1:59:41 PM
It would be nice if Zazzle had a conference, where we can have focus groups, workshops, and discussions about topics like this.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 2:10:07 PM
MissRhoadie1981 wrote:
It would be nice if Zazzle had a conference, where we can have focus groups, workshops, and discussions about topics like this.



....but they did focus
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 3:02:18 PM
Skip wrote:
MissRhoadie1981 wrote:
It would be nice if Zazzle had a conference, where we can have focus groups, workshops, and discussions about topics like this.



....but they did focus


Oh, I didn't know that.

Well I do feel hopeful using Zazzle Create, because I can make professional looking ads to market my products more.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 4:09:10 PM
Maz wrote:
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
This is particularly discouraging to peeps who have been here for months and have yet to make a sale (me, me, me!! lol). I click on the links in the daily newsletters hoping I'll eventually see one of my products, but every single time it's the same products from the sale sellers. It's a shame Zazzle won't put the time and effort into promoting those of us that are fairly new and sprinkle our things in with the more productive sellers.


What daily newsletters?


This is my question as well. I get the newsletters, but they do not come daily. Can you post a link LavenderMintGraphics, to the newsletters you get daily?
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 4:31:26 PM
Gina ©gleem wrote:
Maz wrote:
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
This is particularly discouraging to peeps who have been here for months and have yet to make a sale (me, me, me!! lol). I click on the links in the daily newsletters hoping I'll eventually see one of my products, but every single time it's the same products from the sale sellers. It's a shame Zazzle won't put the time and effort into promoting those of us that are fairly new and sprinkle our things in with the more productive sellers.


What daily newsletters?


This is my question as well. I get the newsletters, but they do not come daily. Can you post a link LavenderMintGraphics, to the newsletters you get daily?

I think she just means the sale emails since she mentioned looking to see if any of her products come up through the links.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 4:40:54 PM
MelroseOriginals wrote:
Gina ©gleem wrote:
Maz wrote:
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
This is particularly discouraging to peeps who have been here for months and have yet to make a sale (me, me, me!! lol). I click on the links in the daily newsletters hoping I'll eventually see one of my products, but every single time it's the same products from the sale sellers. It's a shame Zazzle won't put the time and effort into promoting those of us that are fairly new and sprinkle our things in with the more productive sellers.


What daily newsletters?


This is my question as well. I get the newsletters, but they do not come daily. Can you post a link LavenderMintGraphics, to the newsletters you get daily?

I think she just means the sale emails since she mentioned looking to see if any of her products come up through the links.


Ah ok. Glad you were able to decipher!
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 5:15:56 PM
I would be (pleasantly) shocked to see one of my designs in the promotional emails considering how much competition there is. A few years ago Scott said there were over 800,000 shopkeepers. Going with that number, if only 5% of them are active that's 40,000 designers. And there are millions and millions of products in the marketplace. You just need to keep making good designs that people want to spend money on, and promote them. And don't overprice them. Zazzle told us a few years ago that they won't promote anything over 14.9%.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 6:53:01 PM


Just to give some encouragement and a positive experience that it is possible to get featured without being a top seller (I am only basic pro and have a long way to go to the next level), earlier in the year this mug was in the sale email and I had a planner and a candy tin in this same design featured on the front page in the today’s picks. I also had a binder in this same design featured in the main sale block at the top of the front page. I somehow hit the right search terms or caught the eye of whoever curated that particular span of a few weeks. My royalties at the time were across the board more than 14.9.
One of my wedding designs also made it into the top 50 collections section of the wedding landing page for the contest winners.

I also think that the front page has been more brightly colored and geared toward lots of more artistic styles than I had previously seen so they seem to be trying to listen to what is being said in the forums.

I know that the thread is about who is coming up in search results, but this is to address the comments on being featured. I don’t fit the aesthetic of what is coming up in broad searches, but I’m trying to focus on making my products come up as the searches get drilled down and that’s all we can do when search is controlled by algorithms.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 9:00:58 PM
In all fairness, I believe Elke is in the wedding/card niche.

Elke is a Diamond seller. She falls outside of the rules the rest of us do, she negotiates her terms directly with Zazzle.

So, if the marketplace is a little flooded, that may be the agreement. One can never know for sure, and since Diamonds negotiate privately, it's none of our business.

Just food for thought...
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 11:15:36 PM
I do like how the Wedding Design Challenge was ran, especially with the Top 50 wedding collections. That was direct exposure for about 60 designers when you include the winners and editor's picks. I was introduced to different designers, some whom I was unfamiliar with.
Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:44:21 AM
I think its the number of product sold then number sells for ranking, but sometimes Z does try to push the makers sells up, maybe try more products. Tumbler glasses and shot glasses are still somewhat new. Groomsmen and best man normaly gets something. Cough *flask*

Your pink rose is very nice and would work on a few wedding related items. Then make a collection and post on printest. You already have a niche and a good style.

Example (not really going for the wedding thing this year) just doing a probe on this one.


9 of the 24 products has been viewed. Most views for the wine bottle labels. Have a feeling after the test is done. It will be invention, wine label, and drank ware.
Posted: Sunday, July 14, 2019 4:36:08 AM
RGebbiePhoto wrote:
In all fairness, I believe Elke is in the wedding/card niche.

Elke is a Diamond seller. She falls outside of the rules the rest of us do, she negotiates her terms directly with Zazzle.

So, if the marketplace is a little flooded, that may be the agreement. One can never know for sure, and since Diamonds negotiate privately, it's none of our business.

Just food for thought...


I find these statements interesting. I'm curious, what does it mean when you say,
Quote:
"...she negotiates her terms directly with Zazzle.

So, if the marketplace is a little flooded, that may be the agreement."


Could you give me an example?

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 8:03:37 AM
Well, well, well .. I have my first (pending sale)! It's like less than $3.00, but I guest it's a start! LOL

Sorry for the confusion on the newsletters. It's the daily emails that come. Grin

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 8:24:51 AM
Susannah Keegan wrote:
I don't think it's strange so much as inevitable. High sales get you on the front page and being on the front page gets you high sales. It's a feedback loop which leads to domination by those who saw the trend building and acted on it before many others did.

I doubt Zazzle cares one way or the other. A sale is a sale. They make the same amount of money regardless of which store generated the sale.

Trying to beat them at their own game probably won't work. Just go for a different niche.


No wonder it's so hard to be seen. Zazzle makes no effort to curate anything. They are too busy making change after change after change. Sadly they don't seem to realize that they take a hit in the search engines just about every time. Seems to me they would be better employed curating searches so that customers can see what they want too. e.g. pay particular attention to the search terms:

https://ibb.co/wrj3w4G

BTW this is NINE pages into a newest search for those terms.

Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:20:31 AM
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
Well, well, well .. I have my first (pending sale)! It's like less than $3.00, but I guest it's a start! LOL

Congrats!
Smile
Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:38:31 AM
eclecticpastime wrote:
No wonder it's so hard to be seen. Zazzle makes no effort to curate anything. They are too busy making change after change after change. Sadly they don't seem to realize that they take a hit in the search engines just about every time. Seems to me they would be better employed curating searches so that customers can see what they want too. e.g. pay particular attention to the search terms:

https://ibb.co/wrj3w4G

BTW this is NINE pages into a newest search for those terms.

This looks more like an issue of someone spamming.

When I think of curation, it's more in terms of what shows up on the front page and in promotions. But even there, we see the problem of relying on machine curation without any moderation by a human.
Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:43:39 AM
Felosarix wrote:
eclecticpastime wrote:
No wonder it's so hard to be seen. Zazzle makes no effort to curate anything. They are too busy making change after change after change. Sadly they don't seem to realize that they take a hit in the search engines just about every time. Seems to me they would be better employed curating searches so that customers can see what they want too. e.g. pay particular attention to the search terms:

https://ibb.co/wrj3w4G

BTW this is NINE pages into a newest search for those terms.

This looks more like an issue of someone spamming.

When I think of curation, it's more in terms of what shows up on the front page and in promotions. But even there, we see the problem of relying on machine curation without any moderation by a human.


The blind leading the blind...
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