Thursday, 22 April 2010

Shocking Statistics

First of all a big, HUGE -

- to all of the artists who contributed to 'All Creatures Great and Small' and especially to those who left such kind and encouraging comments! It's good to see that 'traditional' art is still alive and kicking and to hear that people are buying it, in spite of the competition from digital art and photography.

Earlier this month I was particularly thrilled and honoured that my handpainted sweet pea design was chosen by a US customer for her wedding invitations. You may remember that I was asked to help convert my sweet bookmark into invitations over the Easter weekend and the customer ordered just a pack of ten to begin with to check how they came out. She and I have been waiting for the invitations to arrive with baited breath, especially as I had come across a thread on the Zazzle forum that suggested that the finish might leave something to be desired! But yesterday I heard that they are fine and she has now gone ahead and ordered a lot more. Phew!

So that brings me nearer to the Zazzle threshold for actually receiving some money! I seem to work much harder on promoting my Zazzle stores (and stocking up my store with 'products') and yet I seem to sell far more through Greeting Card Universe. A bit of a puzzle as the statistics are showing a steady rise in the number of visits to my Zazzle store, whereas visits to my GCU store remain static - and low! So I did a small calculation and unearthed a statistic of my own that may be of interest to others who are using both of these online stores to sell their work.

In the four months that I've been with GCU and Zazzle, the visits to my Zazzle store have been nearly five times as frequent as to my GCU card store. But when I did the arithmetic, I discovered that I've had one sale through GCU for every 17 visits, whereas through Zazzle, it's taken 413 visits to achieve each sale. And that came as quite a shock!

A couple of possible reasons for this difference have occurred to me. Firstly, the range of products for sale through Zazzle means that, to make a sale, the customer will probably be spending a lot more money. For instance the keds shoes are £60 a pair in the UK! Secondly, I think it's quite likely that a great many of the 'visits' to my Zazzle stores are by other artists. There does seem to be more of that kind of interaction on Zazzle than on GCU. And maybe the fact that GCU actively promotes our greeting cards through its sister sites is another factor, though in fact the majority of my sales have come through Google searches.

I'd be interested to know whether anyone else is experiencing the same sort of discrepancy between store visits and sales and to hear any ideas about why this may be. I think it's important to know, as far as one can, what actually needs to be done to encourage sales. At the moment it doesn't look as if 'store visits' alone are a reliable indicator of sales opportunities, though of course, on the other hand, nothing will get sold if nobody comes to our stores!

In the past week I've made another discovery! At last I've solved the mystery of why I wasn't being offered all the options for creating products on Zazzle - I was starting from the wrong page! So much to learn! The one that was particularly bugging me was that I had no choice of style of keds shoes, just the ladies lace-up sneakers.  I was looking at the slip-ons and other styles that artists were creating with great envy - so this week I've been busy making pretty floral slip-ons -

I made the design as a repeating pattern - something I haven't done since my screenprinting days  - and it took me a while to get the hang of it again. But I persisted because I was also determined to make a design that would 'tile' properly on the men's ties.

I don't think I know a man who would wear such a flowery tie as this one - 
- but you never know! 

And at least the pattern joins up nicely so I feel encouraged to try again with something a little more masculine!

I've also used these primroses from the shelf in my front porch to make birthday and Mother's Day cards for my GCU store, but they will take a few days to be approved - hopefully they will be appearing shortly.


Country Mouse Studio said...

Love the primroses and great news on the cards. I look forward to hear other comments about the difference between card sales at GCU and Zazzle.

I haven't put much effort into the store at GCU because I find creating at Zazzle is much easier.

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Yes, creating at Zazzle is fun and can be quite addictive but so far, I'm doing better with GCU. I only began with Zazzle because I read on the GCU forum that someone sold far more cards there and at Red Bubble than at GCU! Maybe it will even out over time?

Michele said...

Fascinating post, I am only on Zazzle, I would do them all if I had time, or at least those with reasonable commission... I may experiment with others in the future, I don't know much about GCU or how it differs to Zazzle.

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

I find GCU more straightforward and less time-consuming than Zazzle - it's just greeting cards and they're at a set price with a set commission. The only slight drawback as far as I'm concerned is that you have to wait a few days (up to a week) for your submissions to be 'approved' - not the design, but the descriptions and categories. But I think that is actually for our benefit as the people who review them know what they're doing re marketing.