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It was a pure enjoyment reading this blog post ! :-)
#1 Dizingof on 2010-08-25 13:52 (Reply)
Awww, thanks.
#1.1 Duann on 2010-08-26 09:57 (Reply)
Thanks for this post, and featuring P.a.p...! Views are great of course, but I was wondering though, do you guys have benchmarks of the rate of views to sales for other sites? Because, although sales have been great and I'm not complaining, I was wondering if we're actually converting relatively few viewers to sellers? If true, it would be interesting to find out why; could be the relative unknown-ness of Shapeways and 3d printing, something in the sales process, the terms and conditions - etc etc.
#2 Michiel Cornelissen on 2010-08-26 13:12 (Reply)
I second that - if you do a search on the forum i've asked some time ago if shapeways could add something like Google analytic code for the shop owner to check traffic sources, conversion ratios etc.. i even suggested that if a product sells well with a regular traffic, a shop owner will be encouraged to even buy targeted traffic for that product while testing different sources of paid traffic and their conversion ratios. It's a win win scenario.

I think Pete said it's going to happen sometime soon.

#2.1 Dizingof on 2010-08-26 13:29 (Reply)
Yeah, I remember that thread - would be great. But I'm wondering if traffic is the only question here, since some products get plenty of that; I'm wondering what we can do make the visitors into buyers a bit more often. A quick googling told me that conversion rates should be at something like 1% and up; we're nowhere near that. I'd be rich :-)
But then I again I don't know if that's a fair and realistic comparison?
#2.1.1 Michiel Cornelissen on 2010-08-26 13:37 (Reply)
Look at one of your best seller product's page - see how many "people viewed" that page and divide that number by the number of sales - that's a crude way to know your sale's ratio without an accurate counter.

As for why you're not rich yet :-) that's because 3D printing cost "few" times more than what an average consumer is used to in terms of plastic or metal products.

I got this phrase from talk-backs at some iphone related website while they review some of my shops' products: "that's too expensive for a piece of plastic"...

So unless you go "Retail steps" like Ibec, i don't think you'll buy us a round of drinks anytime soon on your first $ million made at shapeways :-D
# Dizingof on 2010-08-26 13:56 (Reply)
Well, I think it's too quick to say that price is the only reason. For 'a bit cross' e.g., I've even had people mail me to say they thought it was a great price; for a jewelry design, many people expect that kind of price, especially if you consider the free shipping. I'm pretty sure for some of my products it is, for many others it isn't so much of a factor.
I personally think there is a whole combination of factors that a) make relatively many people check our products out of curiosity only, without (much) buying intention and b) make relatively few of the viewers buy. If SW can get to the bottom of especially the last part, I'm sure we can get many more buyers, even with the current prices.
#3 Michiel Cornelissen on 2010-08-26 14:08 (Reply)
Hi Michiel & Dizingof,

These are all points we are aware of and working towards to increase your conversion ratios.
I also do not think prices are always the issue, especially with jewelry which is often sold by Shapeways users at very reasonable prices (and sometimes given away).

We are looking at analytics encoding and average conversion rates, but looking at a websites (Shapeways) conversion rate vs a Shopowners conversion rate is very different with complex issues including the trust of the design as much as trust of Shapeways.

Perhaps we need to introduce a feedback system for buyers and sellers in the same way Etsy and Ebay do to help encourage this trust. This to we are investigating how and if it should be implemented.

As people separate 3D-printing from Rapid Prototyped, and understand it as a Product Material, we are also likely to see greater uptake. Remember you are all some of the first people to be doing this for commercial products and being in front of the curve means that you are better poised with a better understanding of the processes to make the most of that.

Please keep telling us what you would like to see, and if you have any ideas or experience in converting clicks to sales. We are intently working on this and are seeing continuous growth but are eager to learn more from you.

#4 Duann on 2010-08-26 17:58 (Reply)
A Buyer's feedback system resulting some kind of a shop owner's ratings (1 to 5 stars?) like on Ebay will for sure increase potential buyers trust.

As a buyer on Ebay i do check the feedback always and the seller's ratings before making an order.
#4.1 Dizingof on 2010-08-26 18:25 (Reply)
Hey Dizingof,

The buyers feedback is just one way to build trust.
Product photo's instead of renders also make a big difference.
As much as the rating system works for Ebay where you are dealing with random people, with Shapeways the buyer is really making a transaction with Shapeways with a product designed by you. Shapeways ensures the quality of the 3D print is delivered and is therefore accountable to the buyer.

as an aside,

Have you tried selling anything, your iPad stand for instance on Ebay or Etsy? Seeing the reaction/conversion rate you get there? I know you can embed analytics into an Etsy store.

I have seen 2000 hits in one week on Etsy that resulted in one immediate sale, a few blog mentions (my favorite being and a request for more info from a print magazine.

There are a few Shapeways sellers on Etsy already mainly jewelry ( so you may have a nice niche?
#4.1.1 Duann on 2010-08-27 12:32 (Reply)
Hey Duann,

Very interesting... i see many Shapeways designs on Etsy. Nice!
I personally never tried selling anything on Ebay or Etsy.. certainly could be an extra niche market/sales platform for Shop owners.

I think i'm still at that stage where i enjoy more of the design process , the time and energy put into it and not much into the sales/traffic/marketing portion..

Perhaps i should find the time to make a call to my buddy GoogleBot and say Hi..;-)
#5 Dizingof on 2010-08-27 13:43 (Reply)

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