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Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96066] Wed, 13 August 2014 15:32 UTC Go to next message
avatar SavIsSavvy  is currently offline SavIsSavvy
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Hi Everyone!

This is a place for you to ask us anything marketing related. As we ramp up for Holiday, everyone can share tips and tricks for optimizing sales :)


Savannah, your Shop Owner Coach/Global Community Manager
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96075 is a reply to message #96066 ] Wed, 13 August 2014 16:16 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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I'll start this off with my story: yesterday, Eleanor at Shapeways was kind enough to publish an article of mine on the Shapeways blog. The article was announced on Shapeways' Twitter feed. That announcement was retweeted by many Shapeways followers (and probably a few random robots). I put up posts announcing the Shapeways blog post on my Twitter (@KickinWiccan) and Facebook (Kickin' Wiccan) accounts.

In short, Shapeways did right by me. I could not have asked for better.

According to Google Analytics, I have not received any additional clicks onto my Shapeways shop in the past 24 hours.

I understand that I may have had exaggerated expectations on the effects of exposure on Shapeways for a shop with the name "Kickin' Wiccan." It's a small market. Wiccans are more likely to go to Etsy and eBay for their jewelry needs. I've been through the shop-owners' challenge (https://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/managing-your-shop) and I've done the best I can without spending cash on a promotional campaign.

What tips do the more experienced and successful shop owners out there have?

[Updated on: Wed, 13 August 2014 19:01 UTC]

Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96086 is a reply to message #96075 ] Wed, 13 August 2014 16:57 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar FabMeJewelry  is currently offline FabMeJewelry
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It's good that you have high expectations, whatever I do I always aim as high as possible.

BTW whenever I get featured by shapeways via mail, blog or social media I always see a spark in the amount of visitors like x5 the normal amount. You should see the same I believe... "Kickin' Wiccan." is a cool name !

In the begin fase of any business it's very hard to get enough profits/sales, don't let that reset your expectations. If you're persistent enough and come up with unique products that people want to have, $ will find it's way to you.

I you don't have the patience for things to catch up with your expectations you should try a different approach.

You could :

Open an etsy shop and start selling them there.
Find resellers who want to resell your products.
Attend at venues where you can sell products or promote your shop.
Send out some samples of your product to bloggers/celebs that can relate with your products.
Get your product featured in a magazine that your customers are likely to read.
Find facebook pages that are related to your product.

There are countless options for a bigger reach.

Instagram has helped me a lot with getting featured by bloggers and celebs, I also get te most feedback there. Seriously if I would have to choose between FB, TW, YT Instagram would win for sure !


Wesley Günter - FabMeJewelry.com - Set a course, for the future !
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96097 is a reply to message #96086 ] Wed, 13 August 2014 18:06 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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Just to provide a bit of counter-point, that for some ODD reason, it seems that any time I'm featured somewhere or get some kind of writeup.. my sales go to ZERO for at least a week afterward. I might see additional traffic, but rarely any additional sales.

I truly find it humorous.. I often think.. "Don't do me any favors" <GRIN>

The SINGLE exception is when I posted the Ferris Wheel last week.. that seems to have generated a number of first-time buyers.

Either I'm in the wrong market niche, or ..... <GRIN>

But, I truly do not care... this is a HOBBY for me, so the money.. just pays for more locomotives. None of my models were built with a profit motive behind them.. ALL of them were because someone needed/wanted that item. Honestly, I get more internal gratification when I see one of my items sitting painted on someone's layout than the money would ever give me.

But, I'll keep accepting donations.<grin> a guy can never have too many locomotives <grin>
======
edit:
HEY! I had no intention of bumming anyone out!! I'm only relating my personal experience, and I find the dip in sales rather humorous.
The fact that there is a steady stream of sales means that Shapeways must be doing a lot of things right. I am NOT unhappy!

[Updated on: Wed, 13 August 2014 23:28 UTC]


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96129 is a reply to message #96097 ] Wed, 13 August 2014 21:44 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar numarul7  is currently offline numarul7
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Google Analytics it is good but take in account that will count your own visit / login to your shop ...that means you must exclude a bit your country from the statistics.

Preparing some design for a hefty new order of final products o.O got them wrong with the white plastics ...I have learned allot from them. (to complete my shop under Shapeways rules) :D

Due the fact I can model everything .... I prefer not to give any advice.

I guess now people are at the "BEACH SUN" days and there it is a general pause of sales.

*planning some miniature original chairs designs or even my dream house in future design.


One thing we need it is a list of "shopping days" like "Shark week" it is ?! So we can design products related to the days and stuff.

PS: Anyone found any positive experience on Pinterest ?


numarul7 jewelry and design
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96138 is a reply to message #96129 ] Wed, 13 August 2014 23:21 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar FabMeJewelry  is currently offline FabMeJewelry
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Oh and I'm not saying this is making me rich, I have a fulltime job so this is more like a hobby that has matured :) I'm not really the best business man so I don't put my producs in stores and all that which I have had difgerent requests for, It just takes too much time to manage and brings more risk because of the investments that would take.

I know for sure that if I would quit my day job I could live of selling products that Shapeways produces for me, even if you don't design yourself you can work with different shop owners to resell their products.

If you're creative enough and really want to make it a success you can make it work !


Wesley Günter - FabMeJewelry.com - Set a course, for the future !
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96196 is a reply to message #96066 ] Thu, 14 August 2014 14:00 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Mstyle183  is currently offline Mstyle183
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i found that attacking different types of media all at the same time is the best method.. I have had good luck with youtube, twitter, reddit, facebook.. Not all the time , not very constant, but when it works is beautiful.

I've found that is almost like throwing spagethi at the wall hoping something sticks..

i remember one of my successful posts was a picture i posted on my way to the grocery store in Reddit/r/pics i got about 7 million views in a day and went viral.. this is after hundreds of failed attempts of going viral and mostly ignored posts.

I also found that spreading your efforts is extremely imporant, make a website, blog, youtube channel, instagram account, pintrest, facebook group, twitter.. Constantly post your stuff and link it to your store. You might not be able to get many hits at first but it's constatly building up you SEO and going up in google little by little.

Before you know it.. a guy with millions of followers in your field will take notice and reposts your work... and you will see your sales increase..

honestly i've noticed a lot of the shops here are very niche.. mine is very niche also which is the reason i have a hard time selling my items.. so don't be discouraged for the amount of sales.. just keep going at it post by post till you reach your market

here are my shop and my accounts i use to promote my items


https://www.shapeways.com/shops/amznfx
http://www.politicalsculptor.com/
http://politicalsculptor.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/PoliticalSculptor
https://www.youtube.com/user/mstyle183
http://amznfx.tumblr.com/
http://www.twitter.com/politicalsculpt
http://www.instagram.com/mstyle183
http://www.pinterest.com/mstyle183/3d-printed-art/
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96198 is a reply to message #96066 ] Thu, 14 August 2014 14:50 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar somersault18:24  is currently offline somersault18:24
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Hi!

Interesting discussion.

Seems to me that many people try to market their stuff via social media channels. I do the same with variable success.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is almost always trying to find new customers for a 1 time interaction, and then they leave. I believe much more in building a relationship, repeated interactions and recurring customers. Existing customers are much more likely to buy again and the life time value of these customers can become substantially.
Some things that could help shop owners to build this relationship:
- email information of the customer. (i know we can message customers via the messaging system, which is great btw, but nothing compared to real email campaigns).
- the possibility to give recurring customers promotions/deals
- affiliate marketing. Some of your customers are so big fans, they would not mind to promote your stuff and if you could offer them to earn a bit by doing this...

Please let me know what you think about it.

Cheers,
Luk
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96205 is a reply to message #96198 ] Thu, 14 August 2014 16:34 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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Here are my initial reactions to some of the advice you've been kind enough to offer:

FabMeJewelry:

Some of what you've suggested I deal with in the original version of the blog post that Shapeways reposted; it's at http://wgseligman.livejournal.com/85238.html. I'll phrase that post's point again, but in a different way: One of the great benefits of 3D printing is to be able to print items as needed; there's no need to maintain stock. If I were to pursue Etsy, eBay, resellers, storefronts, etc., then I would have to preprint items and hope they'd sell. For me, there'd be two problems:

- I can't afford it. I've spent as much as I can in order to generate test prints (and to print rings for my own use). I don't have enough cash to speculate on which designs or customizations might be successful. That leads to the next problem:

- Most of the items in your shop are fixed in size and style. (By the way, they look amazing; you really know how to take advantage of 3D design!) In my case, most of the items in my shop are rings which I make available in quarter sizes from 4 to 16; some let the customer choose a particular style or engraving. The ability to customize is another benefit of 3D printing, but it does not lend itself to maintaining a stock. If I were to print my rings to maintain an inventory, which sizes or styles should I pick? I'd much rather let each customer pick what they want and let Shapeways handle the rest.

I'm looking for ways to market my shop on Shapeways, not to find new ways to distribute the items in that shop. Shapeways has the infrastructure to handle billing, shipping, and so forth; I do not.

Perhaps I should have stated my goals for my shop (as recommended by Shapeways in http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/2310-Shop-Owner-Chall enge-Day-14-Write-a-Marketing-Plan.html): I'd be content with 1-2 sales per week, and ecstatic with 3-4 sales per week. That leads to...

stonysmith:

This is a hobby for me too. I never planned for my little Shapeways shop to replace my day job. I'm trying to reach the point where it nets me some pin money, enough to pay for what I spent on learning about 3D printing so far, and maybe a bit more to buy some random toys on Shapeways.

Mstyle183:

Your work may be niche, but it is also colorful and engaging. I found myself going through all the pages of your shop just to see what else you had designed.

I have set up a presence outside my Shapeways shop, though not as extensively as you have:

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/acorn-garden
http://twitter.com/KickinWiccan
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kickin-Wiccan/656925304388242

What I get from your advice is that I should think about setting up something on pinterest and Instagram. I'm not familiar with those sites; in particular, I'd have to learn to set things up so folks are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to my Shapeways shop. As I noted to FabMeJewelry, I'm not prepared to stock an inventory for potential customization, as you have.

Luk:

I am certainly willing to engage with my customers. I've already done so, with the one customer who left me a comment. She made a request for a particular design (the triquetra). Eventually I expanded that idea to three different ring styles for the shop. She told me that she wanted to design rings on her own, and I was able to help to find 3D programs that suited her level of computer skills.

At this point, my markup is so low compared to the time it takes me to customize each ring that an affiliate program doesn't make much sense for me. As far as deals for recurring customers, I suppose I could work something out... if I had the customers in the first place. So far my shop has had only one significant sale. I need to get a fan before I can make use of a fan base!


Please, everyone: Keep the advice coming! Perhaps it can all be put together for a Shapeways article on marketing a shop.

[Updated on: Thu, 14 August 2014 16:41 UTC]

Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96206 is a reply to message #96066 ] Thu, 14 August 2014 17:05 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar LHDesigns  is currently offline LHDesigns
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To me marketing is a HUGE pain. Its the part of the shop owner experience that I like the least. My plan is to give away older less popular model on different websites. I want to eventually start a YouTube channel with video tutorials for people wanting to make basic jewelry with Blender. I feel like these are avenues to get exposure out to an audience who is interested in the 3d printing community.


Visit my shop at http://www.shapeways.com/shops/lucysheart
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96216 is a reply to message #96206 ] Thu, 14 August 2014 21:29 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar seriaforma  is currently offline seriaforma
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wgseligman -

You should reconsider Etsy since you have photos of your products.
You can set the shipping time to factor in Shapeways production.
That way you can make the item to order, once purchased.

You can also allow for customizing products.

[Updated on: Thu, 14 August 2014 21:30 UTC]

Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96219 is a reply to message #96216 ] Thu, 14 August 2014 21:53 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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seriaforma wrote on Thu, 14 August 2014 21:29

wgseligman -

You should reconsider Etsy since you have photos of your products.
You can set the shipping time to factor in Shapeways production.
That way you can make the item to order, once purchased.

You can also allow for customizing products.


Thanks for the advice, seriaforma, Actually, I addressed this in http://wgseligman.livejournal.com/85238.html. To recap:

- The customer would basically be paying me to place a Shapeways order for them.

- If they order from Shapeways, if the customer is unhappy, Shapeways deals it. On Etsy, if the customer is unhappy, I deal with it.

- Shapeways apparently has issues with customers understanding the implications of 3D printing, otherwise they would never have put in the recent "First to Try" and "Beta" options. How do I deal with those issues on Etsy?

- I can give the customer's address to Shapeways for the shipping address, so the customer will pay only once for shipping. What about taxes? Shapeways charges sales tax; does Etsy do so as well? What about Etsy's fee for making a sale on their site? I'd have to increase the effective markup on my items.

- When I look at what other Pagan/Wiccan jewelers are doing on Etsy, I see goods that are at least as good as mine at half the price.

- Basically, what I'd want to do is "use" Etsy the same way I want to use Twitter, Facebook, pinterest, and Instagram: As an attempt to get viewers to go to the Shapeways shop. In my brief searches, I didn't see any Etsy shop owners say, "Look at my pictures. Now go to this site to order merchandise."

I'm not entirely closed to the idea of opening up an Etsy shop; in fact, I've already reserved the "Kickin' Wiccan" name on the site. But I'd need a more rigorous business model for how to do it, one that didn't expose me to risk and represented a reasonable path to sales. Otherwise, I'd just wind up posting on the Etsy forums, "How to I market my shop?" and I'm back to square one.

[Updated on: Thu, 14 August 2014 21:54 UTC]

Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96226 is a reply to message #96219 ] Thu, 14 August 2014 23:44 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar denali3ddesign  is currently offline denali3ddesign
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I really want to market my Shapeways shop better as well, so this is a very interesting thread for me as well. In the meantime, I'll add one more upvote for selling jewelry on Etsy. For me it serves two purposes - primarily as another storefront, and secondly as a way to sell successful test prints.

As another storefront, Etsy seems to be superior to Shapeways (sorry team, don't take this the wrong way but they have been at it for longer!) They have more features, like shop stats, they advertise your products for free on Google Shopping (SW recently started using Google ads too, yay!), and you can market with coupons. They also have a larger existing user base that will find your products while searching directly on Etsy, and I really like the shop rating system.

For stocking products, I keep 2-10 of my two top sellers on hand, and the more expensive/slower selling items are advertised as a 3 week lead time. While definitely not as simple as selling directly on SW, I respect the Etsy platform and do not refer my customers to my SW shop. I allow users to make custom requests, which has led me to offering those products to others with great success. Etsy fees are among the most reasonable among online marketplaces - I offer my best sellers on Ebay and Amazon as well, but Etsy fees are the lowest, and the site is easiest to use from a seller's perspective.

Regarding my second point - selling successful test prints - this helps solve the problems of "First to try" and getting photos of my products for my SW shop. By ordering a test print, and making changes/reordering if necessary, I establish that the model will print, at least once. I take photos of that successful print for both my SW and Esty shop, and then sell the finished print on Etsy. Win - win!


Pssst! I wrote a book to help you quickly get your Sketchup models ready for printing. Click here to get it on Amazon
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96229 is a reply to message #96226 ] Fri, 15 August 2014 00:23 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar FabMeJewelry  is currently offline FabMeJewelry
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I think this is a great example of some legit marketing, we have a win post pinned at the top section of the Facebook Group : 3D Printing Club

https://www.facebook.com/groups/3Dprintingclub/

Now we receive new followers/likes and someone is going to walk on this earth soon wearing a 3d printed cap designed by me :D Anyone familiar with 3d printing can and should join the goup so see you there !

index.php?t=getfile&id=68384&private=0


Wesley Günter - FabMeJewelry.com - Set a course, for the future !
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96230 is a reply to message #96229 ] Fri, 15 August 2014 01:21 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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FabMeJewelry:

That is brilliant! I clasp my hands and bow three times in your direction.

I've seen several of my friends re-sharing a post every day from a merchant offering a similar promotion. You reminded me that I can do the same thing. I'll could offer them one chance to win for liking my Kickin' Wiccan page, one chance for liking the announcement post, and one chance each day for sharing the post.

I'll probably wait until September before beginning something like that, and then do it again in November. Wiccans like to get new jewelry in time for Samhain and Yule.

Once again: what a great idea! Thanks!
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #96239 is a reply to message #96230 ] Fri, 15 August 2014 07:32 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar FabMeJewelry  is currently offline FabMeJewelry
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Thanks for the kind comments @wgseiligman it's all about finding the right place to promote your product and to be kind to every body. We know the admin for al while now and he came with this unexpected :D

You also might find a Facebook group for wiccans, your pieces may be more expencive but also very exclusive, new and produced with the most awesome process out there. 3D printing is still a hype so use it to your advantage while you still can !

[Updated on: Fri, 15 August 2014 07:35 UTC]


Wesley Günter - FabMeJewelry.com - Set a course, for the future !
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #97092 is a reply to message #96239 ] Tue, 26 August 2014 18:14 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar FabMeJewelry  is currently offline FabMeJewelry
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Another marketing idea that is already a success, this time on Instagram.

https://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=20629 &start=0&


Wesley Günter - FabMeJewelry.com - Set a course, for the future !
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #97174 is a reply to message #96066 ] Wed, 27 August 2014 13:45 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar JoyComplex  is currently offline JoyComplex
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The website 3D Printwise just interviewed me about Joy Complex and my other store 3D Racetracks! Check it out when you can! Hopefully this will help build some awareness of my track models in particular.

http://www.3dprintwise.com/3d-printing-grand-prix-racing-tra cks/


http://www.facebook.com/JoyComplex
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #97185 is a reply to message #97174 ] Wed, 27 August 2014 14:56 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar seriaforma  is currently offline seriaforma
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Very nice interview!
One of the things I like best about 3d printing is the variety of interests expressed through the medium -
racing, cryptids, historical legos and lego accessories, scale models, drones, chemistry, archaeology, .... it seems there is no end to fascinating ways people are employing 3d printing.
Thanks for sharing!
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #97190 is a reply to message #97185 ] Wed, 27 August 2014 15:20 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar JoyComplex  is currently offline JoyComplex
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I know! It's crazy the amount of interests! I can spend hours just clicking through all the designs.


http://www.facebook.com/JoyComplex
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #97214 is a reply to message #97190 ] Wed, 27 August 2014 19:50 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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As a follow-up to my earlier posts in this thread, I've written a post on my blog going over my plan to set up a Facebook contest for my shop.

The TL;DR version: Doing a FB contest is potentially far less expensive than paying FB to promote your site. The main issue is that FB may not like you doing it.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #97408 is a reply to message #97214 ] Sat, 30 August 2014 03:13 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar numarul7  is currently offline numarul7
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Even Sony does contest on FB. It is normal practice.

wgseligman wrote on Wed, 27 August 2014 19:50

As a follow-up to my earlier posts in this thread, I've written a post on my blog going over my plan to set up a Facebook contest for my shop.

The TL;DR version: Doing a FB contest is potentially far less expensive than paying FB to promote your site. The main issue is that FB may not like you doing it.


numarul7 jewelry and design
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #97790 is a reply to message #97408 ] Thu, 04 September 2014 02:14 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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FabMeJewelry and MStyle183 win again! I just set up an Instagram page today, and already I'm getting more "likes" and "follows" in one day than I got with a month of Facebook presence.

It hasn't translated into Google Analytics numbers yet, but it's only been a few hours.

http://instagram.com/kickinwiccan
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #98112 is a reply to message #97790 ] Sun, 07 September 2014 23:52 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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I have a question for those who suggested I market my Shapeways items on Etsy:

Etsy's guidelines specifically state that items created by a third party, that is, items that are not hand-made by the shop owner, are not allowed on Etsy. (The exceptions are vintage items and craft supplies, which clearly don't apply here.) In other words, strictly speaking, items printed by Shapeways are not permitted for sale on Etsy.

How do those who sell items on Shapeways get around this restriction? Do you just not mention it and claim that you've made all your items? Or is there another way?
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #98117 is a reply to message #98112 ] Mon, 08 September 2014 01:39 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar seriaforma  is currently offline seriaforma
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Etsy allows you to partner with manufacturers and I went through the application process to be approved. It is not a big deal but took a few weeks for approval. You can set up your shop before approval -- in fact you have to. It's pretty clear that not many sellers go through the process and even more just string a mass manufactured charm and call it handmade.

On another note -- you mentioned that many sellers offer items similar to yours but at lower cost on etsy. If you look on the etsy forums, however, you'll find that many people feel a higher cost indicates better quality so you are probably better off not participating in a race to the bottom.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #98123 is a reply to message #98117 ] Mon, 08 September 2014 02:17 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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If you are doing any post-processing such as painting, etc, then Shapeways is just a sub-contractor for you.


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #98129 is a reply to message #97790 ] Mon, 08 September 2014 03:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Mstyle183  is currently offline Mstyle183
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its hard to track clicks on instagram because links dont work... make sure you put a link on your profile.. im following you now fyi
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #98167 is a reply to message #98123 ] Mon, 08 September 2014 16:12 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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stonysmith:

Yes, I noticed that if I searched Etsy for the keyword "Shapeways," there were many shops that offered "post-printing" services. For the most part, they seemed to be custom painting of Shapeways-printed items.

Since I'm focusing on metal jewelry, I'm not interested in pursuing "value-added" Shapeways sales on Etsy. While in theory I could do something (e.g., adding a custom patina to steel, brass, or bronze), the extra effort is too much for me.

If I decide to set up an Etsy shop (still on the fence, since I'd have to set up a separate bank account), I'll follow seriaforma's path and apply to Etsy for manufacturer's partner status.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #99165 is a reply to message #98167 ] Tue, 23 September 2014 20:29 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
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I've moved my marketing efforts into two new areas:

- I created an Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KickinWiccan

Creating an Etsy shop as a front-end to Shapeways ordering (without maintaining an inventory) turned out to be more complex than I thought. I'd much rather that my customers go to Shapeways directly, but Etsy has the marketing clout. (No disrespect meant to the hard-working marketing department at Shapeways!) I'm probably going to write a blog post on all the steps it takes to make this work.

- I've set up a Facebook giveaway contest: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=7209701913 17086&id=656925304388242

It's only the first hours, but I'm getting more attention from the contest than I got from Etsy. In two weeks I'll know whether this attention will translate into actual sales.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #100980 is a reply to message #96066 ] Fri, 10 October 2014 13:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MayCrown  is currently offline MayCrown
Messages: 125
Registered: January 2014
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Hello Shapies,

Can I have some suggestions about my new shop?

I'm not good at photography nor have a good camera, I take my photos near the window on the second storey of a Burger King restaurant, so far I've found a little bit quiet to work.

I took these photos and they were not in harmony, some were small, some were big. Yesterday I've put them on instagram and played on them a little bit. And my shop now looks like this: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/MayCrown

Which is better the old photos or the new alterded ones?
Old photos:
index.php?t=getfile&id=73861&private=0
index.php?t=getfile&id=73862&private=0
index.php?t=getfile&id=73863&private=0
index.php?t=getfile&id=73864&private=0
index.php?t=getfile&id=73865&private=0

And what else do you see in my shop? What else do you suggest? What is lacking?

Thank you all

Best regars


If chance will have me King, why, chance may crown me without my stir.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #100984 is a reply to message #100980 ] Fri, 10 October 2014 13:51 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
Messages: 43
Registered: July 2013
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Hi Maycrown,

Welcome to the discussion!

Here are my observations. Note that I am not a business professional nor a graphics designer. I'm just another guy with an opinion.

First, nice choice of background in your item shots. I would definitely do the zooming and cropping that you're doing, to fill the image with your item. The standard Shapeways guideline (in fact, the standard professional photography guideline) is to take pictures of your items against a white/neutral background. Both you and I ignore this guideline; I can't say whether it works for me, but it definitely works for you.

I would drop the vignetting at the corners of the pictures. There's already enough contrast between the blue of your background and the white background of the standard Shapeways web page.

I would also suggest that your images be consistent, even the rendered ones. If you look at my page, you'll see that I use a real wooden background for my printed items and a rendered wooden background for the Beta items I haven't printed yet. I went around taking pictures of any blank wooden surface I came across (e.g., elevator wall veneer) and used it as a background in Cheetah3D renders. For you, just take a picture of the blue surface and use it as a background for items you haven't printed yet.

I'd remove the "Display to the public" items for those items that are Not For Sale. Again, they distract from a consistent look-and-feel for your shop.

Your shop banner is great! Don't change it. If you must, you may want to make one of the colors match the background in your photos.

I suggest not having shop sections with no items or only 1 item in them. It's a bit disappointing if a viewer clicks on them.

Your shop has no descriptive text. I probably went overboard for my shop, because I'm a verbose person, but it's a good idea to have something. This is one of the Shapeways' guidelines too; describe yourself, tell a (tiny) story, get shoppers involved.

If you haven't already done so, consider reading the "Managing Your Shop" posts on the Shapeways blog https://www.shapeways.com/tutorials/managing-your-shop. They contain much better advice than a non-professional like me can give you.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #100987 is a reply to message #100984 ] Fri, 10 October 2014 14:06 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar numarul7  is currently offline numarul7
Messages: 1029
Registered: January 2013
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Knowledge Expert
My advice it is go to and shoot your products in the sun , can be on coffee shop table on a white A4 paper or in the park (more risky for valued products).

Then use GIMP or Photoshop to set the WHITE BALANCE of the photo like this tutorial here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNPYwrUi4xw picking the white or black color as you see in reality , plain A4 paper it is near pure white in the sun (like reference) then you can play wiht levels.

I hope it helps , that it is the process I do.


numarul7 jewelry and design
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101048 is a reply to message #96066 ] Sat, 11 October 2014 07:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MayCrown  is currently offline MayCrown
Messages: 125
Registered: January 2014
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Senior Member
Hey thank you for the reviews and advices Dear friends! I will now work on them, in fact I had a little introduction, some story on top of my shop, but recently I have deleted, while was I trying something. I'm gonna start with it. You both have great shops and very good photos. Thank you.

I will look into that video thoroughly numarul7.

My shop now has that blue theme because of Instagram. The fast way to crop and zoom in on the images and a little aura around the objects. But I should learn to do better with a specific software, I think.

[Updated on: Sat, 11 October 2014 07:37 UTC]


If chance will have me King, why, chance may crown me without my stir.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101488 is a reply to message #96066 ] Mon, 20 October 2014 14:19 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Ontogenie  is currently offline Ontogenie
Messages: 134
Registered: March 2014
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I have a marketing question...and I'm hoping the seasoned Shapeways shop owners will chime in with some advice. I'm selling all of my jewelry in 3 materials, polished silver, polished gold steel and frosted detail. I've seen that some people will sell the same product in different materials, each material having its own "shop window" while others put all materials behind one shop window with the product in just one of those materials in the 'front' window. Is there a consensus on which method is better? Since my three materials are so different in price, I don't want to scare away price-conscious buyers by only putting the silver jewelry in the front, but I also think the silver is the prettiest and don't want to hide it away...thus multiple 'front' windows with the same product in different windows would be ideal, I think.

So, one window = one product, one material OR one window = one product, multiple materials? And if the answer is one window = one product, one material...how does one even go about setting that up?

Thanks a ton!
Kimberly
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101511 is a reply to message #101488 ] Mon, 20 October 2014 19:48 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
Messages: 43
Registered: July 2013
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Hi Kimberly,

I'm not a marketing expert, just a guy with a shop on Shapeways. With that warning out of the way...

First, let me say that your designs are beautiful. They have don't have that look of artificiality that often marks items that come out of 3D design software; my own stuff looks like it was designed in 3D. You also have a great photo presentation for all your items.

Given that, I don't think you need to have separate entries for different materials. I think that design trumps material: if a customer likes a given design, they'll click on the photo before they consider which material to use. You also show a variety of materials in your main shop, which gives customers a good idea of the range of materials available, and you include photos of the different materials within each item.

Also, if you offer two items at $77 (for a polished silver pendant) and $10 (for a frosted plastic pendant), customers are likely to click on the less-expensive one. Is your markup the same for either item? If you're charging a higher markup for the silver item, you might not want to give them the less-expensive choice right away. If they decide "I want this pendant!" then they'll click on the different materials until they find one within their budget.

With that said, if you want to create separate listings for the different materials, then just upload your model three times separately to Shapeways, once for silver, once for polished gold steel, and once for frosted plastic. I suggest that you put the material in the item's title; e.g., "Cladonia pendent (silver)". I'd also make sure to use a photo in a different style for each material, to keep the items in your shop visually distinct from each other.

Again, I think you don't need to do this. Your shop looks great as it stands.
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101515 is a reply to message #101511 ] Mon, 20 October 2014 20:37 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Ontogenie  is currently offline Ontogenie
Messages: 134
Registered: March 2014
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Hi KickinWiccan,

Thanks for your kind words and thoughtful response to my question. I guess I'm feeling a little bit insecure about this whole Shapeways adventure, and casting about for any small flaw in my shop that's hindering sales. My shop has only been up for 3 weeks now, but without a single sale so far despite lots of positive comments from people who have seen my designs. I guess I just need to be patient, and keep working the social channels and keep trying to get the word out. Seriously, though, if Christmas doesn't bring any sales then I'm going to have to bail on this thing regardless of how happy it makes me to get a Shapeways box in the mail.

I'm charging the same (percentage) markup on all of my items. My instinct from looking at other shops is that it's aesthetically better to combine all of the materials into one listing...the shops that take one model and print it in every color of plastic and list those separately I find less appealing, personally. However, that said, I know at least one person who viewed my shop and didn't realize you could click on the thumbnails underneath the main photo to see more variations! Sigh.

Good luck with your holiday sales. I'm sure that members of the Wiccan community will find you eventually and buy two of everything. If I run across any, I'll send them your way. :)
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101518 is a reply to message #101515 ] Mon, 20 October 2014 20:55 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar wgseligman  is currently offline wgseligman
Messages: 43
Registered: July 2013
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Hi Kimberly,

It's a long, hard road. My shop has been up for six months. I've done all sorts of promotional efforts which I've described in previous posts to this forum: setting up an Etsy shop, a Facebook giveaway, etc. So far I've only had two sales, only one of which can be traced to any promotion on my part.

My advice is not to be discouraged. That will lead to zero sales, a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may want to try a giveaway on whatever social media sites with which you feel comfortable. Your friends join, and their friends see those posts, and word spreads. That is what got me the most page views on my shop. Bear in mind that people who join the giveaway won't actually buy anything until they know they haven't won. Patience is the key.

If my Yule giveaway doesn't work, my place to give some of my inexpensive pendants as holiday presents. The more people who see your work, the better.

In short, three weeks is not enough!
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101525 is a reply to message #101515 ] Tue, 21 October 2014 01:05 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar JoyComplex  is currently offline JoyComplex
Messages: 111
Registered: December 2012
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Hi Ontogenie,

Well, your photos are great so no issue there. Seems like the only thing you need to do is get eyes looking at those nice photos. Have you put any on Instagram (with useful hashtags - like biology, 19th century, Victorian, plants, naturalist etc)? Another avenue would be local science/natural history museums. I'm in the process of getting some of my stuff in the museum shop where I am.

Basically since your creations would appeal to a niche audience - which is a great audience to have - you need to go to where you think they would be. Where do biologists and scientific history buffs hang out?The first thing I thought of when I saw your work was "I bet people who like the Patrick O'Brian Jack Aubrey/stephen maturin books would like this kind of jewelry." Find out where those people are.

Since you are on etsy, make a discount code and share a picture of your stuff on a relevant subreddit on Reddit or even the etsy subreddit.

Honestly, it's a job with very little initial return at first. All the social media stuff that needs to be done is seriously exhausting. For the amount of work that I put in on marketing the return right now is only just starting to trickle in. But if you keep at it and actually sort of enjoy everything that comes with it, I think results will happen. Don't forget, Shapeways is big, but A LOT of people still don't know anything about it or even what 3D printing is. It takes time, dedication, and luck.

Best,

Jeremy

Joy Complex and 3D Racetracks

[Updated on: Tue, 21 October 2014 01:15 UTC]


http://www.facebook.com/JoyComplex
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101529 is a reply to message #101525 ] Tue, 21 October 2014 05:48 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Ontogenie  is currently offline Ontogenie
Messages: 134
Registered: March 2014
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Hi Jeremy,

Thanks so much for your input! I'm starting to realize that I'm going to be putting as much effort into the social media side of this business as I did on the designs. I've only just recently ventured into Twitter and Pinterest, but it sounds like I need to add some Instagram and Reddit cred to that as well. Whew!

I'm also seriously thinking about getting into the museum shop niche. There are two museums here where I live that are a perfect fit for my stuff. I'm a little daunted with the pricing, though, since any time you sell in a brick-and-mortar shop, you have to pay commission. I think adding a commission onto my jewelry might make it too expensive. Although, we are talking museum goers here...usually higher earners than your average. How far are you in the process of selling at a museum shop? I would love to hear of your experience and how it goes. I actually saw some 3D-printed jewelry for sale at the Modern Art Museum in Tel Aviv earlier this year. Not sure whose it was, but it looked like the work of NervousSystem. Very nice.

I do need to find my niche. I'm connecting with more science people on Twitter and Facebook, but I think I also need to join some forums where I'm likely to find people interested in scientific history, but who are maybe not yet completely social media savvy.

My Etsy shop isn't online yet but I'm working on it. I'm living in Germany, and the bureaucracy here is CRAZY. Seriously, just an example, I need to estimate how much packaging I think I will use shipping my products so that the government can issue me a license for the end disposal of the packaging. And, of course, the license isn't free! Add to that the fact that about 2/3 of German online shop websites are fined each year for not having the proper text in their "business conditions" and "return policy" sections, or for other stupid reasons, and you realize it's not something you wade into lightly. ARRRGH! Makes you wonder how any business gets done in this country.

I love your dolphin series, and it looks like Lola is enjoying it too! :)

Good luck with your holiday sales,
Kimberly
Re: Marketing your Shapeways Shop [message #101549 is a reply to message #101529 ] Tue, 21 October 2014 16:43 UTC Go to previous messageGo to previous message
avatar JoyComplex  is currently offline JoyComplex
Messages: 111
Registered: December 2012
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Nervous System seems to be everywhere! Their stuff is at the CMOA here in Pittsburgh. I'm just in preliminary talks with them - (as well as the symphony gift shop for my sound wave baton). I figure the more I can get my items off of the internet and into people's hands the better. Once people see the designs in person they seem more apt to buy them online.

The German regulations are certainly quite the hurdle to get past. I am surprised they aren't more tailored to apply to larger enterprises rather than artists just trying to get their foothold. I had some similar hoops to go through over here when I formed an LLC but nothing nearly so odious as what you seem to be having to deal with. How can you estimate the packaging when you haven't had any time to make sales which is the only way you can give them a proper estimate?!

Good luck with everything!


http://www.facebook.com/JoyComplex

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