Lost On New Website Configuration.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Model_Monkey, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. MitchellJetten
    MitchellJetten Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Hey Carlos,

    I'll check with the marketing team if there is more information we can provide, I'm not an expert on Analytics :)

    Though, organic search on your picture shows on the top, this is actually a search engine like Google.
    So the people find your product by searching the internet rather than going to Shapeways.com, then click on Marketplace, then browse and find your product.

    This is also what I actually meant with referral URL (people searching on google for "Miniature Cessna T-50 Bobcat", seeing the link to Shapeways and clicking on it).

    My apologies for confusing "organic search" with "referral" (which if I'm correct means you actually posting the URL on a forum and be like "you can find my product here")

    The definition I found on the internet:
    Organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic, which defines the visits generated by paid ads. Visitors who are considered organic find your website after using a search engine like Google or Bing, so they are not “referred” by any other website.

    ps, damn jealous on your numbers, here are mine (train shop) of 1 month:
  2. Carlos2k10
    Carlos2k10 Well-Known Member
    Thanks for the information.

    It would be good to have a bit of input from the marketing team on this subject.

    My numbers are less impressive, those stats are for the last two years, but I just run it for the last month and the ratio direct/organic seems to be similar 33%
    either of them.


    There is a misconception on my part (and seems to be a general issue in the industry) and it is that direct does not actually mean direct (go figure...).


    So direct can be anything that does not include a referral, including organic search...
  3. reducedAircraftFactory
    reducedAircraftFactory Well-Known Member
    The problem with this logic is that -- as far as I've seen -- the one thing that Shapeways does much better than its competitors is the marketplace, search tools, and shop management. (In other words, it's not just aimed at designers uploading and printing their own models.)

    De-emphasizing this on your webpage is like Apple advertising their hardware specs instead of their user interface.
  4. Mechanoid
    Mechanoid Well-Known Member
    Mr. Jetten,

    Your analytics may show one thing. But I'v gained customers who didn't know about my shop, and found me thru the market place. Plus I have used the market place to get some of my customers to support the other shops. Instead of me making what someone else has, I direct customers there if I don't remember the shop that had the items.

    Shutting down the market place also has another effect. Christmas Shoppers, Impulse Buyers. Your closing down where other sales come from. Yeah I know it's still there. But now it's like your expecting us, the shop owners, to put the link to it out there.

    And personally, this "new look" you all have created, just looks wrong. I'v seen better looking, more inviting web pages from AOL. And they are total junk. ShapeWays "had" a unique look. It stood out. It was warmer and more inviting that this. Now it looks like you all had a 4 year old design it. It's really that bad. Doesn't say "Welcome", doesn't say "come on in". Red everything for a look, that turns people off. The Blue was more inviting. It had a look that was more professional.

    I know you folks don't like me. But honestly, it's ShapeWays that has called us the Shop Owners your Partners. And if this is how you treat your partners. I'd hate to see how you treat your enemies.

    No communications.
    No heads up.
    No notification what so ever this was even a thing.
    No asking for input from the shop owners.

    Nothing, Why?

    I mean you didn't even give shop owners a navigation layout. If your trying to copy Google, maybe the 9 blocks could have something to tell people what it is. And just putting "3D Models"? Would it have been so hard to just leave it "My Models" so shop owners see where to get to our shops to work on models?

    I mean honestly, who are you trying to impress? Shop Owners, Customers or Yourselves?

    Mr. Jetten, Communication is everything. I thought that was something you understood a few yrs ago.
    Lack of, tends to result in ruffled tempers.

  5. DoctorOctoroc
    DoctorOctoroc Well-Known Member
    What's odd to me, and I mentioned this in another thread, is that the home page has huge DESIGN, MAKE and SELL sections that take up 95% of the real estate on the page but at the very bottom, these three sections are listed with "MARKETPLACE" just below it. Would it not make sense for the marketplace link to be included as one of the gigantic sections with the other three as this is also a prominent service Shapeways offers - one that helps pays the bills?

    Although a small percentage of people find the marketplace through the home page, they likely find a few shops they like and that creates a potential long time customer who will come back to our shop and find others like ours. What the analytics doesn't show you is the people who initially find our shops and products through the home page and then return regularly through bookmarks, refer their friends to specific shops, share products on their FB, etc. That small click-through rate to the marketplace from the home page potentially results in hundreds or thousands of subsequent visits from an initial one. If people can't find the marketplace through the home page, it's not just a small percentage being cut out, it's a much larger number of marketplace customers that no longer will find the marketplace at all through that small percentage of homepage-to-marketplace visits.

    Also consider how many times a day us designers visit Shapeways and how that tips the scale - if you're looking at the ratio of the click-through rate to the marketplace vs all other designer oriented services, of course it's going to be a small percentage. Personally, I have the SW home page bookmarked in two different browsers (I have two different shops here) and will visit them multiple times a day to see sales, upload new products, answer messages, check out the forum, etc. This idea that having a small percentage of people finding the marketplace through the home page is any justification to remove it almost entirely from the home page is foolish, at best.

    I'm curious, what is the actual percentage? 20? 10? 5? 1? However small that percentage is, how is removing any sensible path from the homepage to the marketplace helpful? How was it harmful, for that matter? Was it steering people away from designing, creating or selling? I doubt it. But now it's steering away customers because it makes shapeways look like a printing shop, not a massive marketplace and 3d printing community for designers and customers alike.

    As a point of interest, I did a Google search for "buy 3d printed products" and within the top ten results, the Shapeways.com home page came up as the #4 result. In the #5 spot, Shapeways was listed as #1 on this list of 7 places online to buy 3d printed products.

    They link to your home page, which now has no intuitive way to access the marketplace. So people generally searching for 3d printed products to buy (today, tomorrow and probably for the next few months, at least) will see these results and through organic UI direction, not find their way to the marketplace and go searching elsewhere for 3d printed products to buy.

    I'm guessing that most people finding shops are looking for specific 3d printed products and so Google and its magical algorithm bring people directly to shops. But the vast majority of those who happen upon Shapeways.com for the first time will not find the marketplace. Of that, I'm certain.

    What about all the FB ads for Shapeways that talk about finding 3d printed gifts? They probably link to the home page. What about the Google adsense sponsored ads? It's been awhile since I've put together a PPC campaign but I'm guessing the majority of them link to the home page as well. If people hear from friends about Shapeways as a cool place to get 3d printed stuff, I bet I know where they're going to go first when they type "shapeways" in the search bar of their preferred browser - shapeways.com, not shapeways.com/marketplace.

    With the site's old structure, marketplace was first on the list of sub-sections within a Google search for 'shapeways' (a few results below the paid ad that links directly to the homepage). Will that structure be retained once the bots have crawled the new site or will it show DESIGN, CREATE and SELL only?

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  6. Carlos2k10
    Carlos2k10 Well-Known Member
    So I did a simple test from a mobile device and it is pretty obvious that nobody is going to find the marketplace.

    Relegating it to an obscure link in the bottom of the page only makes it disappear from view.

    A better approach would be even if you do not add it to the menu bar at least put it in a relevant place in the menu.

    I have attached my suggestion on where in the mobile menu it could go.

    Right in front of the eyes of whoever opens the menu.

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    crashtestdummy likes this.
  7. Mechanoid
    Mechanoid Well-Known Member

    Sadly I get this feeling that the powers that be at ShapeWays couldn't care less what we designers and shop owners are saying. The only thing they will ever notice is when sales nose dive into nothing. Then they will pay attention.

    But that will be just about the time that the major money investors will be screaming bloody murder, demanding their money and watching as ShapeWays falls into the "companies that failed, because they were stupid" category of failed businesses.

    Because of what they have done. I'm preparing for my holiday sales to be far below the line of even caring about having a shop. I'm even considering running some prints of the more popular models, and selling them on ebay.

    Because honestly, I think that's really what ShapeWays wants. They don't appear to want to be involved in sales anymore. They seem like they want out, and this is only the start. They just refuse to admit it to us shop owners.

    I had some people open the ShapeWays.com site, knowing nothing of it. They said it looked more like an engineering firms website and closed it. Thinking it's only for their employees. When I tried to explain to them it wasn't, they didn't believe me. That test with 4 people I know, who don't know anything about 3D modeling, told me all I needed to know about what ShapeWays has done.
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  8. Carlos2k10
    Carlos2k10 Well-Known Member
    And just had the chance to test the desktop version, again difficult to find.

    You have a easy solution there if you do not want to add the marketplace to the main "desing,make,sell" sections at least add it to the explore menu, it actually makes sense to get both the forums and the marketplace in the explore menu.

    Adding both will keep a even number of options and the design will not be affected
    Mechanoid likes this.
  9. Carlos2k10
    Carlos2k10 Well-Known Member

    I have a similar feeling, but unfortunately if they go that way their competitors have better offerings...

    So it would not be a wise move on their end.

    In any case, I will continue to provide my feedback even if it falls in deaf ears.

    It won't be the last time and it won't be the first either and as I said before, in my main occupation the last time a company I worked for went the same way (not listening to their customers and the people that work directly with them), they ended up losing a few million euros.

    It was a funny, "I told you so" moment....

    And coming back to the selective deafness quite common in the enterprise world nowadays, seems to be out of fashion when we get into innovation in business.

    Look up stuff as "Design thinking" or other techniques that are quite customer centric
    and pretty effective (Lego uses it)
    Mechanoid likes this.
  10. railNscale
    railNscale Well-Known Member
    Sorry to say, but I'm not impressed by the changes.
    As shop owner I do not understand why you have moved the SHOP area down below the page. Most potential customers looking at shapeways.com will not find it. Maybe a small percentage of customers where dwelling around in the market place area, but I bet quite a lot of those customers where looking for miniatures that way.
    I've noticed that on scale model forums people explicitely mention Shapeways as a place where you can find models.

    So, please add 'BUY/Marketplace' on TOP of the main page of shapeways.com. The website is not very inviting for shoppers. I don't believe you have actually assessed any clinics with some of the larger shop owners.

    Or is this intentional? Maybe SW doesn't make any money at all with their current market place. Does SW really think it can offer a design-service? It explains why material prices are not visible anymore. For B2B-jobs you don't want to show your prices publicly.

    It may be so that the market place is not the gold digger's place. But than, throwing away your current client base is not a smart move either.

    Furthermore you can debate about changing your logo so radically. Is it nice or ugly? It's not my cup of tea. I've seen more professional logos. It appears that Shapeways wants to move in an entirely different direction. Bad image? Bad business model?
    Successful componies usually do not change their appearance radically. 'Never change a winning team' is the motto. Or at least in Europe it is.

    For the sake of readibility you really have to change the fonts. Especially the bold text is ridiculous. Texts are not readible at all.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  11. Carlos2k10
    Carlos2k10 Well-Known Member
    @railNscale I completely agree with you the aesthetics, the choice of colors and fonts is pretty poor.

    Apart from being stressing it reduces readability.

    Regarding Shapeways dropping B2C,
    Well I think that this falls in the category of being respectful with others time and money.

    The designers invest time and money in Shapeways and sometimes we do not get a lot on return.

    I am sure that most of the active designers might be planning to do some work or add stuff in the future.

    If there are plans to drop the shops altogether I think that now is the time to come forward and let people know.

    We won't be happy but we won't be wasting our resources (time and money) on something that will be suddenly dropped from the face of the earth.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  12. TrentTroop
    TrentTroop Well-Known Member
    We can't get customization variants but hey, a site redesign that is in all ways terrible can be sprung on us without warning.
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  13. Mechanoid
    Mechanoid Well-Known Member
    Here in America it's called "don't fix what ain't broke". Sadly when companies violate that or the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) motto, they normally don't last much over a yr. Normally dragging down everyone along the way.

    It's sad that no one at ShapeWays has respect for us the designers and shop owners. They demand respect, but don't seem to know how to give it. They call us their partners. But don't seem to care about us, or what we think. Ever since the big company bought into ShapeWays holdings. They have seemed to be on a self destructive path. I just wish they would tell us what the end game plan is. So that we can designers and shop owners can make plans for what we need to do for our own best interest.

    This redesign of the site is gross, it's ugly, it's not professional, it's uninviting, it's a turn off. And that's just for customers. That is what my 4 test subjects told me about their first impressions of ShapeWays. They truly thought it was some engineering firms internal company website. They closed it thinking they were not suppose to be there. They were very clear that they thought it was NOT some public site that had thousands of items for sale to the public.

    For us who are designers and shop owners, it's not very functional, it's bad layout, it's confusing and it seems more like a call for help from ShapeWays than a true business model with plans for the future.

    And thats why I truly believe holiday sales are going to tank.
  14. BitsBlitz
    BitsBlitz Member
    I can't find my models and I can't see whether my uploaded models would have any printing issues...
  15. adbinc
    adbinc Well-Known Member
    That at least I can help with. On the upper left there is a square with nine boxes. Click on that and a menu opens up. On it is 3D Models. That is the old "My Models" page.

    If you click on a file, it looks very much like the old page. I think you can see any problems if you click on a material and it has an issue.
  16. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    One of the major competitors had de-emphasized their marketplace at least a year or two ago as I recall. You need to go to the very bottom of their front facing page to find the link to their marketplace. It's very possible that a public shopping marketplace is a money loser and is difficult to make profitable and support. There's probably some overall benefit in moving towards an industrial limited volume support model.

    For some highly profitable shops it might be worth it to Shapeways to work with them and apply a Spring and Wonder type wrapper to expand their sales. When you look at the zillions of uploads available in the marketplace how many of them are actually of value? Lots are uploaded as tests and never ordered, some might be ordered once, and in some cases they go viral or sell a regular rate. As a result search is problematic. The facet thing is rigid in a 1990's sort of way and only applicable to the most common categories of products and tags are difficult to manage across a shop and probably have a low utilization rate. Etsy had similar product discovery issues and they bought a company specializing in search in 2016. It seems to be working out well for them. Not sure what the solution is to all of Shapeway's problems or where they want to go in the future.
    HenrikRydberg and czhunter like this.
  17. sirenwerks
    sirenwerks Member
    Again, where's the "Feed". I'm not a shop owner, I'm a consumer. I follow designers/shop owners new product release to purchase, and now that the Feed is gone, I've lost my connection to them. Am I supposed to do a search for the multiple product ranges I follow? Yea, no. Sorry, but Shapeways' search was painfully sucky before all of this. I won't be doing that. I'll just stop using Shapeways to purchase. Now give us back the Feed.
  18. southernnscale
    southernnscale Well-Known Member
    I'm one of those Shop Owners and didn't get anything about this until I tried to open a model to edit and got this screen shot. I had all the boxes checked to receive these type of changes so I would have heads up before trying to fix models. This must have got lost in the last update they did with out telling anyone. It's been almost a week and still can't solve the problem and all they can say is nothing. like always blame on the little guy! I get this with every model I try to edit and it's really getting old!! It was working fine before and I wasn't having problems editing things just uploading things. I'm still having these problems. I go to my model page it opens fine! I click on a model and it opens like normal, Then it seems to reset the page and comes up again then I get the Screen shot. so now I'm stuck! can't do any thing! who Care! No one! there making there money! I really Sorry I sound like I do but I have had nothing but problems with Shapeways handling things the way they do!$$$$$$$$$$$
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  19. srnjm420
    srnjm420 Active Member
    I was at a show this weekend with a buddy who is a shop owner and we talked about the new site. It is really bad. It seems that all of your changes that you have not put the shop owners in any of your thoughts. We also had feedback from some people that attended the show that have purchased from us and compalined that the search engine was already bad enough but now the FEED is gone. The FEED was an awesome option. It was a quick glance at anything new that anyone you followed appeared. I myself checked it multiple times a day to see what was new. Many of my customers did as well. To now half to click on each person under your following section is just plain stupid.

    Updates should be progressive and make things better. This is one of the worst updates I have ever come across. Much of what has been done makes no sense and truely does not give any support to the shops or customers. I am sorry but even if more people do go straight to the shop as stated above, to not have a link to the Marketplace at the top of the paper makes no sense to me at all. I try and help a magazine that ships world wide on one of the colums for mdoels that have been released and would go through the Marketplace to see if any new shops pop up or see if something new on someone that I do not follow...

    When deciding on making these changes, have you even thought about talking to any of your partners/shop owners? For what would work and what not?

    No warm and fuzzy feeling here. My sales have dropped off and will most likely continue to do so... Thank you for that...

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  20. Mechanoid
    Mechanoid Well-Known Member
    ShapeWays, Are you listening?

    Where are you? Why won't you communicate with us (the shop owners/partners),?

    srnjm420 has clearly stated what I and many others have. Why won't ShapeWays respond? This silence from ShapeWays is starting to make me think that you know we are right, but your "pride" is preventing you from admitting you were wrong. That or you simply don't care. Which makes me wonder if your really trying to run everyone off, to some how justify closing ShapeWays.

    Either way you folks at ShapeWays seriously need to communicate with us, tell us the truth.
    Something you either appear unable, or unwilling to do for any reason.

    This is NOT how to run a business.