Darker Colours are The New Bright’s!
Is Black & White the New Radical Colour Profit?
I have been reviewing the sales for the past year with Classic Eggshell Moments, and it’s a good job that:
1] I have a long term plan ..
2] That l am currently only looking upon it as a hobby in comparison to a niche business.
Whilst l have made some sales in the 14 months that it has been in operation, they are nothing to write home about.
Redbubble has many fine features:
• Excellent product range for designs to be placed on
• A market for stickers
• Ability to set your own price
• Easy dashboard tool control
• Ability to implement your own branding in addition to Redbubble’s branding
• Blog[journal function]
• Supports some apps
• Colour toggle option for Clothing
These are great options to have, but they also have limitations with their colours, and especially the lack of a toggle for the likes of non-fashion clothing items, which can lead to some frustration, which is what l am experiencing in a major way now, with the likes of the Tote Bags which happen to ironically sell way better than my Tee Shirts, although my Stickers sales are the highest seller. The latter is kind of surprising considering l never even viewed my designs as selling on stickers.
But every 16p profit is still a profit and it helps right?
Or that is what l tell myself anyway as l joyously look at the 16p in my bank and think ‘Oh yeah!!’
Three other flaws is the lower pay-out to artists and what is fast becoming a serious pain for potential buyers and that is the postage costs. So whilst Redbubble does sell artists’ works, heavier items are not being purchased in huge quantities due to weight vs. postage costs and this in turn puts people off buying. A big issue for me is that Redbubble used to have the option of disabling certain colours from the tee shirt selection, and they took that away, which seemed very odd at the time.
an example is some of my designs are with white text, that don’t sit on white tee shirts, and l cannot disable the design from that colour, and that annoys me immensely.
Someone asked of me recently if l have any discount codes to offer them and l had to respond with a sad NO, because l accept the default sales price because l want to try and encourage people to actually buy, and if my price is too high, combined with the postage it can put people off, so the end result is that there is no additional mark up from my end and as such no discount to actually offer.
But, my sales have been exceedingly low in the last few months and what l can garner from research is that this is what happens in Redbubble. With the ability for the novice to POD [Print on Demand] to set up an account and launch a sales concept being so easy, it means more and more artists sign up every day, so unless the artist looking to sell their stocks is seriously marketing their ranges, there is a good chance no one will ever really see them.
I ran this test on my ranges in Redbubble, and to actually locate one of my designs without the use of a direct link or even a #hashtag took considerable time. Each loading page holds 108 designs per page. After scrolling through 25 pages of trying to just find one of my designs, l gave up. As of the time of writing ‘Men’s’ tee shirts’ had 81 pages, which is over 9000 designs!!
How does ONE get noticed in that jungle??
With the #hashtags of Aspergers l finally managed to find myself at the back of a scrolling directory of some 41 pages which is pretty dismal in truth and it was because of this, l realised l had to change the way things were, hobby or not.
Next episode will see the comparison shopping around the different PODs there are on the market, however my collection is large – so before l can even contemplate a move or at least having another seller, l must streamline my collections to make it easier to identify how to move and more importantly what to move and where. I know many artists have their designs on various POD sellers and whilst l can see a smidgen of benefit to this, it just irks me that this is the way we have become.
When the huge food superstores hit the market place, their selling motto was ‘Everything’ under one roof so as to ensure customer convenience and efficiency‘– however as more and more competitors leap into the affray of selling, so too does this so called ‘convenience factor diminish greatly.
I would rather keep all my product ranges in one seller. I have a second store as it is with TeeMill which specialises in organic and bamboo cotton sales which l would have preferred to have my designs on, however the market currently doesn’t seem to have a hankering for this, hence why l don’t specifically advertise it anymore.
Additionally TeeMill as a POD seller are still very new to the marketplace having only officially launched last year and still have a fair way to go to actually appeal to more artists due to their in-house restrictions.
Until l can find another print and demand seller that meets my requirements l am having to stay put with Redbubble. But have decided to try a totally radical change of display and presentation to see if a shakeup may encourage new sales.
Forever the optimist me, either that or l am slowly going mad!
I used to write blogs on the Redbubble Journal and since transferring the posts to WordPress maybe this has altered sales slightly, l doubt it as l never truly received much in the way of viewing traffic, but will try linking the posts here back into the journal to see if that encourages more sales.
The big changes are based upon my statistical dashboard in Redbubble itself and looking closely at what designs sell on what? The results of those initial findings highlighted changes as follows:
Tote Bags vs. Stickers
Second highest seller and yet, due to a lack of colour toggle options within Redbubble, if l wish to show a design in more than one colour, l must upload the design countless times which proves more than a little frustrating.
The Just Words collection was displayed on Tote bags, but in 14 months l have only sold one Just Word Tote bag – so have opted to only have the collection displayed on stickers which is where that collection sells really well, and extract many of the designs off the bags and just keep a few of the more popular ones displayed on them.
I have sold other collection designs on the Tote so will keep that feature, but simply cut down the number of colour options.
Tee Shirt Display Presentation
Despite there being a buying market for vibrant colours – black, white and grey are visual leaders. Research suggested that displaying designs on these colours only, but having the other colours available as an option proves more successful. So will now change the way l present the designs to the buyer by ONLY displaying on black, white, grey principally with a few exceptions on dark blue, khaki, maroon and even stretch to the red, but steer clear of the orange and yellow as it may put buyers off?
According to survey studies carried out by tee shirt manufacturers ‘the white tee shirt’ is the fastest seller of all time, then it is black, then grey. To me it is the most boring colour on the palette, but however if l wish to see sales, then l should consider this as a presentational option especially for the likes of the merchandise display area.
Streamlining Merchandise Ranges
I have my designs and slogans across a number of product ranges some of which have already been mentioned [Stickers/Tees/Sweats/Totes] but also on ranges that l have never sold any of such as mugs, travel mugs, various mobile phone skins, sleeves and covers, so think a real clean sweep is in order and really streamline the look.
I think the problem is that you are so eager to see sales, that you think ‘Well if l offer the design on several products ranges, perhaps this encourages more sales’, but l am not sure if that is the way forwards anymore. As said if perhaps there was a toggle colour facility, then that might be an option for future review, but for now it is a cut down to raw basics again.
I used to maintain 10 collections and now l have combined them to only present 6 in total to the buyer;
The objective is to now take the whole package and produce a much smoother and hopefully more contained image and see if this generates more and higher traffic numbers for 2018.
it is always all about time supposedly, that is the positive me , whilst the negative and perhaps realistic me says that perhaps either my designs are just awful or online selling is no where near the mugs game that many assume it is, and more importantly, that l am unable to compete with the likes of a brick and mortar retailer who can knock out any old doddle it wants to but at a hugely competitive price.
We shall see.
I have my work cut out for me over the next four weeks or so to make all the changes.
Social Media Advertising – Next episode.