5 Ways to Optimize Your Zazzle Store Categories

5 Ways to Optimize Zazzle Store Categories

How can you optimize your Zazzle store categories so that customers can find and buy your products? It is a question I am frequently asked. In this article, I will cover 5  ways which I use to to optimize my Zazzle storefront categories. It is important to put the effort into these small details to make sure that if a customer lands on your store page, they will be motivated to continue to shop through your product offerings.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Zazzle Store Categories

5 Ways to Optimize Zazzle Store Categories

5 Ways to Optimize Zazzle Store Categories

Optimizing your store categories properly, on your Zazzle storefront, is crucial to helping a customer find the product they want to buy from you.

Pretend you are a customer on Zazzle. You will most likely search for a product via the home page search and look through the popular search results.

However, if you land on a storefront homepage of a designer, you want to “see” what you are looking for easily, otherwise you will quickly move on.

Most people will give you 3 seconds or less on your Zazzle store homepage before moving off of it. If they can’t easily find what they are looking for, or are not intrigued to stay and browse, customers move on.

This article will go over 5 ways I use to optimize my store categories. I find it helps with customer retention, once they land on my Zazzle store homepage.

Tip #1: Show your store categories on your home page at the top

Categories help people navigate your store and find products. You can also use them as a way to promote your product offerings. Make sure you set your store homepage so that the categories show up at the top.

How to set your categories to show up first:

Click on your Store  / Settings / Advanced Settings / Customize Store

Then set the “categories” option to the top of the list of the “visible sections”. See the image below.

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories Using Advanced Settings

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories Using Advanced Settings

The second important step is to tick the box that says “Show categories in Products tab”. That way the categories show on your store “home page” and your store “products page” in the public view. See image above.

The third step is to make sure the “show category titles in grid” is “OFF” if you have words on your category icon images. See image above.

Tip 2: Rotate the order and visibility based on the time of year.

If it is summer and the first thing your customer sees on your category sections are the store categories for Christmas and Valentines Day products, they are not going to be as quick to click through, than if you have the “Wedding” or “Fourth of July BBQ” categories at the top of your categories.

Take a few minutes each month to switch the order of your categories around to ensure customers “see” what they came to your store for.

How to change the order of the categories showing in your store:

Click on your Store you want changed  / “products” tab on store menu bar / “all categories” option on left hand side.

Then drag and drop the store category icons to change the order. See image below.

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories Positioning Throughout The Year

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories Positioning Throughout The Year. I switched the holidays and wedding categories because it is now wedding season.

Because it is now February and wedding season, my “Holidays” store category is now in the last position and my “Wedding” store category is in the first position.

 

Tip 3: Have Store Subcategories

If you got the customer to click through your first layer of categories, you don’t want them to see a jumble of products. That is why you need at least one layer of subcategories.

This can be in the form of a product type sort, color or pattern sort, or further themed sort.

An example of a product sort is:

Category = Baby

Subcategories = Baby Announcements, Baby Home Decor, Baby Clothing

 

An example of a pattern / color sort is:

Category = Patterns

Subcategories = Chevron, Floral, Stripes

 

An example of a themed sort is:

Category = Wedding

Subcategories = Invitations, Save the Date, Thank You

 

An example of a themed category and subcategory sort is shown in the image below:

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories by Adding One Layer of Subcategories

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories by Adding One Layer of Subcategories

 

Tip 4: Have a Maximum of 6 Store Categories Visible

Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. I would recommend somewhere between 6 to 9 maximum VISIBLE main store categories.

Why?

Customers will  give up before getting to your products when they have to scroll through so many categories. Customers made the effort to come to your store. Do not loose them because they have to work too hard to find the product they want to buy.

This does not mean you can not have more that 6 to 9 main categories. You can have as many main categories as you want or need to keep your store organized.

How?

Only add icon images to the main categories you want to have visible on your storefront.

You can see that, in my store, I have more main categories than what is visible (see the image below). I just don’t have icons added for the category. Because of that, they do not show up on my storefront.

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories by Showing Only a Maximum of 6 to 9

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories by Showing Only a Maximum of 6 to 9

These non-visible categories are still active categories and hold products, which are set to “public view” and are for sale in the marketplace and in my store. They just don’t have the category icon showing.

You just have to remember that when customers come to your store, you don’t want to overwhelm them with every last item you have for sale. Instead, help narrow them down to what they might be looking for.

Tip 5: Use Styled Photography to Create Your Category Icons

To create the images for your category icons, pick your most popular selling products or best designs. Then put them into a styled image setting, which best showcases your product.

If you do not have the money to purchase “styled photography”, you can still make some very nice product mockups or simple text boxes in Photoshop.

You can also be creative and take your own photos. But that requires purchasing the products. I am all for NOT SPENDING a great deal of money. So I would not recommend this last option, just to make category icons.

Many styled photography options are now available at reasonable prices.

I would recommend purchasing a limited number of styled photography files for use to create your category icon images.

An added bonus is that you can also use them for your media files on your Zazzle store home page.

The most popular sources I use for styled photography are:

Etsy

Creative Market

Search term = “styled photography”.

In the image below, I show you the search results on Creative Market for “styled photography”.

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories by Using Styled Photography Purchased from Creative Market

Optimize Zazzle Store Categories by Using Styled Photography Purchased from Creative Market

Purchasing tips:

  1. Opt for a few scenes that suit your product color schemes and product types that you want to showcase.
  2. Make sure the photos are flexible enough to use on more than one store category without looking the same each time.
  3. Keep to a minimal budget. It is only your store categories! Don’t overspend!
  4. Then, if possible, try to find new and different backgrounds other than what other store owners are already using on Zazzle

How do I make my store category images with styled photography?

  1. Create a graphics file 324 x 324 pixels in size at 72 dpi.
  2. Screenshot your product you want showcased and add to your graphics file.
  3. Manipulate the size etc to make it look good on the background of the styled photo you purchased.
  4. Add a drop shadow and play with the image of your product to make it look like it fits with the background items.
  5. Add text onto your image matching the category name
  6. Once you are done, save as a “png” or “save for web jpeg format” before uploading.
  7. Add your completed icon image by choosing “edit” under the category you want in the “products” page in your “store management” view.

 

What 5 tips did you learn in this article about Zazzle store categories?

  1. Show your store categories on your home page at the top and on the product page
  2. Rotate the order and visibility of the categories based on the time of year.
  3. Have one level of Zazzle Store Subcategories
  4. Have a Maximum of 6 Store Categories and Subcategories Visible
  5. Use Styled Photography to Create Professional Looking Zazzle Store Category Icons

 

 

14 Comments

  • Lauris

    February 19, 2017

    Looking forward to your advanced course. Any idea when it will become available?

  • admin

    admin

    February 24, 2017

    Hi Lauris
    The advanced course is coming along. We are hoping to have it launched soon. If you want the latest on when the Advanced Zazzle course will be available sign up for our special email group using this link. Be sure to scroll down to see the advanced course option. Thank you for your interest. https://elkeclarke.leadpages.co/courses-by-elke-clarke-page/

  • Stephanie Troutner

    March 10, 2017

    Thanks for this article. It inspired me to finally spend some time on this & I never even gave any thought to sub-categories before!

    I just updated my categories & created some better graphics for them, then I got some suggestions on the Zazzle forum & I was wondering what you’re thought was on this. This person suggested that unless you are getting a good amount of direct traffic to you store, then people are going to find your products via the home page only & thus spending much effort setting up categories is maybe not worth the time.

    Do you have in mind only sellers who are already generating a lot of direct traffic to their shops to spend a lot of time with styled images etc. for categories or do you think it’s also useful to the rest of us who don’t yet have a lot of direct traffic?

    Do you recommend product specific or design-specific categories? It appears your examples are more product specific. I was thinking that the way I would rather shop is thorough product categories, but then again if I went to someones store & saw a pretty pink elephant pillow, loved the design but wanted the pink elephant on a mug, it might be hard to find it unless they were organized by designs. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!!

  • admin

    admin

    March 14, 2017

    Hi Stephanie. I am so happy that my article inspired you to take action. I like that you also checked with other people on the forum for their thoughts. I always find the Zazzle forum super helpful but I also consider who the advice is coming from before considering what is best for me.

    It was hard to find your Zazzle stores, so you promotion on your external website to send people to your Zazzle products can definitely be ramped up for more sales results.

    Secondly, it is important to consider what yo wrote “This person suggested that unless you are getting a good amount of direct traffic to you store, then people are going to find your products via the home page only & thus spending much effort setting up categories is maybe not worth the time.Do you have in mind only sellers who are already generating a lot of direct traffic to their shops to spend a lot of time with styled images etc. for categories or do you think it’s also useful to the rest of us who don’t yet have a lot of direct traffic?

    2 Points:
    1. When I look at your external website and Etsy site, it is quite clear that you already have stylized images which you could easily re-use on Zazzle
    2. Why are you assuming you don’t have any traffic to your store? AND Why don’t you think that even one person coming to your store could become a customer if they saw your amazing designs showcased and easy to find? That can lead to word of mouth and more customers.

    Always present your best self.

    I think you have done an amazing job on your external website and Etsy store, so just repeat that on Zazzle.

    Your choice of categories is up to you and what you carry in your store. It can also change as you add things so you have the ability to edit and change it later.

    Hope that helps
    Elke

  • Stephanie Troutner

    March 16, 2017

    Good points! I guess a small amount of traffic or customers shouldn’t be discounted. It’s a start. That’s a much more productive way of thinking about it.

    Thanks Elke!!

  • admin

    admin

    March 20, 2017

    Stephanie. You are welcome.

  • Allison Piazza

    April 17, 2017

    My subcategories do not appear on my shop when I click on the category. Can you explain how you add subcategories and make them public?

  • admin

    admin

    April 25, 2017

    Hi Allison. To have your subcategories show up you need to add an image icon to your store subcategories.

  • Ona

    April 26, 2017

    I cant find HOW TO add image icon to my store subcategories??? Also so time consuming to post everyday to social media, there is hardly any time to create, is there is better way?

    Cant get W-8BEN correctly filled out either, again returned for revision??? I live in Toronto, any help, greatly appreciated!

    Thank you for sharing, may many blessing be upon you and yours

  • admin

    admin

    April 28, 2017

    Hi Ona. Thanks for your comment. I made my Beginners Course exactly for your questions. So many people have asked me the same thing, so the course covers these FAQs.

  • Cecilia

    June 24, 2017

    Thanks for the tips Elke! Just wondering if you could let me know how I can show more that 3 categories on my homepage? I have at least 4 but they are just not showing up. Do I need to wait 24 hours before everything kicks in? I’m coming from etsy and it’s a lot more user friendly or maybe I’m just not used to the user interface! Thanks in advance!

  • admin

    admin

    June 26, 2017

    Hi Celia. If you just added the photo icon image to your store category, it may take some time to show up in the “public view”. But you should be able to see it in your “private view” on the “products page” and the click “categories” on the left hand side. This will show you all the categories that have icon images. If it is there it will ultimately show on your public store view.

    Does that answer your question?

  • imani

    October 1, 2017

    I want to say thank you for this information. I left zazzle for a long time out of stagnancy. Your information can revive me to start again.

  • admin

    admin

    October 2, 2017

    HI Imani. I an happy that you are considering using Zazzle again as a way to make money online.

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