Today, we are excited, proud, and exhausted. We have just launched what we internally called z.2 – the next generation of Zazzle. And to top it off, we’re announcing a major partnership with MySpace – the world’s leading social network – around music merchandise and more.
We started this year focused on our vision: To Re-define Commerce, Powered by the World’s Imagination. We set out to build a great commerce platform for on-demand retail. We wanted Zazzle to be a true community marketplace – where designers and artists can post products for sale, communicate with one another, and earn money selling great products. And a place where buyers can find, create, or customize one-of-a-kind products that let them express themselves uniquely in the real world.
We’re launching several really exciting new features today that get us at least one step closer to reaching that goal. Here’s what just launched:
1) Model Realviews
Since the very beginning of Zazzle, one of our biggest challenges has always been how to bridge the gap between virtual images online to real, high-quality products that we actually manufacture. Because, after all, everything that you see on the site is completely digital and virtual, until ordered.
Today, we’re releasing Model Realviews. The first time you can design apparel online and see it for real, on a model. We’re starting with hundreds of different model shots to choose from, and expect this number to grow quickly. As a contributor, you can choose exactly which model to feature your product on to maximize your sales.
2) Name Your Royalty
Zazzle has always had a simple royalty model – for every sale, you earned 10% of the sale. While it worked for a lot of people, we consistently heard feedback that people felt they wanted to decide just how much they should make on the sale.
Today, we’re launching the ability to set your own royalty for every product you post for sale in the Zazzle Marketplace and in your gallery. Each time you post or edit your product, you can choose the royalty rate – from 10% to 99%. When you increase the royalty rate above our standard 10%, you keep all of the earnings to yourself. This guarantees that every time someone buys your product, you will receive the percentage you expect from the sale.
This is one of the biggest and most exciting changes we’ve made to Zazzle’s pricing, and we look forward to helping everyone feel empowered to make the most sales and earn as much $$ as they can.
3) Dark Apparel – new and improved
Zazzle first pioneered digital dark apparel products two years ago – November 2005. We called it “beta”. While we have been very happy with the product, we had kept it in beta for a long time, because it was not always the same or better than what you could find in a store. That wasn’t good enough for us.
Today, we’re launching an entirely new dark apparel process that is simply amazing. Our team of engineers, chemists, and washing machines have developed a new printing process that is simply unparalleled. You have to see it to believe it.
4) Lots of little things
Check out the new categories section - we’re constantly finding and filtering the best of Zazzle. Check out MyZazzle - we’ve reorganized the page to make it easier to find what you are looking for (we hope!) and we’re sure you’ll find lots of other gems throughout the site.
And lastly, today, we are incredibly excited to announce a partnership with MySpace – the world’s most popular social network. This partnership will empower more than 6 million musicians and bands on MySpace to sell unlimited music merchandise to the MySpace community instantly. Any user, actually, from MySpace can now easily create merchandise in through our revamped widget, called the Merch Booth. Check out the whole MySpace Merch to the Masses experience.
Have questions or feedback?
Discuss in our forums . Note – our forums unfortunately were not quite compatible with the new Zazzle. We are doing everything we can to bring them back ASAP so we can get your feedback. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the launch, please contact us at www.zazzle.com/support
UPDATE 11/2 7:30PM: the forums are still being persnickety. We hope to get them back online very soon. Also, we’ve heard LOTS of great feedback on model shots. Some positive, some negative, some really really negative. We hear you. Next week we’re hoping to launch several great improvements – first is that you will be able to change the model on any design in your gallery simply by clicking “Edit This”. Second is that we will be revamping the gallery view to focus more on the t-shirt than the full model view since it makes the design so small. And that’s just next week. We will continue to listen to your feedback and make improvements. This is a work in progress and we hope to work with you all to enable the very very best in merchandising of your products on Zazzle with all kinds of possibilites for representing your products in various views.
UPDATE 11/3 12:15AM: changing models/styles is now live. You can now change your model, view, or style for any t-shirts you have already for sale in your gallery or marketplace. Simply go to the product, click “Edit This”, and click “change style or model”. You can even use this on other product types (like mugs) to change the style of the product you have it featured on in the marketplace. Have fun!
UPDATE 11/7 11:30AM: forums are back
- Josh Elman
P.S. Thanks to the entire Zazzle Team for all of the hard work bringing this to life. From engineering to marketing to manufacturing to BD to Finance, the entire company has worked hard to make this real. And it’s only just the beginning!