Monday, August 27, 2012

Spam Tags are Useless

I was wandering about the Zazzle marketplace today and saw some products where the designer used every holiday in the tags of their newest products even when there was an obvious mismatch in design and holiday, and despite the bright yellow box on the publish page that reads "Zazzle now follows a strict no-spam policy as reflected in our updated User Agreement."

For those of us that want to succeed at selling art and photography online via Zazzle, following their user agreement is a no brainer. Period. Nothing much else to say.

Except I will because despite the rules, people still use tag spam. Here are reasons that those of us that want to succeed at Zazzle should think about so that we try our hardest to tag properly.

If someone is looking for a Halloween clock for their wall, they won't buy a Santa Claus clock no matter now cute it is. And, if someone really wants to buy a Halloween clock as a Christmas gift, they will never search the store for "Christmas gifts" hoping Halloween clocks will show up in the mix.

Think of it this way ... if you were walking around a department store, would you walk down the Christmas aisle looking for pumpkin trick or treat bags? WalMart might be able to get away with placing deeply discounted sales items that don't match the department on the ends of aisles, because people that need mouthwash and pass by a sales rack of bug zappers aren't wasting their time. The chances they will buy that bug zapper are very small, and if they get distracted with a sudden urge to zap bugs, WalMart knows it will still only take them a second to drop the product in their basket and wheel on past. WalMart also knows that they can't annoy customers, so they don't typically try to distract customers with bug zappers in mid-December. That might be when they display ice scrapers where people might toss one in the basket. Regular customers get to know what to expect and cut them a little slack.

As for online shopping, no one is going to cut us some slack when we waste their time. The chances that we'll put that "bug zapper" in front of someone going camping this weekend is so infinitesimally small, that we can't afford to waste their time with useless tags. Customers don't want to wade through pages of Christmas designs looking for a wedding gift. When people shop online, they will only give us a few seconds to capture their attention. Most people won't go past the first page if what they want is unavailable. And if regular shoppers are going to cut anyone some slack wandering around the Zazzle marketplace, it would be Zazzle and not individual stores.

See my store at Zazzle.