10 Steps to Systematically Start and Run Your Zazzle Shop – Set it Up for Success!

Starting and running a successful shop on Zazzle, an online marketplace for print on demand products, requires careful planning, creativity, and, above all, consistent effort. While success can vary depending on various factors, here’s a systematic approach to increase your chances of building a thriving Zazzle shop:

  1. Market Research
  2. Niche Selection
  3. Product Selection & Design
  4. Quality Matters
  5. Pricing Strategy
  6. SEO and Tags
  7. Promotion & Marketing
  8. Consistency & Persistance
  9. Customer Service
  10. Analytics & Adaptation

Market Research

Begin by researching the Zazzle platform thoroughly. Analyze successful Zazzle shops within your niche – or the niches you are considering – to understand what products they offer, their pricing strategies, and their target audience. This will give you valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t.

I have a lesson coming soon on how to do market research! Sign up for my weekly newsletter below to get notified when it comes out.

Niche Selection

Choose a specific niche for your shop. Focusing on a niche allows you to target a more defined audience and stand out from the competition. It could be anything from wedding invitations to funny cat-themed products; the key is to find something you’re passionate about and have knowledge of.

Get my free Niche Brainstorm Worksheet here!

My Recommended Tools

Below are my personal favorite tools that I use regularly in my POD business.
The below links are affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission for anything purchased through these links at no extra cost to you.

Creative Fabrica – My favorite place to get graphics with a straightforward commercial license for print on demand use.

Adobe Illustrator – I use Adobe Illustrator for at least half of my design creations. It’s pricey but so worth it when you choose to take the business seriously. Get a free trial to Adobe Illustrator here.

Graphics TabletMy partner got me this exact tablet as a Christmas gift when I was just starting out with creating my own designs. It has served me well now for several years and it was a very low cost investment that made a big impact in my POD business.

Ergonomic Mouse – If you spend long hours at the computer like me I highly recommend investing in a good ergonomic mouse. Over the years, I have caused an injury in my hand/wrist from being at the computer so much, but my pain has gotten significantly better since getting this ergonomic mouse on Amazon.

Product Selection and Design

Create high-quality, eye-catching designs for your products. Zazzle allows you to customize a wide range of items like t-shirts, mugs, posters, phone cases, etc. Ensure that your designs are unique, visually appealing, and cater to the interests of your target customers.

Decide ahead of time what products you are going to offer in your shop and stick to those in order to keep your shop cohesive and well organized.

See the article 18 Products to Add to a Bedroom collection here to give you an idea of what products you might want to offer in your shop and how products can work well together. 

Quality Matters

Zazzle’s reputation depends on the quality of its products. Ensure that you use high-resolution images and graphics to maintain the quality of your products. Positive customer reviews and satisfaction are crucial for long-term success.

If you aren’t an artist that makes your own high-quality graphics, I highly recommend considering a subscription to Creative Fabrica, they currently have two deals going:

  1. Get your first week free on Creative Fabrica here and it’s $9/month after that
  2. Get the annual Creative Fabrica subscription for $59.88 here

I’ve had my Creative Fabrica subscription since November of 2020 and my only regret is not getting it sooner. If you’ve read my 2020 Income Report, then you know exactly why!

Pricing Strategy

Set competitive prices for your products. Research the prices of similar products on Zazzle and consider your desired profit margin. Avoid pricing your items too high, as Zazzle won’t promote your products if you go over 14.9%. Unless you are directing all your own traffic, then have at it!

Personally, my pricing strategy is pretty simple: 

  • For products under $10.00 I typically charge 12.5-14.9% royalty to maximize my commission. 
  • For products over $100.00 I typically charge between 5-7.5%. 
  • And for everything in between I charge around 10%.

SEO and Tags

Optimize your product titles, descriptions, and tags using relevant keywords. This will improve the visibility of your products in Zazzle’s search results and increase the chances of attracting potential customers from search engines as well. 

Good titles and tags are the backbone of most successful shops on Zazzle. And good SEO is the backbone of success on the internet, period.

For more information on titles and tags, read the article The Importance of Relevant Tags and Keywords on Zazzle here.

Promotion and Marketing

Don’t rely solely on Zazzle’s internal traffic. Promote your products and shop through social media, blogging, and other marketing channels. 

Engage with your audience, collaborate with influencers, and consider other ways to get your shop discovered online. 

I have a lesson coming soon about Pinterest marketing, sign up for my newsletter below to get notified when it comes out!

Consistency and Persistence

Building a successful shop takes time, so be patient and persistent. 

Continuously add new designs and products to your shop to keep it fresh and engaging for customers.

Keep in mind that, as a general rule of thumb, Zazzle’s algorithm takes about 3-5 months to properly rank your products in the marketplace. 

Customer Service

Offer excellent customer service. Respond promptly to inquiries, address any issues, and always be kind to customers. 

Positive reviews and satisfied customers can and will significantly impact the growth of your shop.

You may want to consider setting up a special email address where customers can reach you and put it in your shop bio, as mentioned in point #6 this article about what 10 of Zazzle’s top sellers all have in common.

Analytics and Adaptation

Monitor the performance of your shop regularly. Use Zazzle’s backend analytics to track your sales, identify popular products, and understand customer behavior. Adapt your strategies based on the data to optimize your shop’s performance.

For example:

  • Products that have a lots of views but no sales likely have good titles and tags, but for whatever reason, the design isn’t converting. 
  • Products that have no views (and have been given enough time in the marketplace to rank) may not be getting seen and you may need to try different keywords. 

Final Thoughts

Remember that success on Zazzle (or any online marketplace) is not guaranteed, and it will require effort and dedication on your part. But by following these systematic steps and continuously improving your shop, you can increase your chances of running a successful business on Zazzle.

Good luck and happy designing!