you might have noticed that there is a big thread in the German forum at the moment where a new strategy for the Marketplace and Create your own-area is discussed. We finally got the English translation of the original post. Apologies for the delay. The statement might cause a lot of questions and uncertainties. Please feel free to post any concerns in this thread.
At long last, we are able to give you an update on the tests we’ve been conducting. We know that you have a lot of questions, and hope that the statements from the Marketplace and Create Your Own directors about the strategies of these two separate business units will provide you with some clarity.
In the past, Create Your Own and the Marketplace formed a single unit. After a thorough competitor analysis, these two units will now deliberately be separated.
Create Your Own (CYO)
This unit allows Spreadshirt’s customers to create their own products using their own designs, motifs or clip art, or by adapting existing design templates. In the Marketplace, the design is what motivates customers to make a purchase. With Create Your Own, the motivation is the occasion for which the product is being designed.
The CYO unit aims to take strategic action in order to increase competitiveness, but also improve customer satisfaction and the relevance of our range to our customers in the long term:
Price per print area
In view of the competitive situation the Create Your Own unit faces in terms of retail prices, we were forced to adjust our pricing model. As you are aware, in addition to the product and the printing price, customers also used to pay an additional surcharge for added text and/or designs. By introducing a fixed price per print area, we have introduced a contemporary pricing model that is far more customer-friendly.
You will, of course, still be paid your set design prices. However, by switching to a price per print area, it is now Spreadshirt which pays the design price from the margin, and not the customer who uses the design, as was previously the case. For this reason, we believe it is necessary to set a design price cap. Designs which are priced above this cap will no longer appear in the Designer. Our tests are complete as of today, and we can now focus on evaluating the results. It’s important to keep in mind that this design price cap only concerns the Create Your Own unit. Moving forward, higher-priced designs will be sold exclusively via the Spreadshirt Marketplace.
In the past, customers could select the criterion ‘Design Price’ when creating products. The introduction of uniform printing costs means that this criterion will no longer appear, nor will the design price be displayed in the Designer. The new, dynamic search algorithm that we’re already working on, and which will undergo constant development, also ensures that the most relevant designs are now displayed first. A number of factors are included in the algorithm, including:
- Relevance in terms of tags used
- Click rate
- Usage frequency
- Relevance in terms of the search language
- Relevance in terms of the search domain
- Design price as a negative factor
Customers who wish to create a product come to us because they’re preparing for a special occasion. Depending on that special occasion, it is necessary to have the right products, graphic elements or templates and functionality in the Create Your Own area for customers to be able to create the best personalised product possible. Our aim is to provide our customers with an all-encompassing range, so as to offer a high degree of relevance for every search query. These clip art images, designs and design templates are designed by Spreadshirt’s in-house graphics department or made available for free use by acquiring licence packages. We have always done this, but now intend to step up this activity. This will allow us to remain competitive in the future, and offer our customers affordable final prices.
Our Marketplace strategy focuses on designers who offer high-quality and trendy designs on our platform, and on customers who like to express themselves individually by wearing such creative designs. Our aim is to offer even better support in the future for talented designers. We will offer them more inspiration, increasing their reach and sales opportunities, and make it even clearer that the motifs offered on our platform are the work of our independent designers. We are particularly focused on ensuring the quality and relevance of designs in the Marketplace.
What we’re planning
To achieve these goals, we are already working on a new ‘Partner Featuring’ concept, where we’ll use various campaigns to present selected designers or designs across all of our channels. We also want to reintroduce regular design contests on popular themes, allowing you to demonstrate your creative skills. What’s more, we intend to use our external marketplaces, such as Amazon, to better extend our reach in different countries.
All of these plans will be implemented step-by-step, and in the long run, they should help a lot of Partners to become even more successful at selling quality content via our own Marketplace as well as the external marketplaces.
Expect an official announcement in the coming weeks. We first need to evaluate the test results in full and set a release date.
We are aware that the plans outlined above will not immediately offset potential losses that some of you will experience as a result of the switch in Create Your Own. We hope that you can understand our plans, and that you will continue to accompany us on the road ahead.