Wednesday, October 14, 2009


by Marian Cates  
Updated 11-14-2010

Zazzle used to have "product lines." It ditched this classification, replacing it with "categories." (In October 2010, the name was changed to "topics.")

The change is broader than just a name change. For one thing, categories include images. Your categories, by default, still appear in text, in a left- or right-hand column of your shop. But they appear as images in the main area of the shop. (Mid-2010, Zazzle improved this feature by allowing shopkeepers to have the names of the categories, now called topics, appear under the images.)

Recently, my neighborhood lost electricity two or three times during one night. During the first of these outages, I was on the last screen of "Quick Create." So when my computer suddenly went dark, I cried aloud, "Oh, no!"

However, when the electricity was restored, I found that these products had been moved to "in-progress products," and, to my delight, they were still "live." I had to go product-by-product to complete the final creation process. But I did not lose my products. Hats off to Zazzle!

Zazzle has added some new products. These are
  • stationery 
  • letterhead stationery 
  • invitations 
  • flyers 
  • rack cards 
  • photo cards
  • binders
(Zazzle products are added on an ongoing basis. To check what is available now, just click on the words "Check out Zazzle" under the Zazzle logo at the end of this story.) 

It's always great to have new products to work with. With all these new paper products, a stand-alone stationery stop becomes a desirable option.

    Now that categories have images, the shop can be set up to display the category images in a horizontal scroll on the home page of the shop. Another option is to show all the category images in a group on the home page.

    "Featured products" has been replaced by "top picks." The "featured-products" option showcased three products on the home page of the shop. In contrast, "top picks" are displayed as a 3-image slide show on the home page. This is a great improvement, as it adds visual interest to catch visitors' interest, making your shop "stickier," i.e., more likely to hold visitors' attention long enough for them to spend some time on your site.

    Zazzle has improved to a dramatic extent in the past month. This is encouraging to Zazzle shopkeepers, aka designers. Who knows what other improvements Zazzle shopkeepers will see in the coming months!

    Bulldog by Marian Cates

    Bulldog by Marian Cates
    Click for prints, canvases & various products

    Burrowing Owl by Marian Cates

    Burrowing Owl by Marian Cates
    Click for prints and canvases & products

    Jack Sprat Mother Goose Rhyme by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration

    Jack Sprat Mother Goose Rhyme by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration
    Click for prints, canvases & products

    Robin Hood by Marian Cates, from a vintage illustration