The Unconventional Guide to Online Stores

You’ve all heard the hardships of building a custom online store with complicated platforms like Drupal and Joomla. These “free” platforms are anything but when you consider the time, effort, and the expert-level programming needed to get a working store set up.

Drupal T-shirt

You’ve probably also heard about some of the limitations that come with trying to integrate a traffic-friendly shopping cart plugin into a WordPress website. The integration tends to be prone to performance issues when you send a decent volume of traffic to it.

If you’re new to the online space and know nothing about building an online store but want to get your feet wet, this “unconventional guide” is going to be invaluable to you. You’re going to learn about using hosted storefronts like Zazzle, which let you avoid the cost of setting up an online store.

Unconventional vs. Conventional

Building a fully-functioning, traffic-friendly, adaptable, “conventional” online store involves paying for design, hosting, payment processing (including dealing with national and international sales taxes), fulfillment, maintenance, and customer service.

The unconventional way is to use a platform that has everything already set up for you, so you don’t need to worry about web design, clunky CMS plugins, etc. You can just let your marketing flare and creativity determine how successful your store will be.

Sell with Zazzle

I really like Zazzle because they don’t charge membership fees like paid storefront sites do.

They allow you to upload images (photos or graphics), catchy text, company logos – really anything you think would look good on one of the hundreds of products they offer (see list) – and then sell those products at whatever price you choose.

USA World Cup Brazil T-shirt

You will probably have to play with the pricing to get sales, unless you have an established brand you’re promoting.

Since you’re using your designs and their base products, your profit comes from how much extra you charge the customer for the product that has your design on it.

Zazzle works on a royalty system, so you choose the royalty fee you want to be paid (from 5 – 99%). Their nifty Royalty Calculator will tell you how much profit you’ll make from a sale.

A quick example for you: If you add a 5% royalty on a Value T-Shirt worth $14.95 at base price, your royalty amount will be $.075 per sale. At 10%, your royalty amount will be $1.60 per sale.

You can likely see the potential if you have a well-established brand, or original artwork that customers will be willing to pay a premium for your designs.

Be the one - motivational poster for classroom

Advantages of Building an “Unconventional” Storefront Through Zazzle

Easy Setup:

You’ll notice I haven’t talked much about how to design your online store in this article. That’s because all you need to do is sign up, create a store, upload your designs and create your products. It’s that simple.

Established Interface With No Maintenance:

As mentioned in the first two paragraphs, there are free CMS’s that can support a storefront and shopping cart, but most experienced web-store owners advise against using them without paying a developer serious money to customize the options that you require.

Zazzle takes care of everything behind the scenes including page-load speed, downtime, or any other issues that arise.

Low maintenance Woman T-shirt

No “Failure Costs”:

The base products are already done for you. All you have to do is choose a product, add your design, and post it for sale in your store. Zazzle creates each product on demand and ships it for you to your customer. Therefore you don’t need to worry about manufacturing, storage, and shipping costs. This way you don’t lose money on ideas that don’t make money.

Brand Marketing:

If you’re an experienced blogger or vlogger looking to monetize by selling branded stationary, apparel, phone accessories, business cards, drink ware, stickers, etc., around your existing brand, a fully-hosted online store is an optimal choice. You have no cost and no commitments, and your audience can buy as many of your branded products as they’d like.

More Time for You:

Many online store owners have succumbed to the pressure of working 20-hour days trying to build, launch and maintain their stores. Using the unconventional method I’ve already described, you can spend more time designing and finding ways to effectively market your products. Let someone else take care of all the boring stuff!

Try it out for yourself. Sign up and set up your store today.

Keep calm and show your work t-shirt