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Some nice features but hijacking my customers

 
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Old January 2nd, 2008 Jan 2, 2008 9:38:44 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Some nice features but hijacking my customers

Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I've explored Zazzle quite a bit over the last few days, and while they've got some nice features (i.e. an API) and a wide selection of printable products, I'm really frusterated with the way they handle the customers I send.

Specifcally we want to send users from our site who are interested in a custom T design. We create the entire image on our site and send it off through the api to be turned into a shirt. The customer selects the colors and then ideally makes the purchase.

Here's the problem:
Once the customer gets to the Zazzle site, they're bombarded with superfluous links and options which serve as major distractions to their purchase. On top of that there is no way to customize the look of the screen they first encounter -- it's all Zazzle, everywhere.

Again, please correct me if I'm wrong:
1) Is there a way to customize the landing page when sending a shirt design through the api?
2) Is there a way of preventing the user from editing the design sent through the api?
3) Is anyone aware of another vendor that has an API? Looks like Printfection has something in the works, but couldn't find anything active at CafePress, Spreadshirt, and Goodstorm.

Thanks!
 
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Old January 2nd, 2008 Jan 2, 2008 9:47:36 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some nice features but hijacking my customers

Zazzle is extremely frustrating. I wish I could help you with your problem.

I had (have) a Zazzle shop. I told them to close it about six months ago or so. They didn't. They still haven't, even after emailing them repeatedly.

I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.

Actually, come to think about it, there is a way to not allow your customer to edit your design placement and size, but I don't think you can keep them from changing garments. It's been too long, tho, so I can't remember where that setting was. Sorry.
 
Old January 3rd, 2008 Jan 3, 2008 5:21:42 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some nice features but hijacking my customers

I know that CafePress has an API (cafepressdn.com is where you can read about it).

I'm not sure how the API works at Zazzle though. I know you can customize the landing page of the regular "shops" that they offer (not through the API, just through their regular service)

Seems like with an API, the level of customization would be the same, if not more. Most of the transaction happens on your site, and if you are sending them to your Zazzle store, that store should be customizable.

You should check with Zazzle to directly though if you're having API issues. They may be able to help you figure out how to turn off the product customization features through the API.
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Old January 3rd, 2008 Jan 3, 2008 6:26:03 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some nice features but hijacking my customers

I had checked out CafePress but apparently they're no longer signing up users. I guess their API architect left.

As far as Zazzle goes, I also would have thought you'd get more control through the API. But, after testing fairly exhaustively... you don't. Could just be work in progress, but they really don't offer much if you're a business. They really seem to just want to show off their T-shirt designer and get individuals to play around with designing their own shirts. If you're a biz wanting to sell your design and minimize distractions for the customer, they (Zazzle) don't seem to be the right vendor. Too bad.

Printfection is apparently working on an API allowing image uploads. Still looking for others...
Thanks.
 
Old March 8th, 2008 Mar 8, 2008 3:53:55 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some nice features but hijacking my customers

Hmmm. Interesting. I'm a Zazzler myself, although I admit both that I'm new to it and that I haven't yet sold anything. However, I know that when you create a product you can specifically turn off the customization options for it, or, on the other hand, enforce the customization (at least to a degree). And there is in fact a way you can customize the look to reflect your own "store", although yes, there are Zazzle-specific links that will show up there and that there is no way to turn off. Lastly, I don't know why you couldn't just refer someone directly to a specific product page and have them purchase there.
I could point you somewhere to demonstrate some of these things, but I think that's against the rules. Is it against the rules to suggest googling my username?
 
Old March 9th, 2008 Mar 9, 2008 4:36:20 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some nice features but hijacking my customers

I'm an early adopter of the CP API and beta user - so use that. The CP Content API is dramatically more advanced than the Zazzle API - it's a big shame they are currently not giving out API keys.

I'm not *that* familiar with Zazzle myself but have used their API and was put off by that fact that it's not a true API - you don't code diddly. It would frustrate me dearly to be in the position you are - having the customer do that majority of the work on your site and sent them to a leaky order page. Is there no way to bring the majority of the ordering on to your side? Do you obtain the new product id after the API has done it's thing?

Just trying to think of solutions...
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Old May 8th, 2008 May 8, 2008 9:25:21 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some nice features but hijacking my customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
I'm an early adopter of the CP API and beta user - so use that. The CP Content API is dramatically more advanced than the Zazzle API - it's a big shame they are currently not giving out API keys.

I'm not *that* familiar with Zazzle myself but have used their API and was put off by that fact that it's not a true API - you don't code diddly. It would frustrate me dearly to be in the position you are - having the customer do that majority of the work on your site and sent them to a leaky order page. Is there no way to bring the majority of the ordering on to your side? Do you obtain the new product id after the API has done it's thing?

Just trying to think of solutions...
You may not have actually seen the true "API", Adam. Most Zazzle shop people don't actually use it, at least not the core part of it, since they don't really need to do so. However, check out License Plate Shirts - put your funny license plate sayings on a t-shirt. and Cogteeth.com for examples. I'll close with a link to the Zazzle API documentation, which I have plans to implement against Real Soon Now(tm)!
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Old July 29th, 2008 Jul 29, 2008 1:01:26 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some nice features but hijacking my customers

Wild!

I like the license plate shop - and you've solved the leaky Z issue!
 






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