Also published at Shapeways Magazine
The holidays are coming, and it seems like the run-up to them starts sooner every year. But for Shapeways shop owners, the holiday season starts even earlier. How much earlier? In this Tutorial Tuesday, we’ll break down the timeline and see when shop owners should be ready for the starting gun.
There are a lot of holidays and observances in December, but of course, the big dog for shop owners is likely to be Christmas. Let’s look at everything that’s headed our way for that month (calendar thanks to www.timeanddate.com):
To order Shapeways products and have them delivered before Christmas, shoppers need to act early enough for those products to be 3D printed, processed, and packaged. The production time required varies by material. For example, Strong & Flexible nylon production time usually takes 4 business days, and can be rushed to ship in 2-3 days, but for large objects can take as many as 10 business days; most Sterling Silver jewelry-sized pieces can ship in 8 business days; and the printing, firing, and glazing process for Porcelain models takes 15 business days. Leaving room for shipping time, this means that for most designs, shoppers should place their orders in the first half of December.
Of course, as a shop owner you don’t want your products to become available at the last possible moment that people could order them in time for Christmas; you’ve got to be even earlier. How early? Let’s start with “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, when lots of people start thinking about what they’d like to get for their friends and family (read more about getting ready for the big shopping days here). Ideally your products would be online and available for purchase by that date, which this year is November 24. It would be even better if your products had a chance to get “likes” or have orders already, or even to somehow get featured on the Shapeways site (or on Tutorial Tuesday!) before that, to optimize your products’ discoverability on the site. So we shop owners might shoot for having our products up on the site a week or two before Black Friday, let’s say by November 12. Let’s see what November looks like:
So let’s declare November 12 to be Shapeways Shop Owner Readiness Day! That’s the day to shoot for to get our products and shops ready for the holiday season. What does that mean for today? Well, working backwards on the calendar from November 12, we need time to perfect product descriptions and tags and to clean up our shops; and before that, some time to take good photographs of printed product examples.
But… to take photographs we have to have printed examples of our products ready and in our hands, and with production lead time… oh no, it turns out that today isn’t just Halloween, it’s Shapeways Shop Owner Start Your Engines Day, arghh!
Happy Halloween (and SSOSYE Day), everybody, and get to work!
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