Year End Survey and Feedback
Thank you all for your support through 2020! I know it was a huge year of change between working through a pandemic, rebranding the shop and changing our business model. You have all been rock stars and we can never tell you enough how much we appreciate you.
We are currently conducting our year end survey and would love to hear your feedback. All feedback is considered while we plan 2021.
I'm also already changed a few things that have been mentioned and will be working on some things over the months.
Your suggestions added and improved:
- Wishlists. This feature was added last week. You will see an "add to wishlist" option under each product.
- Price Confusion on Collection Page. Previously our collection page would only list the lowest price on an item with multiple options. Now it will give a price range. Example: Old Style (From $5.99) and New Style (From $5.99-$9.99)
- Sold Out Items. We completely understand how frustrating it is to try to find what's in stock vs. what's out of stock. We did install an app to our Shopify website that will sort sold out items to the end of collections so you don't see them while trying to find what is available. This app will update the page once an hour so it won't be a perfect solution but it will definitely help.
Your suggestions that I will be trying to work on:
- Search By Scent Profile. We are working on adding scent descriptors in each of our product descriptions. So if you search on 'woodsy', you will pull a list of all items that have it in their listing. I am also going to work on creating subcategories in our menus to list products that fit the most common scent profiles.
- A Calendar. Updating events and calendars is something that I am admittedly bad at. One of our 2021 goals is to make a plan and stick to it. This will allow me to create a calendar for you to know when events and restocks are happening.
- Blend status. Having developed a very large catalogue over time has definitely made it hard to manage communicating what will be in stock in the future and what is being retired. Through January, I plan on organizing our catalogue and putting it online. The catalogue will indicate which scents will be regular stock, seasonal, event only and retired. Each item listing will also indicate what category it falls into.
- Search by Fandom. We will build out our 'theme' menu to include more menu subcategories to help you more easily fine what you are looking for. See more information below in the copyright section as to why the list will not be fandom specific.
- Mailing List. More people than we originally thought get their news from our mailing list. We will do our best to send out more messages but usually no more than 1 a week.
There are also some suggestions I'd like to address for a few reasons.
- Shipping Costs. One of the most common complaints is cost of shipping candles especially international. We know the cost of shipping can get frustrating especially with rates going up every year. To try to combat the raising rates, we're introducing candle tins as our smallest jar size. Two 4oz tins ship for the same price that one 5.5oz candle jar did. I also want to stress that I take no profits from shipping. The price you pay for shipping covers what USPS charges me plus the packing materials for your items. We do get a commercial rate discount which is cheaper than going to the USPS counter in person. We also cannot get a cheaper rate with UPS or FedEx. We've looked into this and do not quality for shipper discounts and these discounts wouldn't be cheaper than USPS.
- Custom Candles and Made on Demand. These two things were the foundation of our shop when we first started. We know it was fun coming up with your own blends and being able to purchase whatever you want when you want it. When the pandemic hit, we expected our shop size to shrink due to lack of conventions and overall economic concerns. The shop did exactly the opposite which is why we had to change our business model to ready-to-ship and eliminate custom orders for single items. I am only one person doing everything from product creation to packing and shipping to marketing and customer service. The best and easiest way for me to keep up with demand is to make products in bulk quantities to list on restock days. Customs and made-on-demand take me almost four times as long to do because the products often cannot be made in bulk. We will not be able to move back to the previous business model unless our shop shrinks in size. If the later happens, then that's Bad News Bears for everybody. Custom candle orders will open up again for anybody who wants to purchase in bulk (6 or more) sometime in Q1.
- Exact Fandom Names. One of the biggest struggles for shops like ours is copyright. Fandom shops play with fire when it comes to this. One of the reasons you can't search for a term like 'Harry Potter" (and find results) in our shop is because Harry Potter is a copyright term. If WB came to our shop and found HP written all over our items, I would get a legal letter from them that I'd rather avoid. This year we will be changing the names of some blends to be less 'on the nose' along with focusing on bringing in more public domain inspirations. As the shop grows in size, copyright becomes a growing concern. I do recognize it's harder for you to find what you're looking for so I will do my best to create subcategories for our themes that will steer you in the right direction.