This, as you might expect, has us concerned. For while neither Kerry nor I make our livings off of this stuff, it is still a significant source of extra income, so we want to make it as successful as possible. Also, SJ readership has been on a fairly steady increase over the past year (from ~5300 readers on a normal strip day in May 2004 to ~6000 readers on a normal strip day this past March), and I would rather hope that new readers might want a shirt or a button or two.
So I am putting my mind to the problem of "Why aren't people gettin' stuff?" It seems to me that the basic possibilities are...
- People don't want SJ stuff.
- They want SJ stuff, just not the stuff that we're offering.
- People want the stuff we're offering, but not at the prices we're asking.
- People want the stuff we're offering, at the prices we're asking, but don't know it's there -- or are turned off by the merchandise site.
- People have all they want of current offerings, and are looking for something new.
- The position of Saturn in Aquarius has ordained that sales shall fall off in Q1 of 2005, mortal!
I'm at a loss as to what to do right at the moment; we've tried to make the SJ merchandise as high quality as possible and keep it within a reasonable price ... and Kerry is a goddess at customer service and making sure that people who deal with her walk away happy. That leaves the website design and getting the word out as the primary things I can think of ways to improve on, so I'm going to look at working on those.
Still, I'm curious, those of you who have bought SJ merchandise in the past, were you satisfied with it? Do you feel like you got good quality for your money? Would you recommend it to your friends? Why or why not? For that matter, if you haven't picked up anything, is there a particular reason why not? What would make it more appealing to you? (I'm not making a sales pitch here, I'm just curious and would really like your input.)
(X-posted to suburban_jungle)