Sunday, 17 July 2016

Self-Introduction from Marvin, your Zazzle store Guidebot

Hi, I'm Marvin...

Let Marvin introduce himself - he's your Zazzle store guidebot. He's a ready, willing and able, 24/7 personal shoppper guidebot, always working tirelessly on your behalf!

He guides them round - you don't have to!

But no more from me, watch him live and interact with him on this link

How cool is that?

Imagine, I'm a bride to be, looking for wedding stationery (your store specialises in wedding designs).
I bump into your Marvin and he's proclaiming about your gorgeous winter crsytal range - something that appeals to me. Not only does Marvin show me them, he's now upselling to me your gorgeous wedding reception table cards and party favors!

Hmm... but I was also thinking I might need to plan for a spring wedding instead and... oh, look, he's now showing me other seasonal ranges you do. Oh my, I'm sold! I'm bound to find what I need in this store. That's one worry off my mind!!

When will you get a Marvin for your own store?

How you use Marvin is down to you but no mis-treatment! He likes nothing more than to be showing potential customers around, so make sure you share him far and wide! A depressed, paranoid android is never a good thing (nods in the direction of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy).

He works brilliantly on Pinterest. Use the slideshow buttons to get to the image you want used as the teaser for your pin, then pin it using the pinterest button on the page. Don't forget to write a good teaser description before you finally choose which board to pin to.

Good on twitter, too - but no image on the tweet :(

Facebook is mostly ok. You drag the image you want for the status update to your desktop. You then start a new status update with your teaser text. Then you drag the image from your desktop and drop on the status update. Finally, you have to paste in the special link for your Marvin.

Same for Google+ as for FB. If you don't do the image drag thing, the both use a boring default image.

About that link for your Marvin... 

There's no fancy Marvin generator page yet. Until then, you'll have to make do with these instructions. Don't worry, not too hard - it's just some copying and pasting.
Sorry 'bout that :)

Enjoy making Marvin happy by letting him do his thing for your store!

Find out how to get your own Zazzle Store Guidebot

My first Zazzle Store Guidebot

Let me introduce you to Marvin. He sits behind the scenes and guides your visitors around your store on your behalf. He's active 24 hours a day working tirelessly to bring you more sales.

Botting 24/7

Here's Marvin botting for my hightonridley zazzle store. Did you notice how the suggested search terms changed for each slide? That's the key to the whole "guided" thing.

What you need for your own Guidebot

  • A set of Postcards created on Zazzle - the cue cards in the store guide Marvin works from.
 You design each one to get across the point you're making. Maybe you're talking about a particular color pallete or maybe a design style. Possibly you want them guided to your new range of scarves.

As Marvin is a bot, he needs to be told how to guide. The guidance he gives just consists of a pre-prepared set of search terms, ready filled out in the search box, so all the visitor has to do is click "go".
Where does he get those pre-prepared search terms from? Simple, you put the right ones to use in the title of the postcard when you created it on Zazzle. When that postcard comes up in the slideshow, Marvin pops the search terms from the title into the search box. Easy-peasy!

Once you've published, you just need to wait for Zazzle's indexers to get round to making the products available via their RSS feed mechanism - the one the guidebot relies on.

Btw, here's a link to one of the postcards from my first guidebot. See how the the search terms / postcard title works?

What you need for your own Guidebot part 2 

  • The link to your store guidebot
Eventually I'll build a Guidebot Maker page but until then, it's a case of messing with gobbledigook codes in a link url, as described below. Sorry 'bout that ;)

If you can't wait for the maker page, here's a quick low-down on the codes. If you do nothing else, for your first play with it, just change the qs and the storeid. Here's my store guidebot link, just change it to make yours by changing some text in it:

qs= the unique codeword powertag you used for your postcards (remember, one postcard per slide image) (if just having a play, put in any old query for your store)
rf= your ref id
st=date_created - leave alone, this is so your slides appear in the right sequence
sd=desc - leave alone, as above
storeid= mine's hightonridley
tc=nft_ss_ad1 the tracking code you want used so you can identify any arising referral commission
title=blah+blah the title you want displayed above your guidebot

Good time to mention getting the slideshow sequence you want. I created mine in reverse order so that's why those 'leave-alone's are there - so you can create yours in reverse order, too. If you choose to create the first, first, the second, second etc. (yeah, I know, it's the logical thing to do, I must have had a brain hiccup!) then just change the sd=desc to sd=asc

During testing today, I noticed things were a bit glitchy again between Google and Zazzle, not sure which. The upshot is getting the dreaded 'feed not loaded' message sometimes. When this happens, a reload of the page will often sort it.

Well, that's it for now. Do drop off a comment if you can see how it would help you and in what way you might use it. I'm happy to answer questions.