When in the early summer CafePress raised prices for customers buying t-shirts and cut pay for designers making graphics for t-shirts, a number of observers predicted that CafePress would lose designers to competitors like Zazzle and Skreened. It was also predicted that CafePress would lose market share to these competitors as a result. Have these predictions come true?
Let’s follow the stats to see whether this is so. For some time, I’ve been noting CafePress’ own internal statistics on the number of new graphics uploaded by designers to CafePress’ Marketplace system. 11,132 new designs had been uploaded on Sunday, March 29 by 8:35 PM Eastern Time. Only 8,681 new designs had been uploaded on Sunday, July 26 by 9:15 PM Eastern Time, a decline of 22% (not even counting the extra 40 minutes for new designs on the 26th).
That’s a downward designer trend for CafePress; how about customer trends? Here is a graphic comparing trends in pageviews of CafePress.com, Zazzle.com and Skreened.com over the past three months:
The indie outfit Skreened collects too few page views compared to the CafePress and Zazzle behemoths to show up on this graph well (source: Alexa). But what we can see pretty clearly is that since CafePress announced its changes at the end of May, it has fallen in its share of pageviews, losing its advantage there over Zazzle.
Look to see whether this trend persists after the college kids head back to school. If so, CafePress execs would do well to mark the moment they decided to miff their two core constituencies as a watershed — or is that Waterloo?