Not selling as good with watermark

Posted on 2011-02-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi experts.  I've used EE many times for technical questions, but never about marketing and thought I'd run this by you all.

I sell prints on the internet and here is a typical print:
 Without WatermarkI started wondering if people were simply saving the image I post on the screen and not buying, so I added a watermark:
 With WatermarkSales are way down from before.  What about the watermark has almost halted sales?  Obviously I'm going to go back, but I'm curious to your input.

The only thing that I can come up with is the buyer is saying "This guy thinks I'm going to steal his image, I'm not buying now".  Does that ring true to you?
Question by:hrolsons
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Jerry Miller earned 125 total points
ID: 34879230
I wouldn't think that has slowed down sales too much, it wouldn't stop me from buying.

Things to research:
How is the traffic on the site? Has traffic decreased as well over the same time period? If down, has it been a steady decline or sudden downturn? Web traffic analysis can tell you a lot about you visitors.

If you are getting the same amount of traffic with a smaller percentage of buyers, maybe the watermark is an issue. If your traffic is down and the buying percentage is similar, perhaps it is because our economy has been in the tank and is just now starting to turn a corner. The last couple of years have been tough all around, hopefully sales will pick up again soon for all of us.

Assisted Solution

Mattrw earned 125 total points
ID: 34879312
Change the word from Sample to something else like the company name.  Change the colour of the watermark to somthing transparent.  Red = danger!  I never include the colour red in my eBay auctions.

Author Comment

ID: 34879326
I'm looking at a very small time frame, as I just started watermarking and have only been selling for a couple weeks.  It just feels like it has slowed down.  I was getting about 2 sales/day, and now my inventory has doubled and I'm selling 1 every other day.  Just seems weird, not enough data to prove conclusive, just feels like it
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

BillDL earned 125 total points
ID: 34881678
Hopefully the semi-transparent and less alarming green will avoid disuading potential customers, if that was the reason:

There is a lot of truth in what you hypothesised about the red spelling danger.  As you will no doubt already know, colour isn't really something physical, it is simply the difference in frequency of light waves that is interpreted by our brain when it hits the cones and rods of the retina.  Animals that only "see in shades of grey" can still differentiate between perceived colours in much the same way as humans with "colour blindness", and it has been determined that many of those species of animal react to different colours in a similar way to humans.

"Showing a red rag to a bull" is believed to alarm it because the frequencies of the light waves that we refer to as red appears to match (as multiples) certain frequencies of brain waves that ae present during an alarming episode.

Green and pink are thought to pacify, and prison governors in some states have experimented with painting cells pink.  Yellow and orange are thought to alert us, hence the use of these colours in road warning signs and "Hi-Viz" clothing.

It's a fascinating study, and takes you intothe realms of how octopus, squid, chameleons, and other creatures are able to almost instantly change colour to match the background.  The brain wave frequencies also have a significance when you consider certain "tempos" or frequencies, for example driving at a certain speed on a highway with dotted lines or being under fluorescent lighting may cause those flashes to match frequencies in the brain present during epilepsy; hypnotism is induced by using a frequency that matches those present in the brain during deep rest; and certain types of music can be beneficial to health.

back to the subject matter in hand though.  This eBay member sells construction plans for his own guitars:
I see that he has changed his images so as to obscure some vital parts of the plans, and I can only assume that the previous images he had, showing a reduced but usable plan, may have been plagiarised.  He doesn't show any on his website either:

Perhaps you could overlay a photograph or two of the actual places in your own plans on top of the drawings to hide significant portions.  You could make the photos appear to be lying on the drawings usining drop-shadows or similar.

I don't think PDF is a good format for your "preview".  Even though you can restrict printing, copying, etc, people can break that protection using software tools.

How about providing a distant view that is just distinct enough to decipher some of the lines, and then create hotspot links that open only a couple of the sections in a close-up and defined view?

Just some ideas.  Hopefully the watermarking will work for you.  Good luck with your ebay selling.


Assisted Solution

mmarketing earned 125 total points
ID: 34895754
Also look how your conversions are holding. Is it just sales that dropped or also the visitors? Did the behaviour of your visitors change? My advise, look first at your previous and current conversion rates.

As for the type of watermark. Maybe something a bit more classier in stead of a big "clasified-type of watermark", maybe you logo?. As for the colour, the colour blue always states "trust" (that's why financial website and logo's are often in these colours)

Also if you use a "lightbox"-kind of display there's the option to display the small image without watermark and once clicked on the big example holds the watermark.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 34923920
Thank you hrolsons.

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