Are you a business owner or influencer looking for new and interesting ways to grow your business? Selling merchandise can help you engage customers in new ways, increase revenue, and even market your business to new people. When you partner with a print on demand provider, you’ll also be able to offer high quality products without sacrificing the time and money it takes to run your existing business.
Benefits of Adding Merch to your Business Model
You may not have planned to sell merch when you started your business. So, why jump into the retail space now? The biggest benefit is tapping into another potential revenue stream. If your brand has made a name for itself in your industry, leveraging your customer loyalty to grow your business just makes sense. This gives your customers other ways to engage your brand while increasing your revenue in the process.
When you start selling merchandise, you also turn your loyal customers into effective marketers of your business. Have a group of loyal patrons at your brewery? When they purchase and wear merch with your logo, they’re encouraging friends, neighbors, and coworkers to check out your business, too.
Selling merchandise can help grow your audience in other ways, as well. While existing customers may have been brought in with your brand’s initial products, services, or content, others may come for eye-catching merch! Once they engage with your brand through cool hoodies, totes, or water bottles, they’ll be more likely to explore the other aspects of your business as well.
Creating Your Merch
When many business owners think of selling a line of merchandise, they immediately envision a plain white tee shirt with their logo prominently displayed. While that might catch the eye of some existing customers, it may not be enough to grow your audience or increase your revenue stream significantly. Fortunately, creating unique, must-buy merch doesn’t have to be challenging.
Understand Your Audience
As a business owner, it makes sense to tap into your existing customer base first. Consider the needs of that audience when determining which products to offer. You may even want to conduct a survey to see which items they’d be excited to buy.
Keep in mind, these are people that are already familiar with and loyal to your brand, so it’s important that you stay loyal to the brand as well. Do your followers love your cooking videos? Consider including an apron or kitchen accessories to your product lineup. Do you sell eco-friendly makeup? A high-quality fitted tee could be just what your customers are looking for.
Create Your Designs
The best designs are those that can engage existing customers with the potential to market to a wider audience, as well. Loyal customers may gravitate toward products featuring your logo or slogan, but offering multiple colors and designs could reach new customers. Adding your designs to high-quality clothing like hoodies, hats, and tees, is a great place to start. Consider branching out to non-clothing items, as well, to offer many options to engage with your brand.
Research Printers and Distributors
If your business hasn’t entered the retail space before, you may be wondering how to actually get your designs onto products. One option is to purchase printing equipment and do the job yourself. However, that requires a hefty investment and can take time away from other areas of your business.
Many business owners choose to go the traditional route and work with a manufacturer. Because you are just starting out selling merch, pay close attention to what their minimum orders are, as well as the quality of materials they use. An option gaining popularity in recent years is print on demand. You can easily link your online shop with a print on demand partner who will print each order as it comes, without concerns for minimums or hefty investments in merchandise.
Sell Your Merch
Once you’ve designed your merch and selected a printing partner, it’s time to get your products into the hands of your customers! The first step is deciding where you plan to sell your merch. If your brand is online, setting up an online retail site to link to your website provides seamless integration. For business owners with a brick-and-mortar space, it makes sense to offer products right in shop, but don’t overlook the benefit of an online retail shop, as well. This gives new audiences a way to engage with your business, no matter where they live.
How exactly can you reach new customers? You’ll need an effective marketing strategy. For many businesses, it can be easy to incorporate merchandise into your existing marketing plan by featuring products on your home page or adding a link to your store in texts or emails. An influencer selling merch can also leverage their following to sell more products.
You don’t need to start off with millions of followers to use social media to your advantage, though. Determine which platforms your audience is likely to use and begin making creative content. You can also pay for ads on social media or through Google to route more people to your shop.
Using Print on Demand to Create and Sell Your Merch
If moving into the retail space seems like a daunting task, print on demand could help make it easier. When you partner with a print on demand service provider, you’ll create designs and market your products while they handle the rest. Without having to print, pack, or ship your merch, you can focus on other aspects of your business. Most print on demand partners also offer design services to help you create merch your customers will want to buy.
Not only will you save time with print on demand, you’ll save money too. Because you won’t need to invest in pricey printing equipment or purchase boxes of inventory, expanding into merchandise through print on demand can come with less financial risk. The retail side of your business will also be easier to scale. If an item becomes an instant best seller, your POD partner will have the inventory to meet demand. When an item doesn’t sell well, you can simply remove it from your online shop without taking a loss on the inventory.
Start Selling Merch Today
If you’re looking to expand your audience or create another revenue stream, selling merch may be the right solution for your business. Consider the products your customer base would be interested in purchasing, and create unique, eye-catching designs to offer them. Link your online shop to a print on demand provider to streamline your business processes. Once a customer makes a purchase, your POD partner will print, pack, and ship your items for you. That gives you more time to work on the other side of your business or find creative ways to market your merchandise. Your customers will love their high quality products and you’ll love engaging with wider audiences, as well!