Companies have been using promotional items to drum up exposure for their brands for ages. Branded hats, custom drinkware, and cut and sew T-shirts are among some of the most popular products. Such merchandise can be very effective in getting the right people to notice your company. However, getting those items into the hands of customers is not always easy. Trade shows are excellent platforms, but they are seasonal. A company store is a proven avenue to keep the exchange of promotional products to consumers flowing.
Besides the brand exposure that it will bring in, having a shop that carries your promotional merchandise exclusively is a great way to generate extra revenue for the business. You may assume that setting up such a store is tedious and expensive, but that is not necessarily true if you know how to do it right. With the availability of online resources and the help of promotional product experts, you can have your store up and running in a short while without spending too much in the process.
Putting Up Your Storefront
Now a days, there are a number of ways to set up a storefront. One option is to work with a website designer to add a landing page on your existing site, where consumers can find and purchase your branded items. Another option is to set up an additional domain or a third party eCommerce platform to host the promotional store exclusively, although managing two separate platforms can be taxing. Simplicity should be a driving factor when creating this platform. Work with a web designer who understands what you are trying to achieve with the store.
The Shopping Cart & Payment System
After deciding where the company shop is going to be hosted, you must decide on an eCommerce software to handle the back end. You can opt for a self-hosted or hosted application. When selecting this application, be clear about your needs. Different shopping cart tools have varying features. Decide which tools are must-haves and which ones you can do without. Your aim is to give customers a seamless shopping experience. Also, consider how the software works with the existing accounting applications.
The shopping cart has to be connected to an online processing system. Again, the convenience offered to consumers should be your priority. You can use online payment services such as PayPal and Google CheckOut or open an account with a merchant service. Whatever your choice, analyze the transaction fees to prevent them from eating into your profits.
The type of merchandise you choose for your store will have a strong impact on its success, so be thoughtful with this decision. Involve your marketing experts to strategize on the direction you want to take it, and determine the audience you are trying to appeal to. Know which products are popular among your target consumers by consulting with promotional experts. Whether it be a branded water bottle, or a cut and sew hoodie, learn how to best design the products to tell your brand story.
Don’t just buy t-shirts and start printing. Do your research to discover which styles and trends resonate with your target audience. Partnering with an agency can be a great way to determine which products and designs will have the biggest impact for your business. Approach these items as an opportunity to turn the ethos of your brand into tangible items that your customers can connect with.
Next, post professional images of the products you will be selling. Pictures are everything when advertising on online stores because they are the only point of reference for your buyers. Invest in high-quality images that highlight the best features of your branded items.
Customize Your Store
Having a merchandise store is an additional reinforcement for your brand identity, so take the time to cultivate one. The items you sell in this shop should speak to the big-picture story your brand is trying to tell, and the appearance of your storefront should be a strong reflection of that. Think about the color scheme, graphics, and images you display. Customize every element to provide a consistent brand experience for your visitors.
Direct Traffic to your store
Now that your company shop is ready, it's time to put effort into driving traffic to your brand merchandising. Start with making the product names and descriptions search-engine friendly. With so many enterprises selling promotional merchandise out there, you have to find an edge. Invest in SEO research to find the most searched terms. Incorporate these keywords in product descriptions without overdoing it. Note that an increase in traffic on the company shop benefits the whole site.
Discounted prices can also help lure customers to your store. Offer coupons and exclusive discount codes to your visitors. Gift cards are also very useful in attracting traffic. Linking your store’s page to your social media pages can also help. Through hashtags, mentions, and shares, you can generate a lot of interest for your branded products.
Why You Need a Company Store for Your Promotional Merchandise
You can never have enough exposure for your brand, and a storefront is strong avenue to help drive it. When one person sees a well-designed coffee mug with your company’s logo and asks, “Which enterprise is this?” You've already initiated contact with a potential consumer. When the same person follows up with a question like, "What do they do?" or, "Where are they located?" your recognition gets another boost. Promotional products are a powerful tool for people to learn more about your business.
Keeping track of who is ordering what internally for promotional purposes can be a bit difficult, especially for large companies. With an enterprise store, different teams can get the latest items from one place. Additionally, there is the ease of ordering from an online store. If you have a team on the road at a trade show or industry event, your online store offers the convenience of ordering promotional goods from their mobile devices.
Another benefit of having a company store is that it allows you to maintain brand consistency. In some instances, your marketing or sales team may be using old logos or the wrong color schemes on branded items and collateral to reach potential clients. Having a single source for your company's promotional products that have been designed with the same branding guidelines gives you the power to tell a cohesive story across all of your marketing and sales efforts.
Brand merchandising can bring valuable returns when it is done right. Company shops have become popular methods of managing and distributing promotional items, both internally and externally to your audience. Curate a collection of branded products that elicit positive reactions by enhancing the lives of your consumers, and sell them in your online storefront. Tell your brand's unique story through promotional products.