Last updated on November 23rd, 2020
Selling branded merchandise has turned out as a lucrative business for many. Hundreds of dedicated online merchandise stores are making most of it by selling branded merch. As an artist or graphic designer, you also can sell merchandise to make money. All you need to just create inspirational artworks to print them on merchandise and sell at an attractive profit. Still, before you enter this business, we suggest having its significant aspects well covered. In this blog, we have shared how you can make money by selling branded merchandise just like that. Have a look!
More people prefer to buy things online today than ever before. They see many advantages of making online purchasing as compared to visiting a physical shop. This is also true for merchandise shopping. An increasing number of customers of branded merchandise prefers online store to search and buy. It helps them to not only save time but money while buying from online stores. Lucrative deals, discount coupons and offers are a few reasons behind that.
Considering that, many freelancers, including artists and graphic designers, open their online branded merchandise shops and make money. They earn additional revenue from their skills. With little marketing efforts, they increase their income manifold over the years. But, one should enter this business with some insight into it. Let’s dig into this with some basics. Here we go!
What is branded merchandise?
Merchandise is any product that we sell or purchase. So, all types of products that you see in a supermarket are merchandise as they are bought from manufactures and sold. A branded merchandise has a company’s logo or other brand visuals printed on it.
We can say that most items that marketers use for business promotions are branded merchandise. For instance, custom hat, a cap, or pen that has a company’s logo is a branded item that usually is distributed free to people by the side of an event.
But a branded T-shirt, hoody, and other items from a famous company also is a branded merchandise. An online store owner just prints some artwork, slogan, message on such apparel from a global company to make it more attractive for customers.
You will find various emerging brands, YouTubers, influencers, etc. selling their branded merchandise with their names, logo or company name printed on them.
Why should you sell branded merchandise?
When you sell branded merchandise from your online store, you start getting its benefits after sometimes. Since merchandise such as T-shirts, hoodies, hats, coffee mugs, and many other products are useful to the customers, you can entice them with attractive and creative artworks printed on the products. But, you have plenty of advantages from brand merchandising. Such as,
i. A Steady Revenue Stream
Branded merchandise is popular with people. They look for buying uniquely designed T-shirts, hoodies, and other clothing that has motivational artwork or messages printed. Many accessories such as custom phone cases, mugs, hats, etc. with decorative art are always in demand. Consequently, your chances of earning an attractive profit from branded merchandise are always high with some wise marketing.
Here, note that online sales of products are increasing by each passing day. According to a survey, in 2019, U.S. online retail sales of physical goods amounted to 365.2 billion U.S. dollars. The sales are expected to skyrocket to reach close to 600 billion U.S. dollars in 2024. Apparel and accessories retail e-commerce in the U.S. is also expected to generate 194.4 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2024.
You can thus ensure regular earning for yourself. This is especially helpful to the artists and graphic designers who work on a freelance basis and need some additional source of earnings.
ii. Low Set Up and Operating Costs
An advantage of selling branded merch from your online store is that you do not incur the high costs of setting up a shop. Starting a business from a physical shop requires funds. But all you do to set up your online business is to open your shop with a platform such as PrintShop by Designhill. You can open the shop with this platform free of cost. Since you do not maintain a physical inventory, your cost of running the business is almost nil.
You will only invest your time and some money to print your artworks on the merchandise to make them attractive and useful for the customers. What is more, you do not have to spend on shipping as PrintShop takes responsibility to deliver your merchandise to the customer’s door.
iii. Operate Business From Anywhere
You can operate your online store to sell branded merchandise from anywhere in the world. All you need is access to the Internet and phones. So, there are no geographical limitations, as is the case with a physical store.
iv. No Inventory Management Issues
A physical shop owner has to maintain an inventory of branded merchandise to meet the demand. It requires additional funds to buy an additional space to store the goods and keep them safe and secure. However, there is no need for you to assemble T-shirts and other clothing or accessories, etc. merchandise to sell.
All you do is ask PrintShop to print your artwork on the choice of your merchandise. Then, the platform will do the printing job and deliver the T-shirt or other merchandise to the customer on your behalf.
v. No Time Restrictions
The potential customers can see your online store anytime without any time restrictions. Your online store for brand merchandise is open to visitors 24×7. This implies that your store is working for you day and night, which results in creating more opportunities to make money.
vi. Higher Margins
Since your costs to set up your online shop and operating costs are negligible, you earn an attractive profit margin on each merchandise piece sold. This also means that there is a great scope for adjusting the final price to remain competitive in the market. You can even afford to lower prices to make the merchandise attractive for customers and still make money.
The benefits of selling branded merchandise from your online store are many. From the above account, you may be tempted to start your online store right away. But do not rush to a platform to open your online shop. First, know to start selling the products.
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How to make money by selling branded merchandise?
Before you open your online store to sell branded merchandise, make sure that you have gained some insight into different aspects of this business. Branded items are surely popular with customers. Still, you need to enter this business well prepared to make money.
Here Is How You Should Proceed
01. Know Your Audience Inside Out
It is easier to think of open a branded merchandise store than to realize your sales goals. A big mistake most of the aspirant business owners do is that they often try to sell it to the wrong customers. Those who do not need your merchandise will not buy it even if you persuade them. Therefore, make sure that you direct your efforts, time, and energy to drive the customers who are most likely to show interest in what you sell.
This brings you to the most important aspect of this business. You should first know your target audience closely. Before you start a branded merchandise business, do a little market research. The research should enable you to precisely locate the ideal customer’s different backgrounds that include age, social, economic, and educational profile, and hobbies, etc. You can take help from several surveys and data to know who are the potential buyers of the merchandise you wish to sell.
Once the details are available, you can then create T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, hats, and much other merchandise to please your target customers. Their preferences and backgrounds will then find a place in your illustrations and other artworks as well as designs on the merchandise. So, sell your products to a precise segment of buyers and not everyone.
02. Find Out More About Your Competitors
You are not the only business person who is sells branded merchandise. The fact is that you have plenty of wise competitors who offer custom T-shirts and other apparel as well as accessories like hats successfully to make money. Your target customers buy from your competitors, and many of them are loyal customers.
To make money from selling merchandise, you need to drive those customers to your online store or a physical shop. For that, first, know what strategies your competitors adopt. Find out what are their trade secrets as well. Read their blogs, go to their websites, and get information from all sources such as social media pages to have some insight into their world of business.
Remember that more information about your competitors will later help you come up with a remarkable plan to attract customers. So, you can rethink your merchandise designs, prices, and other strategies to lure the audience to your online shop.
03. Set Up An Online Store
After you have done your homework to know your audience and competitors, you are now all set to launch your online store. You will display your branded merchandise at the online storefront to sell. However, where do you open the online store matters a lot to its success? You make a website to sell the products. This is an expensive option for individuals who usually have a small budget. Therefore an online store with an established platform is a great option in many ways.
You can open your online store with PrintShop, a print-on-demand platform from the leading creative marketplace Designhill. At this platform, your online store enjoys a host of benefits. For instance, the massive traffic and customer base of Designhill will automatically be diverted to PrintShop and, therefore, to your online store as well. This site also allows you to print your artworks and designs on the merchandise of your choice, such as T-shirts.
PrintShop will print your artworks on merchandise only when you ask for or the order comes in. The site will deliver the order to your customer’s door. Therefore, there are no upfront costs for you to pay.
04. Choose The Right Products
Branded merchandise comes in a wide range of categories. Which one of them are you more interested in selling from your online store? For instance, if you create artworks for men’s and women’s apparel, then you have many choices to make. You can choose T-shirts, hoodies, jackets and vests, bottoms, and long-sleeve shirts. For women, choose from a wide variety of hoodies and T-shirts. or, what to wear in 50 degree weather? Similarly, you can also create and sell branded merchandise for kids and babies. In the accessories categories, smartphone cases are popular with customers.
While buying the right merchandise, pay heed to quality standards. People readily buy high-quality products that they can use proudly for a long time. Chances of selling a great quality shirt are much higher than ordinary stuff. So, if you are an artist or designer, print your artwork on high-quality merchandise.
Which are the products that you should be selling more? Know that not all the products are equally popular amongst the buyers. To have an idea of which products are popular with the buyers, get some survey data. You can access many surveys that reveal what merchandise people like to buy more from online stores. So, get more brand merchandise ideas to make your online store look unique and creative.
For instance, according to a survey, cat hoodies and floral jackets are amongst the best women’s clothes to sell in 2020. After you have made a list of such products, create your art and designs to print on the merchandise. Create, print, and display these products very often on your online storefront.
05. Set Competitive Prices
Customers love discounts and lower prices when they shop around for products in a physical or online store. They compare prices extensively and settle for the same quality product that they can buy at a lower price. If your online store is a new entry in the branded merchandise sales world, you need to pay extra attention to the ways to appease price-sensitive customers.
Therefore, first, compare the prices set by your competitors for the same product. Then, calculate how lower prices you can offer to your customers. In the initial stage of your business, a better strategy will be to build a good customer base rather than earn a high profit. Later, when yours is a well-known store, you can then charge higher prices successfully.
An advantage of your online store at PrintShop is that you can set your price. You should first set your actual cost to create and produce the merchandise. For instance, you invested time and money to create a beautiful illustration for a T-shirt. You also got it printed. Start with such a cost. Then add what profit you wish to earn above that cost. The total of these two will be the price at which you would like to sell the merchandise. So, how much you want to earn from the merchandise is entirely up to you.
But if yours is a new brand, people may not trust your credentials. So, do not set the prices high. Instead, earn a thinner profit margin to reduce the price for the buyers when you start the shop.
06. Use Social Media
To open an online store to sell branded merchandise itself is not enough to make money. If the target customers do not often find your online shop, they will be unable to buy your merchandise. Therefore, spread the word for your newly established shop on social media. Use the massive platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to promote your store.
The best way to utilize different social channels is to post content regularly about what you do. You should post content related to your artworks and merchandise multiple times a day on a wide range of social media. Since you sell merchandise online and, therefore, the products are seen as visuals, you should explore Instagram as it is a dedicated platform for business promotions through visuals. So, you should post high-quality images of your merchandise with proper hashtags on this social channel.
If you wrote a blog about branded merchandise anywhere, then share its link on Facebook and Twitter. In this way, your potential customers ultimately visit your online store where you can convert them into buyers.
07. Launch An Email Campaign
Email marketing is an effective tactic to help drive customers right to your online branded merchandise site. But first, have an extensive list of email addresses. You can get potential customers’ emails in so many ways. For instance, start your newsletter and ask people to give their names and emails to subscribe to it.
After you have the email addresses, you should then send emails about your merchandise offers. Lure them with attractive discounts on the merchandise prices in your email messages. Make sure that your write messages in a friendly way so that they can emotionally connect with your business.
08. Create Unique and Attractive Merchandise
All marketing strategies go waste if customers do not find your merchandise attractive enough to compel them to buy. You can drive customers to your online store, but they will buy when you have some unique artwork on merchandise to offer. Therefore, make it certain that the illustrations, artworks, slogans, messages, etc. on branded merchandise are innovative and inspirational.
If you are not an artist or a graphic designer, then hire an experienced artist or a graphic designer to handle the work.
09. Use Cross-Selling Tactics
Cross-selling is about encouraging people to buy some additional products related to the main item a customer bought. For instance, a customer comes to your online store to buy your branded merchandise, such as a T-shirt. The site page can show up some other items, such as caps that go well with the shirt. So, your store site page may show up the soft call to action such as “Wear with this,” “You may like this,” “Perfect match with,” etc.
These enticing invitations mostly compel buyers to take a look at the accessories or additional items. Many of them buy these items. In this way, you will surely make additional money without any extra effort. Just incorporate these buttons in your online store, and they will help you earn more sales revenue.
10. Measure Your Sales Approach Easily
Another major advantage of selling branded merchandise from your online store is that you can easily measure the results. There is no need for you to take the help of an expert to see and analyze the sales and performance results. You can view sales and many other statistics, including how orders are being processed through your online store site. It is much easier to know other stats such as average cart total and cart abandonment rate.
This is your way to calculate where you stand currently in terms of sales and marketing strategy. If need be so, you can then make amendments in your strategy to promote your online store amongst target customers.
So, these are the key considerations to follow when you think of selling branded merchandise from your online store to make money.
Note that you have all the advantages of starting your online shop with PrintShop, which is owned and operated by Designhill, the leading creative marketplace. You open the shop free of cost on this platform. Then, you get an added benefit from the massive traffic that Designhill generates as many of these potential customers will automatically be diverted to your online store.
With PrintShop, you decide how much profit margin you wish to earn on your branded merchandise. Moreover, there is a wide range of merchandise to choose from on this platform. This print-on-demand site will print your designs, artworks, message on the merchandise of your choice on your order. Then, the site takes the responsibility to ship the order to your customers’ door.
Branded merchandise is amongst the popular items that customers from different backgrounds like to buy. Your online store can make decent earning from selling items such as T-shirts and other apparel, as well as accessories like hats and mugs. But how you proceed and what marketing tactics you employ to promote your store matters a lot. You should first know more about your target customers, niche market, and competitors. Then set the prices accordingly and promote your business using different means.