Merchandise sales can be one of your most important revenue streams at many events. With high-quality merchandise and strong sales, you can potentially double the revenue of a given event. However, it’s not always clear how to increase merch sales to bring in that revenue.
Event merchandise sales are easier to improve than you might think. Keep reading to learn why merch sales are crucial to event success, how to maximize those sales, and the best ways to use your merch to improve overall customer satisfaction with your event. Events.com offers a clean design to allow you to add an online shopping experience to your order form. You can add images, manage inventory and build your brand loyalty all in one place.
How Event Merch Sales Impact Event Success
For a long time, merch sales were more or less an afterthought for many performers. While the extra revenue was nice, many artists focused heavily on bringing people to concerts and only thought about event merchandise if they had a new logo or an album they wanted to sell.
That’s no longer the case today. With the rise of the internet, many artists can’t rely on streaming revenue alone. Merch has become a critical revenue stream for performers. Fans can buy event merch not only at the show but also before or after through online stores, making merch a more flexible product than ticket sales. Even fans who may not be able to travel to see artists live are more than willing to spend money on high-quality merch from their favorites when buying streaming tickets.
Furthermore, event merch can act as an invaluable marketing tool. When good merchandise is available, people are more likely to buy, wear, use, or display it. This builds a sense of community around the event, exposes more people to your brand, and helps you passively improve potential attendance in the future. In short, good event merch is one of the best ways to increase revenue now and down the road.
5 Ways To Maximize Your Merchandise Sales
Of course, for event merchandise to help venues and performers, it must be appealing. Even your brand’s biggest fans won’t buy or use merch if they think it’s ugly or too expensive. Here’s how you can avoid these problems and maximize your merch sales to make your event more successful.
1.) Create a Consistent Theme for Your Designs
Having a lot of event merchandise ideas isn’t a bad thing. However, it’s best to focus on a single, consistent theme for a given event or tour. As with any other marketing tool, consistency helps you build public awareness and recognition of your brand.
Consistency is also good for sales. Many fans will attend multiple events for an artist or at a venue and build a collection of merch to show off their attendance. Having a consistent theme helps make this kind of collection more appealing because it’s clear that all items are connected.
There are several ways you can build consistency in your theme. Consider solutions like:
- Using the same color palette on every item
- Using a specific logo on all branded event merchandise
- Using specific fonts and phrases on every item
- Taking a more general motif like roses, music notes, or a specific artistic style and missing it up to make multiple versions of the same merch
All of these practices will make it clear that your merch is connected to your brand without making it boring.
2.) Include the Merch in Your Promotional Campaigns for Your Event
To improve merch sales, make merchandise a priority by including it in your promotional campaigns. People are much more likely to buy merch when they know it exists. Have pictures of different merch items in your promos, so people know there will be new, exciting products to buy.
In fact, you can build excitement for your merch just like you do for your events. For example, you can showcase limited-edition or venue-specific items and emphasize that they’re unique. Promoting your merch like this can make people eager to buy things to prove they went to the event and increase sales significantly.
3.) Consider a Merch Drop Before the Event
Pre-event merch drops can help ratchet the energy and revenue up a notch if you have an audience that’s excited about your event. Pre-event merch drops are when you put a limited type or amount of merch on sale before the event occurs so people can buy branded event merchandise in advance.
These drops do two things. First, they give you a way to earn revenue through online merch sales before the event happens. Second, they allow super-fans to get their hands on gear they can wear to the event.
If you offer people the opportunity to buy merch when they buy their tickets, many people will choose to do so to avoid long in-person lines and to show off their love for the event. You can perform these pre-event sales through Events.com’s robust ticket and merch sales platform. As long as you know you have an audience that’s eager to buy, these merch drops can be an invaluable way to build hype and revenue simultaneously.
4.) Make Sure Your Merch Offerings Are Designed for Your Target Audience
Merch products only sell if they meet two criteria: they have to interest your target audience, and your audience has to be able to afford them. When choosing your merch, make sure that you’re keeping your audience’s aesthetic and pricing preferences in mind.
For example, the merchandise that would sell well at an indie rock concert aimed at local college students might include music downloads, posters, and stickers. On the other hand, exclusive festivals could offer vinyl records, signed shirts, and limited-edition lyric books.
Selling the more expensive merch at the local concert would lead attendees to see the average prices and opt not to buy, while the lower-tier merch at the festival would fail to realize the true potential for merch profits. You need to target the preferences of the audience of the event to make the most of their buying power.
5.) Research Any Current Merch Trends
Event merchandise experiences trends just like any other retail product. Make sure you’re aware of current trends in merch so you can capitalize on them and avoid outdated event merch ideas.
For instance, a significant trend in event merch is offering digital merch stores where people can buy items outside of the event. These online merch sales can help reduce congestion at your event and increase merch profits significantly. You can check out the merch stores for similar events around the country to see what kinds of branded event merchandise they’re offering and their prices so you can choose your own accordingly.
How You Can Ensure Customer Satisfaction With Your Merchandise
The story of your merchandise doesn’t end when someone buys it. You need to make sure people are satisfied with the merch after their purchase, or you miss out on many of the benefits event merchandise offers.
There are two critical factors for ensuring customer satisfaction with your event merch: quality and variety. Here’s how you can focus on these elements to satisfy your event attendees.
People want their merch to last. By emphasizing the quality of your merch, you can ensure that people will be using it for years to come. Make sure you source your merch from reliable, high-quality manufacturers so every item can stand up to heavy use.
Once you’ve produced durable, quality merch, you can solicit customer reviews. Happy buyers are more than willing to talk about how pleased they are with their purchase. Hosting these positive reviews in your online merch store can encourage further sales and increase your revenue over time.
Consider All Your Options
There’s so much more to merch than t-shirts and posters. To make your merch stand out, you should consider all your options for potential branded items. Depending on your audience, you could consider event merch ideas like:
- Vinyl records
- Water bottles
- Lyric books
- Tote bags
- Temporary tattoos
- Face masks
- Thumb drives with recordings or digital keys to unique content
- Virtual experiences
Having a variety of different merch types allows you to target many price points. You can have more expensive collector’s items for people with higher budgets, as well as simple items like stickers that fit anyone’s budget.
Variety also allows you to spread awareness further. A t-shirt may only get worn once a month, but fans might use a water bottle or wear a beanie daily. You can increase public awareness of your event significantly just by offering a wider range of merch.
Create Popular Merch for Your Attendees
The secret to increasing your event merch sales is twofold: design products that your attendees love and make buying them easy. The first part relies on your creativity, but Events.com can help with the second.
Events.com’s robust promotional tools allow you to promote your merch and sell it directly to your attendees. You can learn more about how Events.com can increase your event merchandise revenue or get started by creating your event today.