The demand for custom merchandise is relatively high these days. It ranges from regular people who spend money on custom merchandise they use as gifts to politicians who need various knick-knacks for their campaigns.
Since there is a demand, one can make money by starting an online store. However, given the popularity of custom merchandise, it is natural to encounter tough competitors. If a custom merchandise brand wants to stand out, it needs to follow certain rules.
Use quality material and reliable supplier
Let’s start with the basics. You will struggle to sell goods that lack quality. If you are going to manufacture everything yourself, do not be cheap and invest in proper equipment and material. On the other hand, if you go with the dropshipping model, find a reliable supplier.
Take time researching your demographic
You do not want to guess blindly what your audience likes. Take time to research your targeted demographic. Perhaps they will like custom stickers rather than t-shirts, given your design choices? On their website, Printify explains how to make your own stickers and how to sell them.
Get feedback from friends and family
You might lack an unbiased perspective when creating your own merchandise. What you consider great might not actually be the case. It is important to get feedback from people who are not involved with the business so that they can provide you with objective feedback.
When you have your first few designs and products ready, ask friends and family for their opinions. Tell them that they should not hold back and tell you exactly what they think. Some critique might be harsh, but it is necessary to excel and create custom merchandise that will actually sell.
Consult with professional designers
If you are planning to design merchandise yourself, do not hesitate to get in touch with professional designers and ask them for a piece of advice. Someone with experience is bound to give you a few points and push you in the right direction.
As an alternative, you could take a different approach and hire a professional designer to work with you. Doing so would leave you more time to focus on advertising and promoting a store. Besides, knowing that there is a professional coming up with merchandise design ideas is a confidence booster.
Imagine yourself in the customer’s shoes
Sometimes, it is better to take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Imagine how you would feel as an average person browsing your own products. Think whether the appeal is there and whether someone who stumbles upon the store is likely to spend money on the merchandise.
Sure, you might have some bias and not judge the goods properly, but even so, try to spend some time distancing yourself from the business and becoming an average customer.
Consider your humor style
Humor is one of the biggest appeals of custom merchandise. Be it t-shirts, mugs, hoodies, or other merchandise; it is funny jokes and wacky caricatures that usually sell great. Add some personalization to the mix, and you potentially have a great design.
However, given how the world works these days, it is important to pay attention to one’s humor. You do not want to offend people because they might leave negative feedback on your website or start a social media campaign against your brand.
Try different color variations
Whether you are designing yourself or have a business partner, spend some time thinking about how different color variations can enhance the merchandise and make it sell more.
Introducing black and white colors is a good example. Some people prefer to have a more neutral look, and colorful t-shirts might not be to their liking. On the other hand, if there was a design in black and white, they might change their opinion.
It is also worth noting that a demographic for colorful designs exists as well. Rather than looking bland, some people might prefer custom hoodies and t-shirts that really stand out.
The bottom line is that offering customers different color variations is an advantage that is bound to help with conversions.
Keep up with the latest trends
The last bit of advice is about trends. As a custom merchandise manufacturer, you need to keep tabs on the latest trends to know what your next design should be.
Of course, it is not just design trends that can make a difference. Take face masks, for example. The ongoing pandemic made people spend money on face masks, and quite a few decided to use custom-made masks.
Custom merchandise manufacturers reacted to the trend and introduced a face mask line in their stores, which made them a lot of money.
Being one of the first to take advantage of trends makes a difference; therefore, be sure not to miss any potential trends happening in the industry.