Don’t Repeat! | 3 Common Mistakes in Online Merchandising
Over the years, I have had the pleasure to watch emerging creators and entrepreneurs successfully cut their teeth at print-on-demand online merchandising. It has been a joy of mine to watch people take the simple idea of selling their custom merchandise online, and put in some hustle to get paid for their efforts.
Despite all the success stories, I still cringe when I see the same mis-steps taken by many merch hopefuls over and over again. But you’re in luck! Here is a list of three common mistakes many online merchandisers are making which you should take caution of and — like a mixtape featuring Rebecca Black’s “Friday” single — never repeat… seriously don’t repeat that audible atrocity. It’s catchy and all, but no one wants that stuck in their head all day!
So, here is the list:
Blunder #1: Many are too careful and don’t act.
I often overhear my friends say: “selling custom merch online is such a great idea, I just need one good brainchild to get started.” These same patient, cautious friends, in months time, will be still talking about that “grand idea” they want to start, rather than doing it. You’re not like them. You have the hustle. Why hesitate? Don’t overthink it. Don’t wait for that perfect merch idea. Take your first idea and run with it. Launch a store. Adapt and learn. Maybe you will stumble into that perfect idea once you get up and running, but waiting and overthinking never made anyone any money.
One service that can afford you the flexibility to try different ideas out and “fail fast” is Spreadshop. … and it’s totally FREE! With Spreadshop you can open as many shops as you want under one account. So if you have an idea for a cat pun shop called “Change in CATitude” and another shop about unicorn art (yea that’s a thing), you don’t have to choose. Launch both shops and do some live, money making, market research. Worst case: you learn on the fly and perfect your merchandising prowess. No risk. No cost. Don’t fall victim to overthinking– act now!
Whoopsie #2: Online merchandisers often forget to talk about their shop
Your shop is live. Great! You’ve uploaded designs and filled your shop with magnificent merch. Awesome! Now sit back and watch traffic rise and sales boom. NO! Not quite yet. You’ve forgotten to market your shop. You haven’t told enough people, followers, and relatives yet about your shop. It’s rare to have overnight success. You’ll need to promote and spread the word.
Don’t be a secret. Tell people about your shop. Whether it is on social media, on your blog, in a video, or simply at the bus stop at the corner of Awesome Ave and DaFuture Lane, you should shout to the world that you exist. The internet is riddled with merch stores and custom t-shirt enthusiasts. A little hustle can go a long way in standing out in the crowd. It’s not being a sellout. It’s being smart.
Oh No! #3: Many start-up merchandisers forget to be relevant and fresh
Okay, so you’ve done it. You’ve come up with a great merch design that is selling well in your online store. You’re happy, but don’t rest on your laurels (or is it yannys?). You want to repeat this new found success into the weeks and months to come.
The mistake that most successful online merchandisers make that I see often is forgetting to push the needle once their first successes roll-in. The key to achieving more from your selling shop is to continually upload relevant designs.
You know how to do it. It does take a bit of work though. It takes a proactive spark and motivated mind to capitalize on current events and social trends. But if done right, it can be a solid strategy to create a sustainable merchandise store.
Scroll twitter, keep an eye on the gram, surf chats and remain aware. If you can find a blossoming trend and make a design that encapsulates the moment, then you have found an easy, remarkably successful, way to keep that success train rolling. But you have to act fast. Choo choo!
So that’s it! Learn from these mistakes and don’t repeat them. Take your first good idea and launch a shop. You don’t need to, nor should you have to, wait for that perfect idea before starting your online store. Try lots of ideas and learn on the fly. Also, don’t forget to promote your shop. Tell the world how awesome you are. Don’t hide, and don’t be afraid of pride. Lastly, upload designs and stay relevant… and then upload even more designs and remain top of mind with your followers. It takes a bit of hustle and some forward thinking, but if you remember these tips and learn from them, maybe one day you too can be a merchandising success story.