One of the services that we offer for our clients is building and supplying e-commerce stores with branded merchandise, and managing product fulfillment. It’s a great solution for businesses such as bands, schools, sports teams, franchises who might not have the capacity, or businesses who want to allow employees to shop for company merch on a reputable platform. We’ve worked with numerous companies across multiple industries to manage their e-commerce process!
When working with clients, we want to ensure the site follows brand guidelines, and the products stocked are relevant with their audiences. Here are some of the questions we explore with clients during the process.
Product Selection Process for an E-Commerce Store
Ultimately, marketing is about finding solutions for customers! Major considerations are made regarding the business’ target audience—key demographics, preferences, lifestyle, where they are located, what their major challenges/wants/needs are, etc.
As well, what is the level of quality and diversity in products that consumers expect from your brand? Is your brand known for its affordable apparel or premium goods? What profit margins are you aiming for?
Looking at competitors—what products are they stocking and what are their best sellers? What gaps can you identify in the market that you can fulfil and add value to your brand with?
Leveraging Favourite and Popular Items
Every business will have best sellers. If you’re a new business that is unsure, now’s the time to engage with your audience to find out what branded items they’d love to see! (Some options would be outreach via social media, email, survey, face-to-face conversations, etc.)
Versatile products that consumers generally love include:
- apparel such as t-shirts and sweatshirts,
- accessories such as baseball caps and backpacks,
- drinkware such as water bottles and mugs,
- and miscellaneous products such as notebooks and pens
As previously mentioned, it’s important to think about consumer genders, demographics, geographic location, budget, and what type of experience you want to create for them. For example, a younger consumer might respond more positively to an iridescent water bottle compared to an older individual!
For established businesses, some questions to ask would be:
- Which products have the highest sales volume?
- Can variations of the product be produced (e.g. new colour, size)?
- Which products are the most profitable?
- What products have customers responded positively to in the past and would like to see brought back?
These questions will also be key to think about when planning future products.
Introducing On Brand Products
Promotional Merchandise has Classics. The Usuals. The Standards. Items that everyone will use and want in their daily life.
The question is – how to you choose the right ones that represent your brand? What items aren’t currently being offered, but could be because they align with a company’s image or identity? For example, while Apple was known for their computers, branching out into tablets was acceptable because it aligned with Apple’s image as unparalleled in well-designed computers and electronics. Eyebrows would definitely be raised if they decided to launch shoes!
Thinking about your audience and buyer personas (aka profiles of your ideal customers) and your branding, here are some questions to consider:
- What does your brand stand for?
- What items can fall into your audience’s lifestyle?
- If your business is known for its vehicles, some on-brand products could include accessories for the car, such as keychains, air fresheners, organizers, cooler bags, etc.
If you’re struggling to identify what products align with your brand, let us help you brainstorm!
Add Some Surprises!
No Frills, a Canadian grocery chain, launched an album with food-centric lyrics such as, “Bananas/the portable fruit/put ‘em in a smoothie/or your cold-pressed juice”. No one expected this from a national grocery chain, but it was met with praise for its creativity and hard-hitting lyrics, and was even featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Adding unexpected products can be a positive surprise for customers, and generate buzz! With knowledge on the market and access to thousands of products, we can help you find fun unexpected products that will be highly requested.