Give good fair prices on all your merchandise. The cost should be high enough that you make a profit, but low enough for your fans to feel like they got a good or fair deal. Remember to know your fan base. If your average fan is in college or high school, it may make more sense to capture a smaller profit per item but attempt to move higher quantities. Your profit margin can be extremely complicated and have a wide range of values depending on your consumer demand, manufacturing process, and distribution. When you’re starting out as a young and rising artist, 40-60% is a fair profit margin.
Rapid shipping is very important and depending on what’s being purchased it should be free or at no markup to ship. As soon as your fan/customer purchase’s your merchandise there should be the same day or 1-day turnaround on shipping, three days is the absolute maximum and should not happen unless there are extenuating circumstances. Pack and ship with pride!
Ensure everything you ship is clean and in perfect condition. For example, double check to see the shirts are clean, the pens write, and straps on the backpacks are intact. If you’re selling music products, check to ensure they are in working order.
Add-on sales are a great way to increase sales, and it’s a direct result of excellent customer service. If you’ve ever worked in retail, you’ll understand this concept. If a fan is purchasing your t-shirt, you should suggest they buy a hat or hoodie to go with it. Make sure all their needs are met, and you will be very successful selling merchandise.
Thank them for every purchase and let them know you appreciate their patronage. Throwing free swag in their box is a great way to show them you care. This could be stickers, pens, and other small items. A personalized letter from you (the artist) is also a great way to go. Fans love hearing from their favorite artists, and they love it more when it’s personalized to them. Invite them to rate your merchandise and give feedback. Good reviews can be used as press or inside your Electronic Press Kit, and they can also increase sells.
Make sure you keep in contact with them by mailing list to invite them back for future business and keep them updated with your latest news. Providing a receipt stating the ship date, item, cost, etc. can give your fans a piece of mind that doing business with you is secure and safe.
Always communicate through Innovadiv or the platform you’re using to keep the transaction safe and straightforward for both parties. Things can get confusing and misconstrued if different modes of communication are used.
Respond to all messages quickly by replying the same day or at least adhere to the 24-hour reply standard. When answering always be sincere and connect on a personal level. Remember this person is supporting your brand and every fan counts!
Keep customers appraised during all steps of the process, so they understand what is happening. From the time they get to your Innovadiv page to the time, they receive your merchandise they should be aware of what’s happening in the process.
Having a detailed and honest description is a must! This is the area that will describe the merchandise to the buyer and entice them to purchase. This is also the area that will protect you from false statements given by unhappy consumers. Everyone has their hands in the artists’ pockets nowadays, and this is no different. Protect yourself from lawsuits and even PayPal issues by providing a detailed and accurate description.
Pictures are a great way to showcase merchandise and images with real people wearing your merchandise is even better. It shows how the gear will look on an actual human and it brings a great deal of character to the items. You can also run cool marketing campaigns and have fans submit photos of them wearing your stuff! Make sure all pictures are HD quality and offer multiple viewing angles. If you’re not experienced in photography or lacking the necessary equipment to take quality photos consider working with a photographer. The Innovadiv Artist Network is a great place to connect with one.
If any of your merchandise has a flaw or blemish, make sure to contact the company that manufactured the item and has them fix the issue immediately. Don’t compromise on quality; your merchandise is a direct reflection of you.
Anticipate questions and include them in the description.
Have a global vision and don’t forget about your international fans! You sell your music overseas so why not sell your merchandise and products? Selling globally also increases your fan base and brings more repeat customers.