Nowadays the ability to sell band merch is one of the most important facets of being a musical artist. Since tangible objects like CDs are declining as far as sales go thanks to streaming music platforms, musicians look for other ways to make up revenue.
Band merch is a form of creative expression for the artist and connection with the fans that also helps drive sales.
When you are brainstorming the types of merchandise to offer, think big picture about your band’s style and messaging. What types of products go along with that and would benefit your fans most?
Use your band logo as a jumping off point to determine color schemes and font styles.
Pick The Right Products
Everyone loves a good concert tee, so that item is pretty much a given – but what goes beyond that?
Wearables like hats, bandanas, and sweatshirts are just as popular. Small collectible items like stickers, pins, and patches play well.
You might also go outside the box and offer special edition vinyls, designed lyric books, or drinkware. Think of what you see your fans in possession of most at shows and offer products in the same vein.
Do Your Homework
After you’ve considered your fans and what merch they’d like, do a deep dive into how to get the merch made.
Research print-on-demand, bulk manufacturing, and local businesses who can make your creative dreams a tangible reality.
Ask to see samples so you know you are giving your fans quality merchandise. Barter discounts for large orders and make sure they are clear about production and shipping timelines.
Set Up Your Store
Putting together a merch table at a live show is a simple affair, but turning to e-commerce is a bit more nuanced.
Research e-commerce platforms and determine what’s best for you in terms of merchandise depth and breadth, transaction fees, promotional abilities, and overall budget.
Make the shop visually appealing and run test orders to ensure it’s technologically sound.
If e-commerce is something you’re unfamiliar with, consider hiring an expert to not only set your shop up but show you its intricacies so you can eventually run it on your own.
Promote, Promote, Promote
You can have the most beautifully designed e-store filled with quality merchandise, but if you don’t make customers aware of it you won’t make sales.
Thanks to social media it’s easier than ever now to promote products with a very small (or non-existent) budget.
If you partner with others to create products, such as a special coffee blend with a local shop, not only will you be offering something unique you’ll also have built-in advertising thanks to another entity being involved.
Make every new release item an event, hyping it up days before it actually goes on sale.
Keep Track Of What Works
Once your shop is up and running and sales are coming in, check in periodically with what is selling the best.
Cut out any products that sit with little sales, and capitalize on those that do well by offering a variety of colors or designs.