An effective merchandise strategy is all about long-term thinking. Branded merch is a fantastic way for people who love your company to support and represent it, boosting brand awareness and loyalty while creating an additional revenue stream.
Seasonality can throw a spanner in the works for some, with businesses like breweries, wineries, and creative events typically busy across sunnier seasons but quieter in winter months.
The following guide outlines how to take advantage of tourist season for your merch strategy and why it's best to arrange reliable merchandise printing sooner rather than later.
Does Seasonality Affect You?
While not every industry is heavily affected by seasonality, plenty of leading Australian sectors are greatly impacted by the sway from ‘tourist season’ to ‘off-season’ that occurs each year as the weather changes.
Impactful seasonal merchandise can help, but strategic planning is needed to prevent running out of stock during short product life cycles. By focusing on creating high-value items with usability you can deliver functional merch products your customers will appreciate, with attractive branded apparel designs.
Discover more key tips for planning your seasonal merch assortments to help maximise your revenue, and connect further with your customers along the way.
You Run Events Through The Year
Running events year-round can make merch planning tricky, with uncertain facts like weather and attendance numbers ready to cause-potential issues. Using retail analytics helps reduce the impact of seasonal variability, stocking up the right merch at the right times.
Why not coordinate special brand events with a commemorative merch drop? Creating a limited supply of one-off items builds demand, with scarcity of product leaving everyone afraid to miss out.
Tourism Brings In Your Clients
Tourists are great customers, but catering to a wide range of people is tough. Creating popular merch is a combination of deciding what you want your brand to say and who you want to rep it, before clarifying who is buying your goods and what products are they looking for.
The answer is somewhere in the middle, with a varied and accessible product mix that delivers something different outside the typical t-shirts, hats and hoodies. Focus on creating clean, fashion-forward designs that tourists will want to wear immediately or add into their daily wardrobe - quality merchandise is not simply a reflection of your personal tastes!
A great tip is including your location on a design, from specific spots like Margaret River to larger regions such as Perth or WA, allowing tourists to bring a piece of their holiday back home. As well as acting as a conversation piece it helps to create a loyal fan base.
You Have High And Low Periods Each Year
Regardless of what time of year you are busiest, the key is having a manageable retail strategy that caters to the weather at hand. Lean into cross-cutting themes that appeal to a wider audience, with lightweight fabrics and sun-appropriate hats during Spring and Summer, shifting into warmer clothes, layers, and headwear during Autumn and Winter.
Focus on boosting customer engagement year-round, creating a great shopping experience that entices sales with aesthetic and weather-appropriate seasonal merchandise. Have a smaller but prominent collection during low periods, and ensure a fully-stocked retail fixture for a compelling display during busy periods.
Focus on planning ahead as the weather is not within your control. Try dropping hoodies and warmer clothing a season ahead to prepare for climate curve balls like unexpected drops in temperature.
Making Your Merchandise Work For You
Connecting personally with customers is the best way to build long-lasting brand loyalty, and quality merchandise printing is the perfect way to boost brand awareness while promoting your products and services.
An effective branded merch strategy requires a tailored approach that embraces your busy tourist season, ensuring high ROI throughout high periods while cutting inventory costs and minimising markdowns during low periods.
Determining how to plan for all prominent variables can be complex, but the combination of a retail-specific demand forecast and suitably-impactful marketing techniques can improve all aspects of your merch strategy; from improved customer service and more sales to optimised KPIs.
Strategic Merchandise Drops
Timing a merch drop with a big upcoming event or expected increase in customer numbers is an effective way to build demand. Offering limited-edition products that are only available for a short time taps into people's desire for unique or exclusive items, creating competition and demand in the fast-paced world of retail and ecommerce.
Remember - exclusive merch drops and limited edition promotional items do not need to be garish or loud to make a real impact, customers value high-quality products over an eye-catching design. An impactful merchandise strategy values quality over quantity!
Free Word Of Mouth
Free marketing? Yes, please! Promoting seasonal or tourist-focused events with word-of-mouth marketing is a fantastic free way to build excitement, but organically building an audience takes prominent branding and a focus on selling an experience, not just an event or location.
Festival merch is hugely popular largely due to industry influencers, customer testimonials, and user-generated excitement spreading the word of the event's success and perceived originality.
Generating free word of mouth promotion begins with buzz marketing, where blogs, social media marketing, and other emotional and viral promotional techniques set the stage for organic growth.
Heighten Connection With Your Brand
While not every new customer will purchase merchandise, loyal recurring customers love being outfitted in branded merch. To heighten this connection with your brand it's essential to build an emotional link with your audience, standing out from the competition by actively listening to their thoughts and feedback.
Strengthening this connection requires custom interactions and active response, reaching customers as directly as possible means showing them you care. New garments, colours, styles and ideas are constantly being added; let The Fabric Printer know your customer's goals and together they can be easily achieved.
In return for this dedication these heightened connections will result in increased brand loyalty and meaningful interactions - often in the form of purchasing branded goods and event merch.
High Quality Merchandise Printing in Australia
The Fabric Printer is an industry leader in garment printing and embroidery, supplying top-quality custom merchandise printing to a wide range of popular brands. An extensive range of premium accessories, from tote bags to tea towels, can take your merchandise strategy to the next level, whether you run an event company or location, brewery, Not For Profit, or operate in a popular tourist destination.