5 Reasons Why You Need an Online Merchandise Store

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Online merchandise stores have a reputation for being a hassle. Buying inventory you might not need, large upfront costs, and order fulfillment used to make running an online store a nightmare.

Committing to an online merchandise store might seem like a big leap that isn’t worth the reward.

However, some new platforms — like our preferred partner platform, Revv — have made it easier than ever to operate online stores. Here’s how Ryan Lyk, COO of Revv, describes their merchandising features:

Revv makes setting up an online store easy and cost-effective. Campaigns shouldn’t have to worry about sourcing products, dealing with shipping, or buying products in bulk. We’re handling all of this for our customers, freeing them up to focus on what actually matters to their cause.

With Revv’s on-demand storefront, it’s simple to customize your products, vendors handle fulfillment, and there’s no investment required for inventory you aren’t sure that you can sell. Merchandise is produced on-demand.

Without the traditional headache that comes with setting up an online merchandise store, it’s a no-brainer.

Every second you are operating without an online store, you are losing chances to connect with small-dollar donors, spur further donations, and spread brand awareness.

What can an online store do for you? Let’s break it down.

1. Add a no-risk revenue stream

Gone are the days of high-risk, high-investment online stores with uncertain rewards. New platforms have reduced the amount of investment and effort required to start an online store.

The risk is finally worth the reward. An online store is a bet you cannot lose.

Our clients who have rolled out online stores have already seen profit margins ranging from 25%-31%. As online stores become easier to manage and operate with almost no-risk, they are becoming a necessary part of running a complete digital operation.

2. Raise brand awareness

An online merchandise store can help boost brand awareness and spread the good word about your product, client, or mission. Physical products can help remind donors and advocates who you are, why they support you, and what you stand for.

Whether it’s a catchy bumper sticker, a coffee mug with your logo on it, or a clever and stylish tee shirt — these physical objects don’t just endear you to the owner. They also take your brand offline and introduce it to the friends & family of your most loyal supporters.

3. Increase engagement with your audience

Branded products can provide incentives for users to engage with your content. Use merchandise to turn engaged subscribers into advocates for your brand.

You don’t even have to convince your audience to purchase the items in your store — you can offer them as rewards for donating over a certain threshold or taking a certain action.

Including yard signs, bumper stickers, mugs, or whatever you can think of as rewards for donations builds a lasting connection between you and your audience. Someone who buys an item for your online store is likely to also be a powerful advocate for your brand.

4. Change up your content

Does your content ever get stale? Do you find yourself repeating similar donation asks every month?

Having an online store can increase the variety of content you offer your audience on a regular basis. Instead of asking for a donation or rehashing an content marketing angle, you can send an email blast highlighting the various products your online store has to offer. Need to fill a gap in your social media content calendar? Create a post that drives people to your store.

Content that drives people to an online store can offer your audience a break from your regular content marketing program and showcase your unique products.

5. Grow your email list and social followers

Incentivizing people to join your list can be hard. Online stores can make it easier to grow your list and spur engagement.

Offer products in your store as an incentive for people to follow your social accounts, join your email list, or refer new subscribers. Running a sweepstakes campaign or offering discounts on your products for new audience members can leverage your online store into a powerful tool for list growth.

Want to see how we set up an online store for one of our clients that raised nearly $100,000 in just a few months? Check out our case study here.

Thinking of opening your own online storefront? Team IMGE can help! Drop us a line here.

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