As much as audio distribution has changed over the last 10 years, how we sell, produce and fulfill merchandise has also undergone huge changes. With advancements in eCom and Print On Demand, never has it been easier for an artists to start selling and creating revenue from merchandise on a global scale.
Fanbace enables all artists to sell merch by removing all barriers to entry. We have combined tech and our global Print on Demand partner network to remove risk, upfront cost and the overheads associated with selling merchandise.
In a matter of minutes all artists can now create and make merch available to a global fanbase without upfront costs or minimum order quantities. Our Print On Demand solution enables artists to offer merchandise with any of the overheads of the traditional merchandise model. Once your fan places an order we take over, managing production and fulfillment so you don’t have to. We aim to fulfil order from the closest of our partner facilities direct to your fan. Allowing you to focus on the business of making amazing music.
Make a plan and set goals! Knowing the cash figure you need to earn to support your music career is key. If you need lets say, a $1000 to record a new record. And you plan on getting in the studio in August. Knowing what you can earn monthly from your artist revenue streams (Streaming, Physical Sales, Merch Sales, Live Shows) means you can plan and to make up the shortfall with more paid shows and merch drops.
Set a merch revenue goal at the start of the year. Identify events and moments in the coming year that give opportunities to offer merch. For example releasing new music, live shows or the anniversary of a past release. To get you started we’ve created the Merch Calendar. A Google sheet to help you plan and track your progress. We’ve also added key international music industry events so you have visibility of potential networking and showcasing opportunities around the world. YOU’RE WELCOME!
In the spreadsheet plot out events you have dates for from the start to the end of the year. Gather all the relevant information, artwork etc. in one place. A Dropbox or Google drive for example. This will make it easier to give others access. Once you have all the required info you can start to schedule when you need to artwork and merch products created and really start to build out your merch strategy for the coming year.
Of course your schedule will change, live show dates will come and go, but the real power of a sheet such as this is, it gives you a focus point and makes you think of more ways to monetise throughout the year.
Create an evergreen Merch range! This will be the foundation of your merch offering. A core set of products and colours with your band logo. This range is always available so fans can get their hands on a LOGO TEE at anytime. Keep the colour ways consistent with the brand identity.
All other merchandise drops through the year will come and go to support and celebrate events, tour and or new music. Products in these drops can be off brand, ie colours that complement release artwork, on brand with a festival you’re playing or a play on a yearly event ie Halloween. This is your opportunity to experiment and give your fans something new/different to your evergreen range.
Print on Demand removes all the limitation of traditional merchandise. Enabling you to experiment with products, colours, styles etc, without risk or committing to producing produce before you even know if your fans want it. As there are not minimums you can create tee, order a sample and if your like the results make it available to your fans. If you don’t like it, at least you know before ordering 100 units!
Create drops around artwork themes, a release or tour. Using the same design across t-shirts, hoodies, sweats and other items. This gives fans more options and will lead to a higher spend at checkout.
Giving your fans more options can lead to higher conversion, repeat sales and basket value. We’re not saying you need to offer the kitchen sink, just widen your offer within the limits of what makes sense to you and your fans.iyt
Use high-quality images and descriptions. Where possible, shoot your own product images and use them on your webstore. This will ensure you show off your merch in a way that is relevant to your audience. The mockups we provide are OK, but they’re not going to show your merch in a way that resonates with your fans.
To help, we give all Fanbace users a 25% discount off 1x order per month, very month. You’ll see this months code on a popup when you log into the dashboard. A good use of the discount is to order samples which can be used to check quality and create content to promote your band merch. Including your own mockups.
It is proven that authentic product images result in higher conversion rates. If your fans see someone like them modeling your merch they can visualise themselves wearing it. So it’s worth taking the time to do this!
Detailed descriptions help your fan understand how your merch is produced, the ethics of your product chooses (eco, sustainable, Vegan Approved etc.) sizing and where orders are printed and shipped from.
Make sure to highlight that your merch will be printed and shipped from a facility close to them. In a lot of cases we print and fulfil in the fans country, resulting in local shipping rates and faster delivery times. This information will increase sales, as high shipping costs are the number #1 reason fans abandon a purchase.
We produce all merch using industry leading digital Print On Demand technology. High quality digital output. This means, if your artwork used to create your merch in Fanbace is of low or poor quality, this will affect the print quality of your Merch. WHAT YOU PUT IN YOU GET OUT!
We don’t tamper with your artwork, nor do we check the quality of each and every files uploaded. So it’s important that you are familiar with and understand our artwork specs. If artwork and design is not your thing, we’d suggest working with a designer who can provide the files you need first time.
We provide product artwork templates for all products. If you are working with a designer send them here! They’ll get all the info they need to deliver artwork with the required spec and you’ll end up with amazing merch!
Consistency is key. Fans are people with busy lives and the distractions of all the other content coming at them every minute of the day. So being consistent in your approach how you release music and drop merch is key for long term success. It’s a proven technique used in eCom. Train your fans to expect new merch on a consistent bases. Timing new merch drops on the same day, at the same time can increase conversion rates. Over the months your fans will grow to expect new merch on that day and will be primed to purchase.You should aim to drop new merch at least every 2 months. We’d suggest once a month, but understand for some this is not realistic. Using the Merch Calendar will help identify opportunities when in the months when you’re out of cycle.
I know this sounds like a no brainer, but we see it all the time. Merch is created, made available, but there’s no promotion. How do your fans know you have new merch if you don’t tell them?
Create content to showcase your merchandise on social channels and direct via email. Try build suspense by dropping a tesser, or create a FOMO (Fear of missing out) event “Only available for 1 week”.
You can use free tools like Canva to create social content in a matter of minutes. There’s no need to hire a designer to do this. There’s tons of templates to get you started.
If you have hired a designer, make it’s part of the deal that they provide social content showing your new merch. A tile with all your new merchandise nicely laid out. You could also as to supply product mockups. Even if you don’t use it right away, it’s content you can use in the future. Better to have then to want!
Make it very clear where and when your merch can be purchased. Encourage fans to make a purchase by letting them know what the profits from your merch will be used for. Fans want to support you, so give em something and a reason to buy.
Your Email list is GOLD. Direct contact with your fans and those who have purchased from you in the past, or have signed up to your mailing list shows high intent. They are very clearly fans and should be getting most of your attention. Give them early access to new merch. Ask them questions, “What merch would you like me to drop next?”. If they spend £100+ a year on your merch etc, send them a personal video message thanking them for their support. You need to play to this crowd as they are your true fans.
Extra Tip: If you have a fan community on Facebook, create a Facebook Event to promote merch drops. Why? It’s a free way to get information in front of your fans, via their handset. Push notifications has shown to have a 20%+ higher conversion rate than email. As more and more people move away from email, Push notifications will be the direct method of communication with fans in the future. So get use to it now.
Shopify Users: Fanbace is fully integrated with Shopify. Start selling in minutes!
Shopify in itself is a sales channel, but through integrations with other platforms it opens up more opportunities for artists to leverage fan engagement.
Selling Merch on Spotify:
Connect your Shopify to your Spotify for Artists account and you can make 3 merchandise products available on your Spotify profile for fans to purchase. Orders are placed via your Shopify store and we manage them in the same way as a standard Shopify orders.
Selling Merch on YouTube:
If you have a YouTube Channel with 1000+ subs you maybe eligible for monetisation. Connecting your Shopify store to your YouTube account is very simple. Once connected you can make merch available via a STORE page and below videos on your channel. Via the same channel you can make your merch available via Google Shopping. Google Shopping will show your Merch to people searching for you using Google. Two channels and more opportunities with a single connection.
Orders are placed via your Shopify store and we manage them in the same way as a standard Shopify order.
Facebook & Instagram Shops:
Connect to Meta to enable Facebook and Instagram Shops and allow your fans to browse and shop from your Facebook and Instagram profiles. You can also easily promote products in posts, stories and reels. Orders are placed via your Shopify store and we manage them in the same way as a standard Shopify order.
There are more channel options available. Find a full list and more information here!
Fanbace is fully integrated with Bandcamp. Get started in minutes!
The beauty of Bandcamp is it’s Free and one of the largest independent music discovery platforms on the planet. With a thriving community of active music lovers searching for new artists to follow and support.
Bandcamp supports artists with Bandcamp Friday. Each monthly, Bandcamp waves fees and commision for 24 hours, midnight-to-midnight PST. Putting more profit in to the pockets of artists and labels. You can find all the details on Bandcamp Friday here –> isitbandcampfriday.com.
Leverage Bandcamp as another sales channels. Offer the same merch as on Shopify and other channels. Casting the net wider and increasing the potential for a sale.
Fanbace fulfils Bandcamp orders automatically in the same way we do Shopify orders.
Bandcamp doesn’t have the ability for us to publish products into their platform, so there is some manual work required to get products live. We explain and help with these videos that walk you through the process from start to finish.
STORES by Fanbace is our FREE to use proprietary eCom solution.
Once you’ve created two or more merch products you can spin up a store in a few seconds. There is no limits to the number of stores you can create.
Each STORE has a unique URL that can be shared with fans via direct email, link stickers in IG Stories & Reels or add to your #linkinbio.
Customise your Store in a few clicks. Change font, icon and background colours. Add a banner and your social URLs.
Each Store comes with a high-res QR Code. Try our Virtual Merch concept!
First Party Data is key to sustaining a long music career.
Communicating directly with your fans is imperative.
The of your mailing list is a true barometer of the size of your fanbase. Use tools such as Laylo to move fans from social followers into your mailing lists and direct DMs.
Create a clear picture of your fans LTV (lifetime value = how much a fan has spent on your merch, tickets etc) and segment fans into buckets Fan, Casual Fan or Super Fans. Set a goal to grow fan LTV each year.
Fan Segmentation looks something like this:
Fan – will never buy anything from you.
Casual Fan – make up 80% of total sales.
Super Fan – make up 20% of total sales. Will buy everything you put out, at any price.
The bucket fans land in determines how you communicate with them.
Fan – top of funnel. Know you exist but not committed. “Hey, we have new music on the way and I wanted to give you a snippet to wet your appetite. Click Here to pre-save the single and listen to the snippet. Want early access to my new merch when it drops? Click here and we’ll send you a link 24-hours before general release! Later”.
Casual Fan – mid-funnel. Interested, but has one foot in! “Hey, I have new music, merch and tour dates. Head here, enter your email address and will send you an access code to unlock the goodies 72 hrs before general release. Thank you for your continued support. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the track and hope to see you at a show soon!”.
Super Fans – bottom of funnel. Ready and waiting. High conversion opportunity. “Hey, new music alert! I wanted to thank you for all your support with a gift. Access to my new single, tour tickets and new merch before everyone else! You’ll also get to see how I recorded the track and some behind the scenes footage of the creative process. Click Here, enter your email address and will send you a validation code to unlock the goodies! Thank you for all support. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the track and new merch. Hope to see you at a show soon!”.