At Fanbace we know merchandise plays a vital role in the success of all independent musicians. We’ve built a business to help artists maximise the merchandise opportunity.
Merch not only allows fans to show their support, but also serves as a valuable revenue stream.
Merchandise serves as a tangible connection between you, the artist, and your fans. It helps to build a community and creates a lasting impression. Merch also serves as a promotional tool, spreading awareness of your music and boosting your brand’s visibility. Beyond that, merch can be a significant revenue generator, especially in an era where streaming income may not suffice.
Below we will delve into the world of merch for independent musicians. We will explore its significance, guide you through getting started, help you select the right products, and provide strategies to maximise your profits.
Before diving head first into merch, it’s crucial to establish your identity. Understand your unique qualities, target audience, and style that will resonate with your fans and is aligned with your music.
Collaborate with a graphic designer. There are tons of freelance websites where you can hire designers at affordable rates. Fivver, DesignCrowd and 99designs are good places to start.
Reach Out to your fans, there may be a graphic designer among them that would love the opportunity to help out.
Create designs yourself using tools like Canva and Photopea. Consider the merchandise items that reflect your image, make sense to you as an artist, and would appeal to your fans.
There are a number of considerations when it comes to choosing a platform to sell your merchandise. Fanbase has integrations with Shopify, Bandcamp, MusicGlue, as well as offering our own lite eCom solution, STORES.
Before you get started ask yourself, what do we want a site to do for me? This will help you determine what route to take.
STORES by Fanbace
If all your fan engagement takes place on social media, we’d recommend combining a link in bio tools, such as LinkTree or Feature FM, with STORES by Fanbace. STORES is our lite ecom solution.
STORES is free and very easy to use. Here’s a short video showing you how to set up a store. Start selling band merch online in minutes. Our checkout flow is built on Stripe Connect, making it fast and secure. You get instant access to your profits and keep 100% of your fan data.
We provide you a unique Store URL (add to your linkinbio) and QR code for each store. There are no limits on the number of stores you can create. And you have a number of customisation options to make your STORE look and feel on brand.
Adding the STORE URL to your linkinbio or in your Reels, Stories and post will keep your fan in one place for all your news.
Shopify is renowned for its intuitive and user-friendly interface. Selling Merch online with Shopify is easy for artists with little to no technical expertise can easily set up and manage their online store. The platform provides customizable templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and a simple process for uploading music, making it easy for musicians to create an attractive and professional online presence.
Shopify offers a range of eCom tools to assist musicians in selling merchandise. For example, abandon cart, an email will be sent to your fan reminding them they left something in their cart if they don’t complete checkout. Your fans can get distracted when checking out. Sending a simple reminder can make all the difference.
Shopify makes it safe and easy for your fans to purchase using their preferred payment methods. This for some fans can be the difference between buying your Tee or not.
Shopify has integrations with Spotify and YouTube. Enabling you to promote and sell your merch seamlessly, expanding your reach and making sure your fans get the opportunity to purchase wherever they’re listening to your music.
Shopify is a scalable platform, meaning it can accommodate artists at all stages of their careers. Whether you’re just starting out or have a substantial fan base, Shopify can adapt to your needs. You can start with a basic plan and upgrade as your fanbase grows.
While Shopify offers various pricing plans, some independent musicians may find the monthly fees and transaction fees associated with the platform to be a barrier. Especially if they are just starting out or have limited financial resources. It’s important to consider the costs and evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the expenses.
For independent musicians, Bandcamp stands out as a popular choice. Designed specifically for musicians and music lovers, Bandcamp offers a range of features that can benefit independent artists. However, as with any platform, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider.
Bandcamp is a platform built exclusively for musicians and music enthusiasts. It provides a dedicated space for artists to showcase their music and sell merch directly to fans, creating a community that focuses on the love of music.
With Fanbace you can start selling merch online with Bandcamp in a matter of minutes. The process is a bit more manual then STORES or Shopify, but the effort is worth it as the community of music lovers provide a great opportunity.
While Bandcamp excels as a music-centric platform, it lacks some of the advanced e-commerce features provided by other platforms like Shopify. Payments are managed by Bandcamp and you can withdraw any amount over $15. Musicians looking for a more robust e-commerce experience might find Bandcamp’s offerings limited.
While Bandcamp provides tools for fan engagement, the platform relies heavily on musicians’ efforts in marketing and promotion. Artists are responsible for driving traffic to their Bandcamp pages and building a dedicated fan base. This requires proactive marketing strategies, social media presence, and collaboration with other artists or industry influencers to increase visibility.
Music Glue offers independent musicians a powerful combination of e-commerce functionality and artist services. Artists can directly sell their merchandise, while also accessing additional features like ticketing, fan data management, and analytics.
The platform also allows for customizable storefronts, enabling artists to create a unique and engaging experience for fans. Artist can start selling merch online with MusicGlue in minutes. With robust fan data and analytics tools, artists gain valuable insights into their audience, including demographics, purchase behaviour, and engagement patterns.
Music Glue integrates smoothly with social media and streaming platforms, enabling artists to promote their merch and engage with fans seamlessly across various channels.
The traditional model, you need to take into account factors like upfront production costs, inventory management, and shipping. Research reliable suppliers and fulfilment services to ensure smooth operations.
When working with Fanbace, logistics is no longer an issue. Using our global print on demand (PoD) infrastructure you have access to production and fulfilment spanning all major terrierties. We PoD removes the need for stock and upfront costs. When an order is placed, we print and fulfil your orders at the closest of our partner facilities to your fan. Removing all the barriers to you selling merch.
Utilise your social media platforms, email newsletters, and live performances to promote your merchandise. Engage with your fans, offer discounts or deals, and create limited-time offers to drive sales.
Create special merchandise bundles that include exclusive content, unreleased tracks, or behind-the-scenes footage. This adds value to your products and encourages fans to make a purchase.
If you’re performing live, capitalise on the opportunity to sell merchandise at your shows. Fan are primed to purchase at shows.
Use our STORE QR codes to allow fans to buy at their convenience. Once they scan the code and place an order, we take over. Printing and shipping to their door in a few days. No more waiting in line to be told you’ve run out of stock. You also get that fans data and visibility of their buying behaviour.
Consider collaborating with other artists or bands to create limited-edition merchandise. This can expand your reach and attract new fans who are already loyal to the collaborating party.
Merchandise is an essential aspect of an independent musician’s career. By understanding its importance, carefully selecting the right products, and implementing effective strategies, you can not only generate additional income but also strengthen your bond with fans. Embrace the power of Fanbace, be creative and build a thriving community around your music.
Best of luck on your merch journey! Team Fanbace