When participants enter your event, they are not just buying into the ‘on the day’ experience, they are also buying into your brand ethos and the community that you build around it.
When participants enter your event, they are not just buying into the ‘on the day’ experience, they are also buying into your brand ethos and the community that you build around it. This point of entry can be a great opportunity to maximise revenue over and above your standard entry fee by making additional merchandising sales. It makes good sense to offer your entrants variable ways to be associated with your event, thus increasing their loyalty to your brand.
The eventrac platform makes it easy to showcase all your merchandise. You can position this as a storefront or as part of the entry flow to your event. The eventrac platform can help you makes sales and increase your revenue streams. You are also able to quickly update images, stock levels, variations and report on sales so that you can easily manage your orders or ‘on the day’ pickups. For multiple events you can easily tick or untick merchandise to appear on each event simultaneously, saving you time without having to add the same item to each individual event, provided, of course that all your events sell some of the same merchandise.
So how can you maximise the merchandise tool and start selling more straight away? Firstly, don’t forget, we are here to help!
Yes! You may just be thinking of Race T-shirts… but there are plenty of other opportunities you can take advantage of by using the merchandise tool to add value to your event.
Here are some popular options and how to make the most of them:
Just like any E-commerce store you will want to optimise your content and product images to give offer the best possible chance of selling the items you are promoting. Maintaining adequate stock levels is also crucial to make sure you don’t under or over sell. Good stock management is essential to maintain an overview of your run rates on sales and work with your suppliers. Clear information is key so that you can give a good service and keep the customer satisfied. When displaying items and their descriptions pay attention to the following: -
Make sure the relevant merchandise is added to the relevant events so that when entrants are signing up to your race they are prompted to also purchase your merchandise. Cross marketing from the point of entry can give high conversion. Offering event linked elements, such as parking, also prompts the entrant to consider the event logistics in advance ie how they are going to get to the event on the day. This insight will also help you as an Events Planner to advance account for all possible logistical scenarios.
Eventrac makes it easy to quickly assign merchandise to your entry forms, view sales statistics and stay onto of your inventory. Whilst merchandise can be a powerful means of expanding your brand and creating a new revenue stream, don’t overwhelm your entrants. Be wary of adding too much merchandise to the entry form at the point of sign up as this could drive them away from entering your event altogether. It is a fine balance!
Your own website - Your eventrac entry page isn’t the only place you can sell your merchandise. We encourage you to discuss this with us as we can create special links that go to your own website or even offer “white labelled” sites that have the look and feel of your own branding but benefit from all the Eventrac back-end technologies.
On Event Day – Bring some stock down to your event hub set up a pop-up outlet. Make sure you have enough staff to man it and have facilities in place to accept and store cash securely or capability to accept credit card payments. Recording sales on the ground can be harder so make sure you have relevant record keeping systems in place that are user friendly in busy times. Keeping records on the day will help you to keep on top of your stock levels. You will have a very short window of opportunity at the beginning of the event, but many participants will bring supporters who will need something to occupy them whilst the event is going on so before, during and post the event finish is an opportunity to create the ‘buzz’ to boost sales.
In a Local Shop – You may be able to collaborate with local businesses ie contact your local sports shop to see if they would be prepared to stock your products in return for being a named sponsor of your event. Co-promotion may help drive footfall to their business and in turn, leverage entries and sales for you. You may want to put some clear terms and conditions around this in any participation agreements you may set up with sponsors.
Retailing is a skill. The key is developing good relationships with your suppliers and understanding their terms, conditions, delivery times and ordering processes. It is important for you to maintain clear records for stock control. This is something you will want to get right from the start, for example, if you are selling race t-shirts then you should have a rough idea of how many you plan to sell, how much these cost you and when you need to place your orders so that you can have them to your customers in time. If you are fortunate to find a good supplier then you may be able to start selling your products before commit to an order, this allows you to calculate on average which % of entrants are purchasing – over a period of time this will give you a run rate figure that you can use to predict how much stock you need to buy.
For items such as parking, you will want to limit the stock level to the amount of spaces you have to allocate, you may wish to under allocate spaces to allow for some unexpected traffic on race day and more flexibility with your logistics.
Any items that don’t require limited stock you can leave as unlimited (eventrac makes this easy to do), ideal for things such as gift vouchers, meaning you don’t have to spend admin time closely monitoring these products you can just focus on fulling the orders.
There may be other on-costs to consider that you will need to factor into your budget which you should consider in advance to ensure that you remain in profit.
Re-Marketing your merchandise is important if you want to increase your sales. Don’t assume everyone is going to buy when they enter or happen to come across your storefront. You can also use your social channels, the inbuilt eventrac email marketing tool and local marketing methods to reminder entrants of the merchandise you offer. Remember under the new data protection rules you must hold and record permissions to cross market so ask the right questions at the point of entry. Don’t break the rules on this. It’s a topic that may have gone quiet but hasn’t gone away!
If you are particularly retail savvy you may want to be more targeted in how you approach nurturing customer loyalty. Why not analyse and report on the sales you have made and work out which of your entrants haven’t purchased anything from you yet and what barriers there may be preventing you from engaging with them. This allows you to be smarter in how you contact your entrants, for example – reminding those that haven’t purchased parking there is still time to buy, prompting those that haven’t ordered their race t-shirt yet or contact could be via a promotional email highlighting a brand/sponsor.
If you are selling the same items each year, for example clothing pieces then why not print the date of the event on the item branding. Your entrants who come back each year may want to purchase the ‘latest design’ rather than be seen in last year’s model! However, this approach will rely heavily upon your efficiencies and effectiveness of stock management. The advantage of not printing the date is you can reuse your stock every year! Oh yes, and don’t forget to check “sell by” or “best by” dates if the items are perishable. Consider clearing old stocks items by introducing terminology like “stock clearance sale” or “end of season sale” etc. Everyone loves a bargain!
We’re here to help
If you have any questions or would like some help and advice around improving your merchandise sales, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
*ITab is a third-party company and Eventrac Limited has no commercial business ties with this company and therefore cannot be held liable for, or accountable for, or intervene in, any dispute with this company as a result of any business, formal or informal arrangement between an event organiser and that company which is outside of Eventrac Limited’s control and remit.
**From 28 May 2018 all marketing emails needed to be compliant with the new GDPR regulations ie you will need opt in permissions to contact. If you are unsure about the implications of this Eventrac can offer some guidance on this.
The team at eventrac are on hand to assist with all components of your event. From advice on promoting your event through low cost channels such as social media, to a guided tutorial on a specific feature of eventrac. We are here to help.