Pulling off a successful shop launch can be just the boost you need to take your creative passion and turn it into a sustainable business. And although we’ve made the process of putting your merch out into the world as easy as possible, in order to be successful, you’ll want to plan your launch carefully from the moment you decide this is something you want to do.
What You Should Do — Before Doing Anything
Let’s get something out of the way: Putting together a cohesive plan for launching your shop shouldn’t require an MBA. That said, there are a few key steps you’ll want to take early on if you really want to kill it. And it starts with understanding your own talents and abilities.
What are you passionate about creating? What are the kinds of products you’ll want to make synonymous with your brand? What’s the unique spin that you’ll put on your merch? WHAT you are selling is as important, if not more important, than the fact that you’re opening a shop in the first place. Answers to questions like those will ensure your launch stands out and offers your fans something they can’t get anywhere else.
Keep Your Launch Organized
Check, check, check again — your site, that is. When getting ready for your launch, make sure there aren’t any issues that might prevent your fans from getting that plushie they’ve been eying like a dead link, for example.
Also, make sure you are keeping track of what you have and in what quantity. Something going quick? You’ll want to make sure you’re on top of your inventory (particularly if you’ve opted for a limited edition style drop) so you can let your fans know if something’s running low, or if a product is sold out, you can redirect them to something else.
Promote, Promote, Promote
This is THE most important step — so crucial, in fact, that we’ve got an entirely separate post on the best tips and tricks to promote your launch (and drops) on social media. But for now, here’s what’s important to know: First, promotions and sales come in waves — no waves, no sales. You, as the creator, are responsible for creating those waves. And the more you promote, the more waves you generate, the more you’re going to increase your sales. That means, if you don’t use your social media channels to let your fans know when your launch is coming or what products you’re offering, or if you don’t pay attention to finer details like post cadence, image sizing or linking correctly — your store is likely going to be going nowhere. Fast.
You have a platform — use it.
Don’t Forget Than Fans
And speaking of fans: When you’re thinking about what products to host in your store at launch, ask yourself, “what would my fans want?” And then, you know, actually ask them what they want.
No, seriously — consider getting your supporters in early and often, like setting up polls to find out what kinds of products or designs they’d be into, or by getting their opinions on items you’ve already created. That way you can cut down on the chance that your drop won’t be received as well as you hoped.
More Tips and Tricks For Prepping for Launch
- Lean on your fellow creators. If you have a network of creators you know personally, consider sending them some samples with a note about your launch with the hopes they’ll love what they get and want to share with their followers. Boldness can go a long way!
- Don’t forget to say “thank you.” With the Fourthwall app’s Thank You tool, you can send fans personalized and shareable messages when they make a purchase. And that’s a great way to earn some free impressions when they post your thank you on their social channels.
Also when placing an order I can see your little messages pop up on my phone!! You guys are so sweet ❤️— Niki (@Nihaachu) March 26, 2021
(I will try to send back as many thank yous as I can once I am less tired!!) pic.twitter.com/eQyIrn9j7X