Getting your company’s branded merchandise into the hands of existing or potential customers can be a highly effective marketing strategy. However, the challenge is to effectively and efficiently distribute merchandise to all employees across your organization’s various locations, while having a method of keeping track of orders and usage.
Distributing your company’s branded merchandise across multiple locations for marketing purposes can be a time-consuming and chaotic process. Or it can be an easy, streamlined undertaking with a well-structured company store that eliminates the usual headaches and hassles.
Why Branded Merchandise Works
Branded merchandise is an effective marketing tool for several reasons, with longevity being one of the foremost. While a radio or TV ad may last 30 seconds, consumers who receive branded merchandise keep it around for an average of seven months or longer. The cost per impression of branded merchandise can be far less costly than traditional ads, and it typically makes a more favorable, lasting impact.
Of course, its effectiveness can be negated by lack of an effective distribution system – which is precisely where an online company store steps in.
How a Company Store Makes It Work for You
In one central location, an online company store stocked with branded merchandise offerings allows each location or employee to order the exact amount and type of merchandise needed. Once your store is set up with approved merchandise, simply enable budget or cost center access for each location and enable authorized employees order the merchandise as needed. You can also provide open access for all employees to place personal orders with a credit card.
An online company store will help you solve many of the common challenges most companies face.
Challenge No. 1: Employees distributing non-approved merchandise
Perhaps location A forgot about a huge seminar next week, or location B needs 50 shirts, immediately. In their rush for items, perhaps employees think they’re doing the right thing if they hurriedly order branded merchandise from whatever company they can find.
Ordering merchandise from random companies and online sellers runs the risk of ending up with low-quality merchandise that may not align with brand standards. Order from your trusted online company store, and orders consistently contain high-quality, approved merchandise every time.
Challenge No. 2: Difficulty tracking stock, recalling what merchandise went to which locations
Instead of scurrying to send 10 hats to location A, 100 shirts to location B and 1,000 pens to location C – and then keeping track of what merchandise was sent to each location – an online company store with effective reporting takes care of the usage tracking for you.
Full order histories are available to individual authorized shoppers as well as your online administrators. That means tracking information, reorders and other details are available for every order ever placed, keeping a comprehensive order and usage history right at your fingertips.
Challenge No. 3: Staying within budget for each location
An online company store can be set up to control spending of each location or employee by allocating specified budgets to each. You can also set up approval requirements by dollar amount or quantity if needed.
Challenge No. 4: Order fulfillment
Having all of your branded merchandise physically on hand can be a costly undertaking. You will have to find a place to store all of your merchandise, and when it comes time to distribute items to your various locations, someone has to physically gather, pack and then ship out the items.
An online company store eliminates all those issues in one fell swoop.The online company store will serve as the main distribution center which ships out your merchandise as rapidly as it’s ordered. No more storage rooms packed with dozens items; no more manually selecting, packing and shipping out items, and no more spreadsheets detailing who requested which items.
Challenge No. 5: Eliminate production times and minimums for end users
With an online company store featuring integrated order fulfillment, your items are always in stock, with orders processed and shipped same day. As soon as one of your locations or employees places an order online:
- The orders is immediately received by the fulfillment center
- The order is promptly gathered and packed
- The bar-coded packing slip is scanned into the integrated shipping system
- The order is sent on its way, and you immediately receive tracking information
Building your brand with company branded merchandise can be incredibly effective, but you will need an efficient method for distribution. With real-time available inventory, budget and order tracking; rapid distribution, and high-quality, approved merchandise, a company store can save you money and widen your reach, boosting your overall marketing power.