No matter how remarkable your online company store and its lineup of branded merchandise may be, the store isn’t going to deliver a remarkable performance unless you have buy-in from key players across your company. Those players go beyond the individuals who will be making the decisions on what products to stock. They include the array of different departments that will be using the store in various ways.
Marketing and Events
Your marketing and events teams will play a major role in your company store. They’ll be the ones who distribute your branded merchandise to other departments. They will also be handling the flow of merchandise designated to be handed out at events and trade shows. Events and trade shows are an ideal opportunity to share your branded merchandise to gain attention. Hand out items to anyone who walks by your booth with the goal of engaging potential customers. You can also give away items when someone buys your products or signs up for a free trial of your service. Don’t forget to distribute matching hats, shirts or other branded clothing items to employees to wear while working at the show or event. This provides additional visibility for your company without appearing forced.
Read More: How an Online Company Store Can Help with Brand Control
Human resources will be involved with your company store on a few different levels. The HR department can be tasked with developing and distributing welcome packages for new employees. These packages can contain branded clothing items that double as the company uniform, along with other items designed to familiarize new employees with the company and welcome them into the fold. Your human resource team will also serve as watchdogs on the lookout for unauthorized promotional items and brand abuse.
Your finance department is a key player in many company operations, and your online company store will definitely be one of them. Finance needs to be kept in the loop for bookkeeping purposes, tracking the outgoing expenses and incoming revenue. Managing and overseeing the company store budget is another task your finance team will be undertaking. They’ll be in charge of the overall store budget, as well as budgets allocated to various company departments or employees for company store purchases.
Branded merchandise is not just for marketing. It can also be an effective sales tool, which means you want buy-in from your sales team. Sales can give promotional products to prospects to create a favorable impression, particularly when the prospect is nearing the sale. The closer the lead is to becoming a sale, the more valuable merchandise the sales team can provide. Your sales team can likewise give branded merchandise to customers as a thank you for their purchases or referrals. Giving promotional items to customers you haven’t seen or heard from in some time can be a great reminder to them that you exist.
Bringing your retail teams into your company store loop can help boost business if you have brick-and-mortar shops. Branded merchandise can be used as an incentive for people to visit your retail branches, or to sign up for your mailing list or take other actions while they’re in your shop. Using promotional items in your retail locations raises your brand profile and helps you stay top of mind. Research shows 31 percent of people in the U.S. are more apt to do business with a company after they receive a promotional item from them. Branded merchandise also works as a cross-selling tool, with the ability to offer a free giveaway if a customer buying one product instead buys two.
Getting buy-in for your online company store from key players within your company can position your store for ultimate success. Obtaining that buy-in won’t be all that difficult, either. Simply give them the details on how the store works and the companywide benefits it’s poised to bring, and everyone may quickly hop on board.