Brewery merch is a valuable part of any brewery’s efforts to increase sales. When you think about increasing revenue, your mind may immediately go to increasing your beer sales, but as a new vertical or opportunity to make additional profits, the power of branded brewery gear is unbeatable. Someone who is buying a pint or two may immediately increase their purchase by adding a tee or tote at checkout. Not to mention the free advertising they’ll be doing for you by sporting their new merch around town!
Far too often breweries are investing in awesome branded gear, but having it sit stagnant in a corner away from their taps where no one is looking. Yes, patrons are coming to your taproom to buy beer, but after their fifth or sixth visit, they most certainly are coming back for more than the beer!
Our favorite breweries become like a second home to us, a place to get extra work done when you can’t sit in your home office past 5, a place to gather with family when they come to town, or a place to rally behind your favorite sports team with friends. Your customers want to support you and they’ll gladly do that by purchasing and sporting your merchandise – they just need to be presented with the opportunity to do so.
We’ve talked to dozens of brewery owners and visited their taprooms and are excited to bring you 5 distinct ways you can increase your merch sales.
5 Steps to Increase Your Merch Sales:
1. “Nobody puts baby in a corner.” This is a no-no we’ve seen in countless taprooms. You did the initial work by choosing a style and design that your customers would like, putting effort into pricing research, and dishing out the initial investment for inventory, so don’t stop there.
We want you to sell your Beer to Bags totes in weeks, not months, and continue to bring in additional profits to your business. Instead of putting your new branded merch in a corner, find a way to put at least some of it near your taps and register where it will be seen and asked about.
2. Train your staff to talk about merch. It’s the age old adage, "Do you want fries with that?” to increase your order value. It may feel awkward at first, but by simply asking you’re increasing the likelihood of the purchase. It will be even easier if you plan merch to go alongside purchases of beer.
For example, if you create a tee, tote, koozie or glassware to go with the launch of a specific beer, your staff member may say, “I’m so glad you liked it! We’re really excited about this launch. We even created tees for the launch that are 20% off for this month only for patrons who ordered that beer. Have you seen them?” Make sure your staff is wearing your merch too as another talking point.
3. Run promos and special offers. Nothing creates a sense of urgency like a limited offer. Thanks to low minimums, you can create a limited run of your new merch not only to test it out before ordering higher quantities but also to create FOMO around the particular style. When your crew member is able to say, “We only have 5 of this style left,” the sale will happen that much quicker!
Another popular one with our customers is to run a discount on our bags if customers buy a 6-pack to take home. Since our bags are perfect for carrying their 6-pack home, it’s a no brainer!
4. Use social media to announce new merch. While we love this one, we’re intentionally putting it lower on the list because it can’t replace the three tips before this. If you make a cool post about new merch, but still have it sitting in the corner, you won’t see as large of an impact. Most of your purchases are going to happen from people in your taproom making a spontaneous decision because they see the merch and want it right then.
However, social media still has a place in driving people to your taproom or online merch shop. If possible, make it so that people can purchase through your online shop or social media for pickup in your taproom. Mostly, social media keeps you relevant and drives awareness about the fact that you have some sweet gear your patrons can pick up! Create fun content to post and even better, do a giveaway to create more engagement and excitement.
5. Don’t be afraid to give some away. This may seem counterintuitive to driving more sales for your business, but trust us, you want to continue to make customers aware and excited about your merch. At the end of the day, your merch is fantastic advertising for your brewery and we all invest in advertising to make our current customers happy and get new ones.
This could be online through social media or even in person. An in-person raffle, especially on a busy weekend gets people talking about your merch and gets you their contact information to share with them the results of the raffle and keep them informed about your happenings on your mailing list. When you email the results, as a thank you for participating in the raffle, you can even give all raffle participants a discount if they buy that same gear online within the next week. They entered the raffle willingly, so chances are they want it and with the extra incentive will make the purchase.
With these 5 tips, you’re well on your way to increasing merch sales! Ready to buy Beer to Bags for your taproom? Get started on Grandstand today to order custom upcycled bags that will fly off your shelves with your new handy tips!I'm ready to sell Beer to Bags at my taproom!