It is no secret that merchandise sales are important revenue sources for artists. Concerts and tours are an especially great way to sell merchandise after the shows while you meet and greet your fans.
Fans love buying merch for multiple reasons. Primarily, they would like to support the artist. Secondly, they liked the music and had a good time at the concert. They also would like to take a souvenir home to remind them of this great experience. Maybe they would like to buy a gift for a friend. Perhaps they would like to listen to your CD in their car, or keep your memorabilia on their desk, refrigerator, or cubicle.
While fans are motivated to buy merchandise, how much merchandise you are going to sell in the end is dependent on your product variety, your timing, and your interaction with your fans. These factors can make all the difference in terms of how much merchandise you are going to sell in the end. To bring some light to the process of selling more merchandise in concerts, I’ve compiled a list of four ways you can increase your sales:
1) Give autographs
When you sell CDs or other items in concerts, it makes it even more memorable to customize the merchandise item with a short message or an autograph. Nothing says ‘limited edition’ more than an autographed album with a personal message for your fans. Moreover, when you start giving autographs to other fans, people in your audience will be far more encouraged to buy more items. So use autographs as an opportunity to customize the merchandise items for your fans.
2) Announce that you have merch items available
Always assume that your fans do not know that you are selling merchandise. Sometimes people see the merch table right before the show, and some people just walk right past it without realizing it. It is your responsibility to announce that you have merchandise available, but the timing can be a bit tricky. If you make an announcement at the beginning of the show, people might forget by the end. Too much repetition during the show can also be repulsive for the audience. A great spot is when you make your announcement before the last song. Keep it short and simple and be ready to greet your fans afterwards.
3) Make yourself available for your audience, but don’t do it too soon
Give some time for your fans to browse through the products. Don’t immediately show up because that might make your fans distracted and a bit nervous as they try to browse. The best time to approach the table is when they have browsed through. This gives the audience members time to decide what they want to buy, and when you finally arrive at the merchandise table, they will be ready to buy.
The merch table is also a great opportunity to personally get to know some of your fans and to show them who you are on a personal level as well. Make sure to talk to your fans and be ready to share some stories about how certain songs and albums were created, where you are playing next, and any previous shows in that particular city. It’s all about having a real connection. It’s also a great opportunity to talk to them and see if they have any requests or feedback as well about your music and merch.
4) Take alternative payment options
A large majority of audience members buy merchandise with cash, but after all, we are only humans and sometimes we forget to bring cash with us. Imagine this: You just watched a great artist play and you want to buy some of their merch to support them, but you don’t have any cash on you, nor can you find an ATM nearby. But if the artist has a mobile credit card reader, you can buy using your credit card to make your purchase and support your fellow artists.
So these are four ways to increase your merchandise sales. Keep in mind that there are always more methods, and you can get really creative with these. People love supporting artists they like and contribute to the growth of an up-and-coming artist. When selling merchandise, keep in mind that what you’re doing is not charity, so don’t feel like you’re asking for money for nothing. You are selling goods to people and essentially running a business.
Always make sure to stock up your merch before the show as certain goods such as CDs tend to run out pretty fast. Also make sure that you ask for a merch table from the concert organizers as many venues are happy to provide one without an additional cost. People come to your shows to have a good time, so give them nicely designed merchandise that they can take home.