While setting up a merch store is very exciting, it’s probably just the easier part of the job.
In order to generate sales and ensure they keep coming, you have to conduct constant research.
Product research is important to keep your merch store relevant to your target audience.
As trends change, so should your products and marketing strategy.
While it may be difficult to stand out in the merch industry at first, especially given the saturated market, constant and proper merch research is key to secure a good spot in the game.
You will be able to balance great design, good listing, and effective marketing strategies through high-quality merch research.
The secret sauce in the merch business is to do constant research.
If your research game isn’t strong, you are practically wasting your time in this business.
Securing a Good Spot in the Market Through Merch Research
Research is necessary to know if your ideas are marketable when turned into designs.
It is also important to know if there is a ready market or audience for your designs.
Merch research is paramount in identifying the right keywords to get your designs on people’s searches.
With the increasingly competitive market, the key to staying on top of the game is to invest the time to learn and understand the right strategies to secure continuous sales.
A good understanding of your target market will let you know the right designs, micro-niches to target, and specific keywords that will make numbers.
When you know very well who your audience is, you will find a better way to address their needs and provide solutions to their problems.
This way, you can reduce your costs and improve your sales.
But how do you do this? Simple, find the right niche and keywords to build your brand and products around.
You can do that manually by going through the entire web community to see what’s trending, what the market wants, and what product works and doesn’t – but that’s going to take you forever to do.
Alternatively, you can turn to merch research tools to make that job easier and faster for you.
Research tool you can use for your merch store
While many may suggest going for a niche that suits your interest, it’s always best to balance it out with feasibility.
Constant merch research will help give you a comprehensive view of the popular niches in the market and the trending keywords.
If you aren’t new to the merch market, chances are, you’ve been told to focus on micro-niches instead of targeting a general audience.
Having a well-researched, micro-niche will help you make more sales by focusing on a specific interest.
When you appeal to a smaller market, you will be able to focus on the nuances of that specific niche.
However, finding the right micro-niche that’s right for you will also require an adequate amount of merch research.
Like any other research, merch research needs to be data-driven and is a constant process.
This means that both newbie and seasoned merch sellers are constantly engaging in merch research.
With the right tools and processes, merch research can help you achieve your goals in your print-on-demand business.
Merch Research Tools
Currently, there are several merch research tools and reports that can take the guesswork out of the research process.
These tools can give you valuable information in less time than it would if you would do it on your own.
Data-driven reports are important in identifying information that you need to integrate into your print-on-demand business.
These reports answer the why what and how of your business problems.
The reports are a good basis for how you can use tools effectively on different platforms.
The Heidorn Report
While generic information is easily accessible through a quick Google search, accurate and specific, evidence-based information in print-on-demand is often difficult to find.
The Heidorn Report is a strategy report that provides important and focused data that are backed and credited by credible sources such as Statista.
This strategy report also helps you strategize effectively in your business for long-term success.
Accurate information about analyses on niches, buyer persona statistics, and effective pricing strategies will help keep your sales going.
You will also be able to convert your listings better.
When you want to understand how you can effectively communicate with your target market, you use reports such as these.
You need to know what designs they want to buy, and how to help your products appear at the top of searches.
Simply using one tool will not help you get the results that you want.
Using your own power to conduct research, however, will help you achieve success.
The Heidorn report was made by Christian Heidorn who is a seasoned print-on-demand seller who has yielded over $100,000 in sales only within his first year of selling.
Inspired by strategies that were effective for his own business, Christian created a strategy report that seeks to help fellow merch sellers achieve success on print on demand.
Trial and error strategies can be costly for businesses since time and money are non-renewable resources.
Ready-made reports with strategies are definitely effective in cutting the guesswork in research.
DS Amazon Quickview
DS Amazon Quick View is a great tool to be used for those who are selling on Merch by Amazon.
Simply put, this tool shows you which products are doing well in the market at any given moment.
This tool specifically focuses on the trending products in the market.
The best way to use this is to look for products that are doing well in your own niche, designs that are marketable, and keywords that top sellers are using.
This information will help you understand the patterns and buyer persona of your target market.
The Research Base is a keyword research tool that helps you identify the keywords that people use when searching for a particular product.
It is basically an auto-complete research tool that conducts research through different marketplaces over different niches and products.
It helps you get a better outlook on what your target audiences are looking for.
Merch Ninja is a comprehensive tool used to look for keywords, search volume, relevance, and other important details that you need for your merch research.
The platform gives fresh and relevant information since they update their system daily.
In return, you can make your best decision when deciding on your products and creating listings for your store.
The advanced filter system of Merch Ninja allows you to conduct searches through best seller rank, top sales, brand names, design templates, and many more.
The platform has over 400 niches covered, so you are most likely to find the information that you need here.
Merch Titans is quite similar to Merch Ninja.
It is also a keyword research tool.
It also allows you to make product and brand searches across different niches. You can easily see top-selling products for brand searches.
Product searches will give you real-time data on the keywords that you will be searching for.
The platform uses an autocomplete tool that will easily show what your target users are searching for.
Its SEO Analyzer reveals how different products perform against each other when their SEO optimization is used.
Creating your First Merch Sale and Beyond
Oftentimes, merch sellers (especially the newbies) find themselves in the waiting process for a long time.
Navigating the platform and knowing the nitty gritty’s can be a long and arduous process.
During the waiting period, you wait for your market’s reaction to your first set of designs.
After you upload them, it can take days, weeks, or months before you close your first sale.
Based on online discussions by merch sellers, some of them said that it took them around six to seven months before securing a good customer base.
This means that they can make a sale or more after uploading the design on that very same day.
Making a name in print on demand can be daunting, especially if you regard your merch store as your source of secondary income.
The waiting period can be shortened when good practices are done.
Of course, there are many facets to being successful in print-on-demand.
You have to have great design, high-quality images, good marketing strategies, and great research.
But product research is one invaluable aspect of your business. It’s easy to neglect other aspects of your business when you’re too focused on one.
Some may focus too much on designs while neglecting to research great keywords for listings.
While great design is often important for any merch store, some sellers also speak volumes for making money on average designs.
Sometimes, it’s about the way you market it.
In reality, you need to consider all aspects holistically in order to thrive on your print-on-demand business.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Merch research is an invaluable part of your selling journey.
Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned seller, trends change from time to time and constant research is needed.
The success of your merch store depends on a lot of factors.
Design, keyword strategy, marketing strategy, image quality, and a lot of other aspects need to be considered.
Merch research is necessary in order to understand the depth and nature of these aspects.
Merch research consists of understanding data-backed reports and using tools to help you identify key information that you need for your store.
With the right tools and understanding, merch research will be an easier process.