Is an e-shop or online merch store the answer to centralizing your branded merchandise and business gifting?
E-shops can save oodles of hours with a simple, one-stop solution that allows organizations to create on-brand, logoed merchandise and make it available across all departments. Your organization can manage centralized procurement, maintain and measure economies of scale, and provide visibility into item popularity and inventory turnover. But e-shops can just as easily create as many headaches as they solve.
An e-shop look that doesn’t suit your corporate brand or match the level of technological complexity that your audience is accustomed to makes for a negative user experience. Poor product offerings by way of quality, selection, inaccurate descriptions, or items that aren’t relevant to your audience can and will result in an adverse brand interaction and a low return on your investment. Furthermore, if your online offering is perceived to be overpriced, or if shipping costs are exorbitant, or fulfillment and shipping take too long to arrive, you have the perfect storm of e-shop missteps.
Engaging fans of your brand with an e-shop, whether within the company or outside, is not an opportunity to earn income from your merch (unless you are a nationally recognized retail brand that crowds clamor to be seen in, a la Nike or Jack Daniels). Think of your e-shop as a centralized distribution hub for access to your on-trend and artfully curated branded merchandise, and you’ll be well on your way to setting attainable expectations for your corporate online shop.
Not to be overlooked is the power of an online shop to serve multiple internal audiences. Whether its milestone gifting for HR with onboarding, new baby, new puppy kits, etc. Sales and Marketing for internal incentives, client-facing gift campaigns, and Procurement for the ease of buying and reporting.
Consider this: a roadside billboard costs thousands of dollars — think about the logoed baseball caps, bags, blankets, and firepits as a similar brand awareness opportunity. Strive for a balance between what you would pay to see your brilliant brand in the wild and what you need to cover the cost for a centrally managed online branded merch shop that provides visibility and access to all.
Our experienced Summit team is no stranger to the development of engaging e-shops: from design, through development, to delivery. Summit’s proprietary Apex e-shop technology allows for both complex integrations as well as simple deployments. Click below to get in touch today.
Watch our recent 20-minute webinar as we explore more on the pitfalls and potential of e-shops.
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