Merchandise or simply merch has always been an important part of the music and pop culture in general. No festival without the obligatory t-shirt as a remembrance piece and to show others that you’ve been there.
However, in times of the corona pandemic, things have changed dramatically in the music business. Live shows and touring has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
Of course, the safety of the musicians and fans has priority. On the other hand side, that means that the prime place for selling merchandise has dried up.
Normally, there are always little band stands at the end of the concert where the fan can buy vinyl or shirts. This is crazy, merchandise had become an important part of any bands income.
In times where streaming is only paying a fraction of the price of a traditional CD, merch can be an invaluable income stream for musicians.
Here’s the deal: even in corona times merch hasn’t gone anyway. On the contrary, a lot of fans feel like supporting their favourite musician or band even more.
Merch hasn’t gone anywhere!
Merch can be a great way of showing your loyalty to bands and getting something tangible at the same time. Much the same reason why so many people buy vinyl without having an actual vinyl player!
You might be wondering, how can you actually sell merch? There’s so much noise online nowadays that it gets hard to cut through it and reach your fans.
Perhaps you have you little webshop on your website where you sell your merch. In reality not selling so much merch as you’ve hoped for.
Here’s the kicker, not many people actually browse websites so often anymore. The browsing habits of people change a lot.
This is crazy, most internet usage happens over mobile phones. Moreover, if someone uses a social media/ streaming platform, they are not very likely to switch to another platform.
This means, that the place where people discover your music or your profile is also the best place to sell merchandise! Here are 4 proven ways of how to sell your merchandise exactly where your fans actually spend their time.
Discover which is the best platform for selling your merch
First, you need to discover which platform is your stronghold before you can actually start selling merchandise. Most of the times, there is one platform running better than the others.
Take a second and identify what is running best for you. There’s no use selling merch on a platform that isn’t perfoming well.
In like manner, do a target audience research. I know, I kind of write this point in nearly all my blog posts.
However, it’s just such an important step. Knowing exactly who is your audience is super important. Especially when you want to sell products, i.e. your merchandise.
At the end of the day, you need to be a bit pragmatic and accept the fact that your merch is just like any other products, to be fair.
How to sell your merchandise on Facebook & Instagram
As you might know, Facebook has bought Instagram. That means that the approach of selling merchandise on both platforms is the same. If you already run a webshop on your website, you can use this as your landing page. Here you can make sure that you’re eligible.
Firstly, go to the Facebook Commerce Manager and complete the sign-up. Now you have to be a Business Manager for the Facebook Page where you want to sell the merch on.
Once you’ve completed this step you can choose your Business, i.e. your FB page. This sets up a shop on your page.
You can select if you want to show your shop on FB or also on Instagram. After you’ve customised your shop you only need to publish it and voilà! Your merch is up on Facebook and Instagram, directly shoppable for your fans.
How to sell your merchandise on YouTube and Spotify
YouTube and Spotify work kind of the same as they are both powered by Merchbar. The difference is that YouTube creators can also choose from different merch sellers.
However, Official Artist Channel can only sell via Merchbar. Merchbar is an independent merch selling platform that is running an integration with YouTube but also Spotify.
Once your merch is listed, top products automatically populate on your Spotify artist page for fans to browse and buy.*source: Spotify
Merchbar is supported by all three big major record label. Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music.
Ar the end of the day, selling your merch online on social media and streaming platforms isn’t complicated. However, in the wake of the corona pandemic, it could be a very important step in order to support yourself while concerts are still off the plate.