10 Merchandising Tips for Crushing Revenue Limitations


Revenue limitations are a reality for everything you do that involves a specific trade of time for money (because, obviously, you only have so many hours). Revenue from participation is often limited to how much space you have, as well as by demand for your offerings.

Selling merchandise definitely expands revenue limits. But just having products to sell doesn’t guarantee people will buy them. With so much for sale out there, moving your goods takes:

  • Smart merchandising (how you’re selling)
  • Marketing (who you’re selling to)
  • Psychology (how consumers are motivated to buy)

Fortunately, these aren’t limits; they’re opportunities to crush revenue limits!

10 Merchandising Tips Opportunities

1. Selling is about emotion.

Successful retailers know that buying decisions are emotional decisions. You don’t have to get smarmy with this; simply recognize and harness the power of emotion by offering your merchandise from a convenience perspective AND an emotional one. You’re not manufacturing the emotions—they’re already there! (Also fulfills #3, #4, and #5)

2. Make money in your sleep.

Automated services that generate revenue are just a no-brainer. Data from Do Creative Studios shows that incorporating an e-commerce platform can increase revenue by up to 250%! (Also fulfills #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #10)

3. Stay with your customers throughout the Participant Lifecycle.

The participant lifecycle includes all the moments between your customer’s decision to look for a program like yours and completion of that program. There’s research and comparison, registration and form submittal, gearing up, preparing, attending, social sharing, and closing the event loop with feedback.

Our research indicates that 36% of recently surveyed parents purchased merchandise from a program their child participated in. However, only 50% of program directors offer merchandise for sale.

Nearly all of these touch points contain moments when your participants might buy something generic—not just your branded items— in order to travel or participate. You can offer even those generic items! (“camp” toothbrush, anyone?)

4. Make your mobile, millennial moms raving fans.

We talk a lot about your target audience: the mobile, millennial mom. She’s likely to make buying decisions based on these elements:

  • Social proof – The #1 buying and social-sharing decision criteria for everyone is “Does this make me look good?” Can you offer something unique that gives her something to talk about?
  • Convenience – Can she see all your merchandise during her online registration session and then checkout for everything at the same time? If so, you’ve fulfilled her mantra: Done and done.
  • Kids’ pain and pleasure – She’s always looking for ways to help them have an awesome experience and avoid angst, thus avoiding angst herself. (There are multiple facets to this, including #1, #3, and #5)
  • Cause-related – She loves purchases that benefit a cause she believes in. Can you offer a socially-conscious product where a portion of the profit is donated

5. Leverage “Got the T-shirt” mania.

Take advantage of T-shirt mania. Everyone expects every memory-making event to include a t-shirt. Sometimes, the t-shirt is a freebie for participating, but who says you can’t have paid versions that are a little cooler and that only your counselors or instructors’ wear? For little kids, at least, having the coveted t-shirts available at pickup when emotions are running high is to your advantage. (Also fulfills #1, #2, #3, #4, #6)

6. Selling stuff with your logo on it is a win-win-win.

  • People put your organization’s name out there! (Brand awareness + Word of Mouth marketing = Wins #1 and #2 )
  • They paid to do it! (Win #3)

7. Scoop the competition (or at least keep up).

Offering merchandise online has become a baseline expectation. Offering merchandise in the same checkout instance with registration?  Not everyone can do that! Differentiate your organization with this cutting-edge offering. (Fulfilled by #10)

8. Minimize inventory overhead.

Online merchandise doesn’t require the usual expenses of a brick and mortar store. If Merchandising is included with your registration software, you won’t need special merchandising or inventory software, thus maximizing your profits. (Fulfilled by #10)

9. Automate inventory management.

Yes, additional effort is required when you sell merchandise, but what if much of that effort could be done for you? Automating cancellations and refunds increases efficiency. Automatic notifications of inventory and order statuses reduce stress and keep you super organized!

And what if it was easy to modify orders or pricing, and view reports on inventory sold, overall and per item, session or season? (Fulfilled by #10)

10. Check out our camp and class management software’s new merchandising feature: Gear Up with Goods.

This one takes advantage of Opportunities #1-9.

Gear Up with Goods is immediately available to customers using Camp & Class Manager!