Have you ever noticed a great looking display in a store and wanted to purchase one of the items in the display? Unless you’re one of the first visitors, you’ll most likely find that the items displayed are practically sold out or no longer available in your size. That’s the power of display. There is a whole field of study dedicated to the psychology of retail display and the big stores know how to create displays that trigger emotional buying impulses. We’ve all fallen victim to these tricks–saying “I’ve gotta have that,” when we didn’t even enter the store to buy the item. Which is why it’s so important to show potential customers exactly what it is you do. People who are shopping for custom t-shirts often don’t know what they really want and need to see samples before selecting the color, type of print, size of print, etc… It’s your job to make it as easy as possible for your customers to place their order. There are many ways to accomplish this:
1) Make up a sample book or better yet, a mini-t-shirt sample ring. Transfer Express wrote a how-to blog on this, but you can probably figure it out from these photos. Mini t-shirts are a fabulous selling tool and are available in packs of 10 in black or white from Stahls’. The most important thing to remember is to show your best work on the t-shirts. You can do so many things with your heat press. Show examples of full color prints, metallic, reflective and two-color names and numbers. Even if your best seller is a one color logo, you always want to put your best foot forward when making a first impression.
2) Display examples of your best printed work on your walls or create a rack of printed samples of pieces you have done for other customers. You can put a sign on the rack that says “NOT FOR SALE” and this will draw people to it! When someone sees a shirt they like from the local pizza place, they know you can make a shirt that will represent their business. Showing samples of your work accomplishes two things. First it shows your quality work and secondly, it says that you do business with a lot of people. People your new customers may even know and recognize.
3) Have your staff members wear printed shirts. If you don’t have employees, YOU wear printed shirts. I am always shocked at how many folks with shirt printing businesses don’t even have a shirt with their own business name on it. Your employees are living mannequins for your garments. As an alternative to plain uniform type shirts with a name on the pocket, allow them to get creative and create their own shirts to wear. Let them customize popular stock transfers with lettering, or cut custom designs from heat transfer vinyls. Encourage them to take current events themes and trends into consideration.
4) Another way to inspire your customers is to use idea filled catalogs or collections that contain hundreds of sayings and suggestions for every occasion. Feature many different lettering styles for fleece wear, T-shirts and uniforms.
5) Make a photo album. Customers enjoy being able to point to a garment and say, I’ll take that, but in a different color. This way they feel creative, even if they needed a little help. If you can’t afford to keep samples of actual shirts you have printed on hand, take a picture of some of the better shirts created in your store and post them where other customers can see. It’s also helpful for you to remember the jobs you have done and what the customer wants when they call in and re-order. They assume you will know!
6) Buy 1 5XL t-shirt in the brightest color and print custom logos all over it. The size of the shirt will grab people’s attention and you can fit a lot of designs on it to tell a story of what you have to offer.
7) Invest in inexpensive molded body forms to showcase your shirts. This is cheaper than mannequins, more effective than hangers. You’ll improve in your display skills when you make notes of what works and what doesn’t. Make sure you keep track of which displays generate sales and which ones are just gathering dust. Keep things fresh, update your displays every week. Creating displays that inspire sales is a true art. Always be on the lookout for displays that you like and try to recreate them in your business.