In 2015, Amazon announced they were throwing their hat into the business of designing and selling custom t-shirts online, called Amazon Merch. While this is a unique situation for companies like TeeSpring, people who are looking to start a business or make extra cash on the web, there are still 3 things you must do to be successful at it.
TIP 1 – Know The Rules
If you’ve sold apparel or merchandise on similar sites in the past, you have to keep in mind that Amazon Merch is not the same platform as the other platforms. There are differences and you have to know the rules and how the program works to be successful at it.
Probably the two most important things to know:
1) You have to sign up – and it can take a long time to hear back from them.
Amazon Merch has a sign up (or waiting period) before you get started. And, depending on who you speak to, this process can take a long time so the first thing you need to do is take the time to sign up today. Don’t keep pushing it off because it’s not an instant approval process. The longer you wait to sign up, that puts you even further behind.
2) You are limited to a number of designs until you prove yourself.
This is not a platform where you can throw up hundreds of designs and variations of the same design in hopes that one of them will sell. At the time of this writing, you are first limited to 25 designs.
Because you are limited to a number of designs, that should automatically tell you that you need to pay attention to your designs and campaigns. You don’t have the luxury of putting up any design, no matter how good or bad, that comes to mind. You need to do continual testing, research and follow your sales and designs to ensure you’re putting yourself in the best position to make the most amount of money.
TIP 2 – Research Is Unique
While many core concepts that apply to any t-shirt selling platform apply, there are a couple of things that you will need to do differently to be successful, one of which being the most important is research.
The beauty of selling on Amazon Merch is the name recognition and credibility you get selling on Amazon.
The other major benefit is you get enjoy some organic traffic to your merchandise. This helps you in the fact that you may not need to spend as much time, money and effort on advertising your campaigns as you would on other platforms, but the trade-off is you have to know how Amazon’s search feature works – ie. how it ranks its results when a user types in a search term.
For example, if someone searches for “Emergency Room Nurse T-Shirts” into Amazon, you’ll need to know how Amazon returns their search results. There are several different articles you can search for online that provide their theories on Amazon’s search algorithm.
Know how to research effectively and know this is a very important step in this process.
TIP 3 – It Still Comes Down To Design, Audience And Message
Whether you sell on Amazon Merch or other sites like Kojent Apparel, a big part of the equation for a successful campaign is the finding a good, targeted and passionate niche and coming up with a design that will capture their enthusiasm to the point where they will spend money to buy your product and wear it around.
We know there are several concepts combined in that one statement but it basically boils down to researching and finding a passionate niche and creating a design that will inspire them to buy.
We go over these research, niche and design concepts thoroughly in our free guide to selling t-shirts but start off by choosing your niche based on topics you like and are generally interested in. We’re not saying you have to stick with these niches forever but to start off, find something that excites you and you have knowledge about. This will help keep you interested and will also be easier to get the overall tone of what your industry is looking for when it comes to graphic tees, apparel and merchandise.
Once you have that, start putting some general concepts together of what your shirts will consist of. Include graphics, text, fonts, pictures, clip art, etc. that you may want to incorporate into your design.
Come up with the initial design and start testing it. See what people think, and we’re not talking about asking only your friends or family. Your friends and family may not want to hurt your feelings so it’s important to get unbiased feedback and don’t get defensive or start making excuses if someone doesn’t say something nice about your design.
If you know people in your niche that will give you honest feedback, that gives you two benefits: a) they’ll tell you if people in that niche will like (and buy) it or not and b) they will also be up-to-date on the latest trends in that industry and can give you some ideas.
TIP 4 – Putting It All Together
How do you find a niche? How do I know if they’re passionate? How do you create a design? How do you find out what your audience is interested in? All these questions are very important questions that you’ll need to find the answers to be successful.
The main thing is to get started, keep testing and stay consistent. If put out a couple of designs and it doesn’t sell, take a step back and start to dissect the issues. Look at your audience, design and other factors that could be stalling your sales.
Have a success story or other tips, leave them in them in the comments below. If you have tried but haven’t seen the results you want and while we’ve outlined three simple things to help you be successful at custom t-shirts on Amazon Merch can always use our comprehensive custom t-shirt design and selling service where we provide additional insights to research and trends, art design services, individual help and more.