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7 Simple Back-to-School Marketing Tips [Free Vector Files Inside]

7 Simple Back-to-School Marketing Tips [Free Vector Files Inside]

Even if we aren’t ready to kiss-goodbye the warm summer days, fall will be here before we know it, and that’s okay! End of the school holidays has its charm too as kids get to meet new friends, reconnect with classmates, and reflect on their adventures from the last couple of months.

For online retailers, it’s time to start planning back-to-school promotions, since parents and kids will be on the lookout for products to make the new school year more exciting and memorable.

Back-to-school shopping trends

Back-to-school shopping season is big. 

In preparation for a new school year, 29 million households across the United States spent a total of $27.6 billion in 2018. Another active segment during end of July-August was back-to-college shoppers, who spent around $54.1 billion.

Combined, school and college students purchased products worth $81.7 billion, which makes the back-to-school season the second-biggest shopping occasion after the winter holidays. 

What do people buy?

Elementary- and college-age kids have different back-to-school needs.

Back-to-school shoppers are mostly interested in clothing and school supplies (like books and stationery), while people starting college typically spend more on electronics and dorm room gear. 

back-to-school-spending-categories

Source: Deloitte

Where do people buy?

According to the National Retail Federation, most back-to-school and back-to-college shopping takes place at department stores. The second most popular way to get school-related products is online. 

Speaking of shopping online, school goers still favor desktop (53%) over mobile (46%). However, mobile comes first when users want to gather information about the products and sellers before taking the plunge. 

back-to-school-desktop-mobile-use

Source: Deloitte

When do people shop?

Around 90% of back-to-school shoppers are active from mid-July to early August. That’s exactly when two-thirds of all back-to-school spending takes place.

back-to-school-spending-time-july-august

Source: Deloitte

What does it mean for you? Simple. Start preparing back-to-school products, campaigns, and other incentives today. The earlier you jump onto the bandwagon, the more people you can expect shopping on your store!  

7 easy back-to-school marketing ideas

Now that you know what to expect from the back-to-school crowd, try these seven simple marketing tactics to make the most of this time of the year. 

Bonus! We’ve created free vector files that you can download at the end of this post. Feel free to use them in all of your back-to-school promos.

1. Create a back-to-school sale

Back-to-school shopping can be overwhelming for several reasons. Not only do the customers have a lot of boxes to tick off their shopping list, but they also have to decide which brands are worth their time and money.

Having this in mind, try to create a back-to-school sale that is clear and easy to take advantage of.  

Evaluate what type of offer you can afford and present it to your audience. If you’re short on ideas for back-to-school promotions, here are a few to help you get started:

  • % or $ discount
  • 2 for 1 
  • free shipping
  • flash sale
  • week-long sales event
  • giveaway
  • contest
  • promo code
  • loyal customer discount
  • loyal customer pre-sale

Pro tip: Back-to-school isn’t a spending occasion when everyone needs to get their purchases by a certain day. However, you can combine some of the promotions (discounts or a special offer) with the shipping deadlines to incentify your customers start shopping.

Keep Printful’s fulfilment time and shipping in mind when you’re coordinating your promotions and campaigns. Our average fulfillment time for apparel products is 2-7 business days, and then you have to factor in shipping to calculate the time it’ll take for orders to reach your customers.

2. Step up your social media game

Let everyone know about your back-to-school offers. The obvious way to do this is through social media—23% of shoppers say they’ll use it to plan their purchases. 

back-to-school-mobile-use

Source: Deloitte

Share your deal on social media to get the word out. Use paid posts on Facebook to reach a wider audience. Not sure how to do that? Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook Ads.

3. Don’t forget about email marketing

Let your email list know about your back to school promotion, too; they’ll appreciate the heads-up!

back-to-school-promo-email

Here’s an example of a campaign MochiThings ran around the back-to-school season last year to promote their stationery products. Seeing the August 31 deadline creates a sense of urgency and motivates people to buy before the sale is over.

Pro tip: Don’t send just one email campaign—everyone, including you, will forget about it. Schedule a few emails with copy and subject line variations, and repromote them to recipients who didn’t open your email the first time. 

4. Be smart on mobile

Like I said, desktop is still the preferred method for making back-to-school purchases. Mobile, on the other hand, is a go-to device for shoppers to collect discounts (57%), get pricing details (53%), or go online window-shopping (56%).

So while most customers will ultimately purchase on desktop, there’s a good chance they’ll first find you on mobile. That’s why it’s so important to make your site, from content to promos,  mobile-friendly.

Use Google’s mobile-friendly test page to see if your site passes muster and how much you need to improve. Run a test yourself by opening your store and making a purchase on different mobile devices and tablets.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your store theme (whether it’s ready-made or custom-made) is responsive, i.e. the design elements of the website scale down seamlessly on smaller devices.
  • When creating pop-ups, make sure they meet Google’s guidelines for mobile-friendliness.
  • Just like on your desktop, loading speed is important on mobile. Avoid using heavy file sizes that slow things down.

5. Introduce seasonal products

Many students and their parents associate back-to-school season with new beginnings. For them, this time of the year is often less about getting the essential school supplies, and more about making the school days as memorable and joyful as possible.

While introducing seasonal products to your store for back-to-school shoppers is a good idea, try to make the new additions more special—create new designs or let your customers personalize existing ones. 

Have you had a chance to try our Product Personalization Tool? It enables you to sell products that your shoppers can customize themselves!

Here’s what back-to-school goers might have their eyes on:

But the hottest product this season? Fanny packs.

[embedded content]

Don’t forget about the back-to-college shoppers too! Just like school kids, college students will want to upgrade their wardrobe, or start a new year with a new backpack or fanny pack. 

Apart from clothes and accessories, college goers might also be interested in home decor products to make their new place, be it a dorm room or shared apartment, more cozy and home-like. A few products that can be on their shipping list are: 

6. Partner with influencers

A great way to promote your products to a wider audience is to partner with an influencer. An endorsement from a respected member of the community can go a long way—68% of customers trust the opinions of other online shoppers.

back-to-shool-influencer-marketing-example

Back-to-school season is an ideal time to partner up with family-oriented influencers. You’ll have to do your research to find an influencer whose audience would be interested in your products. This is critical because you don’t want to waste your time and money going after a lead that won’t work.

Use these tools to help connect with the right person:

7. Create valuable content for your target audience

In addition to showcasing your products, you can create helpful content for your target audience. This helps humanize your brand, and as we know, online shoppers are more likely to trust brands they connect with emotionally.

If your customers are parents, share ideas on how to get the kids ready for a new school year. It can be anything from school outfits to lunch box recipes, and tips on how to overcome shyness. 

If you’re trying to reach college goers, cover topics that can help to prepare for life on campus, like decorating the room or making new friends.

A few more content ideas you can experiment with: 

  • Back-to-school shopping list
  • Back-to-school outfits
  • School lunch ideas
  • Dorm decor inspiration
  • Room organization tips
  • After-school activities
  • Fun DIY projects
  • Time management tips
  • Meal prep tips

Clothing, accessories, and home decor retailer Urban Outfitters has a blog with plenty of shareable content their target audience would enjoy—from back-to-school beauty essentials to gourmet microwave meals.

Urban-outfitters-blog-back-to-school-content

While some topics might not be directly related to your store, writing about them can help you connect with your target audience. Remember, the more valuable the content, the more readers will visit your website and engage with it.

It’s fine to include shoutouts to your products in your think-piece or the content you share, but don’t overdo it. 

Class dismissed

Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and get cracking on your back-to-school campaigns. Craft your deal and promotional materials, add seasonal products to your store, and help others get into the spirit of back-school. Use our free vector files to help share your message—download below!

While you’re still here, from your experience, what’s the #1 back-to-school supply you (or your customers) couldn’t live without? Let us know in the comments below!

This article was originally published in July 2018; it has since been updated.

The Ultimate Guide to Using Instagram Hashtags 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Using Instagram Hashtags 2019

Instagram is still one of the top social media sites for businesses trying to target their online audience. Knowing that Instagram’s monthly active user base is well over one billion, this fact doesn’t come as much of a surprise.  

However, with so many accounts and followers fighting for the spotlight, as far as your posting strategy goes, little can be left to chance—it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to get organic reach. But hey, don’t we all love a good challenge? 

Luckily, there are plenty of methods on how to drive sales with Instagram and boost your Instagram presence. Hashtags are one of them—they’re one of the most effective ways to get more likes, attention, and engagement on your posts. 

This ultimate guide to hashtags will help you promote your online store on social media, boost engagement, and grow your following. At the end of the article, I’ve included a ready-to-use list of 500+ popular Instagram hashtags. Add them in your posts and reach the people you’re looking for!  

1. What is Instagram Business?

First off, a quick reminder about the types of accounts on Instagram. In 2016, Instagram introduced Business Accounts that come with extra features to help brands optimize their content.

Business Account features:

  • Learn about your audience and posts with Instagram Insights, their free analytics tool
  • Promote posts as ads
  • Get a “Contact” button
  • Add an address and location
  • Add links to Instagram Stories (Business Accounts with more than 10k followers)

Setting up an Instagram Business Account will give you access to view and analyze your results on Instagram Insights, and more. You can learn more about your followers and other users are interacting with your account. 

The Insights section of your Business Account lets you track results of your Activity (weekly interactions, reach, and impressions), Content (performance of your posts, stories, and promotions), and your Audience (age, gender, places they’re from, and times they’re online). 

instagram-insights-example

If you’re an online store owner, here’s one more reason why switching to a Business Account isn’t something you should think twice about—Instagram enables brands to sell products to followers without them having to leave the app. Connect your account to a Facebook catalog, and start tagging products in your photos and stories. If a user clicks on the product on the picture, they’re automatically directed to your shop for more details. 

instagram-shoppable-post-example-printful

2. Why use Instagram hashtags

Hashtags help organize the photos and videos on Instagram. They’re used to identify and filter content on a specific topic, so your fans, community, and Instagram wanderers have a better shot at finding you. 

follow-hashtag-on-instagram-example

You can add up to 30 hashtags in posts, but there’s no benefit in using irrelevant hashtags just to make up the quota. 

Doing research is the first step to a successful Instagram hashtag strategy. Browse similar Instagram accounts, find out what industry-specific hashtags they use, and look for hashtags that are more likely to be searched by Instagram communities of your niche. 

If you follow a strategy and include the right hashtags, your posts will be discovered by more people. It’ll help increase your reach and engagement, and gain new followers, but on one condition—these new audiences must be interested in your content! At the end of the day, content quality is the most important factor that drives traffic on Instagram. 

Using hashtags on Instagram is easier than you might think and we gathered up some tips and tools to help you level-up your Instagram strategy. 

3. How to use hashtags and get higher engagement on Instagram

There are three main ways you can use hashtags on Instagram—in Instagram posts, Instagram Stories, and on IGTV. Let’s take a closer look at each. 

3.1. Instagram posts

  • Add up to 30 hashtags
  • Tag up to 20 accounts to increase your chances of being featured on other pages
  • Add ALT texts to your posts to rank on Google
  • Mark up to 5 products per image (for Instagram Business Account owners with Shopping enabled)

There’s one more way how to increase your Instagram engagement.

To beat Instagram’s algorithm and get a better reach, try to get as many likes and comments as you can within the first hour of posting. There are plenty of Instagram engagement pods created just for this purpose where users help each other grow their following. Group members like and comment posts on Instagram right after they’re published, which helps boost engagement, increase visibility, and attract new followers. 

There’s no single formula for maximizing the reach of your Instagram posts, so it’s up to you to create one! It’s all about experiments and analyzing your account performance. Be active, interact with other Instagram accounts, drive as much action as you can with Instagram pods or DM groups, and monitor overall account performance.

3.2 Instagram Stories

  • Add up to 10 hashtags
  • Mention up to 10 accounts
  • Include a location, poll, question, countdown, quiz, donation stickers, or GIFs
  • Tag 1 product (Business Accounts with Shopping enabled)

Instagram Stories is a feature used by 500 million+ Instagram users daily. Not only are they fun and creative, but they’re also organized by hashtags that you can follow. Whatever tags you decide to use, Instagram will add your stories to the hashtag search for 24 hours. 

online-business-hashtag-instagram-stories

If we look at the current trend for Instagram Stories, people educate, inspire, share behind-the -scenes of a business or event, demonstrate their product or services, organize Q&A sessions, share feedback reviews, and so much more. Introduce yourself or your business and show what’s behind it —you’ll see, the more stories you add, the more engagement you receive.

3.3 IGTV

  • Add up to 30 hashtags
  • Add clickable links in a caption
  • Add a cover photo and share IGTV videos to the Instagram feed

Most accounts can upload IGTV videos up to 10 minutes long, but for larger and verified accounts videos uploaded from a computer can be up to 60 minutes. 

IGTV-example

4. How to find the right hashtags for your brand

So hashtags help Instagram recognize what your post is about—the system then picks the most relevant content to go on the Explore page for audiences following accounts that post content similar to yours.

Thousands of hashtags are used every day, and using the most popular tags won’t make your posts any more discoverable—your content will disappear among the other posts.

Focus on trending hashtags connected with your account, business, and target audience. However, be careful using pop culture references. It will help you reach like-minded Instagrammers, but you don’t want to risk losing your brand name and identity among hashtags that overshadow your presence.

Now for an example on how to go about creating hashtags for your account.

Let’s say your name is John, you run a barbershop in Toronto, and you’ve started creating a community around your brand which is all about embracing natural beauty and being proud of having grey hair. But how to reflect that in your Instagram account? 

The good news is, you don’t have to start from scratch to figure out the best hashtags for your business. Here are the five basic types of hashtags and templates on how to build them. 

4.1 Branded hashtags

Examples:

  • #[your brand name]
  • #greyisgold

 
Branded hashtags must be unique to your account or business. Come up with a hashtag that’s simple enough for your followers to recognize and use—it can be your name, brand or company name, your slogan, or a focal concept of your Instagram account.

4.2 Industry hashtags

Examples:

  • #barbers
  • #barbershop
  • #haircut

Out of all the hashtags used on Instagram, industry hashtags have the highest competition.  There are millions of people who use them daily, so include just a few industry hashtags to your posts that are the most relevant to your brand.

4.3 Community hashtags

Examples:

  • #barberfan
  • #torontobarbers
  • #hairaddict

Community hashtags connect smaller groups of like-minded users. The use of these hashtags make you discoverable by topic, niche, location, etc. and there’s a higher possibility to gain followers organically and grow your own community.

4.4 Content hashtags

Examples:

  • #beardcare
  • #howtofadehair
  • #trendinghaircut

Try to think like your customer and find out what they would search for. Content hashtags help you engage with your target audience that’s out there looking for inspiration, new ideas, or instructions. For example, #howto hashtags are highly used on Instagram and can be a good start for building up your hashtag strategy.

4.5 Campaign hashtags

Examples:

  • #hairmarathon
  • #silvertoronto
  • #whatbarbersdo 

Planning your next marketing campaign, event, or special offer? Create a campaign hashtag and ask people to engage with it! Or be a part of a larger movement and add event hashtags that are happening now. This is a great way to connect with others and improve your chances to be discovered by local and global audiences. 

5. Instagram hashtag tips and tricks

There are many tools out there that make social media posting easy. Here are some things you can try out: 

5.1 Use Instagram hashtag generator apps

You can search, find, and copy your hashtag combination for each of your posts based on any topic. Here are some of the most popular hashtag generator apps: 

These tools will help you create hashtag lists easily, but don’t rely on generator app results alone. Use generated hashtags as an inspiration and combine them with your own strategy!

5.2 Automate your posts and hashtags

There are apps like Planoly and Later that help you visually plan and schedule the posts and stories. With Later, you can use tools to categorize Instagram hashtags and analyze the performance of each post. 

It’s a good idea to repurpose content, but avoid using the same hashtags for all your posts. Not only does it make your account look spammy, but it also increases your chances of getting your account or content shadowbanned—blocked. To avoid Instagram shadowban, ditch any hashtags that increase fake activity, like #likeforlike #followforfollow #follow4followback, etc. It might drop your engagement and your photos won’t show up for users who don’t follow you. 

5.3 Try my hashtag formula to get to Top Posts

One of the milestones for any determined Instagram user is to get your post on that coveted Top Posts spot. Top Posts are the first nine posts you see when you tap Explore and type in the hashtag you’re researching. Getting there is challenging, but doable—I want to share with you one of the ways of doing it.

For a little backstory, Instagram has been my passion for a while now. I created my own personal brand and Instagram travel account @justanotherOKday in 2017, started to look for ways to grow my engagement and following. 

I discovered there’s a whole world of Instagram support groups on Facebook. I joined all the groups that caught my eye—that way I found out what tools others were using, and it gave me an opportunity to test different strategies. 

The hashtag formula below proved to be the most effective for my Instagram Business Account. If you’re looking for a strategy to try out, why not give this one a go?

Over the course of a year, this strategic use of hashtags significantly increased my chances to be featured among Top Posts, and impressions from hashtags alone increased by 200 times. 

comparing-instagram-post-performance

Here’s the formula I used for my social media strategy:

  1. Branded hashtag (1)
  2. Industry (1) + content hashtag (1)
  3. Location hashtag (1)
  4. 26 carefully picked hashtags
    • higher density hashtags (6)
    smaller density hashtags (20)

To gain better results, it’s important to mix high and low-density hashtags. High-density hashtags are the most popular, most used tags that help the Instagram algorithm understand what type of post you’ve posted. It’s much harder to rank for these tags though—they’re added to new posts all the time, and tagging your content only with high-density hashtags will make your posts harder to find.

high-density-instagram-hashtag

Low-density hashtags, on the other hand, are community-based hashtags. They have lower competition, and it’ll be easier to rank for them in Top Posts. 

lower-density-instagram-hashtag

6. 500+ Instagram hashtag cheat sheet

If you just launched an online store or have decided to focus on your target audience’s interests and needs, here are  20 popular high-density tags for ecommerce businesses you can start using straight away:

#onlinebusiness

#onlinemarketing

#businessowner

#makemoneyonline

#entrepreneurlife

#personaldevelopment

#financialfreedom

#solopreneur

#gogetit

#entrepreneurlifestyle

#startups

#makemoney

#youngentrepreneur

#entrepreneurship

#hustlehard

#selfgrowth

#networker

#hardworker 

#ecommerce

#mindsetiseverything

Don’t forget to download our free Instagram hashtag list for photography, fashion, travel, and many other tags organized in 20 sub-categories.

Download from the form below!

Find out what hashtag techniques work best for you

Being where your target audience and customers are is vital for any brand. If you’re serious about getting more organic followers and likes on Instagram, getting that exposure will require some work, but the reward will be worth it. You’ll have a loyal user base and you’ll be on your way to finding out what works best for your audience. 

Keeping up with the ever-changing social media trends is a challenge, but the results are worth the effort. Here’s my final tip—to stay ahead of the game, make sure to follow Instagram updates, tools and trends. Instagram is quick to inform about any algorithm changes, new features and pro tips on their blog!

I hope you enjoyed this post, have fun creating your custom Instagram strategy! And feel free to share your experience with Instagram in the comments below. 

20 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read [+ GIVEAWAY]

20 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read [+ GIVEAWAY]

The most successful people get to where they are through constant learning. Your level of experience could be anywhere between not knowing anything about business, to being the CEO of your own company, and still, it’s important to keep educating yourself.

Reading about marketing, productivity, and entrepreneurship helps you plan for the future and make informed decisions. So take a look at this list of best business books handpicked by us! We promise you’ll learn something new.

printful-blog-book-giveaway-announcementRead Terms and Conditions.

Best business books

To be successful in the business world, you need to master a lot of skills. These are our top entrepreneur books to expand your knowledge, learn new approaches, or simply refresh business ideas.

1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Why are you doing what you do? Sinek has a theory called the Golden Circle. According to him, most successful companies talk about why they do something, not what they do or how they do it. Follow the guidelines of the Golden Circle to succeed in your own company and identify your why. This will make you reevaluate your goals and values, both for your business and personally.

Want to get a preview? Watch how Sinek explains the Golden Circle in the 3rd most popular TED talk of all time.

Published: 2009

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People: The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

There simply is no business without people. It’s what shapes the system. Building relationships in the business world is a must, but this is easier said than done. After all, people can be unpredictable and hard to understand. Carnegie teaches the psychology of understanding what people want from you (without them telling you) and how to build relationships. Use the tactics you learn, like being an active listener and remembering names, when talking to anyone in your life—customers, coworkers, bosses, partners, friends. This might be an old book, but Carnegie’s lessons are timeless.

Published: 1936

3. Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business by Patrick Lencioni

Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

We’ve all been in meetings that are slow, meaningless and feel like an eternity. Lencioni digs into your everyday business meeting and offers insight and leadership advice on how to improve them.

Make your workday more effective by learning about useful strategies, like meeting in smaller groups that can go more in-depth about the topic at hand. This book is ideal for those who run meetings and those who attend them. Make sure everybody’s time is spent productively!

Published: 2004

4. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake MastersZero to One by Peter Thiel

The future of business is up in the air. It’s up to us to decide what the next big thing will be. Whether you’re launching a startup or implementing new ideas, make sure you stand out from the rest.

The author, Peter Thiel, is a well-known American entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He’s a co-founder of PayPal and one of the original investors of Facebook. Zero to One is inspiring and thought-provoking. Read it if you want to think of your next ground-breaking idea.

Published: 2014

5. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

According to Kahneman, there are two systems of thinking: System 1 and System 2. System 1 is fast, automatic, and it may feel like you’re thinking a hundred thoughts a minute. System 2 is slower, logical, and it can take a long time for you to mull things over. Each has its benefits and limitations.

In his book, Kahneman picks apart how we think, why we make wrong decisions, and what we can do to avoid them in the future. You’ll learn how to think outside of the box and approach problems in a new way.

Published: 2011

Best marketing books

Marketing is all about building relationships with your customers and being smart about how to sell your products. These factors are what drive sales and grow your brand. Learn from these masters of marketing on how to up your game!

1. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Contagious by Jonah Berger

It isn’t an accident that some ideas stick and some fade away. You want your brand to stick, so it becomes memorable, popular, and recognizable. This book talks about how.

Marketing is about creating a story. Make sure that people connect with it and that your brand is easy to talk about.

Once you learn how, your marketing will improve and your brand will grow.

Published: 2013

2. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

This content marketing book is great for any business owner who wants to learn what their customers really want.

Pulizzi, a founder of Content Marketing Institute, believes that content creation is an important part of any business success. In his book, he gives advice on branding and finding your targeted niche. However, he suggests a fresh approach: build the audience first and then develop the products after.

Published: 2015

3. This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin

This is Marketing by Seth Godin

There are so many businesses today that it is difficult for customers to know which company to trust. Building trust with your targeted market is key to growing a loyal fan base.

This marketing book encourages business owners to be sincere and transparent because that’s what builds a real relationship with consumers. Not everybody is going to be your target audience but be sure to really sell to those who are. Don’t feel like reading? Watch Godin’s TED Talk where he shares his secrets.

Published: 2018

4. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

When picking between companies, consumers don’t always use logic. This is why pro/con spreadsheets don’t always work. In reality, consumers will go by feeling and which brand speaks to them. 

As an entrepreneur, you have to make your business stand out. Create a brand story that communicates what you offer and what problem your product is solving. Make your message memorable and effective. Building a StoryBrand is clear and gets right to the point: focus on the customers.

Published: 2017

5. Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Hit Makers by Derek Thompson

Every successful company has a reason why they’re so well known. Thompson examines what they do and how you can learn from them. He also analyzes how apps, songs, or logos gain and lose popularity to give you a better grasp on how to promote your products.

Read the behind-the-scenes on why things go viral and how you can use these strategies.

Published: 2017

Best productivity books

Technology is growing and the tools meant to help us be more productive sometimes do the complete opposite. These best books on self-discipline give different advice on how to work efficiently. Use the tips given to improve your personal productivity and help you manage a productive business so you can grow and earn more profit.

1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Sometimes our brains are cluttered with information. Instead of trying to do everything at once, organize your tasks and the steps you need to do to get them done. Be disciplined and set timelines for yourself. Once you have a clear action plan, it’s easier to accomplish your goals.

Printful’s CEO, Davis Siksnans, approves and uses actionable tips from this book to implement a system at work!

Published: 2001

2. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Work smarter, not harder. With this mindset, you’ll save both time and energy.

Ferriss stresses the idea of productive and disciplined work. He believes in grouping similar activities together, setting guidelines for yourself and others, and valuing your time. Instead of waiting until you’re retired to do everything on your list, every five years take a “mini-retirement” vacation. You’ll come back refreshed and more productive.

Published: 2007

3. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Modern technology has pros and cons. We have all of the information, connection, and help we need at the tip of our fingers. But having too much of it also distracts us. Being able to get into the zone and do meaningful work is becoming more difficult.

This book focuses on making schedules to avoid stress and work overload. Take a digital detox and get into the zone of full attention towards your task. It combines business and psychology to make a useful self-help book for both startup business and large companies.

Published: 2016

4. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

The One Thing by Gary Keller

Sometimes we have to take a step back and restructure our habits to be more successful.

This book addresses the issue of multitasking, the importance of discipline, and the purposes of prioritizing. For example, Keller encourages people to say “no” more. It will let you take control of your tasks and your life. You’ll find yourself handling situations better and being overall more satisfied with your work progress. Happiness shouldn’t be the end goal, it should happen naturally on the way to fulfillment.

Published: 2013

5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The word “habits” tends to have a negative connotation. Make your habits a good thing! Develop habits that will benefit both you and others. This sounds obvious, but it’s easier said than done. The first step of becoming more effective in the workplace and everywhere else is personal change.

Covey believes that human relationships are important to maintain and keep. A habit of listening to comprehend and not just waiting for your turn to speak is only one among many tips shared in this book.

Published: 1989

Best books on creativity

Creativity sparks new ideas and helps your business grow. It’s hard to be creative 24/7; chances are, you’ve been in a creative slump. Read these books about creativity to learn fresh ideas for promotions, marketing, products, and more.

1. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Push yourself out of your comfort zone to see things differently and creatively. No one is completely 100% original. Everyone has an inspiration that they learn, improve, and find their own true voice from. Just remember that there is a line between completely stealing and drawing inspiration. Find bits and pieces that you like from others to create what you really want. This is a short and easy to read book for anyone who needs the nudge for creativity.

Published: 2012

2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert, author of the New York Times Best Seller Eat Pray Love, is devoted to the concept of creativity.

Everyone sometimes gets into a rut when dealing with creativity. Try switching your mindset to believing that we all need failure in order to succeed. Don’t get discouraged, but instead learn from the setback and move forward. Everyone has a different way of handling the creative process. Find what works for you when you are stuck or need inspiration.

Published: 2015

3. The War of Art: Break Through the Block and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Everybody is creative, whether you know it or not. This book gives advice on overcoming this resistance to creativity.

As people grow older, they become more critical about their work. Be sure to handle that correctly. It’s okay to take criticism and criticize yourself as well, it’s how we grow creatively. However, don’t limit yourself and block creativity. When you’re feeling unmotivated, learn how to break through the roadblock.

Published: 2002

4. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed CatmullCreativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, shares advice for how managers can learn to be better leaders and inspire creativity in the workplace. He believes that managers have plenty left to learn and they should acknowledge that with others. This keeps them humble and open to new opportunities. Creativity, Inc. challenges people to strive for new ideas and to take risks. Read this to improve your creative mindset in the business world.

Published: 2014

5. Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott BelskyMaking Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky

Have you ever felt like you aren’t moving towards your goals fast enough? Project management and timelines can help push you in the right direction. Make that first step by using organization, leadership, and community to build momentum in creativity. A tip mentioned in the book is to start giving yourself self-derived rewards. This will motivate yourself and keep deadlines in check. Entrepreneurs can take these principles and apply them to their everyday actions. Your ideas don’t have to just be dreams, take action and start making them a reality!

Published: 2010

Read away

Use this list of books about entrepreneurship, marketing, productivity, and creativity to your advantage. There are plenty of ways to improve yourself and your company with all of this advice and help.

Can’t wait to start learning? Enter our giveaway for a chance to win 4 books every entrepreneur should read.

How to Sell Athleisure, Activewear, and Everything In-between

How to Sell Athleisure, Activewear, and Everything In-between

Activewear has outgrown its humble beginnings as sweaty gym clothes and has now sprouted brands with a cult-like mass following. Products like sweatshirts, hoodies and polo shirts have become staple pieces of modern lifestyles and are worn for all sorts of occasions.

After the hype of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop in 2008 and Kate Hudson’s Fabletics in 2013, consumers prioritize being healthy and practicing wellness in style. They might not be exercising more, but they sure are exploring the athleisure trend more than ever before. Others take advantage of athleisure apparel being more accessible and incorporate activewear in their day-to-day outfits.

With consumer whims changing faster than the fashion seasons, ecommerce store owners take the forefront of apparel retail, while mass-market brick-and-mortar shops producers fail to adapt to this demand-focused module. We prepared some pointers on selling activewear so you can seize this opportunity as well.

We’ll go over the different strands of activewear, the steps of introducing your own activewear line and the best ways to reach the target audience.

What’s the difference: activewear, athleisure, and streetwear

For the longest time, we associated activewear with gym clothes or apparel tailored for specific sports like running, gymnastics, judo, etc. These products are now referred to as sportswear, making activewear a more general term that includes all sorts of sporty, comfortable clothes.

With the rise of more spiritual physical activities like yoga, activewear has become a part of the wellness lifestyle and is now worn outside training grounds. This phenomenon is known as athleisure. In fact, according to the NPD Group, athleisure represented almost a quarter of total apparel sales in the US last year. It’s sure to grow in 2019 with more brands following the trend set by Lululemon, which started the athleisure craze with yoga leggings.

Lululemon’s success leads to leggings overthrowing jeans as the go-to bottoms for a short while in 2016. Since then other athleisure products have influenced denim production, solidifying the term in the fashion industry.

Source: Lacoste

This isn’t the only example of activewear attracting attention from people beyond its target audience. Tennis shoes, better known today as sneakers, were made for lawn sport and tennis athletes and were worn by most students who joined sports teams in the early 20th century. Yet, due to lack of funds, these students wore their sports shoes when attending classes as well. Soon after sneakers transcended their target consumers and were worn as casual shoes. The same goes for polo shirts. Once specific to tennis, the polo shirt was popularized by Grand Slam champion René Lacoste in the 1920s and is now a staple of prep style.

Source: Streetwear Official

Half a century later activewear sprouted another style—streetwear. It combines characteristics of multiple subcultures, huge online presence and, most importantly, lots of activewear products like graphic tees, joggers, hoodies and sweatshirts. The style was first led by Shawn Stussy and skateboarders of 1970s California, but later got adopted by hip-hop subculture in the 1990s. The style took off with Supreme and A Bathing Ape reaching cult-like following, and with the help of internet and hype culture has now become the new luxury. We’ve seen Supreme and Louis Vuitton collaboration and the rise of Yeezy, Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas, and Chanel introducing sneakers to their product range. Activewear is everywhere!

Why sell activewear online?

Activewear sales value has grown exponentially this past decade. Allied Market Research expects the global activewear market to reach a value of $546,802 million by 2024.

Source: Atlas

McKinsey & Company, having predicted a global boost in activewear demand in 2019, allude to mass-market brick-and-mortar apparel retailers struggling to adjust their production model to the fast-paced changes in demand.

Due to print-on-demand characteristics, ecommerce store owners with POD services face no such issue—graphics designs can be changed with only a little effort. What’s more, the drop shipping fulfillment method ensures that no store is left with heaps of out-of-style inventory.

With that in mind, Shopify has featured athleisure in its annual top-selling trend list (third spot, no less) for the second year in a row and Printful has added more products perfect for a custom athleisure line.

How to start selling: Choose a direction

You can choose to focus on a custom-made clothing line that requires tailoring know-how and would need to be designed from scratch. This approach would involve more high-cost risks, but also could justify higher pricing.

Another approach is partnering with a print-on-demand drop shipping company which offers already designed and tailored clothing that only needs your unique graphic design. This is a much easier approach to starting your own activewear line but allows for limited customization tailor-wise.

Custom-made activewear

The most growth in athleisure sales is predicted for premium brands with high-level technical capabilities. If you have the tailoring know-how and are willing to invest a lot of technical effort into making need-specific clothing, this is the time for you!

Consumers are eager to purchase products that combine both style and high functionality. A definite crowd favorite would be added pockets that reduce the need for extra storage bags.

Another way to create an athleisure line your customers would love is to innovate and offer mixed-use products that withstand the test of various activities. High-quality multipurpose items can also be priced higher. Andrew Manteit, director of Active in Style, says that the price point is getting higher and consumers are willing to pay more, as long as the product endures day-to-day wear.

Keep in mind that due to the demand-focused market, this approach can lead to out-of-style products left in storage if you’re brand does not have strong enough equity.

Print-on-demand activewear

If you’re not a professional tailor or fashion designer, partnering with a POD drop shipping company is the easiest way to start your own apparel line.

Print-on-demand fulfillment is also a much safer bet. With demand changing rapidly, this fulfillment method lets you focus on creating topical and trendy designs without worrying about the production process.

There’s also a smaller chance of making high-cost mistakes. POD dropshipping companies follow market tendencies to offer products that consumers want to buy.

Printful’s product range keeps expanding and now it covers the essential items you need to create an athleisure line. Some products even have more specific variants, like leggings and their variations—yoga leggings and capri leggings. Yet there are still some limitations that you should be mindful of. POD products cannot be custom-tailored or are limited to a certain range in sizes.

Make sure to find a fulfillment partner that suits your needs, order product samples and find athletes that can testify to the quality of the product.

Choose the right activewear products

What your customer needs

Don’t limit yourself to thinking that activewear is meant only for gym rats and sports enthusiasts. Athleisure, as the word suggests, is the combination of athletics and leisure and can easily be described as comfortable clothing, while streetwear transforms similar products into opinionated and fashionable statements.

Sportswear products

So, if your customer base has a strong active culture, you should choose and market your products with that in mind. Find a specific niche and work around the culture surrounding it. Choose sport-specific products, give them a new twist and a unique personality. Offer rash guards to surfers, leggings to yoga enthusiasts, visors and polo shirts to tennis players, or create a whole swimwear line.

Athleisure products

If, however, you aim to offer products to the more general public, emphasize the importance of comfort in everyday life. Think of yourself, your friends, and colleagues and what are their needs that your product line can satisfy. Choose products that fit the athleisure trend. Be sure to include a bag or two as an accessory.

Caroline Gogolak, the founder of Carbon38, describes her customer as an active woman who runs around, drops her kids off, hurries to work, makes time for meetings and yoga classes, and is in need of performance clothing. Gogolak also notes this happening in the menswear market as well, saying that people, in general, tend to choose more casual clothing.

Streetwear products

If your customer base is mainly the younger generation, try to surprise them with a hip and comfortable streetwear line. Not only are these products easier to design, but they also have great marketing potential. This is because most of the streetwear items are worn throughout the year and allow for experimentation.

Plus size activewear products

What’s more, the active industry is finally catering to plus-size consumers as well. More brands are recognizing the need for size-inclusive apparel, although the market still cannot satisfy all of the demand. Donna Martin, Director of Merchandising at PUMA, has shared their brand experience with the plus-size market. At first, PUMA offered plus size activewear online. After seeing positive results, especially within the international market, they decided to introduce these items in their brick-and-mortar stores. Martin notes that the success of the campaign was due to the retailer being authentic and targeting the plus-size customers directly, not just adding another size to an already existing product campaign.

Move with the movement

To keep athleisure fatigue at bay, pay close attention to what is happening in the market. Follow the trends that are doing well, but don’t be afraid to innovate and stand out.

Two graphs showcasing activewear color palette

Source: EDITED

We suggest bringing some color to a very neutral-looking market. Not only will you have a unique approach to athleisure, but you’ll have space to experiment with the seasonality of activewear products.

To make sure what the market demands, read market reports, use the activewear insight tool and, most importantly, research what your target audience is interested in and are willing to splurge on. Take advantage of Printful’s print-on-demand service to experiment with different products and designs.

Activewear marketing tips

Invest in visuals

No words can describe a design better than a great photo or a professional video. Consumers are driven by doing activities in style, so your visuals need to represent that.

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Don’t limit yourself to stylized flat lays:

  • give it movement—go to a running track, to the gym, to the nearest beach and showcase your products in action;
  • showcase the versatility of the product—get some shots of athleisure products in a professional setting, in the comfort of home, or during the commute;
  • be sincere—a professional model might be the best choice for fashion apparel, but athletes and people representing your actual consumer base will make your line more authentic.

Take advantage of social media

The active lifestyle has long moved past gym walls. Your customers are active people and have gathered like-minded people around them. A single picture of a customer using your products is sure to travel further than you could reach on your own.

Another great way to snowball is to collaborate with instructors and coaches. They have their own following and can raise your brand equity and reach by endorsing, promoting or simply using your products in day-to-day life. This is especially important for sportswear focused apparel lines.

Stefani Grosse, CEO of luxury sportswear brand Monreal London, suggests Instagram as the best platform since it attracts a youthful following.

Collaborate

We’ve already mentioned collaborating with athletes and sports instructors who are great partners when selling sportswear. However, if you want to market your products as streetwear, turn to more hip influencers. It’s how the style was made and rose in popularity.

Source: Fightclub

Streetwear is closely connected with multiple subcultures and internet culture. Your best bet would be to approach the online influencers and artists your customers know and love. Look for established fashionistas, upcoming underground musicians and beloved gamers. Follow your target community online and offer them their inside jokes on their favorite clothing items: t-shirts, hoodies, snapbacks, and so many more.

Build hype

Source: Vans

Make your products exclusive! Create a collection that has a limited amount of items available or can be purchased only during a specific time frame. Note that to justify hyping your product it also needs to be more unique. Be the first to jump on the newest trend or offer something no-one has managed before.

Follow the seasons

Although most athleisure items are used all year round, it doesn’t mean they have to be sold that way. We’ve emphasized how much athleisure is driven by customer demand and how often it changes. Try to think ahead of time and prepare collections in advance.

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Mix up your product range so it’s more appropriate for each season, and create different designs for different times of the year. Be mindful of where your target market is located—introduce light-reflective running attire for northerners or sweat-proof tank tops for southerners.

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast! Sending a sunny promotional email might not give you the results you want with a blizzard raging across the country. The same goes for beanies and sweatshirts during a heatwave.

Start selling activewear

If you have decided to start selling activewear on your online store, be sure to do your research first. We recommend making sure you have a clear understanding of your target audience and their needs and partner with a fulfillment company that meets your standards.

Most importantly, be as active as your customers! Having the same interest and enthusiasm toward sports, fashion and culture, are sure to make your brand more authentic and desirable.

10 Independence Day Marketing Campaign Ideas [Free American-Themed Vector Graphics Inside]

10 Independence Day Marketing Campaign Ideas [Free American-Themed Vector Graphics Inside]

Summer is around the corner, and so is the national holiday that brings Americans together—Independence Day. Last year, people all over the country spent $6.9 billion in preparation for this day, and this number is expected to be even higher in 2019, as 9 in 10 adults say that they will participate in festivities.

Even though this is one nation’s holiday, businesses around the globe are marking the 4th of July on their marketing calendar as something they can’t miss out on. You see, you can run an online store from anywhere in the world, but you still need to adapt to your target audience’s needs. In case you’re targeting Americans, you have to keep their national holidays in mind.

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to fuel your 4th of July marketing campaigns with a patriotic spirit that would help sell more to American audiences this July, you’re in the right place. This blog post will walk you through 10 Independence Day marketing ideas you can experiment with before the 4th of July comes around.

1. Put together an Independence Day collection

Do you have something on your store that your American audience would love? Then make it part of your Independence Day collection. And don’t worry if you haven’t introduced American pride-inspired products to your store yet, you’ve still got time to do so. For example, give your customers a chance to welcome the summer in style by offering patriotic designs on cute bathing suits or fun beach towels.

4th of July collectionMake sure you promote your new collection in your 4th of July social media posts and emails.

2. Showcase reds, whites, and blues

You’d probably agree that nothing says “America” more than the color combination of red, white, and blue. So look around your store and see if you have enough products in these colors to run a fun Independence Day promotion.

4th of july red while blue

Source: Madewell

A red, white, and blue sale is a great way to showcase different types of products that are available in your store. Even if the products in these colors aren’t usually popular among your customers, they might receive more love on and around Independence Day. If you are choosing to add something new to your store, timeless pieces like tank tops and classic t-shirts in festive colors should be your go-to’s.

Send out a 4th of July marketing email to let all of your customers know about your red, white, and blue sale. For an extra boost, personalize the emails or make them interactive.

3. Flaunt your stars and stripes

If you don’t have a lot of products in red, white, and blue on your store, perhaps you have something with stars or stripes? These patterns don’t have to look American. At this point, it’s all about finding a way to promote existing products during this seasonal holiday.

Source: ModCloth

Consider offering friendly discounts on all things stars and stripes to encourage customers to shop for these American patterns.

4. Bring attention to made in the USA

Made in the USA is big. According to Consumer Report, 80% of Americans say they would prefer buying an American-made product, and 60% say they would be willing to pay up to 10% more for it.

If there are made in the USA products on your store, Independence Day couldn’t be a better time to remind your customers about them.

4th of July made in the usa

Source: Williams-Sonoma

As your customers are supporting local businesses, they are also contributing to a more sustainable future for the entire country. What a great message, don’t you think?

5. Show off all the sparkles

Firework shows are an inseparable part of the 4th of July celebration. It can also become the center of your marketing campaigns. Well, not literal fireworks, but products that can remind your customers of them.

4th of July firework

Source: Like Twice

If you want to run firework-inspired promotion campaigns, your eyes should be on all the products that have shiny or metallic finishes, glitter, or sequins.

Like the idea but have nothing shiny to offer? Try to find something that customers can associate with fireworks. For instance, play with the idea of positioning your products as attention grabbers or showstoppers, suggesting that they would receive more attention than a 4th of July firework show.

Don’t forget that fireworks also make for a great visual that people associate with good times and celebrations. Check out our free Independence Day graphics you can download at the end of this post to add some patriotic cheer to your marketing campaigns.

6. Create a flash sale

While we’re still on the topic of fireworks, a flash sale is yet another idea worth exploring. In case you’re not familiar with this term, a flash sale means offering products at greatly reduced prices for a short period of time.

4th of july flash sale

Source: Loft

Build your flash sale promotions around a sense of urgency because that will encourage shoppers to act quickly. This is a great opportunity not only to retain existing customers but also attract the attention of new ones, too.

7. Round up picnic essentials

The 4th of July weekend is the ultimate party that brings together family and friends. One of the most popular ways to celebrate America’s independence is to have a picnic. In fact, last year people spent around $6.9 billion on cookouts and picnics outdoors during this patriotic holiday.

4th of July picnic essentialsSource: Brit + CoTo help your customers prepare for the party outdoors, go ahead and put together a picnic essentials kit. You can feature whatever you think might be needed to celebrate America’s independence, be it apparel, accessories, decorations, or tableware.

Recipes, party ideas, and crafts are some of the things people search for the most when preparing for an Independence Day get together, so feature those in your essentials kit as well. By creating interesting and useful content, you are encouraging more shares and, therefore, more visitors to your store.

8. Offer free delivery

You’re probably sick of hearing this, but yes, free shipping is the number one incentive to shop more. So it comes as no surprise that one of the things that can help you sell more on Independence Day is a free delivery option.

Free Shipping 4th of July

A common practice is offering free delivery for orders with a certain value. This also often results in higher average cart value, as customers are eager to spend more if they know their purchases will be delivered to them for free.

9. Feature a contest

Running a fun Independence Day contest on your social media is yet another way to help your store grow this July.

Here are a few Independence Day contest ideas you can try:

  • asking people to re-tweet your 4th of July social media post and tag a person they’d like to celebrate with;
  • asking folks to post a picture of themselves enjoying the festivities (either while wearing/using your merch or not);
  • inviting people to tag your business in a post where they talk about what they love about celebrating Independence Day.

To encourage people to share their entries, you can announce that you’ll be picking the winner based on how many likes, re-tweets or shares each submission gets. This will generate more visibility for your business. While you’re at it, make sure that liking your page is part of being eligible for the contest.

4th of july contest example

Source: Greater Houston Orthodontists

Of course, it wouldn’t be a contest without prizes! You can offer a big discount, free products, store credit or any other fun incentive to the lucky winner.

10. Give away more loyalty credit

Did you know that acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than selling to an existing one? For the very same reason, most businesses walk the extra mile to keep their customers coming back. One of the ways to achieve that is by creating a customer loyalty program.

4th of July extra points

Source: Birch Box

If you have a reward program up and running, encourage customers to shop more by offering a bigger loyalty credit that comes with purchases made around Independence Day. If you already have a loyalty program, this could be a great time to promote it.

Get your store ready for 4th of July

Independence Day will come around before you know it, so it’s better to start preparing your marketing campaigns while you still have time to experiment with different ideas.

You don’t have to add new products to your store if you want to boost sales on Independence Day weekend. Simply showcase existing products as they are by adding a fun twist to your marketing copy.

Start by downloading our free Independence Day-themed vector graphic to breathe some Americana into your marketing campaigns.

This article was originally published in June 2018; it has since been updated.

How to Sell Custom Jewelry Online and Actually Make Money

How to Sell Custom Jewelry Online and Actually Make Money

29 million Americans said they owned jewelry in 2018. To put in perspective, that’s the size of the population of Texas. We did the math, and you’d need approximately 362 lifetimes to meet that many people.

As an ecommerce store owner, you can see there are a lot of possibilities in that number, and it’s just a matter of finding the right path for your business to access them. We’re here to help you understand how to sell personalized jewelry and grow your store in the process.

In this blog article, we’ll go over why selling jewelry online is the next big thing, how to find that pricing sweet spot and best places to sell your jewelry, and how to introduce custom jewelry in a way that makes sense for your store.

Why sell personalized jewelry online?

The jewelry industry has been slow to adapt to the world of ecommerce that apparel sellers embraced so quickly. But now jewelry is catching up fast. According to McKinsey, jewelry sales are expected to reach $275 billion by 2020, and a whopping $645 billion in 2035.

McKinsey predicts that 10% of jewelry sales in 2020 will take place online. And with jewelry profit margins averaging 42.6%, it’s a market well worth researching for all existing and potential ecommerce business owners out there.

Another reason to sell jewelry online is its evergreen quality. No matter the time of the year, custom jewelry is never out of season. If your ecommerce marketing calendar has the right dates on it, you can create holiday-related marketing campaigns focusing on your line of jewelry.

For example, June 8 is Best Friend Day, which means you can come up with a special offer for best friend necklaces. Boss Day on October 8 is perfect for designing custom bracelets celebrating the world’s best bosses.

Where to start?

When it comes to choosing the products to sell, bracelets and necklaces are classics for a reason—people love and wear them. As you know, jewelry can be made from a lot of different materials, but if you want to add value to your store consider fine jewelry that’s made from quality silver, gold, or other precious metals.

There are various production techniques used with precious metals, but engraving is the way to go since it adds a unique tactile feeling to a bracelet or necklace. So by adding engraved jewelry to your product selection you’ll attract customers who love high quality premium products. That’s why in this blog post we’re going to focus on how to sell engraved necklaces and bracelets.

First things first—you have to decide how much time and effort you want to invest in creating personalized engraved jewelry.

Option 1. Create and fulfill custom engraved jewelry yourself

The biggest benefit of creating jewelry yourself is you have full control over the process. You’re the one who chooses a quality engraving machine and supplies, and handles each order to make sure the customer has the perfect unboxing experience.

However, this option comes with some potential deal-breakers. First, you have to get the supplies and tools for engraving, which means investing your own money, especially if you’re going to order in bulk. For those starting in ecommerce, this might not be financially possible.

Second, not all of us have the time to master precise and sleek engraving skills to create minimalistic jewelry, which is particularly difficult with hand-held tools. But without properly learning the skill you can end up with poor quality products, damaged items that’ll make you lose money, or even worse—bad reviews on your store.

creating-your-own-jewelry

Third, engraving, packaging, and shipping each order takes time. And after your business takes off, this model can be difficult to scale unless you’re willing to manage your store full-time. So with future success in mind, it might be more beneficial to choose a trusted fulfillment partner for your personalized jewelry.

Option 2. Use an on-demand fulfillment service

Using an on-demand fulfillment service that offers custom engraved jewelry solves the problems outlined above. You lose control over the creation and fulfillment processes, but gain quality and time to focus on your business and marketing the products.

To get the best results, you need to choose a reliable white-label production partner that has engraved jewelry in their product range. For example, Printful offers high quality engraved silver bar necklaces and bracelets with silver, gold, and rhodium coatings. You just need to add your designs to the products, and start selling jewelry on your store.

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Printful charges your account only when a customer makes an order. Then they fulfill the order and send it directly to your customer under your brand. You set your own profit margins, so you can mark up your custom jewelry the way you see fit.

With Printful, all jewelry orders have free shipping, which can significantly increase your average order value.

Using a partner makes sense if you prefer developing a business strategy and marketing the products, and leaving the production process to professionals. To find a fulfillment partner that meets your standards, order some product samples and test them out.

How to price jewelry?

Once you have the fulfillment sorted, find the right price for your products. Pricing is tricky because the price tag needs to reflect the quality of the product and bring in profit, but also appeal to customers who have a lot of other shopping options at their fingertips.

As we mentioned before, jewelry generally has very high and stable profit margins with sellers reporting similar results year after year despite market fluctuations. Researching how established competitors value their products can give you an idea of what works for the audience you’re targeting.

For example, a search for engraved silver bar necklaces on Etsy reveals products with prices ranging from $16 to upwards of $150. A simple Sarah Chloe engraved gold-plated silver bar necklace at Macy’s costs $118. So evaluate the competition, calculate the profit margins, and decide what makes sense for your store.

gold-necklace

Source: Macy’s

Let’s take the Macy’s $118 necklace as an example. Printful would charge you $24.95 for a comparable product. Since all orders have free shipping, the necklace would give you a $93.05 gross profit with an 80% profit margin.

Some ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Woocommerce, and Etsy even offer a personalization feature that allows customers to design their own bracelet or necklace directly on your storefront. Giving your customers the option to order jewelry with their own unique designs increases your profit margins even more.

Read our article on how to market expensive products to learn helpful tips and tricks on finding the right price work for your engraved jewelry line.

Best places to sell jewelry online

When you’ve decided on the price, it’s time to find the right place to sell custom-made jewelry. One option is to create your own online store (or add a new category to an existing store—more on that later). This way you can customize the store to your heart’s content, creating a truly tailor-made shopping experience.

Another option is to use online marketplaces that are well-known for their extensive jewelry collections. Even if you already have an established store, multichannel selling can be a game-changer when it comes to finding new target audiences. Let’s take a look at some of the marketplaces you should consider.

Etsy

Note: The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc. Printful’s application uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed or certified by Etsy, Inc.

Personalized jewelry is one of Etsy’s best-selling categories, so Etsy is the place to sell jewelry. With almost 39.5 million active buyers in 2018, it’s a good place to get noticed.

sell-engraved-jewelry-etsy

Source: Etsy

Just being on Etsy, however, is not enough. You have to optimize your product listings by using the right keywords, adding eye-catching product pictures, and constantly monitoring what works and what doesn’t. So invest some time to research how to successfully sell products on Etsy.

eBay

eBay is one of the few industry leaders with years of experience in ecommerce, and its 167 million monthly visitors make it a formidable market player.

ebay-engraved-jewelry

Source: eBay

But such numbers also signal that there’s a lot of competition, so you should have some tricks up your sleeve to make sure your bracelets and necklaces are seen. This means getting to know eBay’s algorithms inside and out and reading up on how to boost your rankings.

Amazon

Amazon is an ecommerce giant that’s not going to stop their expansion anytime soon. In 2018 alone, the company’s net revenue was $232.89 billion dollars. Plus, Amazon has global marketplaces for sellers who want their engraved jewelry to go international.

amazon-angraved-jewelry

Source: Amazon

Just note that Amazon has rules in place for all sellers, so it may take some time for you to actually start selling jewelry on their marketplace. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you get started with Amazon.

Introducing custom jewelry to your store

If you already have a successful ecommerce store, jewelry can spice up your product range. Adding new products shows your customers that your business is thriving and expanding. So put some time into planning a launch to make sure the new products tie in with your brand image.

When planning, always have your target audience and business niche in mind. Here are some strategies you can use when introducing custom engraved jewelry to your store.

Connect it to your brand

The designs you use on your t-shirts aren’t going to work on jewelry. But you can definitely connect the two products to attract customers who are already fans of your t-shirts. For example, jewelry works very well with text-based designs, so if your t-shirts feature words or taglines, put them on your jewelry as well.

Or if you’re the owner of a brand that’s already a household name, create bracelets and necklaces with your branding, so your most loyal customers can act as brand ambassadors.

Do limited editions

Use FOMO as a marketing tool, and create limited edition personalized jewelry that’s exclusive to your store. There’s nothing like a countdown clock to motivate customers to make their order.

limited-edition-jewelry

Source: Mango

If the limited edition campaign is successful, you can consider adding jewelry products to your product range with a “back by popular demand” announcement. This way you can test out your customers’ response and make sure they’re not surprised seeing a new category on your store.

Target special events

Special events are a great time to introduce something new to your store. And there are so many options to choose from! For example, you can pick an international holiday, like Siblings Day, and come up with a line of jewelry to celebrate all the amazing siblings out there.

It can also be an event that’s special for your brand. Offer a new product as a thank you to all your customers a year after launching your store, or when you get your 100th 5-star product review.

Start selling custom jewelry today

Whether you’re just at the beginning of your ecommerce journey, or you’re already an established player with lots of experience, consider selling custom jewelry as your next passion project.

With all the impressive sales numbers and possibility for high profit margins, jewelry can become a best-seller on your store. Especially if you put in the work and do your research. So go ahead—discover a new niche in your ecommerce journey! And don’t forget to share your own experience with selling jewelry in the comments below.