6 tips to sell your restaurant’s merchandise on your website
Running a restaurant is hard. Making a profit just by selling food is even harder. Whether you’ve got a fresh cloud kitchen or a long-standing casual diner, you have a standing goal that never goes away - to increase your revenue.
Even though there are a number of marketing tactics to increase a restaurant’s sales, but there is one gaining momentum these days and that’s merch business.
Aesthetically pleasing merchandise is always pleasant and adds value to a brand’s customer service. This is a strategy most food chains and renowned brands have employed in the past, and continue to reap benefits of it. One of the most prominent ones is Starbucks.
Starbucks’ marketing efforts are focused upon elevating the company from a simple coffee retailer to iconic-ambiance merchant. The idea was to create a retail environment that blends community and customs using multi-sensory experience. Starbucks merchandised the environment to give its customers another reason to visit the store and soon it became an indelible part of global culture.
By selling brand merchandise for your restaurant, you can increase brand awareness, gain a larger following as well whip up an additional revenue stream for your business. In addition to this, they make for a great gift that can be sent to loyal members as a token of appreciation.
Perhaps selling merchandise online is way different than selling food. Creating and selling merch is definitely time-consuming, but if you get yourself on the right foot, you'll be able to reap the benefits of this interesting world of merchandising.
Be true to the Brand
First and the foremost thing to consider when adding merchandise to your brand portfolio is that it should perspicuously reflect your company values and how you want your brand to be perceived by your customers.
Just adding a bunch of keychains and t-shirts with your logo won’t cut it. You have to put your creative hat and develop something that your customers would love to have in possession.
Having the right kind of products makes all the difference when it comes to restaurant merchandise. Let common sense guide you. Inexpensive shakers with the restaurant’s logo are ideal for a milkshake brand; guitar picks serves the purpose for an eatery with music at the core of its concept
Be sure to pick a promotional product that helps customers feel more connected to your brand. Throwing in a sense of humor or a unique flavor is also a great way to set your restaurant apart from the pack.
Make it Visible
Showcase the merchandise on the homepage of the website or an app so that it’s one of the first things that customers see as they enter the website, making them more likely to browse the options.
Enhance the visibility by adding pop-up banners to the home screen and if possible, begin selling the merchandise at a discounted price. Alternatively, you can also create a separate merchandise page to create a personalised customer experience
A flash sale is a short time-bound period in which you can offer a valuable deal to your customers such as a free branded USB stick with order above $100 or so, or perhaps flat 20% off on merchandise for 24 hours only.
The time-bound nature of these campaigns create a sense of urgency amongst customers, tapping into the human instinct of impulsive buying.
Exclusive or complementary cross-sells
Cross-sells are a great way for restaurants to increase their average order value by offering complementary products to customers as they reach the checkout page.
The most common cross-sell for restaurants is the complementary cross-sell, which strategically positions a promotional product alongside the item or a dish a customer wants to buy. For example, a branded coffee mug with Cappuccino.
Using personalisation and smart automation can make the cross-sell more effective as the data utilized will help you customize the combo deal for each individual.
Share with your loyal customers
If you are launching your merchandise for the first time, share the news with people who are most likely to buy them" your loyal customers. People who have already made a connection with your brand are the low hanging fruit. In most cases, they will be excited to buy from you.
Send an email blast to your loyal customers introducing the new category on the website. Keep your messages short, crisp and engaging. Your loyal customers already know who you are so don’t burden them with unnecessary details. It is advisable to stick to the imagery that talks about the products and their sentimental value.
Post regularly on Social Media
Leverage the power of social media to promote your restaurant merchandise. Post regularly on all social media channels. Remind them about the new product launch through Facebook Banners, Instagram Stories, and other social media tactics so they catch your fans’ eyes as they scroll through their feeds.
Influencer marketing is also a good strategy to drive purchase decisions. There are influencers that your customers turn to for opinions and information. You can find the ones that work best for your industry and work with them to rapidly spread the reach of your brand.
So as you are designing your restaurant’s merch, use these tips to make sure they work for you, as well as for your customers. To build a burgeoning business, it's critical to create experiences that speak to your customers one-on-one. A strategic marketing mix will help you establish a strong foundation!