Amazon Merch – Can You Really Make Profits With It?

Amazon has become one of the most trusted online stores around the world. And saying that it has changed the way people shop online will be an understatement. 

It’s not just about the reach of Amazon. It is also known for its loyal customer base. In fact, nearly 88% of shoppers on Amazon do not look for products anywhere else. 

Having such a loyal customer base is one of the biggest strengths of Amazon. It is also for this very same reason that among all the print-on-demand (POD) businesses out there, Merch by Amazon continues to be the most popular choice. 

How Is Amazon Merch Different From Other POD Businesses?

Print-on-demand businesses are generally considered to be low-risk business plans for budding entrepreneurs without a huge budget in their hands. Here are a few differences between Merch and other POD businesses-

  • Merch does not allow you to sell your products elsewhere but some POD businesses do.
  • You can only join when you are invited but most others allow free signup and instant setting up of your shop. 
  • With sound marketing strategies, you can make better profits here than in most other places because of the high traffic volume of Amazon. 

Initially, Merch started with the option to sell t-shirts but recently a few more products have been added to the product types like pop sockets and phone cases, tote bags, and throw pillows. But as the space has been expanding rapidly, there have been many sellers struggling to make profits. If you can relate to this, here are a few things you can do to help your shop perform better. 

Every Merch Shop Owner Should Focus on These 5 Tips for Profits 

1. Fixing a niche for your shop for better branding 

The importance of a good niche needs no introduction, especially in a competitive space like Merch. The real problem is that some people might be eager to start selling but they do not really know what kind of designs to choose. 

Instead of going with random designs, pick one theme and then try to create an exhaustive pool of designs in that theme. Here are some design themes to inspire you –

  • Pets 
  • Sarcastic quotes 
  • Funny sayings
  • Fitness 
  • Cars
  • Superheroes 
  • Movie quotes 

When you choose one theme first, you will have a strong foundation to work on and this makes it easier to find good designs that sell. Instead of blindly picking a niche that is popular, pick a niche you are familiar with. When you know about your niche, you can easily pour in your creativity to come up with the best designs.

Even if you plan to outsource your design, you should still have a rough idea about the kind of symbols and designs that will work in that niche and the type of sayings you could add to them. And with this, you can create a brand that makes you stand out. 

For example, if you start selling t-shirts with “pet” prints, because you love pets, people will start identifying your brand as the go-to option for pet-themed t-shirts. Emerging as an authority in one particular niche is a great way to grow on Merch. 

2. Start designing for your audience 

At the crux of a bestselling Merch shop, there lies a good design. A good design placed in the wrong market will still be of no use. Once you have identified and finalized your niche, make an outline of the demographics of your target audience. 

Remember, like most other aspects of branding, the key to creating designs that sell would be a proper understanding of your audience’s emotions. 

Designed by Kimp

Let’s take the pet-themed t-shirts for example again. You can get creative by selling humorous pet-themed quotes and illustrations throughout the year and illustrations with pets in Santa Claus costumes or other festive elements during the Holidays. 

By adding seasonal favorites you can also add seasonally trending keywords and therefore improve sales during peak competition. 

But, how do you get these designs that people will like? You definitely would not want your t-shirt design to look like a rip-off of what’s already there in the market. So here’s what you could do-

  • Create your own design – there are numerous design tools in the market today and most of them come with easy templates to start working on. But you should be sure that the designs you create for your t-shirts do not violate any intellectual property terms. 
  • To avoid copyright issues, creating a design from scratch, with the help of a professional design team is a dependable idea. And with unlimited graphic design services, you can also combine your t-shirt design requests with marketing designs for your Merch store. 
3. A lot depends on pricing your products right 

To begin with, you should understand how to pick the right keywords and how to use them in the product titles and descriptions. Some people do all this and also have great designs but still notice low conversions. This could possibly be due to poor pricing strategies. 

With a quick search on the common Merch pricing strategies, you might come across terms like “premium pricing” and “nonprofit pricing” strategies. These are standard pricing strategies and you have the freedom to try them all in your Merch shop. Let’s simplify these for you- 

  • One common trick most sellers use is to price slightly lower than the bestseller in the category. Even small price differences like selling your t-shirt at $14.99 when your competitors are selling it at $15.00 will make a big difference. 
  • Click-through rate is one of the factors that get your products to rank better in Amazon searches. If you want to use this aspect to your advantage, you could price your product at the lower end of the segment. For this, you should identify the maximum and minimum selling price of the products similar to yours and then pick a price somewhere in the lower price segment. By using this strategy you are lowering your profits but there is the probability of getting better click-through rates and thus better ranking too. Remember not to go lower than the lowest-priced product as most people associate price with quality. So, if your product appears too cheap for the segment, you still would not get conversions. 

Irrespective of the pricing strategy you choose, make sure to go back and modify your prices based on the market trends and when there is a store-wide sale happening. 

4. Best practices for better ranking of your products 

When you have a good design, how do you make a sale happen? 

The first step is to get your products to be visible to the right audience. Have you ever searched for a general term like “T-shirt for men”? There will be several pages displaying products from various sellers. 

Would you scroll all the way to the last page every single time? The chances are pretty low. You might either pick one from the first two or three pages or sort the products based on customer reviews or the price and so will your customers. So, there are three ways to get your products to be visible in the first few pages –

  • You should have great reviews (for this you should have a well-established shop and should have sold several products)
  • You should have the lowest priced products (this does reduce the royalties you earn)
  • Your products must have a good ranking (now that’s what we will talk about)

For products to rank better in Amazon searches- 

  • Understand click-through rates (CTR) and how to boost them. CTR depends on the number of clicks your product receives from the search results page. To increase CTR, you should have a product title and clear descriptions all with relevant keywords appropriately populated. Unique designs further increase your CTR.
  • How well your products convert would be the next thing that influences the ranking. Optimized content in your listing, a clear presentation of product features, great designs, and a good price will all improve conversions. Better conversions mean better rankings and better rankings mean further improvement in conversion rates.
  • Consistently delivering quality designs and pricing your products right will improve the chances of getting better reviews. Amazon loves to push products with good reviews. 
5. Marketing your Merch products for better sales 
Designed by Kimp

Alright, so your listings are finally up. Now how do you boost the sales? Amazon search ranking alone will not be enough. You need to work on marketing your shop just like you would do for a regular business. 

To grab eyeballs you have to start looking for channels outside Amazon. Pinterest and Social Media sites like Facebook and Instagram would be the best places, to begin with.

  • Pinterest has more than 478 million monthly active users. It is the place that most people visit for design inspiration. Chances are, you got your inspiration from there as well. So, start by creating a board for your Merch shop on Pinterest and regularly update your designs there, with direct links to the product pages. Have you seen people do this for their Etsy page listings? The concept remains the same. This technique works better when you have a unique design. Of course, Pinterest marketing is a topic in itself. You should do some research to understand the nuances of getting your images to be displayed in Pinterest searches. Once this happens, you will have traffic steadily flowing into your product pages.
  • Creating a Facebook page for your Merch brand will also be an effective way to drive traffic. You can then start improving the leads through Facebook groups meant for buying and selling products. The fact that there are region-specific groups for this, makes targeting the right audience easy for you. Leverage Facebook ads for even better traffic. This is another place where you might be happy that you chose to outsource your t-shirt design projects. Besides regular product templates, you can put up some creative mockups in your Facebook ads. Creative mockups increase Facebook ad conversions. 

Amazon Merch Mistakes That Can Kill Your Profits 

1. Not checking intellectual property issues can lead to your account being suspended 

If the designs you choose happen to violate trademarks or copyrights, it can lead to your listings being removed or in the worst case, cause your shop to be shut down by Amazon. Make sure that you take some time to understand Amazon Merch content policies before you upload any design in your shop. 

Outsourcing your t-shirt design requirements to a reliable graphic design team would be one way to eliminate these risks. You can let your designer know about your requirements for selling your t-shirts as your brand. And so you can have designs created from scratch, for your print-on-demand brand. This ensures that you have unique designs that look nothing like what’s already there in the store. 

2. Blunders in your product listings can be bad for your brand’s reputation 

Errors of all kinds like spelling mistakes, and grammatical flaws might make your product look bad and your business appear less professional. This could be one reason why some potential customers who actually click on your product do not place an order. 

You should be extra careful when using translation tools to create descriptions for global markets. 

A good practice would be to create a separate file with a table where you list down all the products with their relevant images, product titles, feature bullets, and long descriptions. Double-check the spellings and grammar in this file before you copy-paste the content into respective fields while creating your listing. 

3. Not tracking your performance would mean dwindling profits 

Failing to track your Amazon Merch shop is a formula for disaster. The strategies you choose for your product descriptions, designs, and marketing today might not necessarily work tomorrow. From the price of the products to the kind of designs that are popular, several parameters are subject to change based on the changing market trends and customer shopping behavior. 

There are convenient online tools for Amazon Merch analytics and some are available in the form of Google Chrome extensions to let you take a quick peek into how your shop is performing. 

Remember we spoke earlier about designing for the audience and refreshing your catalog with seasonal favorites? Measures like these would be possible only if you stay up to date with trends. And you would know about trends only if you continuously monitor your Merch shop performance. 

While you strive to improve sales in your Merch shop, ensure that you avoid these mistakes. This will help you sustain your brand and build a good business out of this print-on-demand service. 

So, can you really make profits with Amazon Merch? Yes, you can! The strategies to make it rain royalties in your Merch shop are simple. The ingredients for success are –

  • Strong niche 
  • Unique design 
  • Right prices 
  • Good ranking and
  • Excellent marketing strategies 

With this, you are sure to make a steady income from your printed t-shirts business,  even without worrying about renting a space for inventory or keeping track of logistics. 

Revamp Your Amazon Merch Store With Kimp Graphics 

An unlimited design service like Kimp comes in handy in a number of situations and for a wide range of business models. And one such is the print-on-demand business. You are constantly in need of original t-shirt designs for your stores. And you need mockups and product images for the store listings. You also need promotional designs to advertise your store on Merch. And finally, some social media designs for your social media pages. A single Kimp Graphics subscription can take care of all these designs on a regular basis. And what’s more, you can also add a logo design request to create a strong brand. 

Want to give unlimited design services a shot? Sign up for Kimp’s free trial today.