8 Steps To Launching a Successful Employee’s Swag And Apparel Store

by | Company Swag Stores

Summary

Having an internal company swag and apparel store for employees has many advantages. It provides a centralized place for them to order their uniforms, work gear, promotional materials, and branded merchandise. Providing a pre-approved product selection makes the procurement process more efficient. It also ensures your brand's consistency internally and facing the public.

If you have been tasked with setting up an internal store for your company swag and uniforms and don’t know where to start, this guide is for you. 

1. Examine Your Total Company Swag and Apparel Purchases For The Previous Year

The best place to start thinking of products for your store is to list the products your organization purchased the previous year. Make sure to include purchases across all departments. This can be an eye-opening exercise. It will give you a clear picture of the most used products company-wide and help you identify areas where purchases can be consolidated to take advantage of volume discounts. It will also help spot outdated or less popular products that no longer serve a purpose and new additions needed.

2. List the marketing events and employee programs for the year

We tend to focus on the larger, company-wide events and marketing activities, but chances are, most, if not all,  departments have their events, and you want to include them in your list. A simple short survey sent to the heads of departments is an effective way to gather this information. 

Once you have a list of all the year’s company activities and employee programs, evaluate those products that can be used for multiple events and purchased in larger quantities and event/program-specific products.

3. Involve Your Employees in The Process

survey your employees in the use of their swag store

Making your employees part of the process early on will ensure their participation and use of the store in the future. Use surveys to collect feedback on their preferences on swag items and company apparel. Create focus groups to evaluate product selection. 

4. Promotional Products And Clothing Selection

You’ll want the company swag and apparel store to provide most, if not all, of the marketing materials used in your organization. These often include customized logo apparel, general giveaways, stationery, drinkware, tech gadgets, sales kits, and trade show supplies, just to name a few. 

The best way to tackle this is to base the selection on the previous year’s promotional products and apparel purchases (addressed in point #1) and pair them with the marketing activities your company has planned for the year (addressed in point #2). 

 

Pro Tip –  Limit the options for each product category and make sure the products align with your company culture and values.

5. Streamline The Ordering & Fulfillment Process

Develop a streamlined process for employees to place orders and receive their swag. Consider options such as self-service ordering, centralized distribution, or departmental pickups.

functional company stores mobile friendly

There are many ways to make the company uniforms and branded products available to your staff through your store. It is important to consider the ways that will work for you while keeping it as simple as possible. This will help determine the functionality you will need in your company store.

Some general considerations:

  • Limit the ability to place bulk orders to authorized personnel
  • Provide budgetary allowances to departments 
  • Use coupon codes to retrieve one-off items, such as incentives
  • Have a “suggestion box” for your staff so you can be on top of needed improvements. 

6. Choose Your Swag and Apparel Store Vendor Carefully 

There are many choices when it comes to store platforms and setup and fulfillment vendors. With over 100 active stores under our belt, we have the experience and resources to get yours up and running in no time. 

Shameless plug aside, a few things to cosider when evaluating your store provider, are, the features you want on your store, guidance in the products and functionality to achieve your objectives, as well as their production, warehousing and fulfillment capabilities. Not to forget the experience. 

You don’t want a vendor that is learning with your company store project. 

7. Plan Your Store Promotion

Promotion is key to the success of your swag store. Promote the store launch to generate excitement and employee participation. After the launch, have ongoing promotions in place. Use email newsletters, internal communications channels, and social media to remind your staff of the store on an ongoing basis.

8. Simplify Inventory Management

Implement a system for tracking inventory levels to avoid out-of-stock situations and overstocking. Review data regularly to identify popular items and adjust inventory levels accordingly. Have a system for getting rid of leftover items. Purchase frequently used items all at once to take advantage of volume pricing discounts.

Get Expert Help

If you’ve been commissioned to set up your organization’s company store, follow the steps outlined, and you’ll be on your way. But the easiest way to handle such a project is to get expert help, and that’s where we come in.

From set up to fulfillment and everything in between, we have been taking care of swag and apparel stores for our clients, large and small, for many years. We’ll save you valuable time at every step, ensuring a smooth process from start to launch.

Let’s talk about your project. Contact us today!

BLOG CATEGORIES

Related Post

A Logo For You Joins The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce

We are happy to announce that we are now members of the prestigious Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. To introduce ourselves, we featured our business at Chanber’s Business Expo, which took place at Delta Marriott Chesapeake Business Expo. We met many of the members...

Follow Us