If the last year and a half taught us anything, it’s that you need to be nimble to stay in business.

Whether that’s pivoting to offer new products or improving efficiency, you and your fellow printers have gotten crafty to stay up and running.

New trends

Things have changed for shoppers, too. Marketing technology publication Martech Zone shared a recent study that found that 46% of consumers were more likely to shop with local or small businesses during the holidays than in previous years. That same study found that 53% of shoppers were looking for faster, more convenient ways to shop, even if it wasn’t the lowest price.

What does that mean for you?

For starters, it means that even if you’re ramping up your e-commerce game, there’s an opportunity for you right in your town or community. Think about some of the most common small businesses in your area; they might be:

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries 
  • Bars
  • Coffee shops
  • Auto repair shops

All of these businesses need printed merch either for their employees, customers, or both. You can tap into this market to benefit your shop and the small businesses you work with.

Go local online

Pre-COVID, customers typically came into your shop to view apparel and promo goods samples in the showroom, and you’d set up a work order after that initial conversation. Now you’re probably super busy with orders coming in from all directions. So why not use e-commerce to build a rapport with local businesses?

You can set up direct sales with customers through InkSoft Stores and save both parties an extra step. So, the popular burger joint that typically has you print up T-shirts they sell to customers can now sell those shirts online without any additional work.

Help other small businesses

What about that auto shop that needs logo-ed shirts every few months for their mechanics? Once you set them up with a company store through the platform, all they’ll need to do is hit “order” every time they need a new batch of shirts. No need to draw up a fresh work order since you’ll already have all their information ready to go. That includes everything from billing and customer information to the colors and garment types they want for their order. 

Tap into end customers too

Small businesses like to help each other out. But as we mentioned earlier, consumers are more and more likely to “shop small” too. For your business, that could mean a family who needs printed mugs and shirts for their yearly reunion. Or even a non-profit looking for a place to print swag for an upcoming 5K. Suppose you offer them an easy way to pick the products they want and a fluid ordering process. In that case, you’re providing an easier way to do business. Even if you can’t price match bigger online printers, you’re giving them a personalized, localized way to do business.

Sell your own merch

You can also use InkSoft to sell custom-branded merchandise directly from your shop with the platform. If local customers want unique holiday gifts, put your talents to the test and offer branded goods. Think baseball caps, beanies, T-shirts, or totes with your shop’s name and logo on them. Consumers get to purchase unique gifts, and you get the chance to showcase your work. 

Need more inspiration on how to sell to local customers? Check out some of our marketing kits for more advice.

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