Go With the Flow

How to still get great swag during ongoing Covid complications

Covid has certainly disrupted many aspect of life… work, school, travel, dining, entertainment, even healthcare.  Sadly, swag is no different!  Between stock issues, production disruptions, shipping delays, and higher prices, it’s tempting to just assume it’s too much to tackle right now.  But here are some pro tips on how to make swag still feasible (and even easy!) during such a difficult time.

1. PLAN AHEAD- in the past, we have worked some serious miracles when it came to in-hands dates.  There was even one order that we produced AND delivered in the same day for a customer that was in an emergency!  Sadly, those days are LONG gone.  We now have very limited options even for 24-48 hour rush, and those options have more restrictions and higher fees.  Additionally, standard production times are longer, as suppliers battle staffing shortages.  Your best option is to PLAN AHEAD.  Most suppliers are currently at a 7-10 day production after art and order approval, plus shipping.  So we encourage everyone to give themselves a good 3 business weeks to have access to the largest variety of options.

2. BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR CHOICES- stock issues have meant that everyone has to be a little flexible with the products they choose.  We highly recommend that you have a few backup choices so that if an item is out of stock, you have a second, third, and sometimes even a fourth choice to fall back on.  It’s better to identify these “alternates” when you’re making your initial product selection so that no time is wasted making new selections if an item is out of stock.  We are also really happy to help you find items!  If you’re able to provide us with a budget, quantity, and deadline, we can pull together a selection of items that we know are in stock to meet your needs.

3. BUDGETS MAY NEED TO CHANGE- as we’re sure you’re feeling at the grocery store, hardware store, car dealership, etc., prices are going up.  Worldwide supply chain issues means demand is outpacing supply, and labor shortages means that the cost to produce any goods is higher.  So naturally, the price to the end user is higher as well.  This is important to keep in mind, as your dollar may not go as far as it did on the same products even just a few months ago.  That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good value though!  We can help you find items that haven’t seen such a large price increase, and we can certainly help you find items that are produced closer to you to cut down on shipping costs. 

4. WHEN IN DOUBT, REACH OUT- if time has gotten away from you, or you need something very specific, it doesn’t mean we absolutely CAN’T come through with what you need!  It’s always best to ask, but know that we are doing everything we can to meet needs, without setting unrealistic expectations or making promises we can’t keep.  If we feel confident we can meet a deadline or get a product, we’ll do it!  But if we don’t feel totally sure, we’ll definitely tell you… and then suggest some other options that might still work.

Now is a GREAT time to start planning for spring and summer events, when hopefully germs, quarantines and cancelled activities won’t be such issues.  Give us a call or email us today to let us get started on helping you plan!

sales@barefootswag.com http://www.barefootswag.com

866-247-4320

Building A Online Store

Online stores for your company or association doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. We breakdown some of the options below on how you can build an online store for a variety of different needs.

Employee Gifts is one of our most popular stores because it is so versatile and can be designed to fill a variety of needs.

When looking for an easy way to send gifts to all employees, we can design the store with a limited number of items that the employees can select from. Your employees can then go online (with a password) and look at all products to choose what they want. For example, a client offered their employees a choice between three different jacket styles, available in both mens and ladies, in two colors. We selected styles that were similar in price and available in a wide range of sizes. They also included three tech items that were in the same price range. This gave the employees six gifts to choose from. The store was open for shopping for two weeks. At checkout, employees entered their home address. Once the store closed, we batched all orders to decorate the items with the company logo, then drop shipped to the employees homes.

Client Gifts stores offer a way for companies with multiple locations (such as Bank, Insurance or Mortgage Lenders) to keep control over their brand and prevent items being ordered with a logo that does not fit brand guidelines. Items can be ordered by company emloyees to be handed out to clients or we can generate gift codes that are sent to clients as a thank you and they will be able to go online and select the item(s) they want. All items will be branded with your logo. Another way to do client gift stores is to order items in bulk and warehouse the products. Many companies don’t want the added expense of purchasing items in advance and warehousing costs. We can design a hybrid site that offers some items, such as those that are most popular or lower cost, in bulk that we can warehouse, then other items, such as apparel and tech items that would be print on demand. This helps cut up front costs and prevents leftover inventory if styles are changed or discontinued.

Association or Non-Profit budget is usually a major factor for this type of client and purchasing items in advance and warehousing them is not feasible. Not to mention, anticipating demand is very difficult. This type of online store is perfect for short term “sales” or special events. Stores can be created with a short (for example, two week) order window to create a sense of urgency. Once all orders are placed, items are printed and delivered. Another use is to offer a code to donors at a certain level so they can choose their own “thank you” gift. Adding in items various branches may need to purchase in bulk such as lapel pins, printed items such as brochures or t-shirts is another way to utilize this store.

New Hire/Onboarding store is a great way (especially with remote workers) to allow new hires to order the items they need. This is a perfect way to offer a choice between a t-shirt or sweatshirt and know that the items the employee gets is something they chose and will wear (and that it’s the correct size- because who wants to guess wrong on THAT). Adding in work related items such as a power bank, headphones, backpack, messenger bag or coaster set can give them additional choices. The onboarding store can be designed with a code so they have a specific budget to spend or you let them choose a set number of items. Or maybe they get some select items and get to choose the apparel item. These are custom designed, so we make it work for your New Hire needs.

Event Swag online events are huge and sometimes the hassle of swag for those events is just as huge. Take that hassle away with an online merch store for your events. These stores can be set up with redemption codes so attendees can log on to claim their “swag bag” which is then shipped directly to their home or office. This allows you to include not only any event swag such as a t-shirt, but also items from sponsors and any collateral material. Or, if you have merch you want to sell for the event, this is an excellent way to offer items for sell without having to estimate quantities or sizes. Items can be printed and shipped as they are ordered, saving you the up front investment for inventory and adding the convenience of not having to pick and ship items yourself.

Because we design each of our online stores based on your needs, they can be designed to fit a variety of merch, swag or gifting needs- from print on demand to warehousing, or a hybrid model.

Check out one of our sample sites here, then contact us today to discuss exactly what you are looking for and we can help you come up with a solution.

http://www.barefootswag.com

866-247-4320 sales@barefootswag.com