Figuring out how to start outfitting an online company store may seem daunting. With a plethora of options, how do you know what products will engage and inspire your shoppers, as well as be useful in their everyday lives? What items will be relevant to your target audience?
Consider beginning with items that are experiencing an upward trend in popularity - to be discussed in greater depth below! Making yourself familiar with what's popular will give your online company store a cutting edge and a steady stream of branded swag that aligns with what your brand stands for. Here are five trends which will hopefully be beneficial to you as you build out and maintain a robust online company store that your employees are excited to frequent.
Trend 1: Creative Touches or Styles
Although this trend can't be limited to a specific product, it's a way to put a spin on traditional apparel or giveaways that may otherwise be considered boring to the incoming generation entering the workforce. Unique finishes or fashions, like a new decoration area for a sweatshirt, e.g. left hip, back of neck, or a matte finish on a coffee mug, are examples of new twists on old classics. Even small details can make an item pop and will help to catch someone’s eye while browsing your store. After these items are purchased or given away, they will cultivate brand awareness and intrigue through their novelty. Unconventional decoration on a sweatshirt will make it stand out in a crowd, while a matte finish on drinkware can provide a more elevated look to a common yet useful product.
Trend 2: Phone Fun
Studies indicate that people keep portable chargers or mobile phone banks for as long as 12 months - that's a year's worth of positive brand impressions! Items in line with this trend include phone holders, phone wallets, and PopSockets. These tech accessories enhance an individual's experience with their mobile device and can be distributed in a variety of circumstances: new employee kit, tradeshow handouts, or just available for purchase by the public on your online company store. Everyone owns at least one phone and uses it regularly so why not let them remember your company regularly as well!
Trend 3: Make it a Kit
Packaging complementary branded items together in a bundle or kit is becoming increasingly popular. With several products in one space, your company’s identity will be difficult to miss – more items means more chances for your brand to be seen. Examples of kits include office accessories (docking stations, note pads, pens) or travel items (ID holders, luggage tags, mirrors). When you create kits it's your decision as to the items to include that will align properly with your brand. For example, a tech company may create a “tech starter” kit with items like headphones, a Bluetooth speaker, and a power bank bundled together.
Trend 4: Environmentally Friendly
According to a Sense and Sustainability Study from Gibbs & Soell, three out of four consumers are more likely to purchase an item if it is eco-friendly. Those consumers represent your employees and brand fans, so providing them with sustainable products which possess your logo will help improve your brand’s perception. The most familiar examples of branded items that are good for the environment include notebooks and pens made from recyclable materials and reusable grocery totes, water bottles, and lunch containers.
Trend 5: Sport and Fitness Swag
With over 64 million gym members across the United States, it's wise to cater some merchandise on your store to fitness and sports-enthused recipients. Branded items such as water bottles, cooling towels, and sport duffle bags are primary examples of capitalizing on this trend. By offering them in your online company store, your brand will be in use by your employees and brand advocates while working out, as well as seen by those around them at a gym or potentially in a competition - so many opportunities for your brand to become a topic of conversation. You may also consider including outdoor-themed items in your employee onboarding kits. And lastly, because many of these items are not gym-specific, e.g. water bottle, people can use them in their everyday lives which further increases brand awareness.
While trends constantly change, these five can serve as an inspiration to start engineering or re-engineering your online company store. For additional information regarding online company stores, contact us today.