Tools For Managing Music Merch
Being an artist is hard enough without having to manage the mini-department store that is your merch – luckily there are a number of tools out there designed to lessen the headache of keeping up with orders and streamlining sales.
Guest post by Tarryn Meyers of Symphonic
If you’re an artist, you’re probably pretty busy. You’re touring. You’re working on new music. You’re promoting a new release. Whatever it is, chances are managing your merch isn’t at the top of your to-do list. But with a huge chunk of potential revenue at stake, it should be! When running your merch shop, keeping track of what’s selling and where can help you better understand how to sell and maximize your profits. Not only that, you’ll know exactly what to restock and when, saving you valuable time and money.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with orders and inventory, try out some of these merch management tools to help optimize your sales.
Merch Cat is a one-stop app and web solution that allows you to manage your merch on the go. Users can track inventory, process cash and card payments at live shows, get show sales reports and see real-time inventory and analytics. Powered by Square and PayPal, Merch Cat also features an app for fans which functions as a digital storefront where fans can make in-app purchases for pick-up at shows or shipped to home. The platform is available by a monthly or annual subscription.
Merch is another great mobile platform that allows you to track inventory, process card payments (without extra hardware), eliminate manual counts, export sales and inventory reports and gain insight on your sales with real-time inventory and show data. The Merch app is perfect for organization with features that allow you to track inventory by size, color, style or product type. Best part about this one, it’s FREE.
The Artist Manager app by atVenu is another mobile tool perfect for touring artists. Like others, you can track inventory in real-time, easily create and send settlement sheets, streamline count in and count out and complete venue splits. What’s different about this one: if you’re an artist who uses Nielson Soundscan, you can report CD and other media sales to Soundscan directly from the Artist Manager app. atVenu offers four different monthly subscription packages you can choose from according to your needs.
Big Cartel is an e-commerce solution that allows artists to create and manage their own digital storefront. You can take your store with you wherever you are with the Big Cartel app, which allows you to track orders, add and edit products, accept in-person card and cash payments, and apply and remove discounts and see your shops statistics. Big Cartel is great if you’re looking to create a highly personalized digital storefront, allowing you to choose from customizable themes or work with code for an even more specific appearance. Big Cartel does offer a free version of their services but most management tools like Google analytics and inventory tracking are only available through their paid subscription packages. Prices for these vary by the number of products you choose to sell.
Bandcamp is great for DIY artists that are just starting out. If you’re already using Bandcamp to distribute your music, the merch feature is great to make all your media available in one place. The new Bandcamp for Artists & Labels app provides basic merch management tools like real-time statistics and access for fulfillment partners. While its not as in-depth as some of the other platforms we’ve mentioned, Bandcamp is a great place to start if you’re small scale. Oh, and it’s free.