How To Sell More Merch During A Live Stream

Merch has long been a pillar of artists’ income, and while live shows were once the place to sell it, the transition to live streaming means bands and artists need to adapt, and find new ways of enticing their fans to buy merch during a very different kind of performance.

Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

Merch has always been a key source of revenue for independent musicians. Although live shows aren’t what they used to be, live streams are a great opportunity to keep your merch sales going strong. To help you out, here are some unique ways to sell more merch during your live streams…

How To Sell More Merch During Your Live Streams

Give Your Fans Options

The key to selling more merch is to cater to a wide audience. A typical merch mix spans across three categories, commonly known as: Minnows, Dolphins, and Whales.

Minnows // The prices for these items range from $1 to $15, and offer items like hats, bandanas, small posters, stickers, buttons, etc.

Dolphins // As your mid-level category, prices here typically range from $15 to $65, and offer items like t-shirts, hoodies, full-size posters, sweatpants, etc.

Whales // With prices ranging from $100 or more, the items in this category include jackets and high-end apparel, framed (maybe signed) posters, Limited edition cd’s or vinyl

Not offering multiple options for your fans can severely limit your sales. For example, you don’t want to offer one expensive item and leave out the people who don’t have a ton to blow on merch. You definitely don’t want to only offer a simple keychain or button and miss out on revenue from bigger purchases like hoodies and jackets. Find a happy medium.

  • As a rule of thumb, you should have at least one item for each price range. So, at a minimum, you should have three items available.

Use QR Codes

QR codes are super easy to use, for both you and your fans. Free QR code makers like QRCode Monkey allow you to enter a URL and create a special code that phones can easily read by pointing their cameras at it.

  • Consider creating a QR code for your online store (or wherever you sell your online merch). Once you’ve made your code, you can place the QR code image on screen during your live stream and tell fans to scan the code. Doesn’t get much easier than that.


To learn more, check these out:

Best Websites for Independent Artists to Sell Merch

How to Sell Merch on Amazon

The Best Places To Order Custom Merch Online


Add Merch Links to the Chat

Sometimes, I find the chat of my favorite live streams just as fun as the stream itself. Have your merch links ready to go, simply cut-and-paste them into the chat, and repeat multiple times during the show. Remember, people might have just tuned in, so there are always new fans to reach.

The best way to do this is to get a friend to help run the chat while you’re playing, so you can focus on the music.

Be Your Own Model

The best way to show off your awesome merch is to wear it during the stream. If you look cool and cozy in a dope hoodie with your logo on it, your fans are definitely going to ask the chat where they can snag their own.

  • Engagement is everything when it comes to live streams. Call attention to the merch during the stream, for example, “You guys like my hoodie? Get your own at _____.com” (or flash the QR code you just made) and double down with links in the chat, too.

Have a Commercial Break

I mean, why not? Set up a 5 minute break for yourself during the stream, and instead of leaving an empty chair on screen, put up an image of an ad for your merch.

You can use free tools like Canva to create a sleek and professional page with your logo and a QR code. Then, play some quirky ad music in the background and you’re good to go.

In Conclusion…

Live streaming has taken the industry by storm, and everyone is trying to stand out. Looking to step up your live streaming game? These should help:

Remember to be consistent with your efforts, and you’ll be selling more merch in no time. You got this. 

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