Categories
Business Tips

Use print-on-demand to expand your side hustle

Looking to explore other revenue streams to make your side hustle more profitable? Print-on-demand is one the best ways (and it’s super low risk) to elevate your side hustle and increase passive income.

Let’s break down the benefits of print-on-demand for people with side hustles.

Quick & simple set-up

Print-on-demand businesses are easy to set up. Check out this blog to read the 5 easy steps to create a print-on-demand business.

Low risk

With print-on-demand, you can set up an online store with a low investment, making it low risk.

Traditional businesses require a large upfront investment which makes starting a typical business high risk. Your upfront investments include e-commerce platform costs (usually between CAD$20-30 per month) and product sample costs (Slaite sample products are as low as CAD$12.55).

If you’re outsourcing your designs, that can also add to your investment but compared to traditional business investments, your upfront investment is thousands of dollars less.

And, with a free to use service (ahem, Slaite), no minimum orders, no inventory costs and no warehousing fees, you save even more money than a typical retail business.

Full creative control

With print-on-demand, you can design your custom products with your own creative artwork.

Hot tip: A print-on-demand drop-shipping business varies from a typical drop-shipping business because with print-on-demand, you have much more control over your product customization. With drop-shipping alone, you are usually limited by the products already available by the supplier.

Quality printing

Print-on-demand providers are typically experts in custom printing (Slaite has over 20 years experience) and can replicate your beautiful designs into a final product.

Not only are we experts but our technology helps save you money. Using direct-to-garment printing decoration keeps costs down when compared to screen printing decoration. For more on the differences between DTG and screen printing, visit this blog.

Sustainability

If being eco-conscious is something that’s important to you, print-on-demand drop-shipping will certainly align with your goals. Instead of ordering bulk inventory that may never be used, print-on-demand produces orders on-demand so there are no wasted textiles.

Room to grow

With print-on-demand drop-shipping, you can scale way up because you rely on outsourcing production and shipping to experts and their equipment.

Typical businesses have to be careful about growing too fast and not be able to keep up with demand. With a print-on-demand side hustle, you are less restricted to exponentially grow your business.

24/7 sales

If you’re hosting your store on an e-commerce platform like Shopify, your store is basically open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Orders can be placed and processed immediately.

Shopify even has automated emails that are sent on your behalf during each phase of the customer’s journey. So all you have to do is create your store and the rest is virtually on autopilot.

Have more questions about print-on-demand or drop-shipping? Drop us a message by sending an email or DM us on Instagram. We’re always available to help.

Categories
Business Tips

Start an online side hustle in 5 easy steps

Are you thinking about starting a side hustle or an online business for your passions?

Print-on-demand drop-shipping is one of the best business models to build your side hustle from the comfort of your own home and with a low investment.

In this article, we explain why print-on-demand drop-shipping is the method to start a side hustle and share 5 easy steps to get started.

First, let’s talk about the three reasons why print-on-demand and drop-shipping is the best business model for emerging entrepreneurs and side hustlers.

  1. It’s cost efficient: Using a print-on-demand drop-shipping supplier, like Slaite, means you can use our service for free – no minimum orders or hidden costs.

  2. It’s virtually risk-free: You don’t have to purchase inventory, warehouses or brick-and-mortar retail supplies. Simply, sign up, design and sell. With on-demand orders, your profits are locked in before your product is manufactured and shipped.

  3. No expertise needed: If you don’t have the space to house clunky equipment, thousands of products and shipping supplies, then you may be discouraged from starting a business. Print-on-demand drop-shipping allows you to design, sample and sell 24/7 without turning your home into a factory.

Now, let’s talk about the 5 easy steps to starting your business (all from the comfort of your couch).

1. Find your community

Perhaps the most important and most time-consuming step is finding your community. While some may encourage you to “find your niche”, we argue that there are many businesses operating and selling in a niche at any given time. What is most important is finding your community to engage with and sell to. Find the community, research their likes and dislikes and apply your findings to all your business initiatives in the future.

2. Choose your print-on-demand drop-shipping supplier

We may be biased, but we recommend Slaite as your print-on-demand drop-shipping supplier, but you should research suppliers and ensure you’ve found the right fit for your business.

We can tell you that Slaite is committed to being your creative right hand who helps bring your creative vision to life. We strongly believe in research and development for our products and ensuring that your customers are as happy as you are working with us. Plus, we are always looking to onboard new products based on YOUR feedback and suggestions.

Click here to start your Slaite journey!

3. Pick and design the products you want to sell

Once you’ve chosen your supplier, you’ll have to spend some time browsing through their catalogue and picking the products for your online business.

If you’re the creative type who is familiar with design tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, you can easily design your products with your own designs. If you’re not creative in that way, then you can hire a designer or even make your own designs using free tools like Canva or Crello.

Once you’ve picked and designed the products, you can set the price and start selling!

4. Design your online store

With e-commerce platforms, like Shopify, you can set up your online store pretty quickly without having to be a web developer. Shopify has customizable templates to help you get your store set up quickly. Simple and easy!

5. Promote your business

After a mini-celebration for completing your online store set-up, you can begin promoting your business within your community. Using free social media tools like Instagram, Facebook or TikTok can help catapult your sales by showing off your designs and engaging with your audience. These social media channels have e-commerce features built into functions so you can make it even easier for your customers to purchase.

Knowledge is power

Now you know why print-on-demand drop-shipping is a great business model for starting your online business and you know all the steps to get your business up and running – what are you waiting for? And if you have any troubles, Slaite is always ready to lend a helping hand. Send us an email or DM us on Instagram with any questions. We’re here to help.

Categories
Business Tips

How to build a brand for your print-on-demand business in 6 simple steps

If you’re starting your online custom clothing business with print-on-demand and drop-shipping but need help with creating your brand, we’ve got you.

Bringing your creative passions to life can be easy (with Slaite print-on-demand) but building a complete brand identity can be a daunting task. If you’re new to the business world, you may have aversions to branding and appearing corporate – we get it.

But, branding is an effective tool to indirectly communicate with your target audience and improve your non-verbal relationship with potential customers simply through visual appearance and digital presence.

Online businesses require a proper branding playbook because without a physical storefront to meet and greet your client base, your digital presence represents your entire business.

But don’t let this discourage you: having an online presence means you can reach more people at any time! Another plus to having an online brand: e-commerce grew exponentially in 2020 and it’s projected to continue to grow in 2021.

We scoured marketing and branding guides to simplify the process for creating a brand into 6 simple steps. Let’s break down what elements you need to create a brand and how to carry out each task. If you want to read more, we’ve included several resources at the end of this article.

Do your homework

Researching your target audience as well as your direct and indirect competitors will provide insights into the market (example: custom apparel with artistic designs). These insights will help you understand who your customers are and what will set your company apart from the competition.

Research is the most time-consuming component of building your brand, but the findings are priceless. You can use free tools to research including Google, social media platforms, competitor websites and industry forums or subreddits.

Define your company’s values

After researching externally and understanding the market, turn inwards to identify what core values and principles will define your company. Your values and principles help guide your mission statement. With this framework in place, all future brand communications can build out of this foundation. If you need help, or want an extremely thorough brand strategy guide, check out this article from Column Five Media with free templates.

Choose your personality

A consistent brand personality throughout your website, email and social media communications will improve your audience’s ability to accurately define your brand without being explicitly told the personality traits.  Try answering the below questions to begin curating your brand personality:

  • What makes your company unique?
  • What are some personality traits you want consumers to think of when they encounter your brand?
  • What separates your brand from the competition?
  • What unique solution do you provide to your target audience?
  • What words would you use to describe your brand?

Let’s get visual

With your newfound understanding of the marketplace and your defined brand values, mission and personality, you can start to develop your visual branding elements. These elements include your colour palette, fonts, logo and any graphics that will accompany your branded messages.

Need help with your visuals? This Shopify blog includes a colour psychology infographic and a resource to help you select your fonts.

Put it into practice

With your established brand personality and visual elements, you can begin implementing your brand elements across your website, social media channels and customer communications.

Evolve with time

As your brand matures and grows, it’s important to keep an eye on how your brand is performing in the market, with your customers and in relation to your competitors. While a complete re-branding is typically not necessary, refreshing or modifying minor elements in your brand identity will help keep your brand relevant and will continue to enforce strong branding across all communication efforts.

Extracurricular Learning

Here are some helpful links if you want more in-depth reading to help establish your brand.

How to Start Your Own Brand From Scratch in 7 Steps

7 Principles To Building A Strong Brand

The Basics of Branding

How to Develop a Unique (& Memorable) Brand Identity in 2020

How to build a brand in 5 days: Tips from a designer (Infographic Included!)

How to Build a Memorable Brand in 6 Steps

How to Create a Powerful Brand Identity (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Build a Personal Brand that Stands Out (Without Selling Out)

How to Build Your Own Personal Brand

How to Build a Brand from Scratch: Your Complete Guide

Categories
Design Tips Slaite Library

Design your print-on-demand apparel in 4 easy steps

You’re beginning your online custom apparel business journey and need help designing? We’ve got you.

Step 1: Sign up with Slaite

The first step is to create an account with the Slaite app, your print-on-demand drop-shipping provider, to begin your design journey. It’s free and easy to use.

Step 2: Browse our catalogue

Next, you’ll want to review the product offerings available on the Slaite catalogue.

We offer tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeve tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, zip up sweaters, jackets, hats and masks. We’re always looking to bring on new products offerings for you to design.

Once you’ve decided what products you want to offer on your online store, you can begin designing them in the Slaite design studio.

Step 3: Check your artwork quality

To print or embroider a design, you’ll want to ensure your file meets the correct criteria. Our FAQ is full of information about design specs and we’ve linked to the appropriate answer below.

You’ll want to ensure the design and the garment are not the same, or too similar, in colour. For example, printing an all-black logo on a black or dark grey shirt may not result in a striking design. If you have an all-black logo, we recommend printing it on a lighter colour garment. Alternatively, you can change the logo or design to a lighter colour to print on a dark garment.

Step 4: Design your product

Creating with Slaite is easy. You bring your vision to the garment and it is our mission to fulfill and deliver with quality and speed.

If you’re new to designing garments, we’ve provided some helpful tips and quick videos covering the tips. Good luck!

Helpful hacks:

More of a visual learner? We cover the helpful hacks in this video. Check it out!

  • In the Slaite Design Studio, you’ll notice a box with a green dotted outline. These guidelines show where you can place your design. If you place your design outside the green dotted line, it will not be printed or embroidered.
  • Stretching your design in the studio will lower your dpi and ultimately lower your printing quality. If you want to make your logo or design larger, we suggest increasing the size in your editing software to accommodate the larger size you want.
  • If your design is poor in quality or at-risk for not being printed because it is outside the green dotted guide, our helpful alerts will notify you and you can adjust the design location or resolution.
  • The rulers at the top and bottom of the window provide an estimate for the size of your design.
  • You can create your own design in the studio by adding your own text and shapes or altering your image.
  • Cloning your logo or design can create a unique pattern or collage. You can reorganize the objects and truly customize the design on the garment.
  • The Slaite design studio lets you customize what tools and guides you use during garment design.
Categories
Design Tips

Top 5 fashion trends of 2021 for your print-on-demand business

We show you how to leverage the most popular 2021 fashion trends in your custom apparel designs.

If you’re looking to spruce up your custom apparel gear with the most popular fashion trends for 2021 but need inspiration, look no further. We’ve got you.

We researched and compiled the top 2021 fashion trends in the article below. We share ideas on how you can use these trends in your custom collections or even designs in the coming months.

Loungewear

The proof: Let’s begin with the obvious. Loungewear popularity exploded last spring and there is no sign of slowing this trend.

How to: Add your creative design to any of our cozy sweaters to become your customers’ staple loungewear piece. Our top pick is the Independent Midweight Full Zip Hooded Sweatshirt. The best news? You can print or embroider this garment, giving you complete creative freedom.

Masks

The proof: Another obvious choice. In a TrendHunter report sharing the top 100 trends for 2021, we noticed over 20% of trends were related to masks. Not only is mask popularity and demand increasing but matching mask sets ranked #30 of the 100 trends. Black masks were deemed one of the most popular accessories – and we’ve got a black mask waiting for your creative design!

How to: Consider adding your creative design to both a black t-shirt and black mask as a bundled set in your online store. Our top picks are the Reusable Organic Cotton Mask and the Bella Canvas Greenwich Unisex Tee.

Logomania

The proof: Logos were declining in popularity in 2020 but according to Vogue France, designers have brought logos back through collages, neon effects or patchwork logos for streetwear.

How to: This is your opportunity to leverage logo popularity and design crave-able products for your customers! Use your logo in various designs, such as a neon effect applied to your existing logo, to give your traditional logo an updated or exclusive feel.

Colour

The proof: Pantone announced its annual Color of the Year as a sunshine yellow and a cool grey. The sunshine yellow, Illuminating 13-0647, and the cool grey, Ultimate Gray 17-5104, are meant to signify sunshine peaking through the clouds. Sorbet pastel tones and earth tones are also seen throughout Spring/Summer fashion shows suggesting a move away from harsh, bold or neon colours.

How to: If your brand makes new designs consistently, consider adding in the Pantone Color of the Year, sorbet pastels or earth tones into your new designs. Alternatively, you can place your designs on garments available in pastel colours or earth tones. Our top picks include Independent Women’s Lightweight Hooded Sweatshirt, Independent Midweight Hooded Sweatshirt, Alstyle Ultimate T-Shirt, Next Level Ladies CVC Crew Tee and the Yupoong Classic Dad Cap.

Baseball Caps

The proof: Baseball caps were featured in Summer 2021 collections and notable celebrities have been seen sporting this accessory.

How to: Play ball and put your logo on the Yupoong Classic Dad Cap to bring your brand into this trend.

If you have any other design questions, feel free to send us an email or DM us on Instagram.

Categories
Business Tips

5 Steps to Setting Business Goals in the New Year

Goal Setting: The Key to Success in 2021

Establishing business goals is an essential component to growing your success. Although the year 2020 threw a serious curve-ball into most businesses’ goals, creating an actionable plan for your business is one of the best investments to grow your creative business – no matter where you start.  

Plus, with a print-on-demand drop-shipping model, your business is on the right path!

The print-on-demand and drop-shipping industry has made waves for a few years and continued industry growth is expected for 2021. The new year is the ideal time to take your creative business to the next level and begin working towards your business goals.

Need help getting started? We’ve got you. Here is a five-step plan to help you become a goal setting pro. Check it out below!

Step #1: Determine Your Future

Begin thinking about your business aspirations. This helps you create a vision for your business and helps you during goal planning. Your business vision should be one sentence in length and should express the overarching business goal. The purpose of this step is to build a business benchmark to develop holistic plans and goals based on your vision.

When developing your business vision and planning for the future, try to avoid planning for the short-term only. You can think one year, five years, or even ten years into the future!

Pro Tip: Ask yourself questions during this process to help you figure out what you want to accomplish. Start by asking yourself: where is my business currently and where do I want to take it? What are my current priorities and what will my priorities be once I begin working towards my vision? By thinking about the changes your business will go through during growth periods, you can begin to imagine goals at each checkpoint.

Step #2: Write it Down

Writing your goals down engages you with your ideas in a physical realm (a piece of paper or your computer screen) and reinforces the importance of your aspirations in your brain. Research shows that writing down important information, such as goals or plans, helps you not only remember important events or details, but it helps your mind become more efficient and focused.

Whether you choose traditional pen and paper or a digital planning tool, documenting your goals contributes to a 1.4 times higher success rate.  

Step #3: Create an Actionable Roadmap

You’ve established your business vision and you’ve begun writing your goals, plans, and business ideas down. The next step includes defining a tactical roadmap to reach your business vision. Your roadmap should include sub-goals to level up to your overarching business goal to achieve your vision. Defining each sub-goal will help break out each step to reach your goal. Make these goals specific, timely, attainable, measurable and relevant to your vision.

For example, here’s what a simple goals roadmap could look like:

  1. Q1: Reach $1000 sales and grow newsletter subscribers by 5%
  2. Q2: Reach $5000 sales and grow newsletter subscribers by 10%
  3. Q3: Reach $20,000 sales and grow newsletter subscribers by 15%
  4. Q4: Reach $100,000 sales and grow newsletter subscribers by 20%

Step #4: Commit & Hold Yourself Accountable

Check in with the progress of your goals – whether that’s daily, weekly, or monthly is entirely up to you. Choose what works best for your business to track your success at pivotal business moments. Observe any obstacles or opportunities, whether internal or external, that may impact your business goals. If you identify any obstacles or opportunities, write them down ahead of time to avoid guesswork when you’re measuring success. This is always a great time to give yourself the boost you need to get motivated and keep working towards your creative goals!

Step #5: Measuring your success

Measuring business goals varies between each business and each initiative. Your sales report will differ from your social campaign measurement or your advertising report. Reporting on your progress helps illuminate effective business initiatives (or ineffective) and allows you to adapt your plans to reach your goals.

Extra step: Celebrate!

Finally, enjoying your goal milestones and achievements. You’ve invested time and energy into your print-on-demand business. You deserve to celebrate your accomplishments.

If you have more questions about print-on-demand, drop-shipping or Slaite, check out our other blogs and FAQ section or send us a message. We are always ready to help Creators realize their creative vision.

Categories
Business Tips

How to Start a Low Investment Side Hustle

If having limited financial resources is preventing you from starting your side hustle, you need to read this article. You can begin your online business today with a small investment and from the comfort of your own home.

How? Print-on-demand and drop-shipping!

We’ve talked about print-on-demand and drop-shipping in previous blogs so check those out if you haven’t already.

Today, we’re sharing free or cost-efficient tools to minimize the cost of running a print-on-demand drop-shipping business without sacrificing the features you want. Let’s get into it!

Select a free print-on-demand drop-shipping supplier

If you’re familiar with Slaite (and if not, welcome!), you’ll already know it is FREE to use. Designing a custom collection is simple with print-on-demand.

All you do is sign up, add your creative designs to any of our products, set your product names, descriptions and margins and finally publish to your online store. We take care of product sourcing, production and shipping directly to your customers.

Design and sample your custom products at a low cost

If you’ve got your own designs or can easily make them, you’ve won half the battle.

Slaite is free to use and the only additional cost is buying samples (which we encourage because it’s always good practice to see before you sell). Sample costs are as low as CAD$12.65 and you can also use your samples for photography (another money saving tip!).

If you’re looking to outsource your designs, it can get a bit pricier for upfront costs. However, there are online resources where you can hire a freelance designer to meet your design needs at your budget. If you need design help, check out these popular freelance sites:

Sign up with an e-commerce website

You’re ready to start your online business. Right on! Using an e-commerce platform and paying for a monthly subscription is likely the most investment you’ll pay for a print-on-demand drop-shipping business in the beginning.

Shopify offers free trials so you can start setting up your online store while paying absolutely nothing.

Monthly subscriptions start at USD$29 and plans increase based on additional features. We recommend starting with this plan and scaling up as your business grows.

And, with Shopify, you can build your business website and sell your products using customizable (and free!) templates.

Download free or inexpensive Shopify apps

Shopify has over 4,000 apps in the app store. Some are free and some require payment, but we’ve found some of the best free or cost-efficient apps for online businesses to elevate the side hustle.

You don’t need to download all these apps but choose the ones best suited for your business.

  • Shopify Email: Email marketing is an efficient way to build loyal customers, but email service providers can be expensive, time-consuming, and confusing. Shopify Email has a free plan you can begin using today. Click here for a helpful tutorial on how to use this service.
  • Plug in SEO: If you’re not an SEO expert, it can be challenging to get your store on search engine pages with relevant search terms. The app is easy to use and takes you through the process step-by-step, plus it has a free plan available.
  • Product Reviews: Testimonials provide new customers valuable information when shopping for a product. Product Reviews is a free app to help gather customer testimonials, increase sales through peer credibility and improve your SEO results.
  • Replay Live Session Recordings: This free tool shows you live recorded sessions of how your customers interact with your store. If something is working (or isn’t), Replay will show you these immensely valuable insights so you can evaluate and repair your site or promotional efforts. Best of all – it’s totally free for up to 5,000 sessions per month which is great for new businesses!
  • Friendly Accessibility Tools: Your customers are unique and have unique needs. This app helps you improve the accessibility of your site to ensure anyone can come to your site and find what they’re looking for. Best of all? It’s free!
  • Change Commerce: If you’re interested in bringing social causes and donations into your online business model, Change Commerce supports over 1.5 million non-profits. The first twenty donations are free. Afterwards, a 0.5% transaction fee on orders with donations.

Upgrade your imagery

Photo-shoots, video production and video editing along with social media graphics can become pricey and time-consuming. Adding these free tools to your arsenal will cut the cost and time for creating your branded imagery.

  • Another free Shopify app: Promo.com. Engaging video content elevates your online business. This app takes imagery from your website and products to make a promotional video for your storefront – simple and free!
  • Need help with creating social posts? Canva is an amazing tool where you can create and edit social posts! Of course, there is a paid version with more features, but the free subscription is still a great option while you’re starting out!
  • Want to elevate your product shots but don’t have the time or money for a photo-shoot? PlaceIt allows you to place your artwork onto a mock-up of various items, including shirts, sweaters, hats and masks. There are several free templates for you to choose from and you can download these images for your social channels, website or emails.

If you have any side hustling hacks we didn’t cover, get in touch and send us a DM on Instagram.

Categories
Slaite Library

Advanced Embroidery Design

Everything you need to know about embroidery designs

You’ve read our Slaite blog post outlining the six best tips for custom embroidery but you still have questions or want to know more about design best practices. We’ve got you.

Let us walk you through the process and provide advanced design tips for embroidering your on-demand products to sell on your online store!

Your Design

Before you begin uploading your artwork for embroidery, it’s important to consider whether your design is optimized for this decoration type. The artwork determines how a design will be rendered in thread. Clean lines and simple shapes are key principles to ensure your digital design is matched in your rendered design. In our blog post, we discussed the styles to avoid, the colour blending limitations, location consideration, the best material to embroider and hat designs.

In this article, we have additional visuals to illustrate best practices for embroidery design and provide a deeper explanation of considerations. Each logo depicted below does not follow embroidery design best practices. We’ll tell you why and how to avoid.

Tulip Logo

Original Digital Image of Logo*

Digitized Logo for Embroidery*

What’s wrong?: There are too many fine lines and details throughout this design.

What will happen?: Thread has a physical weight which becomes challenging when rendering delicate designs, particularly for small areas. During digitization, the lines and details would likely be simplified or removed. This results in a discrepancy between the digital display logo and the rendered design. In this digitized example, the fine lines are created using a run stitch. This type of stitch is created when a needle is passed in and out of the fabric in regular intervals. If this design were applied to a small location (for example, a hat) then the fine lines and details would be simplified further to ensure there is enough physical space for the thread. Consider the real-world dimensions of your artwork by reviewing the design guide box dimensions and comparing your artwork within the design box. We show you how to do this within the Slaite design studio in the video below!

How to fix?: Simplify fine details to make the logo crisp with clean lines and consider removing the text for smaller design locations. Alternatively, you can use direct-to-garment (DTG) printing to achieve photorealism.

Lion Logo

Original Digital Image of Logo*

Digitized Logo for Embroidery*

What’s wrong?: Again, there are too many fine lines, details and outlines in this design but the small text also proves problematic for embroidery.

What will happen?: Similar to the Tulip Logo, the lines and details would likely be simplified or removed during digitization. Particularly if this logo were applied to a small design area (for example, the side of a hat), the small text and fine lines above the text would need to be removed. In the digitized image, the “Lion Logo” text is created using a column stitch. A column stitch is created by using a zigzag stitching method and creates a column or cylindrical element. If this design was placed on a small location, the stitch type may be changed to run stitch and may compromise the design. Larger design areas can accommodate more legible text whereas it’s challenging to include text in smaller design areas.

How to fix?: Simplify the fine lines and details to make the logo crisp and remove the small text if designing a smaller location.

Logo Life

Original Digital Image of Logo*

Digitized Logo for Embroidery*

What’s wrong?: Shadows and colour gradients are not recommended for embroidery design best practices.

What will happen?: DTG printing can beautifully execute shadows and gradient because the technology uses high-resolution to replicate the digital image experience. However, in embroidery, the physical dimension of thread does not allow a smooth transition between the dark and light colours. In the Logo Life artwork, the shadow opacity is less than the “Logo Life” text. Since thread opacity is consistent throughout all colours, the shadow would make the artwork appear busy or potentially illegible.

How to fix?: Remove the shadows or colour gradients from your design for embroidered products and use a logo with crisp, clean lines.

How to use the Slaite design studio

In the Slaite design studio, you’ll see the guide box (green dotted line) for embroidery areas. This green box represents the real-life dimensions of the embroidery placement guides our machines use to plot your design pattern. At the top and left of the design studio, you’ll see rulers in inches to help determine the size of your rendered artwork.

In this video example, we show you the guide box demonstrates the design location for the Yupoong Flat Bill Snapback hat is approximately 4.5” W x 2” H. When the Slaite logo is added, the logo appears to be 1.5” W x 0.5” H. This guide is a good indication of the size and location of your design but we always recommend ordering a sample to visualize exactly how your product will look.

The journey from digital mock-up to embroidered design

You’ve created a collection with your logo embroidered on a garment. You’ve seen the digital mock-up of your design in the Slaite design studio but what happens behind the scenes between digital mock-up to physical product? We’ll break down the steps:

  1. Product is designed in a collection.
  2. A sample order (or customer order if the product is published in Shopify) is placed.
  3. The artwork is converted into a digitized image file and a barcode is assigned to the file. This barcode includes all design information including the size and colours of the design as plottable data. This data is read as a pattern by our embroidery machines to customize your products.
  4. Our operations team carefully prepares the garment for the embroidery process. A team member selects the appropriate embroidery placement guide before bringing the readied garment to the embroidery machine for decoration.
  5. When the product is ready for decoration, the barcode is scanned by our embroidery machines to begin a fully automated sewing process and applies the design to the garment. Your product is fulfilled and ready to be shipped to your customers!
  6. The digitized design is saved in the Slaite database for all future orders.

If you have any other embroidery design questions, please reach out to help@slaite.ca. We’re listening!

*Disclaimer: all logos used in this article were created by Slaite for educational purposes only.

Categories
Business Tips

Measuring Black Friday Success in 2020

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are on the horizon. You may already be activating your sales campaigns for this annual sales event. You probably have plans to increase your brand’s awareness, sales and engagement with your audience during this annual moment in retail sales.

But, have you thought about how to measure your success and use these findings to help you in future campaigns or even next BFCM? If not, no worries – we got you. Even if you have a plan, take a look at our suggestions for additional inspiration!

First, the disclaimer: measuring something is always better than measuring nothing. Data analysis can be overwhelming for some but starting small and tracking one metric is better than tracking nothing.

These example metrics may not be in line with your brand goals or maybe they’re outside your wheelhouse to measure – that’s okay! The guiding principles we want to share is to write down what you’re doing for BFCM, identify the overall objectives and the specific goals for each initiative, capture the data and analyze it to help you grow your business. Let’s get into some of our top measuring tips.

Write it down

Before you measure, you must know what business and marketing tactics you’re measuring. Maybe you’ve added additional social posts driving to your sales items on top of your regularly scheduled programming. Or maybe you’re pivoting your regular content to drive awareness and conversion for your BFCM schedule. And maybe your business is so new that this is your first sales campaign (yay!). Whatever the case, write down what you’re doing to make comparisons in the future.

Here’s an example list of business and marketing initiatives:

  • Regular non-BFCM social posts
  • Extra BFCM social posts
  • Regular non-BFCM ads (and retargeting!)
  • BFCM ads (and retargeting!)
  • BFCM discounts
  • Regular non-BFCM discounts
  • Regular loyalty discounts
  • BFCM website promotional banner
  • Best-selling product sales pre-BFCM
  • Best-selling product for BFCM sales
  • Website traffic pre-BFCM
  • Website traffic during BFCM
  • Repeat customer discounts
  • Best-selling collection BFCM sale
  • Black Friday special reminders

Define your objective

Now that you’ve outlined what you’re going to do, what is your ideal outcome? During BFCM, you likely want increased revenue and conversions but by how much? Your objectives must be time-restricted, specific, measurable, attainable and relative to your store. All your business and marketing initiatives should scale up to your overall business objective.

Make sure your objectives are appropriate for your store. If you are beginning your online business journey, don’t place all your measuring efforts on sales alone. Measuring other performance data such as website traffic and customer drop off points during the sale journey are extremely valuable to increase your store’s long-term profitability.

Identify what you can measure and make goals

After identifying your objectives and initiatives, it’s time to figure out what you can measure. This is where things can get overwhelming – especially if data looks like quantum physics! If you’re new to sales or even to e-commerce software, start where you’re comfortable to keep your data measuring momentum.

  • If you’re measuring the success of your Facebook or Instagram social posts, view the insights per post and per page on each platform. These snapshots will tell the story of how well each post performed and your page’s health during a specific period. Some helpful metrics include reach, impressions, engagement rate and clicks.
  • If you’re measuring your online store sales or other sales data, Shopify Analytics is a built-in reporting software providing valuable information about your store, your customers and your product performance. All Shopify plans have access to sales reporting but some have limitations so make sure to check what data is available to you based on your plan. Check out this Shopify Blog Post to learn more about how Shopify Analytics can work for you.
  • If you’re more advanced and have set up Google Analytics to track your BFCM campaign success, make sure your goals are set up correctly to accurately capture user behaviour and overall data.
  • If you’re using Shopify Marketing regularly or trying it out for BFCM, make sure your campaigns are set up properly to track your performance. If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook Ads through Shopify, check out this helpful blog and video tutorial.

Now you know where you’re getting the data from but what data is important to track? This goes back to your objectives, initiatives and setting your goals. The data you should track will reflect the goals you have set for your initiatives. Don’t place a lot of pressure on setting the “perfect” goal and simply set goals based on existing data or what makes sense for your stores. As you continue to measure your success, you’ll increase your goal setting skills.

Here is an example of how to link your business and marketing initiatives to specific and measurable goals:

Initiative: BFCM website promotional banner outlining the sales details runs from November 21 – 27, 2020.

Goal:  Increase online store conversion rate by 3% from November 21 – 27, 2020 over the previous week.

Method of measure: Shopify Analytics reports on online store conversion rates and has time comparison features.

Conduct this exercise for each initiative to identify what you’re doing, what your goals are and how you’ll track the performance. It will provide you valuable information on how to improve the longevity of your online business.

Additional resources

If you haven’t already, check out these helpful Shopify articles to prepare you for BFCM:

The 27-Point Checklist to Prepare Your Store for Black Friday Cyber Monday

Three Trends That Will Shape Black Friday Cyber Monday 2020

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Slaite Library

Shopify Do’s and Don’ts

You’ve begun your custom apparel journey and you’re ready to sell to your customers. The last thing you want to worry about is technical difficulties. Whether it’s issues with Shopify settings or order issues, you want your customers’ journey to be seamless. We’ve got some helpful tips for you to keep the momentum without the hiccups.

Confirming your Slaite Shopify Admin API is correct

You want to ensure the app is connected properly before you connect your Slaite store to Shopify or before you make the big push to sell your custom apparel products online.

Why? Slaite is a private app (with public app plans!) and without the proper permissions set up, issues can arise. Luckily, checking these API settings is simple. Follow along with the quick video below.

Instructions:

  • Login to Shopify and select ‘Apps’
  • Select ‘Manage Private Apps’
  • Select ‘SLAITE’ *This is not shown in the video to protect email privacy
  • Scroll down to the ‘Admin API’ section
  • Ensure the following five permissions are set to ‘Read and Write’
    1. Assigned Fulfillment Orders
    2. Fulfillment Services
    3. Inventory
    4. Orders
    5. Products
  • All other permissions must be untouched

Vendor Settings

Keeping Slaite as the vendor for Slaite products ensures when an order is placed, Slaite is notified and can begin fulfilling the order. Slaite is the default vendor for our products but if you are experiencing issues, check the vendor settings. Here’s a quick video to show you how to ensure your Slaite products are set to Slaite as the vendor.

Instructions:

  • Login to Shopify and select ‘Products’
  • Remain in the ‘All Products’ section
  • Select your Slaite products
  • Select ‘Edit Products’
  • Select ‘Add Fields’
  • Under the ‘General’ section, select ‘Vendor’
  • The ‘Vendor’ field will populate
  • Ensure the Vendor is ‘Slaite’ and do not change the vendor *Note: your customers will not see Slaite as the vendor

Order Processing Settings

Selling out of stock products is a headache. Avoid these issues by checking the default settings in your inventory page. Follow along with this video to ensure your products are not being sold when they are out of stock.

Instructions:

  • Login to Shopify and select ‘Products’
  • Select ‘Inventory’ from the Products section
  • Under the ‘When Sold Out’ column, it should read ‘Stop Selling’
  • If it reads ‘Continue Selling’, select your Slaite products and select ‘More Actions’
  • Select ‘Stop Selling When Out of Stock’
  • If you cannot see your products, select the location dropdown at the top right. ‘Slaite Fulfillment’ will be in one of the dropdown options