August '22

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3 6 G R A P H I C S P R O A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M like. It's also important to explain to schools how online stores address some of their most significant pain points. ree major pain points you'll address offering them stores include: ORDER COLLECTION & PAYMENT Coaches and administrators won't have to gather paper forms from students' parents. Plus, if they use an online store, there's no risk of someone's order getting lost because the paper form didn't make it into the file folder. TIME CONSTRAINTS Depending on the team or school group, orders may only be placed once or twice a year. Having a simple, fast online store lets those coaches and administrators focus on their teams instead of worrying about getting orders in on time. Parents and students simply hop online to submit their orders. SIZES & QUANTITIES Having an online system eliminates the age-old issue of track- ing how many sizes and quantities a team will need for its deco- rated apparel. Depending on your shop's equipment and printing capabilities, you can also offer schools other products in addition to decorated apparel. Some popular products for school sports teams and their parents include: • Personalized duffle bags or backpacks: Depending on the material, some bags can be heat-printed to easily add logos and names • Water bottles: A necessity for any sporting event and team training • Insulated tumblers: Perfect for post-game and for parents to show their support • Car magnets and decals: An easy add-on for teams trying to add a few extra dollars to their apparel sales SETTING STORES UP How you set up online stores will hinge primarily on what kind of shop you decide to run. Rath says shops can set up one central hub and split it up between sports stores if they have the capacity. "Creating one store for the school with custom categories for each sport or activity allows parents to purchase for multiple children in one check-out," she explains. "is is the most pro- fessional-looking and easiest to navigate." If a shop isn't equipped to print on demand or needs to set up a store for pre-orders, setting up an individual store makes more sense. Even in this case, the sports stores can be pre- sented through a hub with links to each sport's store as they bring more stores online. Similarly, booster clubs and fanwear stores can be added to that same main site so both athletes and parents or other team fans can purchase their gear all from the same central place. "e big benefit of each sport being its own store is reporting purposes – it's a lot easier to track sales, orders, work on pur- chasing and production when you can easily filter and see all the orders from North High School Soccer versus one store for a dozen sports," says Maddie Hack, InkSoft. "e customer could easily clone the sporting stores to speed up the process of store creation for all the sports." STYLES & ARTWORK One of the most challenging aspects for coaches and team con- tacts is their overwhelming choices when setting up an online store. e trick is to keep the choices as slimmed down as pos- sible when it comes to style and artwork. Since some coaches and team contacts aren't tech-savvy and might get overwhelmed with the idea of using an online store, decorators should take the time to prepare a mockup store in advance.

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