How To Sell Merch for Your Dance Studio 

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Knowing how to sell dance studio merchandise can positively impact your revenue. It also offers other benefits, such as creating a sense of identity and belonging in your dance community. 

This article will help you understand more about incorporating a retail option and selling dance studio merchandise. 

We’ll start by explaining why selling merch is important and listing the benefits to your studio. Knowing the types of merchandise you could sell helps you build ideas to get your shop off the ground. We’ll also show how to tailor your choices to different groups. 

Once you’ve made your selections, you’ll want to follow our tips to start selling your own merchandise right away. These will inspire you to boost your revenue and raise your brand’s profile in just a few easy moves. 

Why Sell Dance Studio Merchandise? 

Dance studios are a big business in the United States. Around 10,700 are currently in operation, with the size of the market reaching roughly $4.2 billion.  

While the climate is competitive for dance studio owners, there are ways to make your offering more attractive and profitable. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Ideas For Making Your Dance Studio More Profitable 

One of these is to sell dance studio merchandise.  

Making money from tuition is clearly your main source of income. However, having a retail “side hustle” helps boost your cash flow and can add to your profits despite the competition. 

You can reinvest this extra cash into your dance studio. Use it to fund new programs, extra workshops, or community outreach programs, for example. 

Selling merch is not just about increasing your revenue. Your merch will also enhance the feeling of community among studio members.  

Students may feel a sense of belonging by wearing their branded items. And you, as the studio owner, can bask in a sense of pride when you see your students wearing your exclusive apparel outside of the studio! 

At the same time, your branded merch helps build brand awareness for your dance studio. When your students wear or use your merchandise around their communities, it’s a shout-out for your business. This free, targeted marketing is a welcome additional benefit for studio owners. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Easy And Effective Dance Studio Marketing Ideas To Find Your Students 

What Kind of Merchandise Should Your Dance Studio Sell? 

There are plenty of options when it comes to creating your branded merchandise.  

The obvious place to start is items your students will use during their dance classes. These include sweatshirts, tank tops, T-shirts, shorts, and leggings. These garments can be customized with your studio branding and individual student names. 

The next category is occasional wear. Some of these items are seasonal—for example, hoodies and jackets.  

These tend to sell well during wintry weather and around the holiday season. Others are created for a special occasion, such as a recital. In this case, you can have the names of all performers added to garments as a memento. 

You can also sell branded accessories. Products such as water bottles, trendy travel mugs, and gear bags are things students and parents can both use. These everyday products are a great way to advertise your studio far and wide, as they’ll be seen outside the studio. 

The sort of products you choose to sell should also align with your customers’ expectations.  

If your dance studio focuses on children, you can add novelty items such as decals, key rings, custom PopSockets, and wristbands to the mix. Items they can take to school, such as lunch bags, pens, and phone cases, are popular too. 

Whatever the age of your students, consider offering them a variety of colors, sizes, and styles. This allows them to express their unique preferences and feel even more included in your dance community. 


How To Sell Dance Studio Merchandise 

From apparel to accessories, your choices in merchandise are really only limited by your imagination and budget. Ready to start selling?  

Here are the steps to get you started: 

1. Decide Which Products You Are Going To Sell. 

Dancewear is the obvious first choice. You may wish to add in other, more generic items like bags and water bottles.  

If you want to ensure your retail items are well-received, do some market research. Find out what your students want to buy. You can do this by creating a simple survey using a tool like Mailchimp

2. Seek Out a Local Supplier. 

Partnering with other local businesses is usually a good move. Chances are, there are several print businesses in your area. Don’t just pick the one that offers the best price.  

Other factors like reliability and great communication are important, too. Extra touches like free delivery to your door can also be useful. 

A supplier that offers both design and print services is ideal (unless you have design and tech skills yourself, of course). They can help you design your items so your merch looks professional and appeals to your students. 

You should also look for a company that doesn’t have a minimum order, so you can order small quantities if you don’t have much storage space. 

3. Categorize Your Products. 

Differentiate between items that will sell all year round and those that should be made to order.  

Everyday products like dancewear, bags, and water bottles tend to sell whatever the season. These are the items you can keep stocked in your studio shop and order immediately. 

Make sure your supplier is happy to produce seasonal batches of goods and personalized items on an ad hoc basis. 

4. Set Up Your Sales Channels. 

Give some thought to how you are going to sell your products. If you have space, offer an in-studio boutique. It allows you to showcase your merchandise. It also increases the likelihood of impulse purchasing. 

You might also choose to sell your merch on your studio website. Online sales can help you reach even more customers. You can stock non-branded items there to reach a broader audience, not just your students. 

Whether you sell in-person or online, invest in POS (point-of-sale) systems software. POS systems will help you process your payments, keep track of your inventory, and more. Your software can save you time as well by automating many tasks. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Best Gym POS System Software Features For 2024 

5. Set Your Policies. 

If you’re selling personalized items, ensure buyers know they can’t be returned once they’ve signed off on the order. 

For other items, you can offer a return and refund policy within a certain period—for example, 14 days. Indicate whether the customer is eligible for a full return or credit in your shop. 

6. Get Marketing. 

There are lots of ways to market your new merch.  

Advertise internally by announcing your new in-studio or online shop in your newsletter. If you’re offering an in-studio boutique, throw a launch party and invite students. 

Make the most of social media channels to market your new merch far and wide. Share pictures of your products with links to your online shop.  

Run a competition with some key merch items as a prize. Or get your students to post pictures of themselves wearing your branded gear to reach an even wider audience. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 8 Tips For Marketing Your Dance Studio 

7. Manage Your Inventory. 

Once you’ve started making sales, you’ll need to keep track of your stock. Inventory tracking will help you plan new orders in advance and ensure that you can fulfill demand. It can also save you from overordering items. 

Again, software that takes care of this task can save you a lot of time. It will allow you to input and manage your items. You can also pull reports to see exactly what you’ve got in stock at any time. 

8. Consider Fulfillment Methods. 

Decide how you are going to fulfill your orders. Will students pick up their purchases when they visit the studio? Offering pick-up can save your customers shipping fees. 

Partner with a reliable delivery company for items purchased on your website. Consider a company that stores, picks, packs, and delivers your merchandise to streamline the process. 


How You Can Start Selling Dance Studio Merchandise Right Now 

You can start selling your dance studio merchandise today. Here are our quick-win tips you can put into action today: 

  • Check out the competition. Look at what other dance schools are doing. If you see designs you like, save your ideas on a platform such as Pinterest
  • Tap into the hive mind. You’ll need to find a supplier to design and print your merch. Ask your local network for recommendations. Word of mouth is often a reliable way to find a great supplier that offers the services you need. 
  • Draft a production schedule. Start working out how many items you’ll need to order and when. For example, if you plan to sell seasonal items like hoodies, plan production so they are available when the weather turns cold. 
  • Start a teaser campaign on social media. Create a buzz around the launch. You can do this by posting tidbits of information about your merch on social media. Choose pictures and text that hint that something exciting is coming soon. This will boost engagement and start conversations around your merch. 

See how The Studio Director software can help you manage merchandise sales in your dance studio today! Request a free demo now. 

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