In the first quarter of 2020, nearly all the different sectors of in-store retail reported reduced sales in Canada. The only area that reported an increase was the food and beverage sector which grew by just over 3%. These figures were typical of retail across the world with the only ecommerce having any real growth.
Competition is becoming fierce between land-based retailers as sales become harder to come by. Many people have learned the convenience of shopping online during the last year and may never return to the shopping malls in the way they once did.
In fact, Covid has started to spell the death of many retailers and shopping malls in general. Brands need to find ways to increase their sales in-store as well as online. While retailers and brands have solid sales with ecommerce, there are still some tricks they can use to increase in-store revenue.
How important is it to use hang tags and labels correctly?
If brands don’t find a way to get more people purchasing in-store, the retail landscape will change. Cities and towns around the world have shuttered and boarded up stores that were once thriving. It is being called the retail apocalypse and another 80,000 stores are predicted to close in the next 5 years in the USA.
This is a picture that is being faced across the globe with Canada, the UK, and Europe all struggling where land-based retailers are concerned.
Any marketing trick that a brand can use to help sales will result in a better chance that retailers will survive. One marketing trick is to use hang tags in a creative way.
What exactly is a hanging tag?
If you are unsure of what a hang tag is it might be because you know it as a swing tag or hanging tag. Clothing manufacturers typically attach pieces of printed card to their products, usually at the neck or waist depending on the garment, and they give customers some extra information.
A simple hang tag will be printed in the company colors and will have the logo, maybe a barcode, and the size of the item on it. Creative brands use these tags in many different ways though.
They can be used to describe the brand and what it stands for, they can explain the company mission statement, or they might have some other interesting information on them.
How do you make hang tags?
When it comes to making hang tags, the easiest way is to find a specialist company online. That way you can design your tag online, upload your own artwork, or send your logo and let the label shop design the tag for you.
Searching Google for hang tag label shops will bring up websites such as The Dutch Label Shop, and they can assist with making your custom hang tags. When you make them you will have to decide what shape, color, and material you want.
Once printed and trimmed you can attach them to your garment and send them to your retailers. What you put on the hang tag will determine how effective they are.
Here are some of the unusual things you could do with a hang tag and what you could achieve with them.
Call to action statements
A simple way to encourage more engagement with your audience is to entice them to visit your social media pages and your website. You may already understand the benefits that social media and Instagram have to offer brands but you need to find ways to get visitors.
Hang tags offer a low-tech way to get more people onto your various digital presences. Print the website address on the hang tag is one simple solution, but asking customers to sign up to your mailing list to have a chance of winning a prize might be more effective.
Let your consumers know about your Instagram and Facebook accounts by showing them on the hang tag and tell them how the latest products will be shown there first. If you provide quality posts regularly you will keep the consumer returning and this can help create some brand loyalty.
Explain your ethics
One of the ways that a hang tag can help is by holding some influence over a shopper by meeting the same values they have. A hang tag is a great way to show information that normal labels cannot.
Clothing needs to have washing labels attached by law to explain how to care for the item of clothing, but hang tags can go much further than this. Because there is more room available on a hang tag, you can clearly explain your policy on fair trade and how your workers are treated.
Consumers are more likely to buy a product knowing it was manufactured in an ethical manner than one that was put together in a sweatshop. Hang tags are a form of advertising so use them.
Ingredients and provenance
When it comes to labeling, many companies fail to put information on that could help with sales. Consumers these days are a lot fussier than previous generations and no longer just buy products without considering the hidden cost.
Where consumers once looked at the price of their wallets, they now look at the price of the environment and their health too. If you are using organic ingredients or produce that is locally sourced then make it clear on the label.
Many people would buy a food product knowing that the ingredients were grown without pesticides and they come from reputable farmers, especially local ones.
QR codes can give much more information
Some businesses such as takeaway pizza shops have already realized just how useful QR codes can be. Advertising space can be expensive so lots of restaurants, and especially take-out joints have utilized QR codes to give customers a lot of information with just a tiny advert.
When someone scans a QR code, whatever is linked to that barcode will appear on the screen. Often this will be a business card with extra information or it could be a PDF document. Take-outs use this to show their potential customers their whole menu while only paying for a small advertisement.
You can use QR codes in the same way by printing them on a hang tag or label. The code might redirect to a product landing page, or it might take them to some more detailed information. Whatever way the QR code is used, there is great potential for marketing there.
Make your hang tags collectible
Some brands have some very cool-looking hang tags made from unusual materials such as metal (dog tags), or plastic (like credit cards), so consider using yours in an unusual way so it isn’t just binned.
They could be used as a loyalty card and receive a stamp with every purchase until they can be redeemed for a small gift. They could also contain a discount slip for a future purchase. Another way is to add a scrapable foil section with a code underneath. This code would be entered into your website along with the consumer’s email address to be entered into a draw.
While many have said that landlords need to show some mercy during Covid and lower rents, it is also up to manufacturers and brands to find ways to gather more sales.
It may be surprising but hang tags and labels are a great form of communication and using them in the right way can increase sales and form long-term bonds with consumers.
Whether you print your environmental credentials on them, your ethical concerns, turn them into collectible stickers, or print a QR code on them, hang tags and labels have great potential to influence a shopper to make a purchase.