Building for a personalised future with Merchr

by Rob Fletcher | 16/02/2024
Building for a personalised future with Merchr

Rob Fletcher speaks to Merchr about their product offering and how offering personalisation opens new opportunities. Merchr's platform helps individuals and groups create their brand and reach new audiences by creating their own merchandise collection.

With so many print service providers (PSPs) offering some sort of personalised print service to customers, it is important for companies to ensure they can offer something different and stand out from the competition to secure the most profitable work.

Perhaps you could look at offering more unusual products that are not part of the typical line-up of personalisation options, or even consider adding special effects that make the products shine.

Or maybe go a step further and think about expanding your services beyond consumers to businesses and larger organisations, working alongside them to create printed products that are personalised to their brands.

Step forward Merchr, a newcomer to the market that is based in Greater Manchester in the UK. Founded by an experienced team backed by Martin Varley, a well-known senior figure in the personalised products industry, the company began production in 2023 and operates as a print-on-demand business, delivering its print services to other businesses.

Rather than solely focusing on individual consumers, it is seeking to work with businesses and organisations that have product personalisation needs of their own, but do not have the in-house printing capabilities to deliver these themselves.

Core target organisations for Merchr include charities, schools, universities and colleges, sportspeople, clubs and societies, influencers, podcasters, YouTubers, gamers, bands and other artistic performers, visitor attractions and online retailers and entrepreneurs.

The online platform offers the usual roster of personalised products such as clothing, hats, towels, blankets, mugs, placemats, phone cases, coasters, canvas prints, hot water bottles, tote and make-up bags, pouches and highlighters, water bottles and tumblers. Clients can select which ones they want to offer to their own customers.

Coping with demand

So, how does it work? Merchr has already built up a strong client base despite its short life, working with customers on a whole range of projects to deliver some eye-catching pieces of personalised products.

Users can create and launch a free online store through the Merchr Hub. Here, they are able to design and upload their customised product collections with artwork, a logo, slogan or image, as well as connect to an existing website via Merchr’s integrations with e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify.

Customers can select their own prices to cover the cost of each product, including printing and delivery, to ensure they receive a healthy return on sales. After an order is placed, Merchr’s software delivers print-ready artwork to its special facility in Manchester for production. Items are then usually complete and dispatched within 24 hours.

To put it simply, Merchr is opening the opportunity to offer personalised print without the need to invest in the technology to create these applications. This can often prove to be a major stumbling block for companies wanting to deliver these kinds of products to their customers, with Merchr’s print-on-demand service helping them do just this.

“Our platform helps individuals and groups build their brand and reach new audiences by creating their own merchandise collection to sell to fans, friends and followers in an eco-friendly, risk-free way without the need to hold stock or worry about the logistics of production, printing and shipping,” Merchr said.

Financial support

Merchr was able to launch last year after securing £350,000 (€409,930/$440,964) in an oversubscribed pre-seed fundraising round.

After early success, Merchr has moved to expand its initial set-up with a series of recent investments, allowing it to cope with ongoing demand and take on more work. Towards the end of last year, Merchr committed to a £250,000 investment that included the addition of five new machine at its Manchester facility.

New equipment includes a flatbed printer that can print up to 60 notebooks at a time with a varnish finish, and a 360-degree cylinder printer machine for water bottles and flasks, with capacity to produce 250 an hour. It has also taken on a 360-degree heat press machine for hats.

Merchr also purchased a GraphTec cutting plotter that produces raised printing with a vinyl finish, along with a laser-guided dual heat pressing printer for glitter, neon and textured printing on t-shirts, hats, toiletry bags and other items, opening up more personalisation options for customers.

Add in that it is recruiting for several new roles as it grows its team in line with its expansion, including back-end and front-end web developers, e-commerce and marketing staff, and the company looks set for an exciting future in personalisation.

“Advancements in technology have opened doors to a new era of sustainable merchandise printing,” Merchr’s head of operations Jack Fox said. “The ability to print retail quality items on demand, without having to order in bulk, not only enhances our commitment to sustainability but also empowers our store owners with more choice and customisation options.

“We’re excited to embrace this innovative machinery, as it aligns perfectly with our goal of reducing waste and minimising our environmental footprint while delivering quality products for our users.

“Customers will benefit from even higher quality printing with varnish finishes and faster turnaround times. These digital machines are designed and built to integrate with the Merchr ecosystem, enabling ‘cart to print’ in seconds, representing a fundamental advance in the supply chain.”

Discover the latest innovations in personalisation at Personalisation Experience 2024 at the RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands from 19th - 22nd March 2024.

Visitors will have the opportunity to hear from leading minds and innovators sharing knowledge and experiences, see the latest developments and technology in personalised print solutions and network with those looking to help you grow your business.

here to visit and use code PEXJ402

by Rob Fletcher Back to News

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