A company swag store makes it easy to obtain all the logo apparel, accessories, and other branded merchandise your business needs for events and promotional campaigns.
Everything you need to know about setting up a company swag store – and why your business might one want in the first place – is included in the guide below. We also answer the most frequently asked questions about company swag stores and include several company store examples and case studies.
What is a Company Swag Store?
A company swag store is a company’s branded merchandise store, typically online, where employees and/or consumers can obtain branded merch (aka company swag) decorated with brand identity elements like logo, colors, and fonts.
The 3 Types of Company Swag Stores: Online, Pop-Up, Brick & Mortar
These days, most company swag stores are online company swag stores.
An online company swag store is essentially a dedicated e-commerce site (or e-store) for company swag like logo t-shirts, hats, stickers, and travel tumblers. With an online company swag store platform, promotional codes can be set up that allow employees or customers to obtain free swag as rewards or incentives.
Pop-up shops are short-term sales events that can be held online or in vacant retail spaces. An online pop-up shop may be used to distribute branded holiday swag to employees or sell company swag made specifically for special events including charity fundraisers and experiential marketing campaigns. An online pop-up shop sells branded merchandise for a limited time only (a few days, weeks, or a month). An online company swag store, on the other hand, is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
In rare cases, a permanent brick-and-mortar company store is used by large B2C brands like Apple Inc. to sell branded swag like logo t-shirts and drinkware to brand fans and collectors.
Photos of the Apple company store in 1997. Link to more photos in reply pic.twitter.com/ysxYnSSab1— Computer Store Visuals (@CompStoreVisual) December 13, 2021
Company Swag Store for Employees vs. Company Swag Store for Profit
Some large consumer brands use company swag stores to sell limited edition branded merch and co-branded apparel directly to consumers. This type of company swag store can generate both additional revenue and free publicity.
However, most small-to-midsize companies and B2B businesses create their company swag stores specifically for their employees. An online employee swag store makes it easy for corporations with a distributed global workforce to fulfill a wide range and high volume of branded merchandise orders (including employee uniforms, holiday gifts, trade show supplies & business cards) while ensuring brand identity consistency.
A custom company swag store can be made publicly available on the world wide web or it can be hosted on a company’s intranet or data center to limit access to employees only. User authentication services like Single Sign-On also make it possible to limit access to an online company swag store for employees.
Company Swag Store Examples
Example #1 – The Inspirato Store
Inspirato, a luxury travel subscription company, needed a company store platform that could support both internal use for member reps and external use for travel members.
They also needed to work with a branded merchandise vendor that could help them source and curate a high-quality collection of branded merchandise, manage their inventory, and fulfill orders domestically and internationally.
To learn how Metron Branding created Inspirato’s custom swag store and set up a hassle-free order fulfillment workflow, check out our Inspirato case study.
Example #2– Mango Market
Mango Languages serves the library and education market with their subscription language-learning website and mobile app. Because their clients need to promote the app to end users, Mango Languages needed a way to distribute both physical and digital marketing materials – including t-shirts, stickers, web buttons, and printable flyers. Their company swag store, Mango Market, makes it easy for clients to login and use their assigned budget to purchase different types of marketing materials.
To learn more, check out our Mango Languages case study.
Example #3 – KUKA Store
Employees of KUKA, one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial robots and systems for factory automation, can order great custom merch in KUKA’s employee swag store.
Unique employee swag available in the KUKA company store includes desktop models of KUKA robot arms and decorated onesies for newborns.
Company Swag Store: Essential and Optional Features
Key features of a company swag store include:
- ADA compliant, mobile-friendly, responsive design;
- a fast and efficient user interface;
- ironclad security;
- standard shopping cart features including automated sales tax calculation;
- and multiple payment options (such as credit cards, Apple Pay, and PayPal).
Optional swag store features that you may want to consider include social share buttons and on-site search. You may also want to have your site configured to accept gift cards and/or promo codes.
To learn more about company swag store design and functionality, check out these articles:
Setting Up a Company Swag Store
While some large corporations may choose to build their own company swag store, most companies use a branded merchandise platform.
A branded merchandise platform generally refers to a custom, mobile-friendly web store for branded merch – with robust reporting and analytics in addition to inventory and order fulfillment services.
A branded merchandise platform is the quickest and easiest way to set up and manage a web store dedicated to swag that looks great and adheres to your brand guidelines. A branded merchandise platform can also be used to build an online pop-up shop for a special event or promotion.
For detailed information on setting up a company store for swag, check out these guides:
Company Swag Stores: Frequently Asked Questions
What is company branded swag?
Company branded swag is a term that refers to popular logo items like t-shirts, hats, laptop stickers, water bottles, and pens that are given away or sold to promote a company’s products, services and/or brand.
Also known as branded merch or promotional products, company swag can be used to engage brand enthusiasts and employees alike.
The best company swag is useful, attractive, and well made. Quality branded items that have mass appeal – and are likely to be kept by consumers for a long time – include vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel tumblers and organic cotton t-shirts.
Is swag an acronym for something?
Contrary to popular belief, the term “swag” is not actually an acronym for “stuff we all get”. According to Merriam-Webster, the term swag may have “Scandinavian roots referring to a bag.”
What kind of swag do employees like? What is the best swag for trade shows & events?
Popular categories of company branded swag include apparel (t-shirts, polo shirts); outerwear; performance wear; accessories (hats, socks); office supplies (sticky notes, pens, notebooks); and tech accessories (wireless chargers, Bluetooth speakers).
Company Swag Ideas for Customers & Sales Prospects – The Best Promotional Swag by Region & Demographic, Best Swag Items According to Trade Show & Conference Attendees
Why do companies give out swag?
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, branded swag giveaways are a cost-effective way to promote your brand. Swag helps your company:
- build brand awareness among sales prospects;
- increase brand loyalty among customers and clients;
- promote your brand online (and collect first-party data) via social media contests & sweepstakes;
- engage with potential customers at trade shows and events.
To learn more about the benefits of company swag as an advertising medium, check out our guide to Why Promotional Products Work.
Companies also frequently give out company swag to employees. Employee swag can be used to:
- celebrate company milestones and promote team identity;
- engage new interns & staff during onboarding;
- reward performance excellence through non-cash incentives.
With an online swag store, employees can choose their own tangible rewards and incentives from a wide selection of premium company swag. Other types of rewards, such as gift cards, can also be redeemed in an employee swag store. If desired, staff can also select their own employee uniforms; order branded business supplies & trade show booth materials; and even access digital products and marketing materials.
How do I set up a swag store for my employees? How do I create a swag store to sell merch?
Companies that don’t want the hassle and expense of storing lots of custom swag and shipping out their own orders need a robust print-on-demand branded merchandise solution with automatic order fulfillment.
Metron Branding creates responsive e-commerce sites for company swag that are built-to-spec. Everything from the store design to functionality can be built and modified for your needs. Best of all, we handle the entire order fulfillment process, from our warehouse to your audience’s doorstep!
We support all types of store inventory, including:
- on-demand products – where no inventory is stored; products are made on a per-purchase basis;
- stock inventory – where products are held in a warehouse & ship out when customers order;
- a hybrid system – where stores have a mixture of on-demand and stocked products.
A hybrid inventory system is a great way to offer a wide range of products to your audience while reducing the costs associated with inventory holding.