How to Make a Great Line Sheet
How to Make a Great Line Sheet
- Have a Crisp, Structured Design
- Organize the Product Lines
- Know What to Include on the Line Sheet
- Customize Line Sheet to Client Needs
- Make It Easy to Edit
- Go for an Impressive Cover
- Keep It Short
- Format Properly
- Get an Outsider Perspective
- Using a Standard Line Sheet for All Clients
- Not Telling the Story Well
- Cluttered Design and Unclear Product Descriptions
- Failing to Account for Buyer Needs
- Using Poor Quality Images
- Not Including an Order Form
- Not Keeping It Short and Simple
- Are Line Sheets a Replacement for Catalogs?
- Are Line Sheets Hard to Create?
- What Should One Look for in a Line Sheet Software?
- Is It Better to Email Line Sheets or Host Them?
- Is Length a Major Concern When Designing a Line Sheet?
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How beneficial a line sheet can be for a business will hugely depend on whether its design is effective. A well-made line sheet can do wonders for the business while a poorly made one can be instrumental in causing a company to lose clients – current and potential. Let’s take a closer look at what businesses need to do to make an effective line sheet.
Related post: How to create a line sheet in ApparelMagic
Have a Crisp, Structured Design
The most important step is to build a well-structured design for the line sheet. A business needs to make its line sheets easy-to-read promotional documents so that even pressed for time retailers can get a clear picture of the product on offer with a superficial look over.
Of course, content is important. But, the way it is presented is almost equally important. When designing a line sheet, a business needs to employ good design practices to ensure that it communicates the information in the most effective fashion possible.
For example, it is best not to use text in too many colors and font sizes. This may only distract from the message’s intent. Larger darker fonts will always garner more attention so it is best to use them for the important pieces of information. And, where possible, place focus on the product images.
Finally, the unused room around the graphics or copy on the document is the white space. It is important to ensure that there is plenty of space on the sheet. This helps make the information more visible and easy to interpret for the reader.
Organize the Product Lines
Most businesses will choose to organize their product lines either by product category or by season. The choice usually depends on the product range and on which categorization makes the most sense for the company. It is best to choose a single method of categorization and stick to it. This consistency will only add to the structural value of a company’s line sheet and facilitate easy navigation for customers.
Know What to Include on the Line Sheet
A good line sheet contains the right information for the purpose at hand. Some key pieces of data that need to be on the line sheet include:
- Business name and logo: They should be presented with bold elegance and high visibility. It might be best to include your logo on the top of every page of the line sheet. Some companies include it in the footer of each page, as well.
- Brief brand introduction: A short description of the business and a mention of its core values will suffice. You can also include any preeminent awards or trade salutations your company has received to solidify the value of your brand.
- Contact information: It is important to include complete contact information in a visible spot and this should include the physical address of the business, phone numbers, and contact email addresses. You should also include your website and social media platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Product lines: Your product line consists of a diverse set of items you look to promote. Line sheets are important documentations of your product line. A single sheet with all the available products and their prices will help customers decide on what they want from your store and give you feedback for new items.
- Product names: A product name can help you stand out from the competition and serve as a primary source for branding. A catchy, unique product name on a line sheet can make all the difference when it comes to making a sale and securing a long-term client.
- Product description: This needs to be a precise, no-nonsense description of the product, focused on delivering the facts. Make sure to include noteworthy features a retailer is likely to be interested in. For example, a jewelry store would be interested in the type of stones used, their cut and clarity, while a clothing retailer might be interested in knowing that the product is 100% leather or 100% wool.
- Product images: Use simple images with plain backgrounds so the focus remains on the product. Floating images, with no background, have also gained popularity in showcasing a product because of their ability to center all the attention on the product. Alternatively, you can consider images that show the applicability of the item such as using a model to display how well a hat looks and or how beautifully the shoes go with their outfit. Giving a certain amount of context to the product in the image can make it more appealing and relatable to retailers. However, strive to keep the styling and background simple to keep the focus on the product itself. Additionally, aim at having high-resolution product images so the client has no trouble knowing exactly what the product looks like.
- Product number/ SKU: This helps the client have an easy reference to the product.
- Available sizes: Make sure to include a comprehensive sizing guide to ensure that all retailers can find their preferred size. This is easy to organize in a table format.
- Available colors: List all available colors for your items on the line sheet. Buyers want to see the full breadth of your product line and favor manufacturers that offer items in color trends.
- Additional product variations such as material or fabric options: Vendors may be especially keen on the depth and breadth of your product line. Be as specific as possible, without going overboard, in the product options you offer.
- Currency accepted: Many wholesalers deal with multiple currencies so it is important to mention the accepted currencies for payment. You can tailor currency options depending on the client you are working with and where they may be located.
- Wholesale terms: This section needs to include several items including how to order and what are the acceptable forms of payment; what is the required minimum amount for the first order and subsequent orders; who is to pay for shipping and insurance and what amount that is likely to be; what is the typical lead time; what is the order cut-off date; what is the return policy; what the customer needs to know about their sizing measurements and any other additional information that seems relevant.
- Wholesale prices and suggested retail prices of the products: A line sheet lets customers see, at a glance, the wholesale and suggested retail pricing of your items so they can make informed decisions about their budgeting needs. Smart marketers will capitalize on this by tailoring price points to each prospect with various packages ready to be proposed as needed.
- Order form: An order form makes placing an order much easier for the customer, which is the primary purpose of a line sheet. Typically, an order form should have fields for the buyer’s name, address, contact details, method of delivery, delivery date, and payment. Finally, the business’s terms and conditions regarding deliveries, orders, payments and shipping need to be clearly stated to protect the business in case anything goes wrong with the order.
Customize Line Sheets to Your Client’s Needs
A line sheet is a particularly handy tool due to its flexibility and ability to be customized to the individual needs of the client.
Before designing a line sheet for a client, make sure you are aware of any special requirements such as products they are interested in, their preferred style, and if they are new in dealing with the business. This helps ensure you create a personalized experience and include products the client is most likely to be interested in. And, if clients are new, you can add FAQs to inform them about additional aspects of the business.
Make It Easy to Edit
Line sheets will require relatively frequent updates, with different brands needing changes at different times. To make the editing process easy and hassle-free, it is best to create a separate template for each brand or product. That way, it will be easy to adjust a single template, leaving the rest as is.
Go for an Impressive Cover
Naturally, the cover is the first impression of the line sheet. It is important to keep it simple but boldly eloquent in appearance to catch and hold attention. The cover is the best place for the business to have its name and logo clearly and proudly displayed. This is also a good place to offer a brief, meaningful introduction to the company.
Keep It as Short as Possible
While line sheets are flexible enough to be informative and graphic-oriented depending on the client’s needs, the golden rule of line sheet design is to keep it as short as humanly possible. This is because, ultimately, a line sheet is about helping a client place an order. Too much information can make a line sheet look tedious and redundant, defeating its purpose of helping clients to quickly and easily place their order with the business.
When formatting the document, always assume that the line sheet is the only form of introduction and the only source of information about the products to the buyers. This will help you identify the redundant and useless pieces of information. It will also help you decide if the product descriptions, images, and other information are in any way lacking in quality or quantity and how that can be best fixed.
With a line sheet, buyers can get to know your company before requesting more information. The key points listed on the side of this page relate to what buyers find most important when considering a product. You can use these sheets as part of a larger presentation or even on their own by putting them in a binder.
Get an Outsider Perspective
Once the line sheet is drafted, it is good to get an outsider’s opinion. Ideally, engaging the services of a design consultant could be the best way of ensuring that the line sheet has all the elements working in its favor. However, if a professional is not an option, then even those who designed it can step away from the project for a bit and then look it over with a more objective eye. You’ll be surprised by the number of possible flaws or faults you missed while working so closely on it that you can identify and fix.