ApparelMagic Line Sheet Guide
ApparelMagic Line Sheet Guide
- 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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For many manufacturers, wholesalers, and brands, a line sheet is an invaluable tool to display essential product information in a simple and easy-to-read format. Its main purpose is to help potential buyers and retailers better understand the product at hand before making a purchase decision.
Traditionally, line sheets are associated with the garment-fashion industry, although any marketer or business owner can use them to present their products in an organized and systematic way. Indeed, a well-designed line sheet is a powerful sales tool that will help you generate interest from prospects that might not otherwise be aware of your line.
Depending on your need, you can create printed or digital line sheets. Regardless of the format, though, any line sheet should contain important information that potential or current buyers need to place an order. The following items are especially helpful:
- Your company logo
- Company contact information
- Product names
- Product descriptions
- Product images
- Product variations like sizes and colors
- Pricing information
- Sales terms
- Ordering information
A line sheet is different from a sell sheet and catalog. However, each tool has its place in the sales funnel.
For example, when you’re looking to make early contact with a potential buyer or retailer, a catalog or sell sheet is your best bet. They contain eye-catching visuals and compelling copy that will grab people’s attention.
But if buyers are already familiar with your brand and product line, it’s time to close the deal and get them to place an order – that’s where line sheets come in.
In today’s cloud and web-based landscape, line sheets can be applied to almost any product-oriented wholesale industry beyond fashion and apparel. Electronic manufacturers, for example, use line sheets to provide key specifications of their products in an easy-to-understand format. Similarly, furniture manufacturers use a line sheet to provide detailed specifications of various items.
All in all, a well-developed line sheet line will help capture and retain the attention of potential buyers, directly adding to the revenue and profitability of your business.
What Is the Difference Between Line Sheets, Catalogs, and Price Sheets?
While all three documents serve similar purposes, they differ in how they help the customer in their purchasing decision. They are often involved in making that all-important first impression on a potential buyer but they differ in how they go about doing so. Let’s take a closer look at how line sheets, catalogs, and price sheets are used in the buying journey.
Catalogs and line sheets are quite similar to one another – so much so that often the terms are used interchangeably.
However, while they both offer a lot of the required information in their display, there are key differences between the two tools.
A catalog takes a more detailed approach in offering information to potential clients. It provides buyers with a complete story including corporate history and background, core values as well as business terms and conditions. This makes catalogs the ideal tool for reaching out to potential buyers, especially those who know nothing about the business.
Because they are more detailed and require compelling, classy graphic presentation, catalogs are the pricier marketing tool. They can also lack the specific information needed to place an order as including too much information can be overwhelming, giving a cluttered feel.
In addition, catalogs are more expensive to update because any changes will require reprinting the whole document. However, they do add considerable value to the corporate profile and are the go-to option for trade expos where businesses wish to inform one and all about their products and services in the most impressive fashion possible. Their attractive visual and informational appeal makes it a formidable marketing tool to help convert potential buyers into loyal clients.
Line sheets, like catalogs, offer quite a bit of information and product images to potential clients. However, they display the information in a more concise, less decorative way.
The information they provide is specifically relevant to helping a business place an order. It usually includes contact details, delivery details, colors, sizing options, product specifications, etc. The images are not as graphically compelling as what is included in catalogs, but help readers understand what the product looks like.
Line sheets are much easier to edit and update since they require editing only of the specific product or element and the rest can be left intact. However, while they can be effective in enabling buyers to place a purchase order, they are not particularly helpful for storytelling since they don’t offer any corporate history. And, because of their lack of compelling graphic presentation, line sheets are not ideal tools to use in trading expos or for press packets.
Price sheets have much more basic information on display compared with line sheets. A typical price sheet includes the product name, description, wholesale price, and terms of sale. Given the very basic information they offer, price sheets are perfect for dealing with regular customers who are familiar with the products and know exactly what they want.
Price sheets are also a better option to use when there are a large number of products, which can be easily identified by their SKU or model number. However, the very little information and visuals on offer mean that price sheets won’t be instrumental in compelling potential buyers into buying products. Price sheets will not be particularly helpful for trading expos either, because they have very little information and imagery to offer.
Depending on your needs and context, you can use any of these marketing tools and maximize the opportunities each of them provides. Whether you’re reaching out to existing or new buyers, mix and match to ensure that you’re offering the right information in the right format. In most cases, a business will develop price sheets for its most regular clients, line sheets for its new clients, and catalogs for potential clients.
Line Sheets in the Wholesale Industry
Line sheets are popular in wholesale marketing because they can be used for many purposes.
First and foremost, line sheets provide an organized way to present all the product details one needs to make a purchase decision.
But, line sheets can serve many other purposes in the wholesale industry including a source document to build these tools:
- An itemized list of your products, including product descriptions and wholesale pricing.
- A tool that helps organize your inventory.
- A marketing material to showcase your product offerings.
- An aid to show retailers how many units they need per week.
- A way to get feedback from retailers.
- Helpful information about what types of items to carry in bulk.
- Line sheets are also helpful for pitching new products and make great handouts when networking with potential clients.
Line sheets are great for wholesale businesses and can be used to sell multiple products in various categories at the same time. They are also useful when customized for each of your clients because they can be designed to deliver only the information of the product line relevant to a potential buyer.
Any wholesaler selling products with multiple specifications and configurations will benefit hugely from a line sheet because it will allow a wholesaler to present individual information in an organized fashion.
The Advantages and Challenges of Using Line Sheets
A line sheet is undeniably a valuable marketing tool. Several factors make it a must-have addition to the corporate strategies of businesses, particularly in the fashion and apparel industry.
Advantages of Using Line Sheets
A line sheet is a cost-effective option, making it a viable marketing tool for even those businesses that are on a modest budget. Unlike catalogs, it is concise and focused on facts, nor does it require excessive styling and design effort. This translates into a lower overall cost of designing and producing it.
Additionally, the cost of editing or fixing errors is much lower for line sheets than for catalogs. Most changes can be made to the specific product line and printed without needing to re-print the entire collection, which is the case with catalogs.
Line sheets make it easy to view specific collections. A business should always assume that its potential and current clients are looking to get things done in as little time as possible. Because of this, line sheets are the ideal marketing material to drop off at prospective retail stores. These documents help prospective buyers instantly view the line they are interested in without having to sift through irrelevant products. And that’s not all – line sheets put all the required information to place an order at the fingertips of the interested client.
The best of both worlds
Line sheets strike the perfect balance between being concise and informative. Unlike a price sheet, a line sheet has the relevant information to help even a new buyer place an order.
Additionally, it comes with the flexibility of having several product images to help make a compelling argument, particularly to a new potential buyer. On the other hand, a line sheet doesn’t provide a detailed narrative like a catalog. The latter runs the risk of becoming tedious and overwhelming for many clients, who may be turned off by it before even reaching the items in which they are most interested.
The structure of a line sheet facilitates an organized and effective display of multiple product lines. This allows for easy navigation and helps locate the relevant product lines quickly.
A line sheet is highly customizable. It can display as little or as much information as required for different audiences. If you’re dealing with a regular client, use a more streamlined version of the line sheet. For a potential or new client, add more details to help them place the order easily and maximize the chance of converting them to an actual buyer.
Similarly, you can customize your line sheets for each client. A jewelry wholesaler, for example, may display its more traditional and conservative designs in a line sheet it sends to an established retailer brand. And they may choose to include its more creative and bold designs in the line sheet it sends to a smaller retailer known for its eclectic tastes. This empowers wholesalers to maximize their business opportunities and capture a diverse range of clients which further boosts their profile and market reach.
Challenges of Using Line Sheets
Not the best first impression
In most cases, line sheets are not glamorous documents adorned with compelling graphic presentations like catalogs are. This means they might lack the visual appeal to capture and retain the attention of prospective clients when dropped by.
And for exactly the same reason, line sheets will also not be valuable marketing tools in a trade expo where making a powerful argument for the business is the name of the game. Finally, you would not typically want to include a line sheet in your press packet.
Lack of brand representation
Line sheets provide product-specific information only, which may not be sufficient when dealing with potential customers who have never heard of the business and know nothing of its background, terms and conditions, and core values. It is best to use sell sheets and catalogs to successfully target customers who are not familiar with your company.
Needle in a haystack
It is important to remember that your competition will also be using line sheets to reach out to prospective clients. This means that most buyers will typically have a huge pile of line sheets to look through. It could be very easy for the retailer to mix up the papers or even completely miss your line sheet when dealing with so much similar promotional material.
Going through multiple line sheets can be overwhelming for the potential client, which can affect their ability to make the right buying decision. Studies have found that an overwhelming amount of information leads to a high cognitive load, prompting people to make more impulsive, less rational purchases.
Also, instead of focusing equally on all features of your product line, people’s minds tend to focus only on the most noticeable features. This influences their decision to buy the product – and that decision may not necessarily be in your favor.
Like any marketing tool, a line sheet comes with its share of the good and the bad. However, if you use it in the right way for the right situation, you can negate most of its cons and take full advantage of its benefits.