A linesheet is one of the most effective selling tools that wholesale businesses can use. In essence, it is a basic catalog that showcases products in an efficient format without long descriptions. It gives buyers the necessary information that they need to make decisions, in a simple layout without distractions.
The fact that linesheets need to be so simple raises problems for the seller; there is limited on-page real-estate for branding, advertising copy, or promotions. Consequently, it is important to use the resources that you do have available in the most efficient way possible – an attractive, well-designed linesheet will bring far greater ROI than one that is bland or generic.
With this in mind, we have broken down the process of creating a winning linesheet into 7 easy steps. In summary, these are:-
- Target your linesheet – who are your customers?
- How to create your linesheet automatically using a linesheet template.
- Edit your products.
- How to create a beautiful front cover.
- How to add the finishing touches.
So let’s begin with the basics…
1. Target your linesheet. Who are your customers?
In order for your linesheet to be a powerful selling tool, it should be tailored to fit your ideal customer. If you use buyer profiles, this is not a difficult task. Whereas you can include your entire product range (and with Catalog Maker this is easy to do), you should not do so. It is much more effective to target products and collections that will be of interest to your customer. This is because wholesalers are too busy to sift through the mountains of information that cross their paths on a daily basis. If you are using an effective CRM system, and capture customers’ behavioral data with analytic tools, it should be possible for you to effectively identify which customers should receive which linesheet (Yes, you should have more than one linesheet).
2. How to create your linesheet automatically using a linesheet template.
Once you have determined who your target audience is, you are ready to decide which products and collections you want to include. This is a very easy procedure within Catalog Maker. First, make sure that your products and collections are synced from your Shopify store. Full instructions on how to complete this simple task are available here.
Click on Catalogs, which is directly beneath Dashboard. Then click on Catalog automatically. This will open a page which displays all of your collections. Select the products or collections that you wish to include in your linesheet. Then click Submit.
The Create Zine pop-up will appear. Enter the name which will be shown on the front of your linesheet. If you selected more than one collection for your linesheet, you can choose the order in which they are displayed. You will see a heading which says Organize – drag and drop to re-organize the collections. Click on a collection, and move it up or down as desired. You can then choose how to sort the products (the default is to auto-order from your store).
The final action is to select a theme for your linesheet. You will see a heading which says Select Design (theme filter) *. Directly below this is a scrollable frame displaying the default themes. Scroll down until you see a theme that is suitable for your linesheet, and click to highlight that theme. Click Create.
3. Edit your products.
Congratulations. You should now have a basic linesheet. If you have selected an appropriate template, your linesheet should look something like the example below.
The images in a linesheet need to be simple and to the point, and so the images must show your products and nothing else. No confusing backgrounds or lifestyle content, just a clean image of the product. Your buyers should be able to see all the information they need to make a decision, and nothing else. No distractions. Consider a plain white background when you are uploading the images for your linesheet.
4. How to change the front cover.
The front cover of your linesheet will default to the first product in the linesheet. Because your linesheet needs to be a bare-bones catalog by design, it is advisable to change your front cover. The front cover is one of the few areas that you can use in a linesheet to promote your brand. It is an easy procedure within Catalog Maker.
You should upload a new image that reflects both your brand and the products you are promoting in your linesheet. Open the right hand sidebar, and scroll up to the cover page. Click on the camera icon, and you can upload a new image. You should also change the title at this stage. To do this, simply hover over the text below Title, click, enter the new text in the pop-up, and click Save.
5. How to add the finishing touches using Catalog Panel.
You can configure your linesheet in as many ways as you could possibly imagine. Check out the Catalog Panel controls on the top menu bar within ZINation Studio.
You can show or hide wholesale or retail prices, SKU or item codes. You can even change the currency. If you want to add links to products on your store, and make your linesheet shoppable, you can do so from here. All of these options are available to you with the click of a mouse. No code is necessary.
And if you want even more possibilities, your can make your linesheet downloadable as a pdf file. You can automatically include an order form within your pdf linesheet, which will be added after the last product page.
If you have followed the steps outlined above, you should have already created your linesheet. All that remains is to publish it and share it. Clicking on the share icon on the top menu bar will open a popup. You can cut and paste the code to embed your linesheet in any website, and you can share on any or all of Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. Click on Publish, and then you’re done.