What is a line sheet?
Do you even need one?
Can it really help you increase sales or is that an urban legend?
Well, a line sheet is essential for e-commerce store owners and if you sell a product, you do need a line sheet.
But first, let’s bust some myths about what is a line sheet:
Line sheets aren’t only for those in fashion. Product-based businesses, like jewelry store owners or even, electronics or kids toys, etc can benefit hugely from line sheets.
Line sheets don’t need to cost an arm and a leg, nor do they require you to lose your mind. In fact, as you’ll see, you can easily create a line sheet on your laptop, using a free word processing software, like Word or Pages.
Line sheets are not huge magazine-style catalogs. In fact, there’s a reason they’re called line “sheets”.
Okay, now that we’re clear about what line sheets are not, let’s tackle what they are and how you can create one easily enough.
What is a Line Sheet and Why Your Online Store Needs One Now
While a line sheet isn’t a full-blown catalog, it is a catalog in miniature. In other words, a line sheet needs to share the most important details of a product and some stunning, standout photos as well.
It is more straightforward and clearly-worded, which means you wouldn’t find detailed product descriptions, loads of photos or flowery descriptive language.
The purpose of a line sheet is to give all the information that a buyer or retailer may need in order to make a decision, quickly.
Line sheets are great sales-boosting tools since they give interested, and often busy, retailers all the information that they’re looking for at one glance. They’re great to handout at trade shows and also when you visit retail stores in person.
A well-styled line sheet also gives your brand the professional touch it needs to stand out in a market that can get crowded.
On a line sheet, your product photo is accompanied by the name of the product, its price, size and item ID or number. But we’ll take a more in-depth look at all the elements of a line sheet that can stand out and help you increase sales with ease.
7 Essential Elements of a Line Sheet that Stands Out
1. Your Logo
First and foremost, your logo needs to be clearly placed at the top of the line sheet for easy brand recognition.
Place it right at the top and use a colored, clear and easy-to-understand version.
2. Your Contact Details
Either next to the logo or below it, include your contact details. This would be the name of the contact person, phone number, street address, email address and of course, website address.
Double-check to ensure there are no typos at all. The last thing you want is to realize you’ve sent out line sheets with the wrong email address or website address.
3. Color Photos
Then, come the photos. Ensure that all photos are colored, showcase your product in the best possible way and are the same size for uniformity.
Photos should have a neutral or white background, be professionally edited and most importantly, clear. No blurry shots, please!!
Also, stick to the product shots for this one. Keep those lovely lifestyle shots for later!
4. Product Details
Here’s the important part. You need to have all your product details, neatly and again, accurately laid out.
In other words, include the following:
- Name of product
- SKU or Item #
- Wholesale Price
- Recommended Retail Price
- Order Minimums
- Variants – Sizes, Colors, Etc.
Resist the temptation to include whether the products are recyclable, machine-washable, handcrafted or what their dimensions are. Yes, these details are important, but not for your line sheet.
5. Payment Terms and Refund Policies
The next important section for your line sheet will be including what are your payment terms and refund policies.
Do you have a 30-day payment window, Net 60 or do they need to pay upfront?
When do you offer a refund? What is your cancellation policy? What do you offer if their order is damaged in transit?
6. Shipping Details
The next item on your line sheet should be the shipping details. Include information on who is your preferred shipping partner as well as any expected timelines. Also include information on when an order will qualify for carriage-paid shipping, which is when you cover the shipping costs if an order is of certain dollar value or quantity.
7. Special Terms and Offers
Finally and most importantly, are there any special offers or terms that you give retailers. For instance, you can have a non-compete for their area. Terms, like these, besides the regular bundled offers or BOGO offers will help you stand out in a crowded retail space.
Cool Tools to Make a Line Sheet
DYI – Microsoft Word or Pages
If you’re reasonably comfortable with Microsoft Word or Pages, you can create a line sheet with ease. You can also use Canva to create your line sheet or use a service like Now In Store or BrandBoom to create one.
The lovely CreativeHive site also has a handy DIY line sheet tutorial that walks you through the whole process.
Your turn. What questions do you have about what is a line sheet? Share with me in the comments below.