Everything you need to know about creating a line sheet
So you’ve worked tirelessly to create a clothing line that’s just like you imagined it would be. What happens now? Time to sell the idea and everything your brand represents by creating a line sheet. A clear and concise document that makes ordering collections easy for buyers.
What is a line sheet?
Line sheets are an industry-standard marketing and sales tool used by brands and designers to present their products to prospective buyers and retailers. Line sheets form an essential part of the sales funnel, often being the final step prior to a purchase being placed.
The benefits of using a line sheet
Why should you bother creating one?
Easy to distribute
Increase brand awareness.
When do you need a line sheet?
Line sheets make it easy for buyers to get all the information needed quickly without having to spend time asking questions back and forth with brands.
Here are 4 common scenarios where a line sheet is required to help boost your sales efforts:
You're ready to begin selling
You have new products being launched
You're updating product pricing
You need to make changes.
How to make a line sheet that sells
Covering all these areas creates a lasting impression about the longevity of your brand and reassures them that you're worth their time and investment.
1. Complete Information
Contact details (put on every page).
Recommended retail price (RRP)
Minimum order quantity (MOQ)
Shipping policy (responsibility)
Product descriptions (optional)
What pages to include
Here’s a breakdown of the core components needed to create the perfect line sheet experience.
About the brand
Guiding principle - organise your visual hierarchy
When designing the layout of your line sheet, you’re going to want to focus on the needs of the end user. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be the only brand on a buyers radar. As a result, you have a limited amount of time to persuade them to place an order.
There’s a vast body of usability research using eye tracking technology that show online users scan webpages particular pattern. For example, the F-shaped scanning pattern (Figure ?). In a nutshell:
Users first read in a horizontal movement (top of the F)
Then, move down the page and read across in a second horizontal movement
Lastly, they scan the content’s left side in a vertical movement.
Notably, user behaviour rarely makes a perfect F. For instance, users may become interested in a following section, resulting in a pattern that resembles an E.
Nevertheless, if you’re planning on distributing your line sheet in a digital format, you’ll want to:
Include your strongest looks in the first two rows
Visually group related information together
Use headings and subheadings
Bold important words and information
Cut unnecessary content.
Product listing page
The product listing page can broken up into two core content sections. The header and the main body.
The header block is where we’ll start, this is where you’ll place the:
Our main body block is broken down into a grid; we recommend 2 x 3 (six clothing item cards per page). This will give you enough real estate for each item to make sure the quality imagery you use carries maximum impact, and the product details remain visible. Notice that our grid approach compliments user scanning behaviour.
Clothing item cards
Each page will have six clothing item cards. At the bare minimum, each card should feature a quality image, product name and code, available sizes, RRP and wholesale price.
However, too much information and important details will become illegible.
I’ve provided two example item cards for you, both championing user experience:
Images large enough to identify a known item and show differences between items
Consistent and comparable product details
Once again, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of the end user, the buyer. As such, we need to group our clothing item cards in away that is useful. I’d personally recommend grouping them by styles, such as, tops, bottoms etc.
You’re going to want to create a good first impression. Therefore, you’ll want to put your strongest category first - place these in the first row.
3. Quality imagery
It’ll be worthwhile investing in good-quality imagery - we want to create a good first impression.
Keep it simple
Keep a neutral background
Keep lighting consistent
Keep dimension and orientation consistent
Retail buyers are taking a risk by buying from a new brand. As a result, you’re going to want to make sure that your line sheet indicates trustworthiness. Here are some simple ways to signal that your brand is trustworthy.
Tell retailers who you are - provide an about us section
Include information about your returns policy
No spelling mistakes - get somebody else to proofread
Use a professional email address (@yourbrand.com NOT @outlook.com)
Provide up-to-date and complete information.
Once you have put together your killer line sheet, you’ll want to come up with a distribution strategy. Here are a few channels that you can use to distribute your line sheet.
Meeting with buyers