Memo samples are becoming more and more popular in the world of fabric sampling. They are easier for the fabric manufacturer, easier for the sample maker and easier for the customer. Whereas more traditional methods such as stack books require a large amount of fabric, labor and investment, memos can be manufactured within half the time.
So why aren’t memos the only fabric sample in use today? One reason is that other samples like stack books show off large patterns better. Memos are best for smaller patterns that repeat throughout the material or one solid color. Another is that most samples end up in retail stores and the customers there like having large samples and comparing SKUs in person rather than finding the ones they like most online and ordering them as memos. Lastly, fulfilling or sending out memos to customers can eat up the fabric manufacturer’s time and take them away from their core business.
Even with some obstacles, memos are surging in use and will continue to transform the sampling industry for the following reasons:
1. Memo Samples Use Less Material – Creating a memo requires much less material than other types of samples and this saves the manufacturer a bunch of money. Rather than sending rolls and rolls of fabric for just one SKU type, now companies can use more of their materials for fabric and less for sampling. This is one of the primary reasons why sampling can be such a large cost for fabric manufacturers. Not only can they take a lot of time and labor to complete, but the material used is supplied by the customer and there’s generally a lot of it.
2. Memo Samples Take Less Time – Another upside of not having to use as much material is that memo samples take less time to manufacture. Fabric rolls are busted up and cut to size with a straight or pinking blade before being labeled or ticketed. Additional options like serging can prolong the process but are still faster than making other samples. The faster your samples are manufactured the more samples you can get into the hands of your customers.
3. Memo Samples Are Cheaper – With less material used and less labor involved, it’s no question that the product is cheaper. When you have quantities that can be in the thousands the savings is even larger. Manufacturers need to have samples of their material in order for customers to buy their products. That’s a given. But why not save money if you can.
4. Memo Samples Utilize the Internet – Usually, there’s a collection of samples available at a retailer for customers to go through. The traditional method is for companies to give people all the options available at a store and let them choose what they want. That’s not the direction the world is going in. Now customers want to peruse the options online and have the products they want to be shipped to their house. The convenience of looking at products whenever customers want to and receiving the samples they desire without having to leave their homes is a big reason why memos are going to be the future.
5. Memo Samples Highly Target Customers – Since memos are sent to people that are just interested in a few SKUs, they are better at targeting customers than other samples. That means that manufacturers not only can use less material but that they receive a greater ROI from memos. It’s easier, less expensive and generates more revenue per sample. If your material can be properly sampled as a memo then there’s no reason not to go forward.
6. Memo Samples Can Be Fulfilled – Most samples are sent back to the manufacturer before being distributed elsewhere but memos are able to be sent directly to the customer. If you are working with a sample maker that offers fulfillment then this takes another step out of the equation and allows you to focus more on your other tasks. Fabric sampling is often a long process but the simpler you can make it the more effective it is for all parties involved.