Licensed To Thrill: Meeting Demand For Merch

By Kim Gamer | First published: March 28, 2018    Updated: July 10, 2020

What do Star Wars, M&Ms and The World Cup have in common? They’re all part of a multi-billion dollar global licensed product industry that continues to soar.

What do Star Wars, M&Ms, and The World Cup have in common? Product licensing. The licensed product industry, ranging from movie franchises to fashion labels to global sports, is set to reach $396.5 billion by 2023. This juggernaut marketplace has no plans to slow down, with each passing year more prosperous than the last.

The entertainment and character category dominates licensed product retail sales. This segment, largely driven by box office hit movies, accounted for over US$128 billion in 2019, making up 44% of the total value of the licensed product market. We have witnessed its wild success through films like animated hit movie, Frozen, and the Marvel franchise, both of which helped to put toy company Hasbro in the top 3 key players for licensed merchandise in 2020.

The growth and popularity of the licensed product market come with its own set of challenges. Tight deadlines for product launches that sync with movie releases, and the short life cycle of certain licensed products can prove to be a real logistics challenge.

Reacting to consumer behavior worldwide is another challenge when marketing licensed products. The social and m-commerce boom is an important trend to consider. A secure e-commerce platform will give rise to consumer confidence, which will help bolster the sale of licensed products. Consumers want the ability to purchase online anywhere and at any time.
Licensed To Thrill: Meeting Demand For Merch

And entering foreign markets can be formidable. Geographic and customs requirements are hurdles that can significantly hinder a licensee’s distribution of merchandised products. A common issue is the requirements for the transport of lithium batteries when distributing battery-operated toys. Transportation on a global scale is made easier, then, when you have access to a logistics provider that can offer support: from understanding customs policies to safe transportation solutions for lithium goods.

Looking to overcome similar pain points? Check out our tips to succeed in the global licensed product market:

1. You’ll need an effective global distribution system, for starters. This means a reliable global logistics provider that offers the necessary logistics management of orders, deliveries, and returns. Logistics providers can even align product distribution with movie release dates, by managing cart integration and fulfilment with marketplaces and websites.

2. Sort out a reliable global payment platform and e-commerce system for your online shop. When it comes to online shopping, consumers want secure payments and reliability. Partnering with a vendor that specialises in global payment platforms and e-commerce sites is key to operating a borderless, online business that strengthens customers’ confidence.

3.Stay abreast of the regulatory environment. Keeping up with the global demand for licensed products requires a strong understanding of a market’s customs policies. Free online solutions are available to help with understanding customs requirements and proper documentation for international shipping, and streamlined offerings allow you to submit customs documentation electronically so they can be quickly processed.

So, there you have it. A strong supply and distribution chain strengthens licensed product sales and ensures continued growth going forward. A reliable and efficient logistics provider plays a key role in supporting the global licensed merchandise market. With the right support, we can all be superheroes!
About the Author
authors photo

Kim Garner

Managing Director,
International Operations, Australasia, FedEx Express

A veteran in the express transportation industry with over 30 years’ experience, Kim’s responsible for operations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands – including TNT, which is now part of FedEx Express. Kim is based in Sydney.

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