From t-shirts to posters, backpacks and books, you can give your own touch to everyday products to sell online. However, if you follow the traditional method of buying and managing your own stock, the risk of ending up with a pile of unsold products is real and not insignificant.
Print On Demand
(POD) services provide an alternative way to bypass the time, investment and risk associated with inventory management. This allows you to go from creating to selling customized products at a much lower cost.
Print On Demand , what is it ? How does it work?
Print On Demand
or POD is a process in which you work with a supplier to customize white label products (such as hats, t-shirts, phone cases, bags, etc.) with your own creations to sell them to the order and under your own brand.
This means that you only pay for the product after selling it, so there is no need to buy in bulk or keep the stock yourself.
In addition, with Print On Demand
services, all after-sales, that is, from printing to shipping, are handled by the supplier. Once you've set everything up, it only takes a few clicks to execute an order once you've made a sale.
You can use Print On Demand
- Test a business idea or new product line for an existing business without the risks of stock supply.
- Monetize an audience you have built.A print on demand store is a great option if you are an influencer of social networks, comic book designers or social media. You would use your time to create content rather than supervising a physical stock without selling.
- Create original products for your targeted customers. For example, clothes for gaming enthusiasts.
- Easily print unique items: t-shirts, books, shoes, bags, wall coverings, phone cases, clocks, laptop cases, custom mugs and more. You can send them as a gift or keep them for yourself and your team.
Print On Demand : Advantages and Disadvantages
The POD can be used to create a business based on a dropshipping model, where products and shipments are all managed by a third party. It's one of the most accessible ways to search for products or start an online business, but you need to know the benefits and limitations before you dive into it.
Advantages of Print On Demand
- Create products quickly: Once you have the design, you can create the product and put it on sale in minutes.
- Shipping is supported: Shipping and order processing are out of your reach and at your supplier's. After the sale, you are simply responsible for customer service.
- Low investment, less risk: In Print On Demand ,since you have no physical shop, it's easier to add or remove products, test ideas, or rotate your approach.
- Lower margins: In Print On Demand (POD), your costs per item will be higher than if you buy in bulk. POD products can generate smaller profits, depending on how you price and purchase them.
- Less control over shipping: In print on demand store business, shipping costs can be complicated because they often vary from one product to another. Your options may also be limited if you want to create an out-of-the-ordinary experience.
- Customization: In of Print On Demand (POD), since it depends the vendor and the product, your ability to customize products is limited. Thus, you will not be able express all your talents of “born creator”. Then, you will need to weigh the base costs, customization options, printing techniques and available formats to choose the products to customize.
While many Print On Demand
(POD) services may seem similar at first glance, you will need to carefully consider which ones you choose based on the products you want to create, where you ship them, and the retail prices you want them to be, to sell.
For example, a low basic cost for a product can make it an obvious choice, until you realize it would take 21 days to reach customers with your most affordable shipping option.
Use due diligence when evaluating the right platform for you. To help you, I gave a brief overview of some most popular services covering a variety of scenarios. All these services can be configured for free (you only pay when you order a product). For Compatibility, do not panic, these platforms are all integrated into Shopify.This list is by no means exhaustive. For more Print On Demand
(POD) options, visit the Shopify App Store
POD : Pintful
Printful (Shopify app) is a popular choice among Print On Demand
(POD) solutions because of its wide selection of products and brands (Gildan, American Apparel, etc.), easy-to-use layout builders, and options to add your own brand to the unboxing experience through stickers, inserts and personalized notes.
For clothing in particular, Printful offers various printing techniques. Here are some examples you would know:
- Direct to Garment prints the ink directly on the media, which is especially useful for simple patterns (for example, spiritual t-shirts). Therefore, you can only print on certain areas of the product
- Cut and Sew is sometimes called "all-over print". The garment item is printed in pieces for maximum coverage, then sewn together for seamless printing on the entire piece. Although the base costs may be higher, this allows you to create a higher-end product that you could sell more expensive. This should not be confused with "sublimation printing", which is a less accurate but more economical method of obtaining a complete impression.
- Embroidery is perhaps the most complex printing technique because final product is actually a threaded pattern with a 3D effect. This option is ideal for simple patterns with only a handful of colors and for products such as hats that have traditionally embroidered patterns. You should also be aware of how additional customizations affect the price.
POD : Lulu Xpress
Lulu is a self-publishing platform for printing and distributing your own books and ebooks. Lulu Xpress (Shopify application) is its Print On Demand
(POD) offer and allows you to choose from a wide selection of book sizes, types of binding and page / print quality to create your own book. Although there is no built-in publisher to design your book, Lulu Xpress offers downloadable templates to get you started.
POD : Gooten
Like Printful, Gooten (Shopify Print On Demand
(POD) application) offers a wide range of products that you can customize with several unique products in its catalog, such as calendars and dog beds. However, as Gooten uses an international network of suppliers to print its products, the differences between their articles in terms of quality and shipping are much greater. But it also means that product prices and shipping costs will be lower.
Gooten also has an intuitive image editor that gives you a clear idea of the appearance of your final product.
POD : Printfy
Printify (Shopify POD app) is another Print On Demand
(POD) service offering the usual selection of t-shirts and hoodies. What is remarkable about Printify is that its international supplier network allows for a number of unique products in white mark that you probably will not find elsewhere, such as jewelry, clocks, shoes and bottles of water. In fact, the platform offers more than 200 products you can print on. Although Printify is free to use, a premium subscription is available, allowing you to get 20% off all products at $ 29 per product montly. This is a solid option if you want to increase your capacity and improve your profit margins.
Print on demand store : Designing products when you are not a designer
It goes without saying that design plays a crucial role in the creation of Print On Demand
(POD) products performing. But you do not have to be a full-time designer to find original designs. There are many ways to order or produce your own designs, as long as you understand a few key concepts that will help you work effectively with designers.
First, we need to talk about preparing your printed file. When working with designers, you must specify that your design is for printing. This tells them that it should ideally be 300 digital pixels per inch (DPI or PPI), have a transparent background and other design nuances for printing compared to the Web.
Note that the file specifications printing will vary depending on the printer and printing technique used. If in doubt, send the designer the print specifications for the specific product and the printing instructions so that they understand the full context.
The patterns you download must be large or large enough for print area of the real product. Resizing a smaller image to enlarge will probably result in a loss of quality. If you do not have access to Photoshop, you can use Pixlr (free) or any of picture editing tool.
Print On Demand store :Where to find design ideas and designers ?
At best, you are a designer or you know one with whom you can work well. But do not be discouraged if you do not immediately have access to design talent. That's what outsourcing is all about. You can find designers with whom to work on upwork.com, 99 Designs or other independent sites that can produce usable drawings, provided you give clear instructions.
Here's how to add clarity and context to a design project:
- Share an overview of your audience. Tell them what's the point and who your audience is. Showing them your website, if you have one, can also help you explain clearly what you want. Use your initial argument and subsequent revisions (you should get at least one or two) to over-communicate what you're looking for and guidelines to follow, and try to provide concrete feedback at every step of the process.
- Inspiration: Give them a reference to base the design or point to the work you liked. There are a lot of talented designers, so you should be able to find someone to bring your ideas to life. The trickiest part is determining what you want to design in the first place. This will depend on your target audience for the product, but you can find design inspiration on social networks like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc. and wherever potential customers spend time online.
You can search for content, messages, or styles that already resonate with your targeted audience to launch interesting POD solution ideas. Just make sure you do not infringe on someone else's work. Social media is also a great place to test your ideas.
Tips to start a Print On Demand business
Using a Print On Demand
(POD) service may be easier than managing your own store, but you need to consider some of the considerations of this approach. Fortunately, there are creative solutions for most of the problems you will face.
Quality assurance is essential when using pod services to sell online. It is always possible that something is lost in the translation of the design of your product that you see on your screen. But you can simply contact your supplier's customer support for advice on how to resolve these issues.
You want to make sure your physical product has the look and feel you want. And the best way to do it is to be your own customer so you can have direct experience of what it means to receive your products. Some services, such as Printful, even offer a discount of up to 20% on the sample or free shipping. So be sure to take advantage of it as much as this option is available. Besides the guaranteed quality of the products, the samples are also useful for sharing your own product photos on your website and your social networking profiles.
Even when you do not send the products yourself, they offer a certain complexity in terms of time and shipping costs and defining expectations with customers. You will want to be certain of take into account print times when it comes to delivery. Whatever the shipping time, think about adding between 2 and 4 days for production, or more, depending on the product. Always be aware of shipping times, otherwise you will get an inbox containing many shipping questions.
Describe what to expect on your FAQ page or consider creating a separate shipping page to explain shipping to customers. If you can, try to absorb some or all of your shipping costs in your selling price. Year after year, studies show that shipping costs added to the fund can deter customers from buying. On top of that, free shipping strengthens a number of your other marketing efforts:
- Free shipping is an excellent sweetener for sales, even if you can only offer it for specific regions, and offers customers an incentive extra to buy.
- Free and conditional shipping. (For example, "Get free shipping from purchases with $ 25 or more") encourages customers to add more to their shopping cart to reach the success threshold and generally allows you to reach a higher total delivery rate. by shipping everything together
- Waiting time. Many consumers wait a little longer before ordering if they know it will save them money on shipping costs.
Print On Demand store : Create models that showcase your products
While models can help you display attractive photos of your products, models are also an effective alternative and will be an important part of your product pages. Many Print On Demand
(POD) services can help you create your own layouts.
Playing the model card can be a very effective strategy to market your POD products. There are many templates of free models that can bring your products to life. If not, you can make an extra effort to pay professional modelers or opt for turnkey solutions. For example, PlaceIt is an easy-to-use template generator. It allows you to create models of photos and videos at $ 8 each. If you are a bit good in Photoshop or another image editing tool, you can also use it. Mockup World or Behance for predefined templates would be also useful.
Print On Demand store : Focus on a niche to facilitate marketing
Marketing is ultimately the critical factor in the success of your print on demand store
business. But if you target everyone, you may not sell to anyone! That's why concentration is so important, no matter what tactics you use. Having a clearly defined audience (for example, dog owners) can really help you create high-demand products, reduce customer acquisition costs and maximize your potential profits, because your targeting decisions will be all the more precise.
Better yet, if you can create your own audience through marketing, you can create a permanent asset for your business, even if your products change. There are countless possibilities for marketing, but here are some ideas to get started with your print on demand
- Create an Instagram account and create / manage posts for your target audience. Get followers and liven up the community of your potential customers.
- Post Facebook ads targeting the interests of your target customers. You can also use Facebook ads to test your creatives for only $ 10 to determine which ones interest your audience.
- Collect visitor e-mails to continue to market them for free.
- Put your products in the hands of influencers who can contribute with their popularity to help you make sales. Achieving your Print On Demand ideal customers is essential to creating a profitable and sustainable business in the long run, whether in Print On Demand (POD) or in any other industry.
Print On Demand Business : What are you waiting to get started ?
Test, sell and develop your print on demand store
business without delay. POD Services offers an affordable business model for new entrepreneurs or anyone who simply wants to test an idea before investing in it. A business idea persists and you start to generate a significant number of sales. You can always switch from Print On Demand
(POD) to your own store or continue using POD services while finding new ways to increase your customers. It all depends on your choice !