Anyone with a few hours a day, a creative mind, and the need to earn some money is jumping on the print on demand business model via platforms that make it accessible and easy.
The reason print on demand is such an appealing business model, especially for young entrepreneurs, is because you can cut out inventory, supply chain costs, and the pressures of brick and mortar retail services. Relying on third-party suppliers to stock, manage, and deliver your customers’ orders is where it’s at.
With the modern world paying special focus to uniqueness, nerve, and talent, a bit of specialization for your existing business can be a lifesaver. There are two main supply resources for print on demand users: Wholesale print on demand production with self-distribution or the more popular, print on demand dropshipping model. If you already have a successful store off or online, why is adding a whole new sales channel appealing? Here are a few good reasons you should add it or even start a business using print-on-demand today.
Retail eCommerce sales surpassed 3.5 trillion US dollars worldwide in 2019, with a quarter of online sellers using the print on demand business model. – Statista
The Basics of Print on Demand
Print on demand or simply POD, is a customer retail model that allows you to source products and have them fulfilled and delivered by a third party. With POD, you can find products from multiple suppliers that are ready for you to customize before sale. A POD store is linked to other eCommerce channels such as Etsy or Shopify, where many small businesses sell their products at the best market rates globally. There is no minimum requirement of order with print on demand and the buyer, you in this case, can purchase one or multiple products from the same supplier.
When using print on demand, products like t-shirts, pillowcases, mugs, and shoes are printed and fulfilled one by one. This is done only after actual sales and delivered directly to the end customer. Print on demand is the only business model that allows a seller to customize and print a single product with no inventory or prior investment.
As an online seller using print on demand, you sit in the middle of a print provider who has custom white-label products such as t-shirts, hoodies, etc. and an online store platform such as Shopify or marketplaces such as Etsy, and eBay. As a print on demand seller, you customize products with your own designs and under your own brand in order to sell them on a per-order basis. This means you don’t pay for the products upfront so there is no need to buy in bulk or stock up yourself.
The Benefits of Print on Demand
Perhaps the biggest sell for print on demand is Convenience. Every commitment comes after-sales and a print on demand platform such as Printify handles everything from sourcing to shipping. Your store is also integrated into online store platforms and takes only a few clicks to set up and manage your orders for shipping.
Low Prices with High-Profit Margins
Because print on demand uses multiple print providers, you get the advantage of picking from different price points for the products that they offer. You can choose based on prices, location, and shipping speeds. This facilitates a high-quality and affordable experience for both you and your customers.
In a survey conducted in July 2020 among 277 respondents, when asked about their use of Printify, almost 25% replied that right now it’s their primary source of income. – Printify
A Variety of Products, No Inventory
Print on demand custom products are supplied by the print providers. This means with the right POD platforms anyone can get access to hundreds of products to customize without keeping inventory.
Great Value, Competitive Pricing
Because you forgo higher markups from costs such as warehousing or stocking. You can set very competitive prices that will sell well and attract a larger customer base.
You do not have to have one sales channel with POD. You are free to diversify into other huge marketplaces by integrating with the best major eCommerce platforms and companies such as Shopify, eBay, Etsy, and more, to bring you the absolute best online store experience.
Print on Demand is Sustainable
Print on demand platforms work hand in hand with some of the most sustainable print providers in the industry, across the globe. If you strive for total transparency in giving your customers sustainable and environmentally conscious products and production processes, then POD is a great avenue.
How to Set up Print on Demand for Your Business
While some additional aspects such as advertising may determine the success of your business, there are three fundamental steps one should follow; Establish your POD niche, create unique designs, and connect to a print on demand partner.
1. Establish Your Print on Demand Niche
What sets your products apart from the thousands of print on demand merchandise online is your unique idea that connects to a multitude of potential customers. A niche gives you the edge that is required to create a demand for your print on demand products. Through market research, you can identify a passionate and engaged audience and niche out the right product to sell to them. It would also make it easier for you to understand their needs and offer solutions to make them work for your brand. By understanding your audience, you will also understand what makes a great product for them and how to market it.
2. Create Your Brand and Customize Products
The most engaged part of print on demand is product designing. With your creative ideas, you can bring your products to life by customizing them. This will require basic skills in design and tools to help customize products. Many print on demand platforms have their own inbuilt design tools. Alternatively, you can hire a freelancer to brand your products via sites like fiverr.com.
3. Market and Sell Your Merchandise
Marketing your print on demand products is as essential as in any other business. You need to keep an engaged customer base to make it a lucrative business. You will also benefit from marketing tips offered to you by the many eCommerce platforms available online.
Can Print on Demand Make a Huge Difference for Your eCommerce Business?
Simple answer: Yes. You can make as much if not more than most and earn a decent living from print on demand. This is not just speculation, thousands of online merchants have made above-average wages for years since print on demand became popular.
There’s no minimum order in print on demand, which means you can set up and get a business running today. There is a very low barrier for entry and due to the no inventory model, you never have to worry about unsold products eating into your profits. Plus, if you already have an established Shopify or Etsy store, for example, it’s easy to add POD listings and start selling them to your current customer base. Automated order fulfillment and shipping means you can focus on what matters, which is growing your business. All it takes to be successful is the same passion and marketing tactics that are essential for any business.