If you’ve been researching ecommerce business ideas then chances are that you’ll have come across print on demand products. These are a great way to sell bespoke goods without having to deal with managing your own inventory of physical stock.
It works similar to a dropshipping company in that once you make a sale, the print on demand supplier takes care of the rest.
Types of Printing
Print-on-demand services are ideal for creative, fast-moving business owners. They can help you get your products in front of a broad audience without the cost and hassle of managing inventory and shipping in-house. They can also provide a great way to test a design and gauge its potential before you make a large investment in printing and materials.
For example, Redbubble is a popular print-on-demand marketplace where shoppers can purchase one-of-a-kind merchandise designed by artists and photographers. It can be a great place to advertise your brand and build a small income stream. Other print-on-demand services like Gelato and Printful can connect to your ecommerce platform or marketplace like Etsy to allow you to sell merchandise that has been printed on demand.
POD can also reduce risk for publishing companies that are considering a “surge” book with strong initial sales but a short sales life (like books on minor celebrities or event tie-ins). With traditional printing, these publications can become stranded on shelves with no demand, and the publisher may end up with a lot of unsold inventory and the costs of storage and pulping.
Many major publishers use POD to reduce these risks and keep costs down for their authors. POD is also increasingly being used by self-publishing authors. This is because it enables them to publish books with larger type sizes or special formats that cater to people with vision impairments or reading disabilities.
Print-on-demand services offer an easy way for designers, artists, writers, and entrepreneurs to monetize their creativity on physical products. They can do this without tying up capital in inventory or spending time managing shipments.
Using this business model, you can add your custom logo or design to an array of white-label products like t-shirts, hats, shoes, water bottles, and more. When a customer purchases one of your items, their order is sent to your third party supplier who prints it up, packages it, and ships it directly to the customer.
To start selling your designs, you’ll need a quality ecommerce platform that you can link up with your print-on-demand provider of choice. A few top choices are Sellfy, Redbubble, and Printful. Each offers a range of high-quality printed goods, fast turnaround times, and integrated support for the most popular sales channels.
Another good option is Fine Art America, a print-on-demand marketplace that focuses on wall art and posters (but also supports apparel). They’re less saturated than other better-known platforms and have a strong focus on attracting customers in search of unique and original art. It also offers a wide range of printing options including direct-to-garment and digital printing. The company is based in Canada and operates worldwide. They promise that most orders will be shipped out within just 72 hours.
The print on demand model is a popular way to sell bespoke products without the need for an inventory of stock. However, it’s important to exercise caution when selecting a printer as the wrong choice can set your business back financially and damage your brand reputation. Choose a company that offers quality printing and product options to match your customer needs. Look for a platform that can integrate with your ecommerce store and provides a seamless buying experience for your customers.
There are a number of print on demand sites available, including Redbubble, Zazzle, Gelato, and Printful. Many of them offer a wide range of products that can be customized with your design and will integrate with the major ecommerce platforms. Before choosing one, consider how you’ll be selling your products and what kind of customer feedback you’ve received from others using that company’s service.
Keep in mind that when you choose a print on demand company, you’re relinquishing control of the entire ordering process, from shipping to the unboxing experience for your customers. This may be okay for some entrepreneurs, but if you are the type of business owner who thrives on being hands-on throughout the entire process, you may want to reconsider the print on demand model. In addition, the product you’re selling will have a logo from a third-party supplier and won’t be branded as your own.
When it comes to print on demand, there are a number of ways to approach your business model. You could choose to sell through a marketplace, such as Redbubble, or you could opt to set up your own online store using a platform such as Wix, Shopify, or BigCommerce. Both approaches have their own benefits and drawbacks. For example, if you opt to work with a print on demand marketplace such as Society6, you will have less control over the buying experience for your customers. In addition, you will be working with another brand’s supply chain which can impact shipping costs and lead times.
On the other hand, if you choose to use a standalone print on demand ecommerce platform like Gelato or Printful, you will have more control over the customer journey and your own supply chain. However, you will also have to consider the quality of your products and the speed of delivery. If your printing company isn’t capable of producing and fulfilling orders quickly enough, you may find it difficult to build a strong reputation and establish repeat sales.
For many entrepreneurs, starting a print on demand business is a great way to get their brand in front of an audience that would be hard to reach with traditional marketing techniques. This is because many print on demand companies have been around for a while and already have some street cred with buyers.