If you are a creator and want to monetize your printed artwork with as little investment as possible, print on demand might be a good way to get started. In case you are looking for an in-depth guide on how to start a print on demand business, keep scrolling because later on, we will discover everything you need to know about a POD business.
In this article, LitExtension — The #1 Shopping Cart Migration Expert will walk you through:
How to Start a Print on Demand Business
Before getting down to the nitty gritty, here’s how to start a print on demand business in 9 easy steps.
#1. Find a niche
The very first thing to consider when starting a print on demand business is to choose a niche. But the question is, what is a niche?
A niche is a specialized segment of the market or a subcategory for a product. The main purpose of it is to target a specific group of people who share the same interest about something. By defining your niche before starting to sell, you can cater to specific customers who are more inclined to purchase your products.
There’s no limit to the niche you could choose. It can be a celebrity, a character from movies or books, an animal, or an event. On another note, you can define your POD business by selling printed jokes or motivational quotes. Moreover, you can combine different categories together to expand your customer base.
With that being said, you can put your best foot forward by tapping into smaller niches that not many sellers usually go to. This tactic might turn up trumps and significantly increase your sales.
#2. Decide on what to sell
After selecting a specific niche, the next step in our “how to start a print on demand” guide is to choose what to sell. Since there are endless arrays of products to sell, you might feel spoilt for choice at this stage.
If you are still shilly-shallying about this, here are some product ideas that will never go wrong.
- Clothing (T-Shirt, dresses,…)
- Accessories (bags, clutches,…)
- Kitchenware (mugs, plates,…)
- Office products (notebooks, planners,…)
For more product ideas, please check out:
#3. Create your online store
One of the most important factors to consider when starting a print on demand business is selecting a suitable platform for your business.
At this stage, there are two viable options you can choose: sell on marketplaces or build an eCommerce website from scratch. If you are not sure where to start, here are all the pros and cons of marketplaces vs platform.
If you are new to eCommerce and want to eliminate the listing fee, Shopify might be the ideal solution for you. This platform is extremely easy to use with a great wealth of powerful built-in features. With Shopify print on demand, you can quickly set up an online store and start selling in no time.
Explore more about Shopify and other website builder:
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#4. Create designs
One of the most important questions you might wonder when searching for how to start a print on demand business is: “Do I have to be a seasoned designer to run a POD store?”.
Although a print on demand business exclusively focuses on unique design, you don’t have to be an experienced designer to open and run a store of this kind. It would be great if you are a creator, artist, or crafter . But if that’s not your case, don’t worry. You can create simple quotes on Canva or hire professionals to come up with your product designs.
Here are some useful tips you should consider when creating designs:
- Always keep your target audience in mind. What they do, what they like, and what they dislike.
- Draw inspiration from online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, or from social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
- Avoid plagiarism! Be inspired by their work, not copy them.
#5. Select a print on demand suppliers
Choosing the right supplier to fulfill all orders is a crucial step to start your print on demand business. And although it may sound simple and obvious, it’s so important because your reputation depends on it.
Here are some of the popular print on demand companies for your consideration.
#6. Ensure your POD products’ quality
When starting a print-on-demand business, checking the quality of your products is an essential step. Unless your items serve their intended purpose, you will have a hard time getting more sales than one. Customers need to feel confident before they buy. By ensuring your products are up to par, you can gain the trust of potential buyers.
As a result, to ensure your product’s quality, it is recommended to order samples first. This way, you can check the print quality, colors, or the style before having anything printed for mass distribution.
#7. Work on pricing strategy
The next step in our “how to start a print on demand business” guide is to set a price for your products. With print on demand, your product’s price has a close relationship with the profit you make. Simply put, the more you charge your customers, the more revenue and profit you’ll gain.
With that being said, sometimes, setting a higher price might have negative effects on your store. Below are some factors that you should take into consideration before coming up with a price for your product.
- Conduct a market research. Try to find the average price of similar items in the market.
- Do your customer live near you? Can you cut cost by choosing a local print provider?
- Should you offer free delivery? Free shipping can be a good sales promotion idea that nudge your customers to purchase. But if you do that, make sure to calculate the delivery fee and balance your cost.
#8. Upload products and publish your store
Now that everything has come into place, it’s time to upload products and publish your store. At this stage, don’t forget to optimize your listing for better ranking on Google. By doing this, you can attract more potential customers, boost traffic, and thus increase sales.
Make sure to provide consumers with all the details about your product. What is it, how it was made, how to use it, and other information that might be helpful.
Check out how to optimize SEO on different platforms:
#9. Don’t forget to promote your store!
The last stage in our “how to start a print on demand business” is marketing. This is a crucial step to kick off and get your print on demand business noticed by potential consumers.
Maintaining a social media presence is vital if you want to reach your target audience. Customers nowadays are continually looking on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for brands and you want to make sure that they find you.
With that being said, don’t try to cover every social media platform when you first start selling. The best tactic is to focus on one to two primary channel and fully optimized it before expanding. Then, when you have more resource, it’s not too late to build other social media channels.
Check out how to leverage your social media:
Search Engine Optimization is a vital factor you need to consider when starting a print on demand business. The purpose of this strategy is to rank higher on Google or Bing. It makes your store more visible for visitors, increase traffic, and thus boost your sales.
Blog and Content Marketing
Content marketing is a popular SEO strategy used by many big brands. Try to post relevant content on your website and don’t forget to share it on social media.
Blogs and articles are powerful in keeping your community updated and interested. This will build up your expertise, show what you have to offer, and gain their trust as they learn from and engage with the content.
Best Print on Demand Products to Sell in 2022
If you are looking for some product ideas to start a print on demand business, scroll down now! Check out the best print on demand products that can boost your sales in 2022.
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Tips on How to Start a Print on Demand Business
As easy as print-on-demand services might be, they also come with some challenges that aren’t figured out yet. Fortunately, most of these obstacles have solutions that are unique to POD services.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to start a print on demand business:
- Never forget to order samples before mass production.
- Decide on a suitable shipping strategy
- Create mock up that can clearly showcase your design
- Don’t be too greedy! Start with a small collection of products first, then slowly expand your store.
- Keep an eye on current market trends. Sometimes, these trends might turn up trumps and bring lots of traffic to your site.
How to Start a Print on Demand Business — Introduction
What is print on demand?
Print on demand is a business model that allow you to sell customized products to customers with your own design and logo. One special thing about print on demand business is that you don’t have stock up your inventory beforehand. Thus, there’s no need to worry about buying in bulk or physical warehouse.
Instead, your print on demand supplier will handle all the production, printing and shipping. You can turn your attention towards designing, marketing and other aspects of your business. That leaves you free to do what you’re best at!
How does print on demand work?
The secret behind a print on demand business model is the one and only principle: Printing after ordering. Simply put, when customers place an order, the product is created only after that order has been made.
So here’s the simplified process. You create a unique and eye-catching mock up. A customer purchases that product on your store. Then, your print on demand supplier will take care of everything, from printing, packaging, and even shipping. When the product is delivered to your customer, you’ll receive payment without worrying about the production and shipment process.
The pros and cons of print on demand
Sure, there’s no denying that a POD business has limitless potential to grow. Nevertheless, there might be several underlying risks that a print on demand business should take into consideration.
In this part of our guide on “how to start a print on demand business”, let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of print on demand.
- Easy to set up
- Low investment
- Can adapt to market trends quickly
- Freely customize designs and products
- No physical inventory needed
- Have little control over product quality
- Lower profit margin
- Might be difficult to promote your brand through custom packaging or gift
How to Start a Print on Demand Business — FAQs
What does print on demand mean?
As its name suggest, print on demand works under a sole principle: ordering before printing. Which means, when a customer order a product of yours, the print on demand company will take care of the printing, packaging and delivering process.
What is the best print on demand company?
There’s no solid answer to the best print on demand supplier in the world since each company has their pros and cons. Please consider a variety of options like Printful, Printify, Redbubble, Merch by Amazon before committing to any of them.
Is print on demand profitable in 2022?
Though there are lots of competitors in the market right now, print on demand is still profitable. As long as you can create high quality, unique and trendy designs, we believe you can make daily bread from it.
How to Start a Print on Demand Business — Final Words
And that brings us to the end of our guide. We hope that after this article, you can understand what is print on demand, how does it work, and how to start a print on demand business. Besides, don’t forget to check out and be inspired by our collection of print on demand product ideas.
Last but not least, please join our Facebook community to learn more tips and tricks about print on demand.