Have you ever dreamt of starting a business that allows you to make a profit out of your creativity, or dreamt of designing and selling your own custom print designs on t-shirts, mugs, books, home décor, and other accessories? Print on demand, or POD, is a business model that allows you to do this. With print on demand, you provide your customers with your custom creations and designs.
Print on demand is a great way for you to start your dropshipping business because you need little to no experience and very little in terms of investments. If you do this right, you could be running a highly successful print on demand drop shipping business on Shopify in no time at all.
The great thing about launching a print on demand business with dropshipping is that you won’t have to worry about inventory or the upfront cost of stocking up on products that might get dusty on your shelf. When someone comes to visit your online shop, places an order, and purchases an item, the order will be forwarded to your third party dropshipping supplier who will take care of all the printing, packaging, and shipping for you.
This is the very essence of dropshipping, an ecommerce model of business where inventory, supply, and shipping will be handled by your suppliers. Your sole requirements are a computer with internet access. You will never necessarily have to hold the products you sell in your hands because the product manufacturers or suppliers will be storing and shipping the products you display on your store for you.
If you are interested in starting an ecommerce business in print on demand, then you’re in the right place and this article is for you. We will let you in on the advantages of launching a print on demand dropshipping business, and provide you with tips on how to get started.
THE PRINT ON DEMAND ADVANTAGE
1. Easy to start
Let’s begin with the most ideal aspect of running a print on demand, it’s easy to start. This is very appealing for those new to online selling. You could very well launch your POD business on Shopify in a day, and all the resources you will need is your computer, steady internet connection, and some determination to succeed.
2. Low risk
Unlike traditional business models of the past, you won’t need to gather up a large capital to build your storefront or rent a location and buy and print your merch yourself.
You can also just forget about things like inventory, physical goods, and shipping—this is of no concern to you. Much of the details will be worked out by your third-party supplier, so you don’t have to worry about printing out the goods yourself at the risk of not selling them and having a bad time at business.
When you are running an online print on demand venture, your products will be printed once they are sold. You’ll never have to touch or spend a dime on stocking up your inventory of goods. This is the beauty of the dropshipping model.
3. Start something unique and creative
Maybe you already have some great designs or a few awesome t-shirt ideas. Running a print on demand drop shipping business will be a great way for you to express some of your ideas and bring to life your custom creations. If you’re a creative person or a graphic artist, then print on demand should be fun for you. However, print on demand can also be done by working with freelancers for designs; you can always buy pre-made designs or use a vast multitude of copyright-free images.
A print on demand business is also great if you already have an existing brand or business and you want to make more sales by providing branded merchandise for your consumers.
4. A multitude of options for merchandise
So what would you like to sell with your print on demand business? There are a number of Shopify apps that you can integrate into your store that will help you create designs and help you create a shop catalog that displays your mockup creations live on your store.
You can choose from hundreds of products to place your artwork on. You can sell hoodies, tote bags, wallets, sheets, shoes, phone cases, tableware. I could keep going, but you have the idea. You can build an entire store catalog of your products and designs ready to be sold, printed, and shipped!
5. Automated process
Who wouldn’t want a business that virtually runs itself? Another thing about print on demand dropshipping is that the process can be fully automated on Shopify, from processing orders, printing, even to your marketing campaign. You would be running a fully automated shop that is open 24/7 all the days of the year.
HOW TO START YOUR OWN POD BUSINESS ON SHOPIFY
Now that we have mentioned the advantages of print on demand, you may have decided to start your own business. Here are five simple steps for you to launch your print on demand business on Shopify.
1. Choose your product niche
Choosing a niche is a very important step that you have to consider with care. Having a niche will help you stand apart from your competition and distinguish your business and brand from the rest. There are many ways of finding the right niche to focus on with your POD dropshipping business.
The first is to consider your hobbies, passion, and interests. However, following your passion may not always lead you to success. You’ll need to do lots of research to find a good niche for you to get into. The ideal choice is to settle for a niche that already has an established consumer base. You want to choose a niche that a lot of people are passionate about, a niche that gets people excited.
You have limitless options to choose from, you could do a print on demand service for people with specific hobbies. For instance, things related to all-time favorite books or video games, or maybe you can specialize in printing funny quotes about beer on different types of merchandise. It’s all up to you.
There are many tools available online for you to track the popularity of your design ideas. Tools like Google Trends will help you track the rise and fall of various product niches using keyword searches. It can also help you track the level of activity of your potential consumer base.
2. Choose your products and product designs
When you have chosen your profitable niche, it’s time to look for designs! This step would be easier if you already are a graphic design artist, but if you’re not, you can always hire the help of freelancers from trusted platforms.
If you are the creative type and you really do want to go on ahead with your own designs, then you can go ahead and modify some royalty-free premade designs from platforms like Creative Market. Just remember that your designs should be unique and not copied from another artist or work. That’s not legal and you want to provide your customers with original designs and ideas.
3. Get your Shopify website ready
Go to Shopify and start your free trial and start setting up shop. Shopify provides you with templates to set up your store and make the process of store design and development relatively easy and highly customizable. This is a very user-friendly and uncomplicated way to set up your shop, and no experience with coding is necessary. You also won’t need to shell out any cash during this process as building your Shopify store is pretty much easy and free on a trial period.
Take some time to put some thought into your Shopify store setup and designs. You want a store that looks legitimate and trustworthy. Also, since you have a niche in mind at this point, you might want to match the theme of your store to your niche.
4. Install a print on demand app on Shopify
POD apps are what will automate the process for you. These apps will process your orders and relay them to your suppliers automatically, without any work on your part. You won’t ever have to call your dropshipping partner or send them an email every time someone places an order because these details will be automatically forwarded to them.
These apps also help you create product mockups. Yes, you have your designs, but your customers are going to want to see what your designs will look like on your t-shirts, tote bags, or phone cases. You will need an application that will allow you to choose from different products and colors, an application that will allow you to add your artwork onto the product, and then import them for customer viewing on your store. This will help you build a catalog of items to sell.
Listed below are some of the apps that you might want to integrate into your Shopify store. All of these apps have great reviews on Shopify that you can also check out yourself to help you in the decision-making process:
Printful is an on demand, online printing, fulfillment, and shipping app. They have up to 200 products for you to customize with your own designs, from pillowcases to t-shirts, pillows, hoodies, and more. They also have an easy to use mockup generator for you to feature your designs on their available surfaces. They also manage inventory and shipping for you. On Printful, there are no set up fees, they only charge when a customer buys from your shop.
Printful is currently considered the most popular print on demand service. It integrates seamlessly with your Shopify store and handles all your orders and shipping with their automated process.
Printify is another on demand manufacturer and a great app for your Shopify print on demand drop shipping business. Today, there are over 50,000 stores that use Pritify’s services. Much like Printful, you can design and customize products with your designs.
On Printify, you can select from hundreds of items, and create products with your own designs. They also manage an automated order production and ship out your products with your branding directly to your consumers.
Pixels is another popular Shopify app for your shop that offers an automated order, print, and shipping services. They are the largest print on demand company in the world; they currently have 15 manufacturing centers located in 5 different countries.
The great thing about Pixels is their timely service. Pixels manufactures your products in 3-4 days, ships directly to your buyers, and notifies you whenever the process is completed.
Gooten is another great print on demand dropshipping platform. Building your catalog of goods is made easy with Gooten, with over 100 products for you to choose from and design. The customized products that you make for your shop automatically syncs and shows up live on your Shopify store catalog.
You’ll be able to monitor your orders easily from the Gooten dashboard, where you can view which orders are currently in production, which are out on delivery, and which ones have been delivered. Gooten is also free to use. There are no setup fees, monthly charges, or inventory to manage.
Teelaunch is another leading print on demand fulfillment company. They boast production facilities in several countries all over the world for you to be able to sell from anywhere to anywhere. It is an uncomplicated app for you to create design mockups and then have them show up live on your store. The Teelaunch system also creates fulfillment orders automatically, prints, and ships for you. Teelaunch also keeps their prices low, so that you can make your profits and enjoy their service hassle-free.
MARKET YOUR SHOP
When you have set up your shop and have a lively catalog of ready to print designs, you will have to market and promote your POD online store.
Spread the word about your store by creating business profiles on social media and showcase your brand and your products. You can create your hashtags, hire an influencer on social media to boost brand awareness, or use paid ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
BACK TO YOU
Now that you know the basics of the print on demand business, it’s all on you to get yourself started on a highly successful POD venture. This is one of the best ways for you to get into the dropshipping business with very little investments, and if done right, could have you running a very profitable, life-altering business.
Running a successful print on demand business takes some careful thought and strategy. If you have any questions or wish to consult anyone about your print on demand business ideas, contact Ecommerce Pro. We welcome your questions and would love to share practical solutions that help you build a better online business.