When it comes to making money online, you might think of ways to start, like dropshipping, affiliate marketing, and print on demand, which we will cover in this article:
Due to the pandemic, people’s ways of shopping and selling have changed a lot. Online shopping has been the most popular and safe way to buy. When shopping online, you might have noticed many products with unique logos or shapes. That’s what print on demand does for online business. But you may be confused about what exactly print on demand is, let’s keep reading to find out.
Print on demand is a business model allowing you to sell customized made-to-order products. The products may feature your designs and be sold without ever owning inventory or managing a shipment.
So how does it work? Very simple. You create your special design, such as unique logos for a T-shirt or cup. Then, your customer who find and love your designs orders a product featuring your design. Lastly, third-party printing companies (private label suppliers) print and fulfill the order.
One benefit of using print on demand to sell online is that various print-on-demand companies are available for you. With them, there is no need for you to put out money upfront, buy in bulk, or hold inventory. Moreover, you get passive income once your shop is set up. In other words, you even can make and deliver sales while you are sleeping. Another benefit is that using print on demand enables you to free yourself from everything after the sale, such as printing, packing, and shipping.
Print on demand is very similar to dropshipping, especially branded dropshipping. The biggest difference between regular dropshipping and print on demand is whether you can feature the products by your own brand or not. If you want to know more about their similarities and differences, learn here.
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Now you have known what print on demand is, let’s cover another question in the next part: How to start?
Step1: Define Your Niche
Defining your niche means finding a product to sell. It’s also known as defining your target customer. If you target all persons, marketing might be much more difficult for you. That’s why it is so vital to focus on a niche. A clearly defined niche can help you find the products you plan to sell. Also, it reduces the cost of acquiring customers.
You can search on Google to check the best print on demand products to sell. You may get plenty of results, choose the one you have the most passion for.
And there are some examples of the most popular print-on-demand products to sell in 2021 you can learn from:
- T-shirts: Not only unisex t-shirts, but also children’s t-shirts are great products for print-on-demand business. T-shirts is popular and you can wear them all over the year, that’s the profit.
- Mugs: People will use them often. It’s a stable market. And They are perfect for interesting designs and slogans.
- All-over print hoodie: Full-print hoodies are now very popular in the streetwear sector. This is why many popular influencers sell full-print hoodies as part of their merchandise.
- All-over print yoga pants: Health is what people are concerned about. Doing exercises with print yoga pants is popular among people.
- Engraved jewelry: Jewelry comes in many shapes and sizes, and is usually small and light, making it very suitable for transportation. In addition, it is the perfect whiteboard for custom design and engraving.
- Bags: Bags are a necessity in our lives. Most people may prefer special and unique bags. And it’s easy to print fun slogans or logos on them.
Step2: Design Your Brand
After finding a product to sell, you need to design your brand. It’s very simple if you have a brilliant idea. You can create a unique brand name for your products, then a special logo, just like the famous brands Nike and Adidas.
The important thing here is to avoid infringement which will prevent you from building your brand awareness. Your brand should be original and attractive so that your potential customer will have a good impression of it. Then, it’s easy to get your first order.
Step3: Find a Supplier
There may be many options for you when deciding on suppliers. The key thing here is to find reliable suppliers. Reliable suppliers can meet your demand in time and make your customers receive the products with satisfaction. Then it will be much easier for you to increase brand awareness.
Here are 3 ways you can get the ball rolling:
Use tools like DSers: The best AliExpress dropshipping tool selects qualified and well-reviewed suppliers which can connect you with them. You can contact them and ask whether they can do print on demand or not.
Attend trade shows: It’s a very straightforward way. You meet these suppliers and collect information. You can exchange contact information with them once you find they can meet your requirements.
Discover through social media: More and more people now use social media such as Facebook marketplace or Pinterest to share their business or life experience. Thus, it’s a great place to find suitable suppliers.
Step4: Submit Your Design
Once you have a supplier, the next thing is to let the site know the designs and products you will sell on your website. Thus, now you can upload your designs via their system on their websites.
The website will distinguish whether the size of the design will fit nicely on the product or not with their mock-up generators. The suggestion here is to use lifestyle photos, rather than general mock-ups with a white background. It is a powerful and simple way to get more customers, increase customer engagement, and boost your sales.
Step5: Order Samples
Now you have your customized products to sell. However, in order to ensure everything is going smoothly, you can order samples from your suppliers.
Why do you need this step? First of all, it can guarantee the quality. Commonly, there is some content missing in the translation process from screen design to printed product. You must make sure that the look and feel of your physical product meet your expectations. Samples help you achieve it.
In addition, samples play a vital role when posting your product photos on your website and social media profiles. After receiving the samples, you can take some pictures to share. It can help your target audience know how the products look like. Then, they will have less imagination of the digital products. Thus, it’s easy to meet their expectations.
Step6: Marketing Your Products
The last thing in this process is to promote your products. It’s crucial to your success. Advertising always brings the most traffic. You will not get more sales without marketing even if you create unique and special products.
There are many ways you can market your products to your audience:
Make use of your Instagram account: You can create content on your Instagram account. Then you may get free Instagram followers and build relationships among your potential customers. It’s free and easy to go.
Use Facebook ads: Facebook ads are a powerful way to market your products. You can also use Facebook ads to test your designs for just $10 and see which designs resonate with your audience.
Apply email marketing: Email marketing lets you collect emails from visitors, then you can market to them for free from time to time.
Influencer marketing: They can be your friends or family members. They are free, so you can reduce your cost of advertising. Put your products into the hands of influencers who can contribute some attractive content and help you get sales.
After learning how to start a print-on-demand business. I would like to recommend some websites you can start your print-on-demand store with.
Printful is an on-demand printing and fulfillment company allowing people to turn their ideas into brands and products.
It is one of the most popular choices among print-on-demand services. You can sell apparel products, pillows, beach towels, mugs, aprons, etc, on Printful. It provides multiple assistant tools such as Direct to Garment, Cut and Sew, and Embroidery to help you.
If you still want to control your site design, for example, owning your domain, and having your designs front-and-center? Shopify is the absolute best option on the market.
Shopify can connect directly with services like Printful. Then you can turn your online store into a print-on-demand powerhouse easily. However, Shopify can do more than print-on-demand. If you want to dropship, with powerful dropshipping solutions such as DSers, Shopify benefits you a lot.
Printify is a transparent on-demand printing and dropshipping platform designed to help online entrepreneurs earn more simply and easily.
Printify is free to use. But a premium subscription is available for $29 per month, and you can enjoy a 20% discount on all products. It makes you print more than 200 products. These products include some unique white-label products you might not find elsewhere, such as jewelry, clocks, shoes, and water bottles.
Society6 allows customers to design art as well as apparel, gifts, and furnishings and order art prints, tapestries, yoga mats, shower curtains, etc. Selling on Society6 still enables you to control the rights to your artwork. You can set the price and select what you want to make according to your designs.
With the built-in online store, you can quickly and easily set up your digital storefront. The company provides easy-to-follow guidelines to ensure that your products are printed at the best resolution and handle all customer service for you.
It’s a good option for beginners to set up a Print on Demand shop with Spreadshirt. This site is easy to use and allows you to quickly gain a profit. The disadvantage is that you have fewer product options. You only can select shirts from a few Spreadshirt brands instead of getting to choose from manufacturers on services like Printful.
It provides you with more sales opportunities. When you start your shop on Spreadshirt, everyone on this marketplace can sell your designs. Then, you earn commission on each sale which increases your revenue.
You also can open your store. If you want to get more control over your products and designs, you can operate your Spreadshop. In this way, only you can sell your designs on your site and you receive a regular profit on each sale.
You can still start your print-on-demand business even if you’re not a designer since you can create your products with the help of full-time designers. The key to success is you understand some key concepts to use them effectively. For example, you should mention the print file specifications and make sure that the design size fits the print area of the actual product.
If you are a designer but don’t have brilliant ideas, don’t worry, you can get your design ideas in many ways. For example, you can get products inspiration from social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, Subreddits, Instagram, etc.
After reading, hope you get a better understanding of print on demand and know how to start. Good luck with your success with online print-on-demand business.