Print-on-demand is a dropshipping term that may be new to some dropshippers. It empowers entrepreneurs to customize designs on blank products like T-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts, homeware, mugs, tote bags, etc., to sell to customers. The beauty of POD is that it makes it possible for you to research and opt for a suitable provider. If this future business opportunity interests you, then keep reading. We will take you through everything you need to know, from how it works to the pitfalls to overcome and to answer if the right fulfillment for your dropshipping business comes your way.
This is the fulfillment model that permits sellers to design graphics for products. The products often entail shirts and hoodies, ranging from mugs, towels, and art prints phone cases to polo shirts.
With POD, you do not have to keep the stock of the product, like a physical retailer. Instead, the supplier will ship the product with your graphics for you!
This is advantageous because you do not have to spend time and energy dealing with the process of delivery and presentation of the product.
A business providing print-on-demand services for its products is poised to dispatch the finished items to print-on-demand customers when ordered. In case that sounds like dropshipping, then you're right! Print-on-demand is another form of advanced dropshipping.
Just take a look at this infographic Print-on-demand 'normal' and see how dropshipping works:
POD is advanced because it allows you to regulate how the product looks. On the other hand, traditional dropshipping is selling a premade product with very little to no customizability.
The year 2022 has seen both an exciting and challenging year for the growth and development of the print-on-demand (POD) industry.
The good news, however, is that I foresee a more authentic, focused marketing aimed at putting Gen Z on their toes, with platforms like TikTok leading the charge. Furthermore, timely and thematic merchandise based on politics or world events, such as the pandemic and elections, continues to grow in popularity.
For instance, the market for face masks (including personalized, customized masks) has exploded. As such, I'm hereby predicting that unique items and a broader range of inventory will be needed in the subsequent years to satisfy demand and boost conversions while noting that cost control has become more important than ever.
A central theme I predict for 2023 is that online shopping will gain tremendous momentum as traditional retail sales continue to decline, particularly due to the threat that the COVID-19 pandemic poses. After all, it is needless to say that once bitten, twice shy. The convenience of online shopping, including features like fast delivery, has accelerated its acceptance and driven an astounding year-over-year growth of 45.5%.
In addition, millions of entrepreneurs have opened online shops across numerous platforms, and many are involved in the POD market. For instance, let's take a scenario whereby eBay hosts millions of buyers and sellers and saw an increase of eight million buyers in Q2 2022.
Shopify, which boosts reporting more than one million businesses on its platform, prides itself as the third-largest U.S. online retailer.
Homes have become the cornerstone of focus during the pandemic, and 2023 product trends will include increased demand for home and lifestyle goods. This will range from soft blankets to comfy lounging clothes and decorative items. People will not stop turning their homes into places of safety, sanctuary, and coziness in a world full of uncertainty.
In 2021, pandemic-related accomplishment issues meant that many orders were redirected so merchants could continue with their uninterrupted online selling. As a result, POD platforms should be equipped with new capabilities, including order routing features that transform new and existing orders to alternate providers as needed, as part of an entire strategy to assist merchants in streamlining and optimizing their stores.
Let's dig deeper into what should be considered strengths and challenging areas for you to work on overcoming.
This is absolutely a heavy deal when it comes to branding and competing with others. The design is advantageous and gives a strong reason why someone should use it.
That means you must put all your effort into ensuring it has a high demand. Low-quality or quantity products are highly discouraged as they are likely to suffer greatly from getting sales, so it's best to invest as much as possible in high-quality designs.
With so many options, finding the right Print on Demand dropshipping company can be a hard nut to crack. Therefore, here are some key factors you need to keep in mind:
Print Quality: Your whole business revolves around selling customized printed products.
So it's a no-brainer that if the print quality isn't top-notch, it shouldn't be bad.
You have to be extra careful with washable products.
The last thing your customers want is for the print of their t-shirts to fade away right after a single wash.
Always test the print quality offered by a supplier before you start getting it shipped to your customers.
The shipping time plays a vital role in any online business.
It is your mandate to ensure that you forward the order details on the same day and that your supplier proactively creates the design to avoid shipment delays.
Also important to keep in mind is that you should choose suppliers who have warehouses near, if not in the country you're operating in, to lessen your shipping time.
In summary, be on the same page with your supplier regarding shipping time to avoid unnecessary delays.
This amazing tool lets the customer see what the final product would look like after their custom design is printed.
Most popular POD dropshipping companies have installed a mockup generator that can at least be integrated with Shopify or WooCommerce stores.
A mockup generator on your site is crucial since it shows the customers a glimpse of their order. In essence, this reduces the chances of miscommunication.
As far as choosing a product is concerned, there's no one-size-fits-all. Just because another business is doing great with certain products, you need more room to qualify to do well, and vice-versa.
If you're choosing POD dropshipping services, choosing a supplier that offers a decent variety of customizable products would be ideal. Dropshipman, an all-in-one Shopify dropshipping solution provider, has a solution for every product you may need.
This will enable you to experiment and see what works best for your business, enabling you to find the right niche.
The expected revolution behind a POD business is to make it possible for customers to create personalized products. It would be a huge plus if you could find a supplier that offers a range of customization options just like Dropshipman does.
For instance, rather than just playing with the color and design of the product, customers can also change their shape and size.
In conclusion, good customer service is the most important thing to consider in a POD dropshipping company.
Because you will be fully dependent on your supplier, I believe your guess is as good as mine: you want to work with someone communicative.
Needless to reiterate, your POD supplier must provide shipment tracking along with a refund/return policy in case of potential mishaps.
Printful is one of the most widely used selections among print-on-demand sites owing to its wide choice of high-quality products and brands (Gildan, and American Apparel, just to mention a few). It is simple to use the mockup generators and has a variety of options for adding your branding to the unboxing experience simultaneously.
Printful provides some excellent printing techniques that you would readily express your preference in:
As if all those aren't enough, Printful helps to develop your brand with Printful's mockup images and product videos and lets shoppers create unique products right in your store with their product personalization tool. In addition, Shopify is efficient, effective, quick, and easy to set up and has built-in hosting solutions, making the perfect e-commerce platform for your business.
AOP+ This is another good print-on-demand Shopify app which always gains 4.2 ratings. Besides, AOP+ provides a very simplified way for e-commerce store owners to sell custom print-on-demand products anywhere in the world. This is a wonderful start-up-friendly tool for artists, designers, and photographers who want to start a POD business and run their own online stores.
Best features of the app:
Another exceptionally famous Print on Demand platform on Shopify for you to choose from is Printify. It promptly operates a Shopify store within a minute and gives you quite a number of clothing products to sell. The shipping cost and time will adjust based on the provider and shipping location.
Notable features of this amazing app:
Approximately 500,000 merchants use Printify's services to operate their POD businesses because it is one of the best Print on Demand options for both new and seasoned sellers. This app brings you good-quality printing and a straightforward mockup generator.
SPOD is among the top 5 apps offering the best POD services for your Shopify store. This brand has acquired a good reputation as the fastest Print on Demand dropshipping in the U.S. and E.U. thanks to their quick production in 48 hours or less. This is an excellent feature because 44% of customers often do not order products because of slow delivery times.
Best features of the app:
It goes beyond just a normal Print on Demand service in that it provides a customizer tool for customers to personalize their designs from more than 150 available products. Courtesy of high-quality products and excellent delivery time, SPOD receives excellent reviews from users, so you do not have to worry about unsatisfied customers and other problems at your Shopify store.
Teelaunch provides good-quality printing with excellently quick customer service. This is why this app is overwhelmed with a lot of reviews. From the time it was founded in 2015, Teelaunch has established over 170,000 print-on-demand production facilities all over the world with extremely high-level quality and performance.
Its observable features include:
Furthermore, it also provides a personalization tool where customers can insert their name or photo into a product. This equips you with a lot of incredible benefits. I can, therefore, unfavorably say that this app is truly an ideal option for Shopify store owners selling homeware items.
Print-on-demand is all about delivering products to meet more personalized needs. You should research, follow market trends while constantly paying attention to your customers' needs, collecting feedback to make informed decisions, and improving customer experience. There is no denying that your business will prosper with flexibility in 2023. To stay on top of the game, you should partner with a reliable print-on-demand dropshipping supplier and add more value to the end customer.