A Complete Guide of Print On-demand eCommerce Business


A Complete Guide of Print On-demand eCommerce Business
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
When India-based online travel website MakeMyTrip launched an online gourmet delivery service
early May 2020, it was clear that the new norm is pivoting to supply essential food and beverage
requirements during the pandemic.
Businesses are increasingly adopting personalization into products and services to market
themselves and improve sales in these uncertain times. For eCommerce stores, especially, ondemand printing is a great way to increase conversions.
What is Print On Demand (POD)
You can think of POD as a type of drop-shipping business model in which the merchant is not in
charge of the inventory management and shipping. That means when you sign up with a POD
platform, they take care of everything for you. Let us understand this in detail.
For example, your eCommerce store sells customization print products such as t-shirts or coffee
mugs. In the POD business model, there is no physical inventory. Although consumers can
customize these products and place an order on them, you will never handle inventory
management, shipping, and fulfillment.
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
Before delving any further into what POD has to offer, it is crucial to
understand the distinction between POD fulfillment services and POD
A. Print-On-Demand ful llment services
These are Print-On-Demand services that enable your eCommerce printing business to connect to
the POD platform as a back-end service. This way, when a consumer purchases a product from your
website, the order is sent to the POD service provider for printing and fulfillment. These service
providers act as your POD fulfillment partners.
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Like Canva?
B. Print-On-Demand marketplace
This takes care of both the front-end and back-end aspects of the process. The artwork and designs
will be given the license to be used on physical products and sold on the marketplace. The POD
marketplace will handle the marketing and selling of your products.
A or B: What to choose
Depending on your eCommerce business objectives and your personal preferences, you can choose
to opt for either of the two POD services. While fulfillment services give you more control of your
products and the brand, marketplaces are also ideal, especially if you are an individual business
owner and want to sell a range of printable products.
However, it is essential to know that the former option entails more work because it requires you to
have your customer-facing storefront. On the contrary, marketplaces give you an easy choice to
market and sell your products by allowing someone else to handle it.
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
Let us now understand in detail how the POD process works.
1. Store setup
The first step of the process is to set up your POD store. Depending on your POD platform, you can
set up your store in two ways:
Integrate your existing printing website to the POD service and start selling from there.
Use a POD marketplace. If you don’t have your eCommerce website or printing storefront,
you can opt for a POD service with an existing marketplace to market and sell your products
2. Products and designs
Once you have set up your POD eCommerce storefront, the next and most essential step in the
process is to select designs and add products to the store. As a business owner, you can decide
what you want to sell based on popularity and market trends.
For example, if you wish to sell posters and wall art, you can add framed canvas products to your
eCommerce store. Most product design tools come with extensive photos, font, and vector libraries.
3. Sales
In the third step of the process, you need to create awareness and engagement for your printing
business to boost sales. If you are using a fulfillment service, then you need to market aggressively
to attract customers. However, if you are using a POD marketplace, then your offerings will be sold
for you.
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Print On Demand - Complete Guide
4. POD platform
The Print On-demand platform takes care of the printing, fulfillment, and order shipping processes
once a consumer places an order. You will be paid for the order once their purchase has been
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
Pros and cons of a Print-On-Demand platform for printers
A. Pros
Easy to setup: POD platforms are straightforward to set up and configure. You only need to register,
create an account, and add your designs and products.
No inventory management: One of the challenges inventory-based eCommerce business owners
have to deal with regularly is to manage inventory and stock costs. With a POD platform, products
are printed only after a purchase is made. This is beneficial because you won’t be left with
merchandise that doesn’t get sold.
End-to-end fulfillment: A POD platform takes care of all the processes, including order fulfillment,
packaging, shipping, and delivery. This is particularly useful if you are an individual entrepreneur or
a small business owner.
Focus on the creative aspect of the business: : Web-to-print solutions enable you to focus on the
business strategy and creative elements rather than being occupied with mundane processes such
as quotation, packaging, shipping, and more.
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
B. Cons
Reduced profit margins: Perhaps one of the major setbacks in the POD business model for an online
printer is that the profit margins are considerably lower. This is also because when you buy from an
on-demand printing service, the product’s cost is higher than that of a product bought in wholesale
No interaction with the customer: Because the POD service provider is solely in control of the
entire order fulfillment process, you do not have the liberty to be a part of the packaging and
shipping processes. This means that you cannot add any personal touches to your product, or have
an interaction of any kind with your customer.
Limited data access: If you are an eCommerce owner who relies on purchase history and customer
data to make business decisions, then POD is probably not the best option because that data is
limited to the service provider only.
Smaller product range: The type of products you want to sell depends on your POD service
provider. For instance, if your business sells a niche product (such as custom uniforms) that is not
easily available in the market, finding a POD platform that would help you sell your product would
be challenging.
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Print On Demand - Complete Guide
Let us take a look at some of the popular Print-OnDemand products in the market:
1. Custom Apparel
T-shirts, shorts, skirts, hoodies, leggings, scarves
2. Wallpaper art
Posters, banners, wall decals, framed artwork, tapestries, and canvas prints
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
3. Accessories
Bags, belts, jewelry, hats, socks, visors, caps
4. Home accessories
Coffee mugs, beverage glasses, bedspreads, pillow covers, towels, table matsTech accessories –
smartphone covers and cases, pop sockets
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
Now that we have a better understanding of the Print-On-Demand business model and its
advantages and disadvantages, let us see how you can start a POD eCommerce business.
The next section discusses some useful tips to keep in mind:
1. Choosing the right POD platform or service provider
As an eCommerce business, your primary goal is to be able to sell your products in the marketplace
while ensuring that your customers are satisfied. That is why it is essential to choose a POD
platform that works well with your business objectives.
Here are some key points you should take note of:
Integration of the POD platform with your existing systems
Merchant policies – Be sure to take a look at the seller policies of the POD platform. Do they
match your expectations and requirements?
Order fulfillment processes – How does the POD service provider take care of fulfillment
services such as creating, packaging, shipping, and delivery?
Subscription costs of the POD platform
Product types – What type of products is the POD service selling to customers? Does it
match with the product type you wish to sell?
2. Order samples from a few POD service providers
Considering you have shortlisted a few online product designers for your business, it would be
helpful to order some samples from each POC service provider to get a better understanding of
their business processes. Moreover, it is critical to know how they carry out their services because
you will be giving a part of your business to the POD platform.
Print On Demand - Complete Guide
3. Create product mock-ups
It would be useful to create high-quality mock-ups for your products once you have an idea of how
to go about this process. Product mock-ups allow you and your customers to visualize how the
product looks when a design is added.
This will give you an idea of how your product should look and if there are any changes to be made
to the same. Hence, test the product designer software in question, and then take a call.
4. Decide on a pricing strategy
Like any business, the ultimate aim should be to drive profits. A healthy profit margin, according to
market standards, stands at 40%. Although it depends on you to decide the margin of profit for
your products, you can also make use of a profit margin calculator to determine how to price your
Leading POD players in the market for printers
Significant players currently doing a fabulous job offering the POD service include Shopify, JetPrint,
T-Pop, Teelaunch, Printful, and SPOD, among others. If you are looking for a web-to-print solutions
provider to sort out the basics, then Design’N’Buy tops the list.
Ending Notes
Finally, remember that your business’s success depends on your print designs and artwork, as
well as the POD fulfillment partner you choose for your business.
For More Information Visit our website : www.designnbuy.com
Reach out to us at [email protected]

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