Last updated on March 19th, 2020
Are you a creative artist who intends to earn money by monetizing your skills? Or you are an influencer who’s looking for various ways to work on his / her personal branding? If so, then print on demand is your best bet to do a lucrative business well-suited to your profession and interest. Before starting it, you must first acquire a profound knowledge of all aspects of the POD business and how to make it work for you. In this article, we’ve shared what is print-on-demand business and how it can help you to make money.
Many artists have found a print on demand an easy way to sell their artwork and earn an attractive profit. Alternatively, it helps to be an e-commerce site owner who wishes to sell more personalized products from print-on-demand sites. In the same way, many influencers and small enterprises are using POD platforms to engage their users and sell merchandise to promote their products or services.
Printing of artistic or brand-related work on products such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. is a roaring business across the globe. The business is increasing many folds due to a variety of reasons. But the biggest factor leading to the growth of custom printing is marketing. The businesses of all scales have identified printing on products as an effective way to reach out to the masses.
The market size for the printing artworks on products is ever-increasing and print on demand business is part of it. Take for example- the t-shirt printing business. According to a survey, the custom t-shirt printing market is expanding fast and it is expected to reach a value of 3.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2025 from 1.6 billion dollars in 2016.
Given these stats, you should confidently start your print-on-demand business. With a little effort and effective marketing strategy in place, you can surely turn your skills as an artist into a lucrative business. But first, have an insight into this business.
What Is Print-on-Demand?
Print on demand [POD] is one of the e-commerce models. Under this model, you can sell customized products through a platform. A customer can place an order with the platform for printing your artwork on a product. So, the printing site will print your artwork (design) on products of your choice only on your order. For this reason, it is also known as on-demand printing.
There is no need for you to hold a physical inventory of the printed or non-printed products. The platform will print it and sell it to the customer on your behalf. All you need to do is to sign up with the print on demand platform and start submitting your work. Then, it will take care of all your printing and sales needs.
We can say that printing on demand is a kind of dropshipping. Instead of personally dealing with tedious inventory management and shipping issues, the third part handles these problems. As an artist, designer, influencer or entrepreneur, you will thus not incur any inventory holding expenses.
PrintShop – Leading Print-On-Demand Platform
PrintShop by Designhill, the leading creative marketplace is one such print-on-demand platform. At PrintShop you can search and buy more than 50 types of unique products, gifts, and artworks that artists from around the world have created.
At PrintShop, artists and designers can create their artworks and design works. Then, they can ask the site to print those works on T-shirts and a wide range of other apparel to sell.
After receiving your printing order, the platform takes responsibility for sending the printed products to your customers worldwide. So, you can give a memorable gift to your friends and family people or ask for printing on products to meet your promotional needs.
How Does POD Work?
You need to take only a few easy steps to start your print-on-demand business. However, the specific steps you will take vary depending on the platform you choose. But we can give you a general rundown of what steps to take to start the POD business. Here is what you need to do:
i. Open Your Online Store
The very first step to take is to set up your online store to start an on-demand printing business. Here, you can either integrate your existing store with a POD service or start your fresh store with the POD site’s platform. You can then start selling your artworks from your store at the site.
Such platforms allow you to open on your online store to sell your printed artworks on products. You can create your profile on this platform and then, they will sell your products and deliver them to your customers on your behalf.
ii. Upload Your Artworks And The Products
After you have picked your platform and opened your online store, start uploading your unique artworks and designs. You can choose the products on which to print your art or select the products from the platform.
So, you can pick merchandise such as custom mugs and T-shirts and ask the platform to print your choice of art or design on the products.
iii. Start Marketing
Once you have uploaded the artworks and ordered for its printing, you can then start marketing these to drive traffic to your online store at the site. The intention here is to make people notice your works and store so that they visit it and buy it. This will give a boost to your custom merch business.
iv. Start Selling
Now, whenever some visitor comes to your online store and places an order, the platform will print the customer’s choice of art on the product. Not only that, the platform such as PrintShop will package and ship the product to the customer. After the purchase has been finally made, you get paid.
What Are The Key Advantages Of POD?
Print-on-demand business is a consistent source of earnings for artists and designers. But there are many other advantages as well.
i. Set Up An Online Shop Easily
You can open your online store on a POD platform in a few quick steps. Just sign up with the platform and create your profile. Then add products to your store. Uploading your designs also is easy without any technical expertise involved.
ii. Get Rid Of Inventory Worries
Artists are generally not good enough to handle the management side of a business. So, PrintShop like platforms take care of the inventories for the artists.
After the customer makes a purchase, the platform takes care of the inventory issues of the professional. Moreover, overstocks and stock-outs are almost non-existent in this business.
iii. Timely Fulfillment Of Orders
The packaging and shipping of printed products is the responsibility of the POD platform. Therefore, small businesses and artists can ensure timely fulfillment of the order customers place.
iv. Enjoy Creative Freedom
Since packaging, selling, and shipping of custom merchandise is the headache of the POD platform, the artists are left with what they best do. That is they can go on creating unique artworks and designs without worrying about selling the products.
Now that you have a good understanding of what the POD is all about and what are its advantages, it is time to start the business. Here are the key steps to take:
Things To Keep In Mind While Starting A Print-on-Demand Business
You can start your print-on-demand business with no or little investment. However, you must put your best efforts and hard work into it to make it a success. Here is what you need to ensure:
01. Pick The Right POD Platform
The first thing to ensure is that the POD platform you choose is just perfect for your business requirements.
Here are some of the points to consider:
i. Choose The Right Service Provider
First, choose the right POD service providers out of many. You should compare their services and special features to choose the right one to set up your business.
ii. The Platform Should Integrate Your Systems
The POD platform should be able to integrate your existing e-commerce website and shopping cart or any other system. It ensures a seamless experience for customers when they buy your custom merchandise.
iii. Review The Platform’s Policies
Make sure that you have reviewed the merchant policies of the POD platform you choose. Find out their turnaround time and the time when they pay. Know about the percent of the payment they take. Come out with precise answers to such questions to know the platform’s policies.
iv. Find Out How Your Products Are Managed
Enquire about the platform’s ways to create, package and deliver the products to the customers. Some of these sites boast of their in-house facilities to handle these jobs. Others outsource these works to a third-party. Both are good options depending on your preferences.
v. Know The Costs
Compare different cost structures of POD platforms and settle for the attractive one. Know what is the per-item charge, subscription fees, monthly expenses, etc of the platform.
vi. Find Your Choice Of Products
Make sure that the platform has the products that you wish to sell. However, it is not a big issue as most POD platforms sell items such as custom T-shirts and mugs. These are the most popular products for print on demand solutions.
02. Get The Samples
After you have finally picked the right POD platform, you should order some sample items from the site. You can thus get a closer look at the items and assess the custom printing quality and material. Some of these sites even give discounts for buying samples.
Getting the samples is a crucial step as the quality of printing and the products matters a lot for your business. If the print quality is inferior, it will result in more customers returning the products and asking for refunds. That will ruin your business ultimately.
03. Create High-Quality Mockups
When you are ready to sell your artworks, it is better to test them in different situations. For that, you should come up with high-quality mockups for the products. These mockups let you visualized how your customers will see the products and what impression the will get.
Mockups are useful ways for customers to virtually try design and products. A quality mockup even helps customers to make instant purchasing decisions. Most POD platforms have mockup generators. You can even use some specialized mockup software.
04. Set The Prices Right
Since you are selling the printed items for profit, your prices should be just right. Set the prices of the products in such a way that customers find them attractive. Still, you should be earning a healthy profit. Setting up profit margins are entirely up to you.
At PrintShop, the profit margin is entirely what you decide. The platform has set its base price which is the services and operational costs. Then, the artist can add a profit margin to the base price. This gives the retail price of the artwork that the artist wishes to sell.
These are the major steps you need to take to start selling your artworks on PrintShop and other similar platforms. For better results, promote your online store on social media so that a lot of customers visit your shop on the POD platforms.
Print-on-demand is a popular eCommerce model that allows artists and designers to sell their works by printing them on products such as T-shirts and mugs. But to start the business successfully, you need to choose the right POD platform and set your prices of the items right. You need to consider a lot of aspects of conducting the business.