Following the major disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, many businesses continue to adapt, evolve, pivot, and explore new opportunities for earning revenues.
One of the most obvious and promising revenue streams might be right under your nose: Print on demand product offerings. Whether you’re an eCommerce retailer, a social media influencer, or even a B2B company, print on demand products allow you to tap into your existing client base and add to your profit margins. And even if you’re a total print on demand novice, getting started is surprisingly easy and straightforward.
What is Print on Demand?
First, a quick note for newcomers. When we talk about print on demand products, exactly what are we talking about?
Print on demand is a process in which you work with a supplier (more on that in a minute) to provide customers with white label products, such as mugs, T-shirts, hats, or posters, printed with your own original designs. This can include original artwork, photography, or even branded logos and designs.
Put most simply, print on demand allows you to set up an e-commerce channel where customers can select the product they want in the size or color they want, then choose from one of your approved images/designs. The supplier handles everything else, including printing the product and shipping it directly to the customer.
What are the Benefits of Print on Demand?
There are a number of reasons why the print on demand model can be advantageous. Consider:
- With print on demand, products are only made and shipped after they are bought. This means you never have to worry about buying too much or maintaining inventory.
- Existing companies and brands can tap into customer loyalty, providing an easy way for satisfied shoppers to get their own branded merch or gear.
- You can easily create and market one-off items, such as items connected with a season, with a charitable promotion, with a new product launch, etc.
- Print on demand can also be an ideal way to test a new business idea without having to invest in a massive inventory.
And one more thing: Once you get your print on demand operation up and running, it runs pretty autonomously. Indeed, your print on demand supplier will handle most of the logistics, including shipping, on your behalf. As such, print on demand is a relatively low-fuss, low-hassle option for boosting your revenues.
Where to Start with Print on Demand?
If all of that sounds promising, then you’ll naturally be wondering about the next steps. How exactly can you get your print on demand offerings off the ground?
Make Sure You’re Enabled for E-Commerce
First things first: You’ll want to ensure that you have an e-commerce store set up. If you’re already in the e-commerce game, then you’re one step ahead. Otherwise, you’ll want to set up shop with an e-commerce partner like Shopify, WooCommerce for WordPress or BigCommerce.
Find a Print on Demand Supplier
Of course, you’ll also need a supplier who can handle the actual printing and shipping. We’d recommend comparing a few different print on demand manufacturers, vetting them for quality, accuracy, and shipping speed. Note that any good print on demand company will offer you drop shipping.
There are plenty of others you can find during your initial vetting process and the bottom line is finding a reliable partner is an essential step in launching a successful print on demand campaign.
Select Images and Designs
You’ll need to come up with some images and designs for your customers to choose from. These can include original artwork or photos, or they can just be fun twists on your existing branding. It may be worth it to collaborate with an artist or designer who can help you create a few engaging options.
Promote Your Print on Demand Store
Finally, make sure you let your customers know about your new print on demand offerings. There are plenty of channels you can use, including social media, your email list, and beyond.
Build Your Business with Print on Demand
Print on demand provides a seamless and simple way for you to monetize an existing audience, and to cultivate new revenue streams for your company. By enabling an e-commerce store and selecting a good print on demand manufacturing partner, you can be well on your way to an expanded product list, and to new ways of connecting with your existing customers and clients.