In recent years, the printing industry has been disrupted by a lot of factors, trends and events. Right from the global pandemic to the rise in demand for sustainable products, the printing industry has witnessed many changes in consumers’ behaviour and these changes are making and breaking the printing market for many.
Apart from that, there are also changes being observed with the new consumer market of Gen Z having the increase in purchasing power as they have been most accustomed to the digital world. But, with all these things happening in and around the print industry, two trends have witnessed a constant rise in demand and they are the adaptation of digital printing methods and print on demand business model. It can be said that both these are 2 peas of the pod and are complementing each other with the need for custom product demands helming the two thereby allowing anyone with a roland 64 inch printer or similar equipment, a shot at some significant market share.
Custom Products Market:
Before we look into the market statistics and simple ways in which one can start a print-on-demand business, it is essential to understand the need for custom products as well. In a survey, it was found that 42% of customers were interested in buying customized products from brands. Apart from that, customers also don’t mind sharing their personal information and 48% of customers are also willing to wait longer for a customized product or service! (Source)
Thus, with the increasing demand, the commercial market adapted the digital printing methods as it could execute custom designs perfectly. Also, since there were no barriers in terms of minimum quantity or high production cost involved, brands could cater to their customers’ need for custom products easily! To make the business more affordable and to make their experience personalized, businesses, in turn, adapted the Print-on-demand business model. So, now that we have the basics covered, let’s first understand what the Print on Demand business approach is.
What is Print on Demand?
To put it in a statement, Print on Demand (PoD) is a concept where a product is produced after the order is received and paid for! While some might confuse the concept with dropshipping, the difference here is in dropshipping the trader only trades in finished goods but here, customers can customize their own products and once the design is finalized, the product is then manufactured and shipped to the customer. The process might take longer than a standard e-commerce delivery but not only are customers willing to wait for their customized products, but every 1 out of 5 customers was also willing to pay up to 20% premium for personalized goods and services! (Source)
So, based on all the statistics and fundamentals provided above, it is safe to say that PoD is not just trending but is also a profitable endeavor. But for those who still need some more convincing, let’s understand the additional benefits of PoD!
Benefits Of Employing The PoD Business Model:
- There is no need for creating huge product inventory that might have a risk of turning into dead stock if the product design fails.
- The preliminary expense of initiating a PoD business is significantly lower than that of a traditional printing business as there is no need for heavy machinery, inventory stock and storage facilities.
- With the help of a product designer tool, one can easily hop on the latest market trends with the help of virtual designs and the least possible inventory.
- Lastly, the investment in the Research and Development for developing a new product would be negligible as customers can design their own products.
So, now that you know what PoD is and why you must start PoD eCommerce, let’s understand how you can start one! But wait, the printing industry is huge and there are many business verticals and products categories that can use the PoD business model! So, what products can one choose for their PoD e-commerce? No worries, we have created a list of products that are high in demand in the PoD e-commerce market!
Products That Are High In Demand In The Pod Market:
Well, now that we have covered all the aspects of the concept, let’s finally understand what one needs to start PoD eCommerce.
Steps To Start A Print On Demand Business In 2022:
1. Define Your Business Vertical:
The first decision that you have to make is what you want to sell and how you want to sell your printed products on the market. Currently, there are two ways one can organize their PoD e-commerce and they are either a product line or a subject niche! You can either choose a category like apparel or t-shirts made with DTG printers, accessories, or you can choose a niche. In the subject niche, you create a design style that is quote designs, graphics, icons, 3D designs and other such custom design options and based on that, deliver products for the same design.
2. Create Your Brand And Your Platform:
Based on your business vertical, design patterns and target market, you must register a brand that resonates with your target audience and create a personalized platform that aligns with their expectations. It starts with registering your brand name and acquiring your domain for your PoD e-commerce store. Once you have your brand registered, you can collaborate with an e-commerce development service provider that can create a custom ecommerce platform for your brand.
Tip: To let you in on a secret, for printing businesses, Magento e-commerce is the best platform and it is also one of the best platforms. Also, choose the e-commerce development company that also provides an ideal Magento product designer tool for your store! Keeping a single point of contact will help you create a dynamic platform that renders a seamless transition from store to product designer tool and thus deliver a delightful experience to your customers.
3. Integrate An Ideal Product Designer Tool:
A Print-on-demand business can run with pre-designed templates. All the customers have to do is select a product, its design area and order. But, did you know that 55% of Gen Zers want to design their own products to ensure that they have exclusive products that are not owned by anybody else? (Source) It is the sense of exclusivity that makes the custom product market lucrative and to provide that, one must have a web to print solutions integrated on their platform.
Since the product designer tool is in high demand, when you look for a tool you would notice that there are many Web-to-Print solution providers in the market. But, to ensure that you have the best tool for your business, choose a tool that aligns with your products, your vision and your target market. Do some research and create a checklist that would help you do the initial filtering and then check how product customization tools work, take demonstrations of tools that you have shortlisted.
To help you make an informed decision, make sure that your product designer tool not only has amazing customization capabilities, but choose a tool that also has customer and order management modules along with a navigational flow that can deliver personalized customer experiences. Also, make sure that the tool has a template design module along with extensive libraries to ensure that you have the best and diversified product offerings.
4. Design, Upload And Launch!
Once you have your platform ready, your supply chain defined and your product designer tool integrated, all you need is to upload the products that you offer, create some design templates for customers to choose from and launch your PoD e-commerce store for the market!
5. Run Promotional And Marketing Campaigns:
Although this is a no-brainer, to establish your brand and to reach your target audience, you must market your brand and your platform aggressively in your target market. Use different digital marketing approaches such as SEO, content marketing, social media platforms, paid marketing and create a buzz in the market to make your presence known. Also, try to encourage your customers to leave feedback and promote it on their channels to create a positive word of mouth in the market and employ the power of organic marketing for your brand.
Well Begun is Half Done!
When you have planned your business well, employed the best of products, platforms and marketing tactics, you can successfully launch your PoD store in your target market. But business development is a continuous process so make sure that you keep evolving and have a long-term sustainable business plan to establish a successful brand.