What if you have both creative talent and entrepreneurial desire? Print-on-demand (POD) is totally for you, an online business model that makes it easy to do and low-risk to turn your artistic side into a business making money.
Especially when more and more companies have shifted to a digital platform, it’s a great opportunity for you to have a go for this business.
This article will acknowledge you what POD is, some trending markets in the POD industry, and 5 outstanding marketing strategies for your POD stores.
What Is Print-On-Demand?
Print on demand is a process of customizing white-label products with your own designs and selling them under your own brand on a per-order basis.
This means that you only pay for the product after it has been sold; therefore, you do not have to buy in bulk or maintain physical inventory in hand.
Moreover, with these print-on-demand services, the supplier you work with will handle everything after the transaction, from printing to shipping. It only takes a few clicks after you’ve set everything up to place an order once you’ve made a sale.
Print-on-demand services can be used to:
- Experiment a business idea or a new product category for a specific company with no risks of buying physical inventories.
- Make money from a follower you’ve built up. If you work as a content creator such as a YouTuber, cartoonist, or social media influencer who wants to spend more time coming up with new content rather than completing orders, printing on demand is a terrific option.
- Create unique products for a certain market that has niche needs. For instance, creating a clothing business for gamers is quite a great idea.
- Print one-off goods like shoes, bags, t-shirts, books, clocks, laptop skins, phone cases, wall art, and mugs with ease. These can be given as gifts or kept for yourself and your acquaintances.
- Get your photos sold online by placing them on various products and then sell them on your own website.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Print-On-Demand
Print-on-demand websites can be utilized to launch a dropshipping business, in which the products and delivery are all managed by a third party.
It’s one of the easiest methods to find things or create an online store, but you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks before getting started.
- Create products rapidly: Once you’ve decided on a design, you can swiftly create a product and put it on the market with no difficulty.
- No need to take care of shipping: Shipping and fulfillment are all handled by your supplier instead of you. You only need to offer good customer service after the sale.
- Low risk of investment: Because you’re not keeping any physical inventories, it’s much more convenient to add or delete products, evaluate new ideas, and adjust your strategy.
- Lower profit margins: When you buy in bulk, your costs per item will surely be higher. With POD products, they may bring you lower earnings depending on how you price them and acquire clients
- Not enough shipping control: Shipping cost is one of the most difficult aspects for you to control because they vary greatly for various products. If you want to create a unique unpacking experience for your customers, your choices may be limited also.
- Restricted customization: Depending on the vendor and the product, your control on product customization may be limited. When determining which product to modify, you need to consider the base costs, customization possibilities, techniques of printing, and available sizes.
Top POD Market Trends
Affected by the Covid consequences, home decor companies are shifting from the offline to the online experience to adapt to the situation.
In addition to prioritized products such as furniture, floor, and wall design, some such as wall decoration and home accessories are also flourished and largely consumed.
If the situation of lockdown continues, the desire for a more beautiful and comfortable home becomes more important than ever before. Therefore, home decor may become the number 1 product trend in 2021.
The consumption of decorative items is increasing significantly as a leading trend. Many print-on-demand providers are taking advantage of this trend and offering more printed decorations such as canvas, trims, and rugs.
In addition to home décor, interior accessories are now also a popular topic on Google Trends.
For example, since we’re not going out, the want for formal and fancy clothing is reduced accordingly. Instead of that, it will be more comfortable to wear pajamas or sportswear while being at home.
These house decorations are simple to incorporate into a design to improve its beauty. Many fulfillment companies are upping their game by adding more popular items to their catalogs.
They have a variety of cushion lines as well as printing styles, ranging from one-sided to all-over. POD merchants will be able to expand their business as a result of this. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to provide more options to customers so as to diversify the retail experience.
In print-on-demand services, personalization is a niche market such as personalized items for pet lovers, customizing with your pictures.
Basically, instead of having a pre-design for the product, buyers are given the option to personalize it themselves (such as name, photo, and other design elements).
Many luxury brands are using these services to differentiate and enhance their consumer experiences. Hence, you may learn from those greatest to improve yours.
While other competitors haven’t followed this trend, it’s a good idea to start preparing and expanding your business so that you can provide more services to your customers.
For print-on-demand merchants, the job is considerably much easier because all you have to do is create a design that people can customize.
Marketing strategies for POD stores
1. Conduct Proper Research on Your Target Audience
It’s critical to remember that your marketing strategy is always about your consumers.
Extensive market research should be conducted not only as a marketing strategy for POD business but for all businesses since this is the most crucial phase which helps establish the foundation for your marketing concepts.
Research can provide your company with a clear image of what items and services are likely to attract more buyers, and whether your current business is reaching your customers’ expectations or not.
Market research can be done with a variety of steps, depending on your need.
- Concentrate on conducting research that will benefit your POD business and assist you in making informed selections.
- Determine how promptly you require the results and how exact they must be.
- Determine whether you require simple numerical findings or in-depth knowledge.
- Set precise and concise deadlines, objectives, and any other necessary information for your investigation.
- Determine whether you have the knowledge and experience to perform a large-scale research project on your own or whether you will need to employ an expert researcher or a research firm to assist you.
- Make full use of all available information from the internet, client feedback, and other helpful sources.
- Invest in experimentation, observation, and surveys if necessary to back you up in making accurate decisions.
- Always be prepared to perform more research if the knowledge you already have is insufficient or outdated.
- Keep your understanding of market conditions and customers up to date.
- Never count on outdated research or make key decisions based on inadequate information.
2. Source & Use Customer Photos (UGC)
UGC marketing is a marketing method that promotes marketing your brand with authentic content created and generated by your customers. It is reported that when purchasing online, 77 percent of shoppers prefer other user-generated images to professional brand images.
Some effective ways to employ this UGC strategy are:
- Create a hashtag as a part of your product line or collection: Include that in your emails and on your social media networks, and monitor the hashtag on a daily basis for photographs of customers using your product.
- Mention that you’d love to see images of your customers using the products in all of your customer communications (order confirmation, shipment notification, etc.).
- Consider rewarding customers who submit images to feedback to you with a discount on their next purchase in order to enter them in a drawing for a prize.
3. Grow your Email List
The process of gathering email addresses from website visitors or users is known as email list building. Its purpose is to expand the subscriber database and enable future commercial communications with potential or current visitors.
Building an email list is an important strategy for marketers. According to some statistics, 59 percent of buyers say marketing emails have a favorable or negative impact on their shopping decisions.
Email marketing also helps increase customer retention, according to 80 percent of company executives.
Prospects on an email list may help shape the performance of your marketing campaigns, regardless of the size of your business.
Some performance indicators that are simple to analyze, namely email open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate provide marketers with useful information about what they’re doing properly and what needs to be adjusted.
Here are some ways to build an email list using your website:
Use embedded signup forms
Embedded signup forms are one of the most well-known methods for gaining email subscribers. These static forms are highly recommended to be put in pages that attract most customers, namely headers, footers, sidebars, and splash pages.
Use Pop-ups and overlays
According to some studies, pop-ups convert at a rate of 3.9 percent on average, with the conversion of the top 10% being roughly 9.8 percent. Although these figures are really appealing, you should be cautious when using pop-ups because you will risk a penalty if you don’t follow Google’s interstitial ad standards.
Some popular pop-ups that many marketers use are Welcome pop-ups, Exit intent pop-ups, and Promotional pop-ups.
Sign up invitation for notifications
The usage of multiple notifications is a good way to expand your mailing list. These can be used as overlays on landing pages, statically embedded within product pages, or as sliders on page headers, depending on the type of notification.
You can send notifications for some events such as Pre-sale, New collection release, and ‘Back in stock’ products
Take advantage of loyalty and referral programs.
When it comes to building an email list from the beginning, well-planned customer loyalty and referral programs can help a lot.
Rewards-based programs can both attract new customers and urge existing members to upgrade, resulting in higher lifetime value.
4. Enhance your presence on social media
Social media, or social network, is one of the most successful marketing channels, and thus one of the greatest POD promotion ideas with outstanding results.
Today, the majority of small businesses use social media marketing to boost sales, enhance their brand’s reach, and promote their professional network.
Your message may spread like wildfire on social media and potentially reach millions of people if you share truly authentic and engaging information with your followers or subscribers.
You should probably start linking your print-on-demand store to social media networks by now if you haven’t already.
Begin by updating one or two daily social media posts about your status, answering to comments and messages, and you may eventually run social media ads.
When deciding whether to use social media or not, there are several factors for you to consider. Finding the ideal social media audience, like any other business, has never been easy.
While social media is important in today’s digital world, it’s important to remember that we need to connect with the targeted audiences. No matter what POD promotion ideas you use, interacting with the wrong audience will not bring any positive results.
Furthermore, always keep an eye on your brand. On social media, customers can speak and the business can listen.
You and your team should learn to pay attention to customers’ recommendations, complaints, and opinions. It allows you to keep track of both your own and your competitors’ product feedback.
You also may use social media to convert your followers into potential customers. Because of the numerous benefits of social media marketing, thousands of businesses are focusing and investing in this channel to provide millions of customers with a more flexible, personalized, and seamless purchasing experience.
5. Create a Blog or Website for Your Business
If you are having a small POD business, blogging is absolutely worth considering for all your time, money, and effort.
Blogging on a regular basis is a simple, low-cost approach to boost your marketing efforts, provide insight to customers, attract more of them, and generate traffic to your website.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of using a blog in your POD marketing strategy for your company.
Booster Search Engine Optimization
It’s undeniable that search engines prefer new, high-quality information, and there’s no better way to give it on a consistent basis than with a blog.
By daily blogging, you provide fresh information for search engines to index, as well as the ability to use keywords to improve your visibility on search engine search result pages.
For example, if you are a Shopify merchant, you not only need to optimize your website elements with auto SEO apps, but also to build a blog channel to offer Google and online customers valuable information.
Create and maintain relationships with current and potential consumers
Blogging also allows you to engage and communicate with visitors to your site.
You may, for example, choose to ask your readers some questions at the end of each blog post or to allow opinions and comments. You may create trust and connection with your audience by replying to their comments, and you’ll learn a lot about what they want.
You’ll also be able to solve your clients’ concerns and keep them informed about POD industry trends as well as your POD business this way.
Build useful content for social networking
Sharing information about your company on social media is a wonderful method to get people to visit your website. Promoting your content on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter after you’ve written and published it adds several values.
You can pique the interest of both new and present clients, and if they find the given information useful, they will share it with other people in their network.
To summarize, a Print-on-Demand (POD) business strategy can be able to provide a profit for you, as long as you invest in it and have proper marketing strategies to interact with your customers better.
Using the information and a few suggestions, as well as the right marketing methods in this article, you can significantly increase your POD store’s revenues in the future.
I’m a London-born lover of technology, obsessed with online business, passive income and the digital economy. I love learning, researching and curating the most valuable resources to save you time, money and help you discover the truth on what it actually takes to achieve your goals.