According to Grand view research, over the next decade, print-on-demand is predicted to experience tremendous growth. The worldwide POD market was estimated to be worth $4.91 billion in 2021. By 2030, it is expected to reach $39.87 billion.
That means the print-on-demand business is ready to boom in a massive way. As a result, a good number of people are already getting into the print-on-demand business. Some of the most successful print-on-demand businesses in the world are located in the United States, which makes North America the largest print-on-demand market today.
But not all of these eCommerce POD businesses are well planned and prepared, so while running a pod business, they face a lot of challenges.
In this article, we will look at the problems in print-on-demand business at Shopify that people usually face. Additionally, we will talk about some solutions to those problems. So let’s start.
What Is A Print-On-Demand Business at Shopify?
Shopify’s print-on-demand (POD) business model requires a store owner to work with a print-on-demand supplier to make and sell unique products based on the design that the store owner provides.
Print-on-demand allows the supplier to handle both product printing and delivery. In the meantime, the owner can focus on creating, advertising, and selling items. This business model allows start-ups to have a low initial investment and no inventory costs because products are only printed and shipped when an order is placed.
Shopify is a great platform to start a print-on-demand business because it has numerous helpful product personalization tools and integrations for POD businesses. Store owners can easily connect with a wide variety of print-on-demand suppliers and can allow customers to design their products with those tools.
The most ordered print-on-demand items include T-shirts, sweatshirts, phone cases, mugs, and wall art. By using their creativity and design skills, store owners can make unique, customized products that appeal to the people they want to sell to.
The Benefit of Starting A Print-on-demand Business In eCommerce
Nowadays, eCommerce business owners are becoming interested in print-on-demand businesses. Especially at Shopify, the number of POD businesses is increasing. And here are some reasons:
- It Is Quite Easy To Start
- Business Owner Can Try New Things For Customers
- No Stock Needed
Benefit 1- It Is Quite Easy To Start
Starting a POD business at Shopify is really easy. Here are some steps-
- First of all, a businessman need to set up a store
- Then he needs to find a supplier
- Next, it is time to design a product
- After that, start product listing
- Lastly, start selling
Now, if you are the one who is the supplier of the product, then you can focus on using a product personalizer in your store, but in such a case, you need to handle the shipping hassle on your own.
Benefit 2- Business Owner Can Try New Things For Customers
One reason for the popularity of POD businesses in eCommerce is that it allows businesses to explore their opportunities and chances by experimenting with various methods.
Customer taste is changing every day, and according to their demand, adapting to new changes is mandatory for an eCommerce business. A POD business owner can analyze their market, create designs based on customer preferences, and then print them for sale.
Benefit 3- No Stock Needed
There is no need to pre-order or stock up on products with print-on-demand because you only pay the supplier when your product is sold. Because of this, the POD business has quickly become a popular way for online stores to do business.
In addition, the supplier of print-on-demand services takes care of everything, from digital printing to order fulfillment and shipping.
What Are The Common Problems of A Custom Print Business
- Maybe Competitors are Outperforming
- Lacking of Design Knowledge
- Shortage Of Supplier
- You Are Not Choosing the Right Niche to Sell
- Maybe You do not Have Enough Plan
Problem 1- Maybe Competitors are Outperforming
When starting an eCommerce business, it’s important to study your competitors. Some POD business owners do not care about their competitors, and they don’t research the market. Because of this, they don’t keep up with the latest trends and sell products that are out of date.
In the meantime, their competitors may upgrade their businesses to meet the needs of their customers. This kind of situation makes it harder for most print-on-demand businesses to make money in the long run.
So, we have to say that it is a problem of a pod business that to run a sustainable POD business in Shopify, the businesses should know a lot about their competitors and the customer’s choices.
Problem 2- Lacking of Design Knowledge
The main goal of a POD business is to give its customers high-quality products that make them feel outstanding. But sometimes, a POD business fails to meet the customer’s expectations regarding design.
And when a print-on-demand business can’t meet the needs of its customers, it loses its reliability.
To ignore such probability, nowadays, a major number of POD businesses at Shopify offer a powerful product configurator in their store that lets customers design their own products to solve these kinds of design-related conflicts.
When a product configurator has been installed, the business owner doesn’t have to come up with new designs because of these things.
Problem 3- Shortage of Supplier
If you don’t have any POD suppliers and you are the one who supplies products to your customers, then you need to keep an eye on your stock.
Let’s say your store has a product personalizer that allows customers to customize products and order them easily. This is really good for your business.
But the real problem begins when you don’t have enough products in stock to fulfill their order. It looks like a big mess. So, one important part of a POD business on Shopify is that business owners have to think about their storage and supply capacity.
Problem 4- You Are Not Choosing the Right Niche To Sell
To start a print-on-demand business, you can choose from a variety of products. For example, T-shirts, mugs, photo frames, stickers, bags, shocks, water bottles, and so on.
But rushing into a product niche without doing enough research can be a big mistake. It can be risky to choose either a popular niche or a less popular one. In this case, it might be a good idea to choose a popular niche with some unique ideas.
Showcase your niche much better than anyone else; only then will you be able to grab the attention of your customers.
Problem 5- Maybe You Do Not Have Enough Plan
When you have just made up your mind to expand your custom business or eCommerce, then you must make some advance plans for your business. Before starting a POD business, keep in mind that you are going to face numerous challenges and have to cope with them.
Well-planned and organized planning is essential for dealing with all POD business challenges. Keep a good budget to use a W2P solution and marketing; furthermore, do not short your hand to make your inventory larger if you are a supplier of your own.
A Reliable Solution For The Problem Of Shopify Print-On-Demand Business
Solution 1- Analyze Customer Demand
In order to analyze client demand, it is necessary to gather information about customers’ choices in the case of purchasing, product inquiries, and social media activity in a custom business.
This information can help eCommerce businesses make smart decisions about the things they sell and how to promote those products to customers.
A POD business can also predict trends and meet customers’ needs by researching what they want.
To offer trendy products to the customer, analysis has no alternative. Now if a POD business offers a product personalizer in its store instead of selling its pre-made products, it can offer extensive product design features according to the demand of customers.
Solution 2- Focus on Third-Party Integrations And Plugins
Nowadays, the print-on-demand business is becoming more competitive, and as a result, people are getting into web-to-print solutions. Offering customers the chance to design their own products is a way of cutting down on the hassle of meeting customer choices.
When it comes to eCommerce-custom businesses, with a proper marketing strategy, businesses can gain profit. But sometimes it becomes quite difficult to satisfy all types of customers with their different demands. In such a situation, using a product personalizer is an absolute solution.
In Shopify, you can choose from a number of product configurators based on what your business needs. Choose apps with features that are tailored to your business, pricing ideas for complex products, and easy design ideas.
Read to know more about the importance of W2P business.
Solution 3- Keep Your Plan Clean
A majority of eCommerce businesses are showing interest in a POD business. If you are one of them, then you may try to gather more revenue in a short period of time. But it will not happen overnight. For that, you will need to make a plan accordingly. Do not just rush into everything; attempt every step one by one.
According to Investopedia, if a business does not have a business plan, more than 30% of them will fail within the first three years. This is applicable for any type of business.
To make a proper plan,
- First of all, choose what types of products you want to sell. Try to do something unique.
- Secondly, install a product personalizer in your store and make a good website about your product.
- Thirdly, keep focusing on marketing and advertising by using CTAs, social media, and email marketing.
- Lastly, when you gather a good number of customers, you can now focus on business expansion.
InkyBay- Product Personalizer- A helping hand for a POD Business
InkyBay-Product Personalizer is an online tool for eCommerce print businesses. This is a product configurator that turns a customer into a designer. When a customer is able to design his own product, it eliminates the necessity of using an in-house designer and the associated extra cost.
Moreover, this application provides print-ready vector and raster files (PDF, SVG, PNG, and JPG), which are suitable to send to the suppliers.
InkyBay-product configurator allows customers to add text, images, QR codes, graphics, and upload files. Moreover, store owners can also add some predefined templates to help their customers by giving them ideas about the type of design they can add.
This can happen easily because InkyBay allows business owners to make products configurable. Such as a t-shirt, shoes, photo frame, toothpick, socks, and many more.
If you are still blank about a product personalizer, then let me show you a sample of a store that is using InkyBay-Product Configurator.
So, here you can see an eCommerce print store that sells socks and lets their customers design socks by adding text, graphics, clipart, uploading files, using core code, using a predefined template, and entering a name and number.
Apart from that, in the design lab, you can see a few custom business-centric options (size-limit, inch, edit-layer, view, save, and download) that help a customer design their product easily.
Now, if we view the benefits of these features from the point of view of a POD businessman, then we must say that this W2P solution can really work as a helping hand for a POD business; there is no doubt about that.
All in all, with proper strategy and by using a business-centric product personalizer, you can beat the problems of a print-on-demand business. If you are one of the POD businessmen at Shopify, try to find out what problem you are facing in your business and what solution you need to use.