Print on Demand (POD), which has been popular since its inception, isn’t likely to lose popularity anytime soon. It offers many advantages over traditional Ecommerce.
It has a large product catalogue and requires little capital or inventory management. You can also create unique products with POD.
This type of business is well-established for over a decade. Several early POD ecommerce entrants introduced a one-off printing concept that allowed for custom designs.
A large variety of products, including apparel and gift items, are now available to POD sellers. Merchants have access to more POD platforms, which means they can sell their goods through multiple channels.
We’ll show you how to set up a profitable Print on Demand Shopify store if you have decided to go into the POD industry.
How print on demand works
Print on Demand, an ecommerce model that allows merchants to sell custom products without having to manage inventory or ship.
A merchant registers with a POD platform. This handles all the order fulfillment and print jobs for them. Products are printed after the customer places an order.
As they don’t charge anything for products until customers order them, POD sellers don’t have to incur any storage costs.
Shopify stores can be integrated with a POD app if you have one or are looking to start one.
The next step is to work with one or more suppliers to create white-label products like bags, mugs and baseball hats with your designs. You then can sell them under your name on a per order basis.
This is the main process: Create, Sell, Print, Ship
Start by designing or creating your products and then adding them to your Shopify shop.
Customers who order products or more from your store are automatically sent to the POD service to be printed when they place an order.
The order will be printed, packaged, and shipped directly to the customer by the POD service that you use or integrated with Shopify.
When you are looking to test your business idea and make it profitable, create niche products or sell one-off items, POD services can be used.
Eric and Yana Dales created the POD Shopify store while they were in Bangladesh. They met while working as humanitarian aid workers.
They saw the big fashion players draining the environment and social fabric through the fast use of unsustainable materials and labor conditions. The couple decided to start their own fashion company.
TAMGA Designs’ mission it to create a fashion industry that is sustainable and conscious of fashion, style, and people.
The fabric is also made from sustainably harvested beech wood and eucalyptus to make low-impact dyed pieces.
These items are sourced in Asia, then shipped to Canada where they are sold to consumers in more than 25 countries.
This POD Shopify store is owned and operated by Nick Abrams, his wife Darlene.
Abrams is a freelance designer who loves illustration. He and his wife run StomaStoma. They offer baby one-pieces as well as t-shirts with inspiring quotes and fun illustrations.
This is not your typical apparel store. Each design has a unique touch that people can relate to instantly, but they are universally wearable.
To build their website, the couple used Shopify templates and free apps. Social media is their primary communication channel to reach customers and connect them with them.
Georg and Florian also manage this POD Shopify store. They started it in 2013 in a friend’s garage.
They were looking to launch a product that was fun and useful, but they decided to go into business after witnessing viral phenomenal growth.
After a media story made them famous, their persistence paid off and they began to service up to seven orders per hour.
The Shopify store began as a social media page that shared dad memes. However, it quickly became a profitable POD business thanks to a loyal following on Facebook.
Followingers began to request merchandise so the team behind it started searching for merchandise partners.
The brand established a POD fulfillment platform through Shopify’s app. This helped them succeed with their first sale from Shopify.
Classic Dad offers a wide range of products, including hats and mugs as well as clothing that is tailored for older dads or first-timers.
Olivier Gratton–Gagne is the founder of iLikeMaps. He also launched Shopify in 2012. It was a hobby at the time for Gagne. He was creating map posters and programming his site.
Gagne realized that he could do more with his hobby by expanding his customer base and developing new sales channels. He started a Shopify business and also has an Etsy store.
The website, along with the business infrastructure, is custom-coded and runs on Shopify. He also has a large network of retailers that sell his products in physical shops.
Dionna Dorsey is the owner and operator of this Shopify store. She is a graphic designer and creative director as well as a strategist.
Dorsey started it as a side business, but plans on making it a full-time venture.
Inspirated by the creative community, she started the POD shop in 2014. She wanted to spread positivity by selling products that had inspiring messages, such as hoodies, hats and clothing for kids.
Ryan Ross started the Shopify POD store. He also started his own clothing line and lifestyle brand.
To manage his ecommerce shop, he chose to use Shopify, Bella + Canvas, and a POD provider. He was able to get high-quality garments to print on and he chose Shopify for order fulfillment.
Ryan saw this as a win-win scenario. It allowed customers seamless interactions and was simple to use.
This is not just a POD Shopify shop, but a global phenomenon.
After a Twitter feud with Tyler, Matt and John created the store. It became an international success story.
You can follow the original Twitter to see where this business is coming from.
Matt joined the social network in 2014. However, he did not intend to create an ecommerce company from it.
His Twitter account began to gain more followers. They also liked his jokes and soon, a business was formed.
Matt shared the We Rate Dogs style with his followers, and it became viral.
The store’s Twitter account was set up in late 2015 and later monetized via an ecommerce store on Shopify.
They received orders almost immediately and became a go-to gift for every occasion and everyone.
The POD Shopify store can be more than just a store. It’s also an agency for design.
It creates and sells great apparel and personal accessories with humor and style. This is why their customers love it.
Many people couldn’t find the information they needed on the internet so they decided to create it.
Dan Woychick is a designer and creative strategist who runs the Shopify POD store.
He combined his love of Minneapolis with his work to create an online shop that pays homage to the city’s parks and lakes.
Woychick donates half the proceeds from the sale of t-shirts to People for Parks. This non-profit is dedicated to improving the parks in Minneapolis.
Except for one, he does all of the design work. That is the job of Jeff Johnson, I Cherry Minneapolis.
All designs are custom-made and have a retro feel.
Rihards Piks created this POD Shopify store. He is an expert in mapping new ideas and achieving goals with maps.
He was a co-worker with Janis, Karlis, and Rudolfs who were the second programmer, designer, and lead programmer.
Piks began the idea with an alfa product. Then, he started to follow ecommerce podcasts which inspired him to start his own ecommerce business.
At first, he didn’t see the potential, but after discovering OpenStreetMap, Grafomap was born.
Sean Douglas, creator of Circle Square Diamond, believes that every slope has its own story. His minimalist, yet visually striking designs will appeal to anyone who loves skiing.
Douglas created the POD Shopify store while browsing Reddit a few years ago. He noticed that some people used trail maps to decorate their homes.
His aunt shared his idea, saying she loved wall art with such maps, but not the raw look.
The maps were then updated and cleaned up by him. He gave them to her as a gift. She loved it and suggested that he make the idea a business.
These were sold to Reddit users. In 2013, an online store was created.
This POD store was launched in June 2014. It sells unique t-shirts and has a design-centric approach.
The Shopify-powered store was created by Jeff, who is an artist, graphic designer, and branding enthusiast. This gave him the ideas he needed to create a clothing company.
He realized that not all of the things he desired was available so he decided to make the leap.
In late 2013, the United Strands concept was born. It aims to create a brand that blends bold, modern designs with clear messages in an effort to spread visual unity around the world.
3Nil is an apparel company that represents football culture. Shopify is the platform that runs the store. It aims to provide shirts that are loved by people around the globe.
This line of apparel and gear is centered around soccer or soccer culture. It has thousands of supporters and shirts, wallets, posters, and hats are sold in over 45 countries.
Dan Gribbon is a designer and founder of Shopify. He uses his passion and skill to create unique apparel and chose Shopify for greater exposure and increased sales.
Hunter Mize manages this Shopify POD shop that sells classic sports posters and tee-shirts.
Mize’s passion for sports history led to the creation of the profitable store. It was based on details about plays and moments, how they happened, and who made them.
These moments are what sports fans cherish and turn into emotional feelings. They can relive those memories through the shop’s shirts or prints.
Shopify is the perfect platform for this store. It has a clean interface, order fulfillment process, and endless options for apps and updates.
Charles Smith, a young father from Atlanta, Georgia, started the store several years ago. After being unhappy with his job and looking for happiness, he quit to pursue happiness.
Smith found POD business and created his brand. This resonates with fatherhood.
His store is today one of the most successful Shopify POD stores. He says this is due to his unique ability to design products that people love and print them with beautiful designs.
Pastor Carlos Rodriguez is the founder of this Shopify POD store. He enjoys growing revenues and a community-backed brand that thrives.
Rodriguez’ store story began with disappointment. Most of his ideas didn’t work, and sales were not growing. But he kept going.
The mission of the Happy Givers is not just about making a profit, but helping people in need by feeding them and changing their communities.
When he teamed up with talented partners and experts, he was able to create a reputable ecommerce store.
Another cause-oriented POD Shopify shop, this one aims to increase social consciousness worldwide and its impact on the local community.
Its goal is to promote Black Empowerment through visual and audio. There are more than 200 designs printed on products such as t-shirts and tanks.
The clothing line includes t-shirts and sweatshirts as well as hats and tanks. They are primarily pro-marijuana- and brand-based designs.
Its main focus is mischief, adventure, and several customers have described it as creative, young, noon-follower, and skaters.
The POD Shopify store includes an app that allows writers to create text-images. This increases social media visibility.
The shop’s concept is based on words and the people who created them. It also offers text-based designs, custom items, and pre-designed themes.
Gavin Aung Than is a cartoon blogger from Australia who started the POD Shopify store. He adapts famous quotes and joins them to his art.
You can find posters, mugs and t-shirts in the store that feature selected scenes, comics, and characters.
This store celebrates progressive women who are also game-changers and donates the proceeds from sales of their text-adorned sweatshirts, tote bags and sweatshirts to a charity that supports women.
This beautiful POD store sells t-shirts and posters made from Moto themes. It also features vehicles such as planes, helicopters and motorcycles.
The company behind this store has a strong social media following and prints inspirational designs on products like t-shirts, performance wear, and accessories.
Sarah FitzPatrick Clancy is the owner. She loves design and art as well as running, which is her favorite hobby.
It is a lifestyle brand that’s owned by women and features fun, clever, and inclusive apparel and accessories.
This brand is more like a community of artists and advocates, which runs crowdsourced campaigns for different causes.
These designs can be printed on a variety POD products, including apparel, posters, and home goods. They are also sold through the site or at other retailers. All proceeds go to the artists and causes.
Tips for Print on Demand Store Owners
Although a POD service is easier than a brick-and-mortar shop, there are still some things you should know about POD stores.
To ensure product quality, order samples
A POD business is dependent on quality assurance. Make sure you have samples that you can view before you buy.
You can be sure that your product will look and feel exactly how you want it to. This also helps to avoid any misinterpretation between the printed final products and the on-screen designs.
These are also great to use on your website and social media pages.
You won’t be shipping the items yourself but it will still have complexities such as shipping costs and delivery times. Plus, you need to establish customer expectations.
Print times will vary depending on the product. Be upfront about this information or your mailbox may be overflowing with customer queries.
A FAQ page can be created to answer such questions and to explain to customers what they can expect.
Create product mockups
These can be used on product pages and are easily obtained with an app or POD service. Most of these apps have mockup generators.
Customers also get help in choosing the right product, as they can see what to expect.
While you can use models to capture compelling product photos, mockups can be just as effective and should remain prominent on your product pages.
You can also find free mockup templates that you can use to give life to your products.
Target a niche market
Marketing is an integral part of business success.
You can’t market to everyone if you target everyone. Instead, focus on one market or niche to create products that are in high demand, minimize costs, and maximize your profit.
Marketing can help you build your audience and create a lasting asset for your store.
You can do this by creating and curating content on Instagram, running Facebook ads that target your audience, using influencers to make sales, and collecting visitors’ email addresses so you can market to them free of charge every time.
Shopify stores can look very similar if they are not customized, especially if the owners don’t know what customization options they have.
With the right adjustments, however, you can overcome the rigid headers and clunky options to create stunning stores for your POD company.