How to Start a POD Store with Shopify and Printful?

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It can be difficult to find inventory online. Print-on-demand (POD), however, allows for a faster and simpler process. You can still make unique products, but you don’t need to store them until someone buys a product. This is a great way to make money online. We created a detailed guide to help you use it. Printful With Shopify You can build your print-on-demand shop.

Shopify and Printful: The Essentials

Shopify and Printful have teamed up to create the ultimate print on-demand and ecommerce ecosystem.

Before we get into the tutorial, let’s go over the basics of Shopify and Printful. We will also explain how they compare and work together to offer this print-on demand system.


Shopify is an all-in one, hosted ecommerce platform that allows you to create an online store, sell products and accept payments from customers. You can create a website and manage your online shop with the included features to handle orders, market your shop and track customers’ shopping habits.

Shopify has been a popular ecommerce platform and is our favourite solution for launching an online shop. It doesn’t matter if the store is small or large.

Shopify pricing starts at $9 per month and goes up to $299 per monthly. The $9 per month option does not include a complete online shop, but only buttons that can be added to an existing website. Shopify’s $79 per month plan is the most affordable for legitimate online shops. If you own a small store, the $29 per-month Basic Shopify plan is also available.

Shopify is your storefront for a print-on demand store. Then, you would combine it with an application that provides POD services to list the products on your Shopify site. Printful is a popular Shopify App Store POD solution and has an amazing integration with Shopify.


Printful is an independent entity from Shopify. This company offers print-on demand services and products. This allows you to create your own products, such as mugs and t-shirts. You can list them on Shopify and have the products printed and shipped to customers only when they purchase the item.

Printful offers a Shopify app to sync products and has its own dashboard that allows you to manage everything, from product design to profit margins.

Printful is a printer and shipper. It expands upon the basic dropshipping model where the supplier stores your goods, and ships them only when the customer requests them. This reduces upfront costs, shipping delays, and storage costs.

Printful is completely free to use. Printful only gets paid when you sell an item. Printful charges more per product than if you bought wholesale. However, you can save money in other areas.

As an example, let’s say you decide to make a tshirt for Printful at $9. You can set your price, however. You can sell the shirt for $20 and make an $11 profit.

Other expenses include sample products (which are discounted), and if you plan to use Printful’s fulfillment and storage program for products that are not printed by Printful.

Printful provides global fulfillment services for people living in other countries, as well as a beautiful interface and low-cost pricing. Printful has fulfillment centers in the United States, Canada and Spain. The locations in Spain and Latvia cover the majority of the EU, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia.

Printful also offers an automated ordering process, white label packaging, and product reviews to help you determine if the products are high-quality. You can also test the products before you commit to buying them.

How to set up your Shopify store

Signing up for Shopify is the first step of the whole process. Next, you need to set up your store. Although you don’t have to set up every aspect of your shop to link it with Printful, it is a good idea at least to activate payments and your theme.

Check out the Shopify tutorial to learn more about creating an online shop with Shopify.

This is a simplified version that will help you get started quickly.

Go to Shopify and enter your email address. To proceed, click on the Start Free Trial button.

Before you can access your dashboard, you will need to answer a few questions. Shopify plans include a free trial. This means that you won’t need to enter any credit card information until the trial ends. You can also set up your website for free.

After you have answered the initial questions, take a look at the dashboard to get an idea of it. The main menu has pages for analytics, marketing, discounts and marketing. You can view orders and products as well as customers and customers.

To make your website look beautiful, the first step is to add a Shopify template. You can also customize the theme to fit your brand.

Click on the Online Store button at the top of the main menu.

Your dashboard may already have a default theme. If this is the case, click on the Customize button to make it your own.

Scroll down to see the other themes, and click Explore Free Themes or Visit Theme Store.

You can find great themes in the dashboard. These themes can be tested and selected, and you can add them to your store from the popup window. Alternative options include the Shopify Theme Store, which offers a wide range of premium themes. Most of these themes are more expensive and cost between $50 and $100 (one-time).

After you have found a theme that you like, activate it in Shopify. You can now click on the Customize button and change the theme elements like the logo, color or homepage design.

Shopify’s editor provides a frontend visual overview of your website. The editor doesn’t offer a drag-and-drop builder but it does have draggable modules to the left. These allow you to insert content blocks, move them around, and reorder them on other pages.

To adjust the settings for each content block, click on it. You can add blocks to the theme that were not included in the original design. Images, Videos, News, among others, are some of the blocks.

Shopify offers a Header block that allows you to upload an image of your logo, as well as other items such your header spacing and favicon.

To ensure your site is well-designed and functions properly, we recommend going through each of the content modules.

After that, you can go back to your dashboard to set up your payments.

You can find the Settings panel where you will find the payment options. The Settings button can be found in the lower left corner of your dashboard.

Click on the Payments link and follow the instructions.

There are many payment options available, but Shopify Payments is the most affordable. You can activate Shopify Payments by clicking here and entering your banking information.

There are also payment options like Amazon Pay and PayPal, in case you want to offer other payment options for your customers. If you find one that is cheaper or more reliable in your area, you can also add a third-party provider button.

These are the main parts of Shopify that you need to set up. There is more to the Shopify site than this, so make sure to explore the dashboard and customize as much as you can. For a more detailed tutorial, we recommend that you also check out the guide we linked.

How to connect Printful and Shopify

Your Shopify website is almost ready. It’s now time to connect Printful and Shopify.

Printful does not charge upfront fees. You’ll have two weeks free of payments due to the Shopify trial.

Printful and Shopify can be connected to enable product synchronization. This is because you will design your products in Printful, then sell them on Shopify. We need a way to display the products on Shopify and then send all orders back via Printful.

Click on the Apps menu in the Shopify dashboard to complete the connection.

To open the Shopify App Store, click on the Shop For Apps link.

To find other apps that can help your business, you are more than welcome to look around the App Store. You might also consider other POD apps, which may offer printable products as an alternative to Printful.

Printful is our preferred choice due to many factors, including its quality control, speed shipping, and affordable prices.

Printful can be found in the Shopify App Store.

When you see the Printful app, select it.

The entire Printful app page will be displayed, along with pricing information and other details. This is similar to any page on an Android or Apple smartphone.

When you are redirected to Shopify dashboard, click the Install App button.

This page explains that Printful can view your Shopify account information and perform other automated tasks, such as editing orders and products. These tasks can only be done with your consent.

After the installation, you will be taken to Printful.

If you have an account, log in to it. If not, you can choose to sign up with Facebook, Apple or Google.

After you sign up, it will send you to the Printful dashboard.

A notification may appear that your Printful account has been linked to Shopify. You may need to verify your email address before this happens.

To verify if your store has been activated, you can visit the Stores tab under the Printful menu. To verify your connection, look for the green Active icon.

To check if it was successful, you can also return to the Shopify dashboard by clicking on the Apps menu option.

Scroll down to the bottom of the list and locate Printful.

Now you can start printing-on-demand items with Printful, and then add them to your Shopify store via the syncing process.

Finding a niche

It is important to choose a niche market that is both in demand and one you enjoy selling.

It’s also a great idea to find a niche known for its mugs, t-shirts and other printable items such as backpacks or phone cases.

The following steps can be used to help you find a niche for print-on demand stores.

  • You can find information on popular industries and products at places like Amazon and Google Trends. You should look for items that are popular and profitable, but also for those that have room for unique printed products.
  • You should make a list of profitable industries and those you enjoy.
  • Use the Google Keyword Planner for a quick look at where you can make improvements in search engine optimization.
  • Reduce your niche to something more specific, such as a breed of dog or a general store for dogs.
  • After you’ve established a niche for your store, consider whether settling on a product category makes sense. A store selling phone cases featuring dog designs is likely to have a greater impact than one that sells hats, shirts and phone cases featuring dog-inspired designs.
  • You can do a competitor analysis online by looking for similar products and checking out other businesses. Do you think the market is too competitive?

Selecting the right products

Printful has hundreds of printable products that you can choose from. Many of them allow for digital printing, embroidery or direct-to garment printing.

We recommend looking through the Printful product catalog to help you understand what is available, and which products people in your industry might be more likely to buy. Dog owners may love backpacks that feature dog-themed designs.

Go to Printable and click the Stores tab.

Select the Add Product button in your Shopify store.

You can filter and search the many products that are available for printing from a popup window.

They are arranged from most to least popular and have some collections that can help you categorize your store.

They have, for example, a section for Men’s Clothing and one for Women’s Clothing.

Scroll down to see other cool items such as pillows, stickers and accessories.

These products may be more popular than others. We recommend that you visit the Printful blog to find out which items are most likely to sell. Although it may be fun to sell beanbag chairs, I don’t think they are that profitable.

As previously mentioned, the items that sell most are those on the highest tier of this filtered list.

It’s a good idea to only sell shirts in your shop, as they make the most profit.

Once you have some success, think about expanding your range to include hats and pants. Stickers are also becoming more popular.

It is crucial to research the products that you wish to sell, particularly considering the fact that each product category comes in a variety of styles, colors and brands.

The Men’s T-shirt section has a few shirts. To find the best product for you, look at the bottom of each product listing.

The cost for the first Bella + Canva shirt is $12.95. This price includes thousands of positive reviews and many color options.

Gildan shirt is cheaper, but it comes in only five colors. Most of them are shades of white and black.

While the Bella + Canva shirt is the most popular, you may also be able increase your profits by selling all your black and white designs to the Gildan tee-shirt.

We encourage you to continue your search by clicking on each product.

To see the details of reviews, you can view them in detail.

You can also find information about additional costs associated with each product on the Pricing tab. The cost of a simple design on a T-shirt’s front will not be affected, but any extras, such as a print on the sleeves, will.

Select the Info tab to review the specifications and materials. This page contains a lot of information that can help you decide whether to buy the shirt.

Bella + Canva shirts, for example, are made of 100% cotton. If you want to sell the softest t-shirts available, this may not be a good fit for your business. Cotton t-shirts are a popular choice because they’re durable and reliable. It is possible to see information such as if the shirt is titled or if it has a tear-away label. You can also check if other colors are softened with them.

Ordering Test Items

We’ve already mentioned that you can order samples before listing products in your Shopify store and then selling them to customers.

Never assume that a product sample is a waste or a wasteful use of your time. Send a sample of each product you intend to sell to your home. It is difficult to predict whether your design will print on a particular color. Customers may return or charge back.

Let’s now look at how Printful sends product samples to you.

Here are some key points to remember about your product samples.

  • Printful offers samples at a 20% discount on all orders. This is the item’s cost, not the price you charge to sell it.
  • One sample order can be placed per month.
  • Three samples are allowed per order.
  • Printful allows you to increase your sample order limit by using methods. It all depends on how many sales your company has.
  • Free shipping is available to some locations for product samples.
  • Account deactivation is possible for any abuse of the sample policy.
  • Sample orders are shipped exactly the same way they would to your customers. You want your brand to look professional so make sure you inspect everything, including the packaging and return address.

Go to the Printful website, and click the New Order button.

The New Order button is usually located in the upper right-hand corner. However, they also place it in other areas such as under the Stores tab or while you are designing your products.

The popup asks you to create either a basic order or a sample order. If you have to manually enter an order from a customer, basic orders are ideal. If the sample restrictions are too restrictive, you can use it to obtain more samples.

We recommend that you start with sample orders as they offer a 20% discount. You can only place one order per month and have three products in each order. These limits will increase as you make more sales.

To proceed, click on the Create Your Order button

Printful explains why you can only include three products in an order.

To choose the products that you wish to include in your sample order, click on the Add Product button.

Next, you will be asked to select a product variant. You may have made a shirt in multiple sizes or colors. You will need to choose which samples they send.

You should choose a size that suits you. Order a shirt that fits you. Consider the size of the painting you are ordering. You are buying the item so that you can actually use it.

Consider which variants are most relevant to your questions. You may find a design that uses red colors but doesn’t look great printed on a light-colored shirt. Order a sample if you are concerned.

Click the Choose button to select the variants that you wish to add to your sample order.

Next, look at the pricing and quantity. The base price for the product should be displayed along with the 20% discount for sample orders.

Click on the Continue to Ship button if everything is satisfactory.

You can add sample recipients to the address book on the next page. This module can be used to send samples to others in your company. If you are the only one using this module, you can skip to the section where you enter your name and contact information.

These fields determine the shipping costs for your samples.

Now you’ll see shipping options. Click on Free Shipping if you are in one of these areas. If you don’t live in one of the preferred areas, click on Free Shipping.

Double-check the price of your sample. The total price does not include tax, but it should be lower than what you would normally pay for the item.

Click the Continue to review button.

This page displays the shipping address of your product. You can change your shipping address in both your main profile or shipping settings.

You can either fund your Printable wallet (which makes it a great idea for future orders), or pay for the sample by entering your credit card information.

Check the final price once more and then click the Pay Securely now button.

This activates your sample order and sends an email tracking that order. Then, the shipping process begins to ship the product to you.

It is important to order samples for selling through a POD shop with Printful or Shopify. If you send out items without ensuring they are quality controlled, there can be many problems. Printful does have its own quality control system, but sometimes designer errors can occur. For example, you might upload a blurry or poorly printed image.

It’s a small price for making customers happy and eliminating the possibility of chargebacks or multiple returns (which could end-up costing you more than the product). This is a smart decision when learning how to use Printful and Shopify.

Brand Your Store

It’s now time to go back to your Shopify shop. Although you may have synced some products between Shopify & Printful and added them as a collection, it is important to personalize your online store to make sure it has the right look. A rustic logo might be required for outdoor-oriented phone cases. A parenting-themed merchandise shop might use whimsical fonts and yellow, pink, or blue colors.

Shopify makes these changes easy.

We recommence looking at the following customization settings as the base modifications:

  • Your logo.
  • Domain name and store.
  • The primary colors of the website.
  • Typography.
  • All multimedia elements.

This article outlines how to insert your logo and get a domain name. These steps will help you manage your website identity. A guide explains how to create your Shopify logo using the Hatchful Logo Builder. This guide can be used to create a logo, or to choose the style that you prefer. Also, we recommend looking at how you add a Favicon to help with branding.

All aspects of Shopify theme customization, including the primary website colors, can be done within the theme editor.

Shopify Dashboard > Online Store > Themes

Every element of the theme’s design can be stacked in the leftside panel as a content item.

The global customization settings can be found in the Theme Settings.

Click on the Theme Settings button at the lower-left corner.

Click on the Colors tab to adjust all colors on your site.

There are many settings you can modify. You may not need to make any changes to some of these settings, but it is worth testing them all to determine if they are more appropriate for your brand.

We can change the background color in the visual editor and see it immediately.

You are welcome to browse through these color options such as the colors for headings and text, backgrounds, or menus.

Click on the Typography button to access fonts.

Shopify themes are unique, but you can adjust the fonts for the headings or body text.

You can see the heading text at the right side in the screenshot below.

The visual editor will show the results of changing to another font. As you can see, Garamond is now used instead of Helvetica.

Last, make sure to check all media items on your website.

Is it possible to modify the demo content of the theme in order to make it more appropriate for your company. Are there images or videos that don’t look as great in the current format they are?

To make the media-oriented content modules as professional and relevant, click on each of them. You may have to change the image or video module to reflect your product, especially if Printful has new product designs.


The Shopify combined with Printful POOD makes for an amazing ecommerce environment. There are other options, such as BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Teespring, but the Shopify/Printful integration is so good that we don’t recommend any other.

You can design your products using the mockup generator. However, the products won’t be printed until someone visits your site and actually makes a purchase. This means that there are no shipping costs, storage fees, or quality control. Customers can also order products to test before shipping. Printful also offers a fair pricing structure, reviews and recommendations for each product so you can choose the best.

We wish you all the best on your Printful/Shopify/POD journey. If you have any questions regarding Printful and Shopify, please let us know.