By Contributing Author
Millions of people all over the world use print-on-demand businesses to buy and sell custom products. In fact, the print-on-demand e-commerce market is a multi-trillion dollar industry that has grown significantly in recent years. Whether you are an artist who wants to sell t-shirts or tote bags branded with your designs, or a manager looking to create customized gifts for your employees, print on demand services allow you to complete a wide variety of design projects easily and affordably. Keep reading to learn more about print on demand businesses and how they can save you money.
What Are Print on Demand Businesses?
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In decades past, if you wanted to create and sell merchandise featuring your company’s logo or a custom design, you would need to work with a printing company (and sometimes a designer as well) to place an order, often requiring that you order a set number of items as a minimum. The printing company would then send you your completed products, leaving you responsible for managing your inventory, processing payments from your customers, and fulfilling and shipping out orders.
With the print on demand technology available today, you can design and order just a few products or even a single item without worrying about meeting an order minimum. You can also link up your company’s online store with a print on demand service that fulfills and ships your customers’ orders for you as needed, leaving you free to focus on other elements of your business instead of digging through a backlog of merchandise until you find the right product. Think of print on demand services like made-to-order menu items, except for customized products instead of food. Now that you understand how print-on-demand businesses work, take a look at the different ways they can save you money, time, and effort.
Less Waste and No Excess Inventory
Print on demand businesses allow you to reduce waste in the form of money, materials, and time. With bulk printing services, you are usually required to meet a specific order minimum. This means that even if you only want to order fifteen coffee mugs with your company’s logo to give to your team as holiday gifts, you may be required to place an order of 30 or even more. Using a print on demand business to purchase the exact number of products you need not only saves you money, but you also won’t have a box of fifteen extra coffee mugs taking up space in your office. Plus, you do not have to waste time and energy coming up with an aesthetically pleasing design, because print on demand businesses usually have built-in design tools to help you create your project with ease, even if you have no background knowledge in design.
If you are an illustrator who sells t-shirts and other products featuring your art, outsourcing order fulfillment to a print-on-demand business can be a lifesaver. Since you can connect your online store to a print-on-demand service, your merchandise will only be printed when a customer places an order. You will no longer have to purchase items in bulk, manage a vast inventory of your products (which could include additional costs like renting storage space or hiring employees to help with order fulfillment), and figure out what to do with pieces that do not sell. Print-on-demand services allow you to test out different designs to see what sells and what doesn’t, without you wasting money on a bulk order of merchandise that turns out to be unsuccessful. Plus, print-on-demand businesses can fulfill and ship your orders for you, meaning that you will not need to purchase packing materials, calculate shipping costs, or take the time and effort to box up and ship orders. Instead, you are free to focus on growing your business and building your audience.
Lower Prices For Your Customers
If you use bulk printing services to create your products, you may not have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the prices you charge. You would need to set your prices high enough to cover all of the costs involved—such as meeting a minimum order threshold, purchasing packing supplies, paying for shipping, and more—and still make a profit. Billions of people shop online every day, and if your company isn’t charging fair prices, your customers can look elsewhere and find a better deal with the click of a button.
With print-on-demand services, on the other hand, all the money you will save on production costs means that you can lower the prices you charge for your merchandise. Lower prices mean happier customers who are more likely to write good reviews online, spread the word about your company, and come back to purchase an item from you again – all things which allow your business to grow. If you have no idea how to price your products, many print on demand services offer useful tools like shipping calculators which can help you plan out your costs.
You Only Need to Handle Payments
Since print-on-demand businesses take care of production and order fulfillment for you, all you have to deal with is payment. If your company’s website already has an online store, integrating it with a print-on-demand service is easy and most likely will not require you to change your current online payment system. But if you are an independent artist or you are just starting a new business, you will need to select a vendor for taking online payments from customers. There are many different companies to choose from that offer a variety of online payment solutions to suit your specific needs. Its recommended that when choosing a payment processing solution, you opt for an online gateway. “Online gateways are a fast and secure way to take payments in any environment. They are a great option for print-on-demand businesses allowing them to accept online payments, send customer invoices and closely track their accounts receivable.”
On top of that, you can also find services that help you build a website, including an online store, from the ground up, without having to shop around to find the best payment processing system. In today’s world, it is easier than ever to sell your products online and minimize your costs with the help of print-on-demand businesses.