Print on demand is increasingly playing a more important role in retail eCommerce. This business model is likely to continue as new-age eCommerce where internet entrepreneurs seek innovative ways to compete with larger, established players.
What Is Print on demand?
Print on demand is abbreviated as POD which is a type of drop-shipping model in which the merchant works with the supplier to customize white-label products like t-shirts, mugs, or tumblers and sell them under your brand name as soon as the order has been placed. That means there is no need to pay for the product until after the product has been sold and you don’t have to buy and hold inventory in bulk.
With POD, the merchant doesn’t have to deal with shipping and inventory management. Every stage, from printing to packaging and shipping, will be handled by a third party with fulfillment services. POD fulfillment services enable you to connect your eCommerce site to their platform, and whenever someone buys from your site, that order is sent to your service provider for printing and fulfillment.
With rising demand, technology has advanced rapidly to accommodate new product categories, primarily across accessories and forms of apparel.
Top 3 Best Platforms For POD Sellers:
When you decide to emerge yourself into the POD industry, choosing a platform to sell your products is also important. In fact, you can absolutely sell and list your POD products on multiple platforms which obviously brings more sales and profit margins to your stores.
Before starting, you need to know in-depth about these platforms to get the best preparation for your business! Here are the top 3 platforms that give you free traffic and generate huge profit margins that most people in the industry highly recommend.
1. POD Etsy
The POD business model first started joining Etsy in 2013 as a big step for the worldwide POD industry. It has never stopped growing day by day since then. According to the Etsy 2021 report, around 90 million active customers out of which 20% have been purchasing products from this creative industry on Etsy, and the number was forecasted to increase year over year.
Statistics tell that Etsy is one of the recommended platforms that sellers should take an eye on due to its huge traffic and a massive load of customers that POD sellers can leverage!
2. POD eBay
eBay is the second biggest eCommerce platform in the world after Amazon. At the beginning of 2020, it counted 183 million users which shows how large its traffic is. Not only that, eBay offers an easy process to create a selling account and is such a beginner-friendly platform to start your POD business since there are fewer steps and verification you need to prove to eBay to create a selling account. So if you are a beginner, do not miss out on the giant eBay.
3. POD Amazon
Amazon is gearing up to take a role in POD with Merch by Amazon or MBA. But the most important reason for POD sellers to exist is the profit margin which MBA loses its advantage. However, you can leverage the giant traffic by using a POD fulfillment service from POD companies such as Gearment since the base cost is much lower which you can enhance your profit margins.
As soon as you choose this path, Fulfillment By Merchant FBM and Fulfillment By Amazon FBA are the two business models that you can use to sell POD products on Amazon. With its massive logistic network and dominant market share of eCommerce, Amazon has been an attractive partner for POD sellers for years.
With it being said, creating a selling account on Amazon is neither simple nor beginner-friendly compared to eBay. Joining the competition in the world-largest platform may give you a huge opportunity to grow but it also can harm your businesses. So our suggestion is to get the most in-depth information possible before you start your POD business!
The potential of the POD business model
1. Global POD market
The pandemic of COVID-19 is a nightmare for most global economic sectors, but it’s an opportunity for the global eCommerce industry expected to reach a total $4.89 trillion in 2021. Simultaneously, POD, an eCommerce model, is still profitable. Currently, the US is the largest market, but Europe is projected to claim the top spot by 2028. The global custom t-shirt printing market size was valued at USD 3.64 billion in 2020. It is expected to expand at CAGR of 9.7% from 2021 to 2028.
2. Vietnamese POD market
eCommerce or online business is a magnet attracting 8x, 9x Vietnamese young people who are passionate about creativity and want to have a self-employed job. With the advantage of low barriers to entry, POD is a low cost and potential business model for young entrepreneurs who are seeking opportunities in a new field. The market share of POD in Vietnam is not as big as others, but many POD Fulfillment companies are owning US-based warehouses and factories with modern technology manufacturing processes and experienced personnel like Gearment. The Vietnamese market could be an ideal starting point for POD newbies.
Is the POD market still profitable in 2022?
Yes. Absolutely! The print on demand market size is increasing. The low overhead costs, minimal investments, and good margin potential are the advantages that make the POD model ideal for entrepreneurs.
POD is still a very viable and profitable business model even in 2022! The future of POD is bright. This is because personalization and product assortment remains essential, shoppers have become painfully bored with watching mass-market standard clothing brands. They crave something unique and different.
A recent consumer review by Deloitte reported that 1 in 5 consumers are willing to pay 20% more for a personalized or exclusive product. Personalization offers something unique to every age. Surprisingly, the group of people who are over 55 years old is actually more likely to purchase a personalized holiday than those in the 16-24 age group.
The prediction market trends should be built on research, constantly monitor your customers’ reviews, social preferences, gather feedback and then take that information to make changes catching up with trends, and optimize the customers’ experience.