A meteoric rise in e-commerce took place in the first three months of 2020. It was estimated that it could take approximately ten years!
At the same time, there was a retail apocalypse that changed the fate of many brands. Some become bankrupt, while others, on the contrary, turned out to be more flexible and succeeded. Capitalizing on this growing digital presence became possible with a strong consumer base of Gen Z and Millennials. They completely changed the marketing strategies that existed before Covid: the demand for personalized products has grown with the popularity of the print on demand service.
E-commerce retail revenue rose 27.6% year-over-year, equivalent to $4.280 trillion. So, in the OuterBox survey for 2021, 79% of users made online purchases using a mobile device in the past six months. Also, the number of mobile payments will grow by 33% by 2022. If you decide to create your clothing line but don’t know where to begin, this article is for you.
What is Print on Demand (POD)?
The concept of print on demand (POD) services is quite profitable. It provides the goods produced in a certain amount after the order has been paid. This business doesn’t require significant initial investments, a warehouse, and production facilities. Many will find it similar to dropshipping, but the latter involves only reselling finished products. On the contrary, POD allows you to embody your creative impulses under the auspices of your brand.
Quite common items have been in constant demand for decades, especially their updated designs. Let’s take a simple cotton T-shirt: according to Google Trends data, its popularity hasn’t undergone sharp surges over the past five years and was in demand all this time. As you can see, most of all T-shirts are loved in the capital of world fashion – New York.
By following the season’s trends, you can create a unique design that will be popular and develop your brand not only locally but globally.
What to sell?
The POD business model can be organized in two ways, emphasizing a product or a subject niche.
A product niche involves the production of a small range of similar positions using omnifarious designs. For example, your online store assortment might include T-shirts, hoodies, and caps with great prints.
On the other hand, the object niche reveals the meaning of a particular design used for several products. For instance, you’re inspired by the ocean’s infinity theme and can apply this design to everything from pillowcases to T-shirts and mugs.
To quickly estimate products that can bring your e-commerce business to the next level – use the previously mentioned Google Trends tool. It’ll also allow you to analyse search queries locally, in different languages, and for a specific slice of time. It’s worth keeping track of the bestsellers on such popular platforms as Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, etc.
Once you’ve decided on your niche, product, and design, carry out your research on the business idea. A thing that may seem unique and original to you can be misunderstood by the audience. A/B testing is an excellent method of ideas analysis. In this case, by publishing posts on social networks or showing live products, you’ll lay the foundation for a successful start of your business.
Tips for starting a POD business
Now it’s time to make your online store! Note that the website is the face of your company. That’s why it must inspire trust, and the clothes should be in need for the target audience. Here are some tips that help to start your POD business.
1. Register a domain
When choosing a company name, make sure it’s easy to remember. Check your domain name on GoDaddy.
2. Decide on e-commerce platforms
Launch a domain on any of the websites: Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce. To get your brand quickly gaining popularity, it is worth implementing multichannel marketing. Of course, it’s difficult to control the orders’ execution and their delivery at first. Therefore, special programs like PodZa facilitate the management of the POD business at all stages.
3. Make your store
Use ready-made, customizable templates as a starting point. Modify a beautiful aesthetic of your homepage, write an inspiring story for your brand, and include up-to-date shipping and payment information.
4. Create a unique design
Various colors, designs, and a wide grid of sizes are usually a booster for increasing profits. Stick to the middle ground and remember that an abundance of options and information can lead to analytical paralysis.
5. Choose a service provider and get started!
The program that you decide to integrate into your store will be your smooth start into the big business world. It’d make it as easy as possible to find suppliers and communicate with them. Use discretion: pay attention to service descriptions and product reviews. To ensure that you’ve found exactly what you need, order a sample.
Making a unique brand is only half of the success. The ability to compete, build a qualified promotion strategy, and develop your store is an essential part of the POD business. Here is some marketing advice you can rely on:
- Settle your brand on social media. By promoting multiple accounts on different platforms, you’ll increase the brand’s visibility.
- Optimize your website with SEO.
- Track your reputation on the net, use testimonials and reviews as evidence.
- Write high-quality content to increase audience engagement.
- Check website performance, make improvements, and fix bugs.
It’ll take some time to set up your business. It’s worth it because you’ll get a unique working product that soon becomes the main player in the chosen niche.
Mistakes you should better avoid in a POD business
- The expectation of immediate success. To achieve outstanding results, devote as much time as possible to working on your online store.
- Selling standard designs. Be different from others, unique, and attractive.
- You don’t know how to delegate tasks. If you’re a marketer, designer, sales manager, business leader – they all rolled into one, and you feel that you aren’t coping with all these responsibilities, so you urgently need to delegate tasks.
- Selling numerous options. Remember we’ve already mentioned analysis paralysis? So, most importantly, believe in your design, and everything works out!
- Neglecting customer reviews. Testimonials are a trendy marketing tool that allows users to learn about your store or product. Even a small note about your brand or link to a store can increase sales.
- Lack of promotion. Implement ads before your online store is ready. Create excitement with discounts, sales, gifts, contests, surveys. Your brand should be visible at all times.
- Setting unclear policies. Your customers want to ensure the quality of the goods is high and their delivery will be on time They want payments executed smoothly. That’s why, in most cases, they read the store’s policies.
Examples of those who succeeded!
When you’re faced with the task of creating a unique, identical product, it’s essential to be inspired by the examples of those brands that started just like you. Here are some great Shopify stores to look out for.
It’s a strong brand that attracts users from the first minutes of their visit to the site. It has everything: animated graphics, modern website design, but at the same time, a straightforward product page layout. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the image gallery contains real photos of people wearing Factory 43 clothes. Unusual designs with humorous overtones have a strong visual identity.
The brand’s niche in all-over prints has become a reflection of the brand’s strong personality. Of course, you can’t help laughing when you’re looking at some of their clothes.
The website’s home page allows you to see all the collections at a glance. With a simplified product search by topic, you can find similar prints. The store design has airy perspectives – products remain visible against the background of bold fonts.
The Organic T-Shirt
Sustainable brands are growing in popularity, and The Organic T-Shirt strives to keep up with the times. The store positions itself as a brand that produces organic cotton T-shirts. The focus of their clothing is on showcasing its environmental and ethical benefits.
The website feature is high-quality photos that give the very uniqueness of the brand.
This article is a helpful companion for every newbie in print on demand business who hasn’t decided to start a store yet or doesn’t know where to begin. 2020 has set the trend for authentic niche marketing and print on demand market personalization. Given the need for social distancing, the ease of shopping online has spurred acceptance and growth in the eCommerce market. The peculiarity of this business is the constant assessment of demand trends. Staying flexible and adaptable to all events will keep you on top. Besides, take care of the quality of the service provided and the value to the consumer.
By opening your clothing store, allow yourself to be unique and even daring. Feel free to show your creativity in every design. Remember, ingenious is always simple!