How to Start a Profitable Print on Demand Shopify Store

August 16th, 2020

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You know you want to start a print on demand Shopify store, but you’re not quite sure how to do it. 

Sound familiar?

If print on demand is your next move, you’re in the right place.

Print on demand stores on Shopify can be hugely profitable and are great for beginners and experienced entrepreneurs.

I’ll tell you exactly how you can start a profitable print on demand Shopify store.

Before we dive in on how you can start, let’s make sure we’re on the same page.

What is Print on Demand?

printful-print-on-demand-shopify

A print on demand store basically means you don’t keep any inventory.

Every order is sent directly to a 3rd party supplier to print, pack and ship directly to your customer.

This is often a profitable, easy to run business model and can provide a great income stream without the need to invest a ton of money.

You can sell a variety of products using print on demand services, such as clothing, wall art, phone accessories, and homeware.

There are so many possibilities.  

I’ll walk you through everything you need to get your print on demand business started on Shopify.

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1. Decide what you want to sell and chose your supplier

You will need to do some research and decide what you want to sell.

Shopify has a variety of print on demand partners that you can work with and integrate into your Shopify store.

Browse through their catalogues and see which partner is most aligned with the products you want to sell. 

Different platforms will have largely different inventory so take your time and look through all they have to offer.

Printful is a popular choice for 3rd party suppliers on Shopify and they sell high-quality products from well-known brands like Gildan and American Apparel.

The easy to use mock-up generator makes it easy to visualize your design on your products. 

They also have custom packaging options that can improve your customers unboxing experience.

We all love a good unboxing video, so packaging is important!

Printify is another popular print on demand partner on Shopify and has over 200 products you can print on, including jewellery, clocks, shoes, and water bottles.

It’s free to sign up but you can take advantage of a 20% discount by signing up to their premium account for $29/month.

Choosing your 3rd party supplier and deciding which products you want to sell will get you well on your way to launching a profitable Shopify print on demand store.

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2. Design your products

You don’t have to be a designer to create your own product line on Shopify.

If you have absolutely no experience and aren’t the most creative, I suggest investing some money into working with a designer to help you along the way.

This will ensure you produce amazing products that sell. You can outsource the work using freelance platforms like Fiverr, Behance, 99designs or Upwork.

These platforms can put you in touch with incredibly talented designers that will make your life easy.

When working with designers, be sure to communicate the details and what the design is for. If you tell them it’s for printing, they should know how to modify the deliver for optimal resolution.

The designer will ensure the image is 300 digital pixels per inch (DPI or PPI), have a transparent background, and understand the requirements for printing.   

Clear direction will ensure you get exactly what you want and save you time.

By investing in a designer that can help you create great products, you’ll be in a better position to sell them. This will help you turn your print in demand idea into something profitable.

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3. Set your prices

The main benefit of print on demand is the minimal investment required upfront.

The cost of that, is lower profit margins.

It’s important to be mindful of the fact your margins will be lower and create a pricing system that is profitable and still gives value to your customer.

Market research is crucial. Understand what your competitors are charging for similar products and what customers are willing to pay.

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4. Design your website and add your products

You now have your products designed, you’ve picked your supplier, and you have set your pricing. 

It’s time to design a functional Shopify site that will increase conversions and reach your ideal customer.

You will want to pick a theme for your site.

Your theme is a template that helps you design and customize the customer experience. There are loads of free and paid options on Shopify to choose from.

You can check out my blog post here to learn about the 9 best Shopify themes to increase conversions. 

Once your Shopify site has been created, you can start adding your products to the site, so they are ready to sell.

Pay close attention to details like product copy and price, and double check every product posting once they’re up.

When your Shopify site has been designed and your products are up – it’s time to launch!

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5. Market your print on demand site

Soon after your Shopify store has launched, you will need to turn your attention to marketing.

Marketing your website will require a comprehensive strategy and potentially, lots of trial and error. 

Creating a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy will help you gain exposure and reach a larger audience. Effective marketing has a significant impact on profitability.

There are many ways to market and drive traffic to your print on demand store.  

Search engine optimization, social media marketing, and Google Ads are great places to start.

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6. Evaluate and adjust

You’ve now launched your site, marketed it, and are seeing traffic come in.

Now what?

It’s time to see what’s working and what’s not.   

Check on your conversion rate – how many people are coming to your store and actually purchasing something?

This rate can give you an idea on how things are going. Doing your research, understanding your customer, and continuously improving your site takes time.

But once you have a great Shopify store that functions well and converts lookers into buyers, you’ll be grateful you put in the work.  

A profitable print on demand store is totally possible but be patient and leverage your skillset where it counts.

Building a Successful Print on Demand Store on Shopify

I love the print on demand business model because it’s both time and cost efficient. 

Your typical ecommerce business requires a larger initial investment to obtain sufficient inventory to launch.

You then need to purchase packaging, sort out logistics, and are responsible to package and ship every order as they come in.

Print on demand stores save you a lot of time and give you more resources to market and grow your business.

Have questions about starting a profitable print on demand Shopify store?

Let me know in the comments below! Good luck!

Christina

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