Have you ever had an idea for a design or product that would do well in the eCommerce world but don't want to order in bulk?

Well, do we have the solution for you! Many online businesses are utilizing an option called print-on-demand, which is similar to dropshipping.

If you’re unfamiliar, print-on-demand is an easy, cost-effective way to get your products made with no minimums and a hands-off approach. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that this type of eCommerce model may not be for everyone, but there are many benefits to using print-on-demand. Let’s take a look at what print-on-demand is and how it can help your eCommerce business.


What is Print-On-Demand, Exactly?

To start, we need to know a little about what print-on-demand is. Let’s say you have a killer idea for a t-shirt design. You’ve drawn it up, and you’re ready to go. The problem? You don’t want to order ten thousand of them online in the hopes that people will buy them. Yes, buying in bulk will save you money but if they don’t sell, you’ll be stuck with endless boxes of the said t-shirt.

Print-on-demand eliminates the cost and need for bulk ordering a bunch of one thing before you even know if it’ll be successful. Simply put, you will pair with a third-party seller to create customizable products for your customers, just like dropshipping. You also won’t have to worry about keeping track of an extensive inventory since you’re not actually storing your products. You’ve surely seen print-on-demand websites that sell things like t-shirts and mugs where you can order them with a customized saying, right? That eCommerce site is utilizing print on demand!

Dropshipping

Before we go any further, it’s important to go over dropshipping. Print-on-demand is a form of dropshipping, and it’s an easy way for eCommerce stores to sell products without maintaining an inventory. Essentially, it’s a third-party source that will print and ship your products for you.

When something is ordered from your site, you purchase it from the print-on-demand company and they take care of the rest. Easy, right?

What Can Print on Demand Be Used For?

The possibilities are endless with print on demand. Some of the most common items that print-on-demand can be used for are:

  • Books
  • Apparel like t-shirts, hats, and socks
  • Household items such as kitchen towels, mugs, and rugs
  • Pet accessories like collars and leashes
  • Travel items such as Tote Bags, Tumblers, and Camper Mugs
  • Office Items such as pens, mousepads, and even flash drives
  • Paper products like posters, stickers, and bumper stickers
  • Tech cases for phones, laptops, and mobile accessories
  • Watchbands, such as for an Apple Watch

Benefits of Print-on-Demand for Your Business

We already know that one of the biggest benefits of print-on-demand is that you don’t have to order a bunch of one item. You only have to shell out the cash when someone actually buys the item from your site, instead of having 15 boxes of t-shirts in your living room hoping they sell.

Low-Cost

Print-on-demand has a lower overhead and is low cost. Since you’re essentially outsourcing to a third party with dropshipping, you’ll be doing less work. With print-on-demand, the product is shipped directly from the third party, so you don't have to do anything once it's sold and you order it.

Low-Risk

It’s also low risk. Since you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket with a product, you can see what works and what doesn't. This is because you aren’t dumping a bunch of money intoinventory before knowing it will sell. It’s also a great way to do some trial and error with your products.

Easy to Add New Products

With print-on-demand drop shipping, you can also add new products to your business quickly and easily. Whenever you think of a new idea, draw it up and add it to your website. You don’t have to worry about having the product in stock because the print-on-demand company will take care of that.

Hands-Off

Since the print-on-demand company ships the products for you, once you make a sale you can sit back and relax. The rest is totally hands-off. They will ship it directly to the customer.

Potential Drawbacks to Print on Demand

Every business is different and will have specific needs and wants. With that being said, print-on-demand isn’t for everyone as there are trade-offs to it compared to other eCommerce business tactics.

You May See Lower Profit

The thing with print-on-demand is that your idea might not generate any sales. While you won’t lose money since you didn't pay for the product already, you might not make any either. It’s still important to have extensive bookkeeping even if you don’t have a large inventory. The other problem that could occur with the cost is that print-on-demand will cost more than when you order bulk, it’s just part of the trade-off. You’ll either have to eat the cost or charge your customers more to compensate for it.

You Have Less Control

If you are a designer and want complete control of your designs, print-on-demand might not be the best option for you. If you have simple designs and want a way to get them on products and sold easily, then print-on-demand is great! Since you won’t be there when the products areprinted, you won’t see them before it’s shipped. If you’re working with a reputable print-on-demand company like Casestry, you shouldn’t have to worry about that.

You Don’t Ship the Products

We also listed this as a benefit, but it could be a potential con if you’re working with a company that isn’t trustworthy. Since your eCommerce store is utilizing a third party, you won’t have control over shipping, either. It ships straight from the source. However, the product is still listed as being purchased from you, so the customer will be coming to you if they have any problems.

Conclusion

The bottom line is if you’re looking to try out print on demand with a company you can trust, try Casestry! Casestry averages a 1-day turnaround from the time an order is placed. This is unheard of in the print-on-demand industry, and you won’t find a more enjoyable experience!