Ever thought of starting a tshirt business? Print on demand could be the perfect business model for you. It’s low cost, low risk, and potential to rake in profits.
That said, competition is stiff. That’s why we want to give you the ABCs of starting a print on demand tshirt business, and a few areas to consider to set you up for success.
What is Print on Demand?
Print on demand (POD) is a service where sellers work with suppliers to print tshirts, books, or any physical products. Instead of printing in bulk and keeping an inventory, POD lets you print just the right quantity to match customer orders.
POD allows small businesses to print customized products with your own branded design, and selling it to customers at a markup. You only pay for your products after customers have made an order with you online.
Why choose Print on Demand over tshirt suppliers?
First of all, the POD business model is low risk. There’s no need for sellers to hold any inventory to get started. You only need enough capital to start your online website, and depending on the features you’re looking for, it could start as low as $5/month.
POD tshirts drastically lowers your startup costs and lets you test your ideas, especially if you’re not sure which designs will sell. All you need to do is to get a few mock ups of your tshirt design and start selling them on your online store.
Once orders start rolling in, you’ll be able to tell which designs get more traction. And as for those that didn’t get any orders? Well, no loss for you—that’s the beauty of having a POD tshirt business.
What to consider
Know your cost and profit margins
A POD tshirt business lowers upfront costs and risks. But in the long run, POD tshirts are more expensive than tshirts printed in bulk.
To put this into perspective, POD tshirts cost around USD14 to USD20 or more, excluding shipping. If you’re ordering printed tshirts in bulk, the cost of one tshirt could be as low as USD4.
Since POD tshirts come at a higher cost, it could eat into your profit margins. Additionally, you should be mindful of delivery costs as well since tshirts will be sent over in small quantities, based on the orders you’re getting.
Order samples before you launch your business
Most POD tshirt businesses get their suppliers to ship orders directly to their customers so as to cut costs. And that means you wouldn’t see the quality of your products before they reach your customers.
Before launching your tshirt business, consider ordering some samples from your POD suppliers first to do a quality check. The last thing you want is for customers to complain products which aren’t up to standard.
Your business’ reputation is important. It’ll be hard to justify to customers that you’re using a POD service and that wouldn’t look good for your business.
Read online reviews to sieve out the right suppliers
Ordering samples doesn’t cost much but that still adds to the cost of starting your business. That’s why you should only order from POD suppliers who have a good reputation.
Some POD suppliers provide quality service and have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee policy. These suppliers are willing to replace poorly printed tshirts at no cost if feedback is given to them within a number of days.
Only work with reliable suppliers who are tech savvy and understand how an online business works. This will save you lots of trouble in the long run.
How to market it
Know your target audience
Tshirts are worn by a wide range of people, so make sure you niche down on your target group.
Create messaging, slogans, and designs that resonate with your target audience. Check out websites like Pinterst, Instagram, and Subreddits to get inspiration on your tshirt design.
Here are some great niches to consider:
- Sustainable living and eco-friendly movements
- Kpop groups
- Marvel fandoms
Get the word out with social media
Tshirt businesses are all over the internet, that’s why marketing is a crucial aspect to your business’ success.
There are lots of communities online and promoting your tshirts on social media can help you reach your target audience easily. You’ll need to use the right hashtags and follow community pages that are relevant to your niche.
Create lots of conversations online with your followers and learn about their worldview. That helps you create relatable products and gain traction for your business’ tshirt launches!
Set up a professional website
If your POD tshirts cost somewhere between USD14 to USD24, you’ll need to sell your tshirts at a higher price. It’s unlikely that you’ll win in a price war against other tshirt brands, so you’ll need to market your tshirts as premium products.
Having your very own website is the best way to build your brand image online. In fact, setting up a website is a lot easier than you think.
Cococart’s sleek, clutter-free websites take just 1 minute to set up. There are no app downloads, no coding, and no design skills required.
Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Choose a unique link for your shop
Step 2: Add your products, delivery and payment methods
Step 3: Share your URL on your social media and start receiving orders
Don’t be afraid to use ads
You’ll need to utilize effective tools to help your business stand out in a competitive market. Facebook Pixel is a great tool that helps to track and target the right audiences for your business.
Customers may not make the purchase the first time they visit your website. In fact, customers need to “hear” about your business 7 times before they decide to buy something online.
Cococart is fully integrated with Facebook Pixel. And that can give you insights on the behaviour of your customers. Start making better business decisions with the right business tools to set yourself up for success!
Start your Print on Demand tshirt business now
Ready to start selling your branded tshirts online now? It only takes a minute. Sign up with Cococart to set up your online website and start taking orders right away.
Do I need a license to sell Print On Demand Tshirts?
If you reside in Singapore, you'll need to register your business with ACRA. Read this step-by-step guide on setting up your business in Singapore.
How much capital do I need to start my Print On Demand business?
You'll need a one-time registration fee of $300 to register your business on ACRA. Other than that, your start up cost would be relatively low. Since you only order with suppliers after customers make a purchase from you, you won't need to fork out a sum of money to start your POD business.
Read this article to find out other low capital business ideas.
Should I sell my POD products on my own ecommerce website or in a marketplace?
Marketplace platforms like Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon have customers who are ready to shop, which could be an advantage for small businesses just starting out. However, you won't be able to build your brand as it's housed under the brand of the ecommerce marketplace. Having your own website allows you to build your own brand and stay competitive.
Read this article to find out the pros and cons of both ecommerce websites and marketplaces.
Your Success is Our Success
Cococart is proud to be a company that puts local businesses first. After all, you’re the reason we’re here. We're on a mission to transform independent businesses to accept online orders. If you are ready to sign up for a free trial simply register your store here, it only takes a couple of minutes.