Things That All Print on Demand Success Stories Have in Common
7 mins 18 secs read
In general, people only need 50 milliseconds to decide whether they like a website. However, in the world of eCommerce, the profit of the entrepreneur depends on this decision and the image of the brand, expanding the base of loyal customers. This article will look at the basics of success in the print on demand business and uncover some of the popular stores’ secrets.
As we assumed a year ago, digitalization has accelerated the adaptation of business processes to the realities of widespread quarantine, power shifts, economic change, and crisis in the social sector. Over time, the biggest problem of international transportation restrictions dissipated in the abyss of events. But there are many marketing channels for the POD product sale. Every month, buyers' attention is captured by new trends, stories, and themes that affect print on demand business success. Some of the brands couldn't compete due to their poor flexibility, but others were lucky and finally managed to create something outstanding. We learned how to attract luck and what to look out for from the best entrepreneurs in the industry.
Table of Contents
It's sometimes hard to decide among the variety of new products you're in the right niche and how profitable your following trend is. So in pursuit of the latest trends in print on demand, it’s better to follow the rule of positioning: no matter what you sell, pay attention to the brand's image. After all, everything depends on the interaction with your target audience - the more sophisticated your marketing tricks, sincere persuasions, and valuable offers, the more economically profitable your business becomes.
Nevertheless, we all see that even more print on demand trends are returning: the fashion of the 90s and 2000s was the basis for subsequent modifications, which today are considered incredible cutting-edge solutions. Remember the fashionista Princess Diana - her images are inspired by, and outfits are constantly reproduced by famous couturiers and even Kate Middleton, trying to give them the freshness of modernity and maintain the authenticity of past years.
Print on demand and Shopify expert Joe Robert advises focusing on winning products that sell well. We wrote a series of comprehensive guides, where you can find all the answers about how to look for breakthroughs and implement and promote them. We advise you to pay attention to these articles:
- Print on Demand Products That Will Bring Your Ecommerce Business To The Next Level In 2021
- Why You Should Use Google Trends When Creating New POD Product Designs
- New Trends and Predictions for Print on Demand in 2022
Strategy is the key to success, so start with planning. Try to reinvent the bicycle - though no, we meant to say the business idea. It's where it all starts. Open up Google Trends and start your research on popular products. Then test the most winning options using social media - for example, the easiest way is to create a survey of a potential audience segment. If you are a beginner, the most gentle option may be to create a store on one of the popular platforms. If you've been in sales for a long time, try reselling outdated collections and introducing new products. If your innovation pays off, you can generate even more sales and find new ways to expand your audience.
White label cloth products on which you can embody any, even temporarily popular design, are unique among entrepreneurs. By the way, dropshipping provides a profitable business model with a low entry threshold and minimal risks. Finally, to facilitate the processing of orders, many stores are practicing automation - the market of software products has proven an efficient integration platform Podza for Shopify (default version) or Etsy (optional).
Try new things that seemed alien and even distant before - see how it will accelerate the progress of your online store and build audience trust by showing them the possibility of a better service.
Customer service tactics that work
Studying examples of successful POD businesses, we can note one thing in common - excellent customer support before and after the sale. This provides a reliable and enjoyable experience and helps quickly find solutions to problems. Today, the practice has long gone beyond telephone conversations and is not limited to communication channels, location, and language. You've probably heard that it costs a lot less to retain old customers than to attract new ones - that is why many entrepreneurs in the POD industry compete not so much for product uniqueness as for quality service. Here are years and years of proven customer service methods that are sure to surprise your audience.
- Create winning customer service rules
Over the past two years, society has come to exist in an entirely new reality, obeying the laws of digitalization, globalization, and distance. But honesty and transparency remain constant values that influence customer loyalty and conversions. In any case, you should take care of the customer service policy and minimize the risks. For example, if you are interested in selling seasonal goods, take care in advance about their delivery. As we get closer to the holiday season, you should consider the possibility of delayed deliveries. Tell your customers about it and give them a timeline. Nothing is more admirable than getting your order on Christmas Eve without worrying that your family or friends will be left with no gifts.
- Learn to listen to people and answer them quickly
Quality customer service and a better customer experience is also an opportunity to grow your client base, gain popularity, and build trustworthy relationships. Speed and availability determine customer satisfaction, although we should not forget about responsibility. For instance, if you promised to implement certain trends in your print on demand store, but because of delays at the print shop or delivery agent, you couldn't keep your word, you shouldn't start by blaming others. Instead, please take responsibility for the situation and offer your customers compensation or a gift as a thank you for their loyalty.
- Don't forget about your old customers.
The print on demand success story depends on communication with customers after they’ve made their purchases. This is part of a service strategy that can make your brand stand out from the crowd and have feedback.
You don't need to roll out the red carpet or spread yourself too thin - try to create a unique experience using multichannel, multilingual, and empathic skills. Evoke emotions of excitement and even surprise by sending a thank you letter, an offer of help, a digest of new products, etc.
Rich Khun says the online store should expand its ability to communicate through new platforms and social media beyond the standard YouTube or Facebook. Over the past few years, people have been massively using TikTok, which, like other social networks, has a direct messaging function with friends. Rich tends to think of effective email newsletters to line up conversations with customers and keep them interested in the brand.
Analysis and experiments
Print on demand success stories are usually quite similar - newbies relying on their strengths create small stores at first, which continue to develop, having overcome all the difficulties. Diversification becomes a lifeline for many of them, taking the business to the next level. But if everything were straightforward and described in two sentences, then the entire world community would be made up of entrepreneurs alone. Therefore, any business idea must be tested. We advise you to calculate KPIs regularly and apply strategic analysis models. There are several strategies directly applicable to POD. Consider them.
- The SWOT analysis allows you to study the advantages and disadvantages of a product in a particular niche and find out how competitive it is.
- STEEPLE method determines the degree of impact of different external factors on the business.
- Scenario planning builds possible models for developing the online store shortly.
- Critical success factor analysis identifies points of business success.
- The Five Forces theory helps build a strategy to get ahead of potential risks and create new promising directions.
Of course, it's important not to stand still in the ever-changing POD, so you can't do without daring experiments. But they have to be implemented wisely. So, before you try a new product, pay attention to market performance and direction, that is, how good your sales results are, how many resources you spend to maintain the business, and ways to improve performance. Any experiment should be based on the preferences of a particular audience segment - determine how well your new products can meet the market needs. Do not forget about the operational issues - if you decide to upgrade, understand how technologically advanced your working methods with customers are. Earlier, we mentioned the Podza platform, which can take all the responsibility for monotonous tasks on its own. Finally, it is essential to solving your financial issues - how correctly you distribute profits and your cash flow or income from sales.
The experiment's success depends on people - a team with extensive industry experience, strategic foresight, and cross-functional solid capabilities is the key to success in any business. So, in addition to a transparent allocation of roles, look to best management practices. First, learn how to plan - it will help you anticipate the future picture of events, prevent risks, and test the effectiveness of your skills. Start reading more literature on managing your staff - start with the PMBOK guide and Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland. They will open your eyes to many aspects of interacting with people.
And lastly, we can't help but tell you about one crucial study. Employees want companies to support their desire to pursue personally meaningful endeavors. Therefore, they are willing to give part of their salary if their employer provides them with such benefits as volunteering, skill development, learning new things, workshops, etc.
The print on demand success formula is the same for all entrepreneurs - they sell trendy things, customers love them, and also these people are distinguished by their true pragmatism. To ensure your business grows, you should act here and now but not neglect the analysis of the company. Don't forget the three whales: planning, risk management, and timeliness. Good luck!