Common Mistakes Among Print on Demand Newcomers

by Sachin

There is money to be made in print on demand. People who have experience in e-commerce and are looking for an extra source of income should not disregard what POD has to offer.

As someone who’s new to the apparel business, you might be wondering: is the t-shirt business profitable? And are there opportunities to scale it by introducing different products in the future? 

The answer to both questions is “yes.” Print on demand has no ceiling in terms of profits one can make. Of course, working on something you have no experience with can be challenging at first. Even the best entrepreneurs are bound to make a mistake or two in their journey toward establishing their presence in the POD world.

Your road towards a successful print on demand business can be less bumpy if you avoid the most common mistakes mentioned in this article.

Mistake #1 – Not Investing In Customer Service

At first, you should not have any issues responding to customer inquiries yourself. Nevertheless, as the demand grows and more people find out about your store, handling all the problems becomes more than a one-person operation.

Businesses should invest in a solid customer support department. And it is not just about the reps who respond to emails, social media messages, and live chat on the website.

Consistently adding new information to the FAQ page will also boost customer service of the business as a lot of people prefer to look for information themselves. 

Collecting information about the customers via customer support services will also help you understand their behavior and plan future strategies.

Mistake #2 – Not Preparing For The Holiday Season

Most businesses experience highs and lows. But when an opportunity to make more money than usual is coming, you need to seize it by everything you have.

Holidays like Christmas and Easter are a good example. People are more eager to spend their money, and that is when you stand to gain the most.

But make sure to prepare in advance. Plan your designs and marketing strategies at least a few months before the holidays hit.

Mistake #3 – Lacking a Backup Plan

There are hardly any guarantees when it comes to the overall success of the business. Do not invest money that you cannot afford. 

Also, since the print on demand business would not be smooth without a reliable supplier, have someone as your backup supplier in case the current supplier runs out of stock unexpectedly. Having a backup plan for every instance is a good piece of advice in general.

Mistake #4 – Judging Suppliers Only on Price

While the price is one of the first things you look at when making a decision, it does not have to be the case in print on demand.

As things are right now, there are already multiple stores that offer mediocre quality t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and other print on demand products at a low price.

Quality is what you should strive for, especially if you are looking to establish a durable and successful brand. So whether it is the supplier or the product itself, pay attention to more than just the price tag.

Mistake #5 – Failing To Invest In Design

It is not necessary to be a great designer if you want a successful print on demand store. Yes, a lot of newcomers rely on their designs, but they run out of ideas sooner or later, and the business starts to stagnate.

When you reach a point when your current products are not selling as good as they did at first, it might be because of the designs. And in case you cannot come up with something original that will sell yourself, look for someone who can. There are plenty of talented artists on the internet.

Mistake #6 – Not Leveraging Social Media

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. And it is not just the impact influencers make by promoting your merchandise. You can use ad campaigns and run contests that will bring engagement and reach for your channel. 

The number of active users on the most popular social media channels continues to grow. Your presence on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest ought to grow as well. 

Mistake #7 – Not Optimizing Enough For Search Engines

Organic traffic is worth a lot since visitors who come from search engines, such as Google, type in particular keywords with intent to buy. Of course, optimizing content is difficult, and reaching top pages even more so due to all the competition out there. But SEO is always a good investment for long-term planning.

Even if you have no experience with search engine optimization yourself, you can always learn by reading and watching guides on the internet. Or hire someone who can do the work for you.

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