Top 5 mistakes for print-on-demand
The print-on-demand ecommerce model makes it easy to start a business. But that does not mean you won’t make any mistakes along the way. In business like in life you learn by making mistakes. But it’s even better to learn from others’ mistakes and avoid them in the first place. Here are some of the mistakes beginners make when they start with print-on-demand. Avoiding these mistakes in your business will let you stand out from competitors.
- Expecting immediate success
Many people are attracted to print on demand thinking that it is easy. It is true that print-on-demand is one of the easiest ways to start a business but that does not mean that you can sit back and just wait for sales to rain down.
Like all businesses it requires commitment, effort, and time from you to translate your ideas into business, promote your products, and generate consistent sales. Setting up and optimizing your store, creating the right designs, and marketing all require you dedication. There’s no guarantee of sales until you’re created just the right product. It often takes patience, experimentation, and learning to get it right.
If you go in expecting easy money and immediate success you’ll end up disappointed. Set realistic goals for your new business. Instead of focusing on profits, concentrate on meeting your target customer’s needs. When you pay attention to your passion instead of profits it shows through in your products which helps in long term. This mindset will also prevent you from losing heart when things don’t go your way.
- Not paying enough attention to design
The success of your print-on-demand store relies heavily on your designs. Print-on-demand is a very competitive market and failing to invest in your designs can cost your business. You not only have to stand out from competitors but also connect with your target audience.
When it comes to design some common mistakes include:
- Using generic designs: This means your artwork and products are boring and no one wants to buy a boring custom product online. Your customers have to find the design unique in order to wish to buy it. Knowing they won’t find anything like it elsewhere prompts them to make a purchase.
- Using copyrighted designs: This can be a very costly mistake. Never try to use movie and cartoon images, brand logos, sports signs, or copy artwork from another store. It can result in legal and financial consequences. Before you finalize your designs make sure it is not copyrighted.
- Using complex designs: Designs with too much detail, lots of colors and text fail to get noticed. Simple designs with big bold graphics and minimum text tend to stand out. Try not make your design overcrowded. Less is more in this case. But again keep it from being boring, add interest with something funny or witty.
- Using low quality images: Your image may look good on your screen but in order to avoid poor and blurry prints, make sure to use at least the standard 300 DPI images.
- Not ordering product samples
Because with print-on-demand you don’t have to personally fulfill orders, a common mistake people make is not ordering samples of their products. Even if it’s a reliable partner, you cannot know what the finished product will look like and feel in your hands. Ordering samples can help you judge the product quality for yourself. When you’re satisfied with the product you can also be more confident promoting it. You can show the samples to your friends and get honest feedback. Then if you need to you can make improvements to your design, adjust colors or text.
- Neglecting Customer service
Like all good businesses, a successful print-on-demand business must have excellent customer service. How your customers feel about your store will influence your ratings, customer reviews, and determine if they will visit your store again or not.
At the start of your business you may not have a big team or any team at all and manage most things on your own and it’s easy to ignore customer service. However, you cannot afford to ignore your customers’ queries and needs. Make sure you invest your time on responding to your customers. Taking care of customer service yourself will also help you collect valuable feedback from customers.
Try to provide the help your customers seek, give thoughtful responses, and solve their issues. Be respectful and maintain a positive customer service tone at all times. Also make sure to add FAQs to your store site and provide useful information about your store policies so visitors don’t have to ask about common questions.
- Selling only t-shirts
T-shirts may be the most popular print-on-demand product, but if you only sell t-shirts in your store, you may be losing potential sales. If you’re not sure, you can start out with t-shirts and expand your store with additional products. The only consideration is finding out if your target customer is interested in the product. Would your niche audience be interested in phone cases or backpacks? Or would they like leggings and yoga mats? Having more product options gives your customers the chance to buy a different product with a design they like from your store.