All About Print On Demand Business Model

Personalized or customized items have become a really popular gifting solution these days. Whether it is t-shirts, books, mugs, phone cases or anything, print on demand is on high demand.

It is a low-risk technique to sell custom designs. There is heavy competition as the demand is high, as well as the providers/suppliers, are many.

Let’s first clearly understand the concept.

What is Print on Demand (POD)?

Print on Demand is a business process where the service provider does not print until an order is received.

It can be single printing or bulk printing.

It is an eCommerce model which does not hold any physical inventory as all the sales process take place on the basis of order received.

You need to find the right niche to absolutely entice your customers and make a lot of profit.

With Print on Demand business model not just selling but everything else like printing, shipping is all done by the service provider.

How to run a Print on Demand business?

Setting up a Print on Demand store is not an uphill struggle as such. Here is how you need to go with the process:

  • You can set up your own store or if there is already an existing online store, you can integrate it with any POD platform to kick off with selling.
  • If you don’t have an eCommerce website, simply choose any good POD service that already has marked its presence in the marketplace.
  • After selecting the POD service, you need to upload your creative designs and choose the type of items you wish to sell. It could be anything, t-shirts, mugs, wall art, photo frames, backpacks, phone cases, etc.
  • Now you have products that are ready for printing, so you can start with marketing those products and slowly drive traffic to your online store.
  • When any customer is interested in your product and places order, the POD platform with start with its job of printing and shipping the product to the customer. And eventually, when the purchase process is successful, you will get paid.

Best Selling Print on Demand Products

If you are planning to sell customized products, you need to first make sure that your store is well stocked with some of the most demanding products that people wish to get the print on.

You can either focus on one product or just offer a mixed bag of the products mentioned below on your online store:


The mug is probably the first product that introduced customized gifting options. Right from Valentine’s Day to Birthday prints, appreciation quote to motivational quote mugs, this product still remains the top choice in the personalized gift category.

T-shirts and hoodies

If you are into the apparel business, nothing can be more enticing to your customers than POD t-shirts or hoodies. The sarcastic quoted t-shirts are most loved by the youngsters while couple hoodies and t-shirts are also in demand. You can offer a wide array of choices to your customers.

Phone cases

Anywhere and everywhere, the phone is always with you. Most of the customers love to express their love or personality with the prints etched on mobile back covers. Catchy saying to appealing designs can make a simple phone turn stylish. It also is opted by customers to get their mobile phones easily recognized.

Cushion covers

Other places where people love to show their personality or taste is in their home interiors and cushion covers play a major role. Customized cushion covers with quirky, creative prints are one of the top-selling items in home interiors.

Eyewear cases

Boring eyewear cases are now being replaced by bright and attractive cases. Right from animal prints to travel-inspired, blossomy prints to abstract designs, there are customized cases to match every personality. It’s good to have them on your website.


Another utility product that is popular in Print on Demand segment is bags. Tote bags, backpacks, travel bags, wallets, they are the easiest items to get printed and also best sellers. Cute to sassy quotes, sophisticated to quirky prints, customers’ demands are endless when it comes to customized bags.

Laptop cases

Just like eyewear cases, laptops cases are designed specially to bring life. The tech-savvy customers are looking for great artworks to get it printed on their laptop case. More than usual cases, customized cases are most searched on online stores.

Stationery items

Stationery items like journals, book covers, calendars, diaries, pens and other such highly utilized and daily necessity products can be offered by print on demand service.


Different sizes, different shapes, badges can be easily printed and are available at affordable prices. Mostly they are ordered in bulk. Badges usually express sentiments, it could be smileys, quotes, quirky one-liners or even situational designs. Stocking them will really be beneficial for your online business as it can boost sales.

The choices are many. You need to analyze your target audience and choose products wisely for sale.

Best Print on Demand Companies

Now, if you have sorted your products, let us also help you with the most exhaustive task of choosing a suitable print on demand drop shipping company. There are many companies offering this service. However, we have considered carefully the most essential factors and are suggesting some great options:


It is the most popular POD service that creates and sells custom products online. It also offers drop shipping services. You just need to connect to your online store. Printful can get integrated with some of the well-known eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce. Wix, Squarespace, Magento and much more.


Create custom products, sell your products while Printify will handle the printing and shipping of your custom products. It is one POD solution that all you need. Printify integrates your eCommerce store with Shopify, Etsy, eBay, WooCommerce, Wix and many others.


Each individual’s order can be efficiently fulfilled by Gooten. Reduce delays, shipping costs and make big sales by offering custom products. You can connect your store through Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, API, etc. Inventory, packing, shipping everything is effectively managed by Gooten.

Pros and Cons of Print On Demand Service

No business runs without risks. Like every other business model, even Print on Demand has its own benefits and limitations. Here are some which you need to know:

Pros of Print On Demand business model

  • Once the design gets ready, you can instantly create products and display them for sale. It is just a matter of minutes.
  • As an eCommerce store owner, you just need to take care of after-sale services like customer service. Shipping and fulfillment will be taken care of by your chosen Print on Demand service provider. The items will be timely delivered to your customers.
  • This business model involves low investment and lower risks. Since there is no inventory management as such, adding and removing products is quite easy. So the biggest downside of business based on inventory can be avoided with POD service.
  • Since most of your sales-related duties will be handled by the POD platform, you can focus more on what you are good at and benefit your business. You can pay attention to making creatives, planning business strategies, building community and other such tasks that will help to grow your online business.

Cons of Print On Demand business model

  • The cost of goods, as compared to buying goods online will be higher for on-demand products, hence you can expect lower profit margin. The cost per item will certainly be more than products in bulk.
  • Shipping cost usually varies from product to product, so pricing can get a bit complicated. Unfortunately, you cannot create an unboxing experience for your customers like you wish to offer.
  • There is also a restriction on the product types you offer. In case, if you are selling common items like t-shirts or mugs, customization won’t be an issue. But if you wish to offer other products, then you need to be extremely specific about customization options, available sizes, printing techniques, and other such factors.
  • It is also difficult to find Print on Demand service providers who can offer services on exclusive products like window blinds etc.

Factors to consider

Before integrating any POD service with your eCommerce platform, do not forget to consider some essential factors as it will be crucial for your business.

The factors are:

  • Merchant policies of the POD solutions
  • Creating, packaging and fulfillment methods
  • Costs such as per-item cost, subscription fees, and other such expenses
  • Types of products on which POD platform offers customization (This is very important to know if you are selling niche products)

Final words

No matter what kind of products you sell on your eCommerce store, custom product selling can definitely help to grow your business and reap benefits.

By finding a suitable Print on Demand service provider, you can sell without worrying about the order fulfillment process.

Any artist who wishes to offer customization can go for on-demand printing.

You can customize one or two products or a plethora of different products.

Fresh and innovative choices will always entice customers.

Remember, the success of your POD business predominantly depends on the type of service provider you choose.

So do some research and choose wisely.

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