Print on demand: what it is and how it works

Print on demand: what it is and how it works

Thousands of people choose print on demand every year and embark on this business model. But what is “print on demand“? How does it work and why is this solution so attractive?

In this article, we’ll discover the keys and secrets to maximizing success with print on demand, and the pitfalls to avoid.

How does “print on demand” work?

Print on demand (POD) is a business model that takes stock management out of your worries and automates 100% of the production chain.

Before printing on demand, you’ll need to create a website through a free or subscription platform like Shopify or Woo commerce . Once you have created the virtual store, you can connect it to a print-on-demand provider.

With print on demand, your creations will be printed or embroidered on the products only on request and only in the requested quantities. This is an advantage over traditional physical storage, which generally requires a certain order volume.

You can select a print-on-demand provider, choose the products from the catalog that you want to sell, customize it with your own graphic designs and add them as a white label to your virtual store.

Define your margins by setting your selling price above your print-on-demand provider’s selling price.

Your supplier will take care of printing, packing and sending the order directly to your client without any other intermediary.
his allows you to pay your supplier for the product only when it is sold.

You will be able to manage your business regardless of where you work, both from the office, from the sofa or the car.

Opening a print-on-demand business has the advantage of taking few risks, as long as we are aware that, instead, it is essential to work on development.

The benefits of print on demand

Building the brand is extremely simple

Most print-on-demand providers are private label. Depending on the services offered, you can personalize your products with, for example, a neck label with your logo, but also your product packaging, packaging, included communication material, etc. In this way, the customer will not realize at any time that the order is the result of a third-party service.

Your print on demand provider will be a true partner in your business

Your success as a reseller will also mean success for them. Your print-on-demand partner will be able to help you with all the technical aspects of setting up your store and managing your orders, but they can also provide you with valuable services and resources.

For example, product mockups and image models that you can use in your store as presentation photos of your products. Design templates for your store or even decoration. A graphic designer at your disposal to help you with your designs.

Print on demand providers are constantly expanding their portfolio of offerings to facilitate your success.

You can do tests without taking risks

With print on demand it is very easy to add new designs to your store for a certain period of time and decide if you prefer to remove them if your customers are not convinced.

You can also experiment with design themes by proposing real collections with lines of clothing and accessories aimed at different audiences.

You do not need to invest in the material

Your computer will be your main work tool, since your print-on-demand provider will take care of all the production. You will not have to buy machines or rent infrastructure. Also, you will save time to focus on marketing your store.

You can give your customers the opportunity to customize their product

Print-on-demand services meet the growing need to differentiate and provide a unique product.

The tricks to maximize your chances of success

Define and maintain an identity and image from start to finish!

From the selection of the brand name, through the logo and graphic design, to the selection of your supplier, your products, your pricing strategy and your sales strategy, everything must follow a consistent pattern.

Resellers very often tend to dedicate themselves to many things at the same time and try to offer the widest range of products without previously predefining their objective and the clientele they would like to target.

Therefore, before launching, it is important to:

find your niche

In t-shirt marketing , we have been able to analyze that some niches are very receptive as long as we know how to target them.

For example, bikers belong to a very proud community with a strong sense of belonging that we can easily address. With the design, “I am a biker dad”, we address bikers while stimulating this sense of belonging. It is very often a popular gift idea because of its personal and attractive appearance. Humor is a safe value and it works very well.

But how can you find your niche?

Social networks like Facebook are a good tool to help find niches. Facebook groups with a large number of members gathered around a community topic can give you a good clue as to their popularity.

The rumors that often circulate on social networks are business opportunities that you must take advantage of quickly.

Emerging trends like yoga or gluten-free products, for example, can be used to target people with common ground.

Google Ad , with its key term search tool, allows you to identify search terms in the browser and identify needs. For example, the keywords “Dad T-shirt” are searched an average of 1,600 times per month. Almost all searches involve potential sales. It is a very interesting tool to better understand the needs of your niche.

Is it better to focus on a single niche?

It is easier to find an audience that you know and are familiar with than the opposite, although it is not impossible to achieve. You simply have to get to know your target group and your potential clients by informing yourself about them and permanently monitoring their evolution.

A few simple tips:

  • Create social media accounts with content for your target audience.
  • Post ads related to the interests of your potential customers.
  • Convince influencers to talk about your products.
  • Communicate relevantly with your store visitors.

It’s also possible to target multiple niches by carefully categorizing your store for general customers or by creating multiple stores.

For this, it is important to work on the content and organization with an adapted web design. This will give you more work and complicate your marketing strategy, so don’t overdo it either.


Although certain niches are “saturated,” it is possible to succeed by differentiating yourself. In print on demand, the choice of products and branding technique to personalize your products is decisive.

New print-on-demand providers offer techniques such as high-quality embroidery at very competitive prices and strive to constantly strengthen their product portfolio.

Play with clothing categories and patterns, colors and compositions.

Prioritize quality over savings

The quality of your products and your printing will allow you to consolidate over time and build a solid reputation.

For example, the organic cotton clothing of the Stanley Stella brand, together with the value of a Made in Spain print in the Spanish market, give value to your image.

We recommend that you always order samples to ensure the quality of your print-on-demand service.

The Obstacles You Need to Know About Printing on Demand

As well as tips that can help you get started with print on demand, it is also important to know certain information, such as:


In print on demand, depending on the provider, production times can be considerably longer. As the administrator of your store, you will need to clearly inform your customer of these deadlines and let them know that printing on demand takes a little more time than shipping an already manufactured product.

Become a marketing professional

It is essential to have notions of marketing. You can either train or investigate on your own. It is also a field that is evolving rapidly and on which it is necessary to be continuously updated.

you have to invest time

Launching your print-on-demand store takes a lot of time and personal investment to be successful. You have to be aware of this before launching yourself in order to have the necessary resources for this business.

Therefore, persevere and don’t be discouraged if the results don’t come as fast as you expected.

With print on demand you will have the possibility to do many tests (niches, products, designs, graphic design…) and to renew yourself quickly without risks or additional investments, so do not hesitate to experiment.

Also think about automating as many tasks as you can and organizing your work to increase productivity.

In conclusion

Print on demand is ideal for starting a business due to low risk and minimal investment, not forgetting that it is a true business that requires time and involvement.