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Print-on-Demand Profits: What to Expect in 2024

Ever wondered if print-on-demand is still as profitable as it used to be in the past years? Or perhaps, it's taken a breath after reaching its peak? 

If these questions have been crossing your mind, stick with us. This article will become your source of information on what's happening in the print-on-demand world. We are here to explore if it’s still making noise or if it has turned down the volume. So, buckle up for a journey into the universe of print-on-demand in 2024! 🚀

print on demand profits

So, what is print-on-demand and how does it work?

Print-on-demand (POD) is like having your own behind-the-scenes crew. They take care of the essential stuff, putting your cool designs on everything.

We're talking about everyday wear – shirts, hoodies – and then some: mugs, towels, art prints, phone cases, home decor, you name it.

Here's the sweet part: You don't have to play the old-school retailer holding onto all that stuff. Nope! The crew (aka the supplier) handles shipping those products with your designs right to your customers! 🚚

In simple terms? No worries about dealing with piles of stuff or stressing over deliveries. It's like having a buddy take care of it all so you can just kick back ✌️

Here's an illustration of what the process looks like:

how print on demand works

Is Print-on-demand Still Profitable in 2024?

Let's quickly remove the band-aid 🩹. If you are worrying about the near future, you can relax. The print-on-demand scene is booming! In 2022, it rocked a massive USD 6.18 billion, and guess what? It's not slowing down. It's set to grow at a rate of 25.8% every year from 2023 to 2030.

Why? Well, everyone's into personalized stuff, from apparel and home decor to accessories and fancy drinkware. People are all about making things uniquely theirs, especially when it comes to special occasions. Plus, with more cash to spare, more people on the internet, and everyone glued to their smartphones, the demand for print-on-demand is hotter than ever! 🔥

print on demand market

But print on demand is not just a trend or fad. It has been with us for many years, and while it has mutated and in the past had some less-than-good years, we can see a remarkable growth tendency 📈

We are not the only ones who say so. You can see it in Google Trends:

We can appreciate how in the last 20 years it has grown very gradually, and in the last few years, it has become exponential. 

print on demand market google trends

Is Print-on-demand Saturated Soon?

If you are starting your print-on-demand business and wondering "Where did I get myself into?", don't worry, it's a common thought in this world, but you can relax. We know that print-on-demand is a constant challenge that we must adapt to to compete, but if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that print-on-demand is sticking around for a long, long time 🙌

Thanks to more cash in our pockets, widespread internet access, a smartphone on each hand, a love for fashion, and the growing craze for personalized products, the future of print-on-demand is looking brighter than ever 🌟

Even though the current players dominate the market, there's still a fantastic opportunity for newcomers. Markets always have openings waiting to be seized:

🎯 A variety of niche products: Each passing year new niche ideas are born, mirroring the economic growth. Moreover, not every Print-on-demand (POD) business offers the same products within a niche. This opens the door for you to kick off with fresh and unique concepts 🚪

📈 Market enhancement in the POD industry: Quality is becoming a top priority 💎. Businesses that emulate their competitors or offer inferior products and services are quickly fading away. Now's your chance to step in with top-notch items and an outstanding customer care approach.

⛔ No POD business is flawless: Let's face it; perfection is hard to come by. By delving into reviews and examining aspects like pricing, shipping, or return policies of a POD business, you'll uncover weaknesses in your competitors. Use these insights to your advantage by enhancing your own offerings.

So, why should you start a Print-On-Demand business this year?

Many businesses grow as fast and remarkably as they fall. Growth alone is not a promising sign. That's why we want to share with you 5 other reasons why it's a good idea to step into the wonderful world of print-on-demand 👇.

online print on demand business

1) Low Starting Cost

Launching a print-on-demand store comes with a significantly lower startup cost compared to others 💰. If you're wondering about the expenses involved in starting a print-on-demand business, here's a breakdown for beginners:

Setting up an online store for selling print-on-demand items involves utilizing a third-party marketplace that provides tools and apps for personalizing your store. You have the option to leverage free platforms to minimize costs or invest in premium features for an enhanced experience.

If you are going to create your first online store, you can use a platform like Shopify, which costs one dollar per month for the first three months, and then it goes up to 25 dollars.

Establishing your brand identity gives you two options: design it yourself at no cost or hire a professional to craft a logo that truly satisfies you.

If you choose to design it yourself, you can use Canva, a design platform with a completely free plan. Their pro plan is $6.49 per month, so if you spot a feature or element that you want to use for a fee, you may as well pay for a month and then go back to your free membership.

Cooking up designs for your products can be a bit of a challenge. It gets tougher when you're aiming for high-quality designs. So, think about investing in a talented team to make it all happen.

Marketing Expenses: The good news here is that there are many things you can do for free or for very little money. At least in the beginning. 

There are many communication channels, so make sure you choose the right one when targeting your niche.

Employ a mix of free methods like SEO and social media, and consider investing in paid advertisements to give your store a significant boost.

Partner Charges: Be aware of fees from payment gateway companies, shipping partners, or fulfillment services. Understanding their charge policies is crucial for shaping your pricing strategy.

2) Low Risk and High ROI 

Operating a print-on-demand store is low-risk but comes with a solid return on investment diner💸. Forget about sinking money into a brick-and-mortar store, worrying about manufacturing, or managing inventory. And the best part? No headaches with product deliveries to buyers 🚚.

There are many print-on-demand providers, all with different products, benefits, and, of course, costs. Some of them even have a calculator built in so you can find out approximately how much you will spend working with them and what will be your profit margin. Here are some examples from Gelato and Printful.

Gelato profit calculator

Printful profit calculator

👉 As a general rule of thumb, a 10% net profit margin is considered average, a 20% margin is considered good, and a 30% margin is considered high.

This could fluctuate depending on the product quality, cost price, demand, where you sell them, and marketing efforts. Your margins will be much lower if you only sell low-cost items 📉. 

In the print-on-demand business, the profit margin can range from 15% to 60% depending on the product, quality, season, and personalization✨

Understanding your expenses and market demand is a must to determine pricing that will give you the highest profit margin without sacrificing sales.

You can also use Shopify's profit calculator to get a better overview of the price at which you should sell your products (always comparing with the competition).

shopify profit calculator

3) Plenty of Products to Offer

The sky's the limit. You can choose all kinds of products and combinations when creating your print-on-demand business 👖👓👟. You can start with one product and add more later. You can add colors, sizes, and designs in countless variations.

You can decide on products for daily use such as t-shirts or sweatshirts 👕, offer home decor items like posters, canvas, or ornaments🎄, household goods such as pillows, blankets, or mugs ☕, or even luxury products such as jewelry, watches, leather goods 💎. And much, much more.

Before choosing, make sure it's something that people want to buy, and be clear about what your profit margin can be.

4) Great Adaptability

Selling online provides the freedom to work from any location and at any time. Plus, you can manage your business without the need for a physical space 🏪.

Additionally, it's much simpler to switch up your products based on seasons and trends ❄☀. The key factor to keep in mind is the quality of your designs.

To keep in mind special times and dates, you can check our calendar and always stay ahead of what's coming 📅.

5) Automated Workflow

The steps, including designing, personalizing, adding products, making payments, and forwarding orders to fulfillment partners, are all seamlessly automated. This enables you to efficiently manage your time, whether it's for boosting revenue or pursuing your hobbies.

The future of print-on-demand is extremely encouraging. But that doesn't mean there are no challenges to overcome.

How do you make your Print-on-demand business profitable in 2024?

Unlocking substantial revenue in the print-on-demand world relies on mastering the art of selecting three essential elements: products, a print-on-demand (POD) company, and effective marketing strategies. Before delving into the ideas presented in the upcoming sections, cultivating the right mindset is crucial for achieving success 🧠.

Let’s dive in!

1) Make the Most of Your Strong Suits

You don't have to take on every task. The key is to concentrate on maximizing your strengths, as per expert advice. Don't stress about other tasks; the real value comes from having a team where each member brings diverse strengths to the table.

For example, if you are a great creative and you enjoy designing 🎨, but you are very bad at administrative or accounting tasks, focus on the former and delegate the latter.

learn to delegate in your team

2) Know Your Customer

Remember to take this step right from the beginning. Everything you prepare is intended for the target audience. Understand their preferences, purchasing behavior, financial capacity, and more. This way, you can create products they love and boost the quality of your service 🌟.

You also need to understand where to look for them, not only in terms of geography 🌍, but in which channels, to get noticed 📢

3) Focus on Building Your Brand

In a fiercely competitive market, a robust brand is essential for success. Having consistency between what you say and what you do, communicating in a way that relates to your target audience, and being constantly present will help you build a strong brand that not only drives sales, but customer loyalty 💖.

4) Expand and Customize Your Range of Print-on-Demand Products

Once you've established a solid brand in your customers' minds, it's time to broaden your offerings and introduce more products. This not only increases your revenue but also boosts your overall profit.

And here's a tip: Include product personalization options. It's the hottest trend in the coming years 📊. According to a report from Salesforce, 65% of customers prefer customized items over regular products. Among Gen Z, this rate jumps to an impressive 74%.

trending custom products

5) Stay Patient and Put in the Hard Work

The beginning is always tough and full of challenges. Print-on-demand won't turn you into a millionaire or deliver profits without creativity, attention to detail, and a healthy dose of patience ⏳.

Take your time and don't anticipate instant high profits from your print-on-demand store. You might face hurdles while setting up your store or running the initial campaign. But don't worry: the next round will be much easier.

Most Profitable Print-on-demand Products for 2024

The print-on-demand business will bring in big profits this year, but some product categories may do more than others 📊.

♻ Eco-friendly Products: An increasing number of individuals are opting for eco-friendly products in their daily lives. Get in on the green movement with options like compostable phone cases, wooden tech accessories, vegan leather, and self-watering planters.

👕 Basic Apparel: People just can't get enough of clothes that work from home to the streets. Basic gear is the go-to for those who like things simple and comfy – it's stylish and chill.

When it comes to high-margin print-on-demand basics, think T-shirts, hoodies, polo shirts, and leggings. Start with one and keep it cool by keeping up with what's in style each season.

🎨 Art & Printings: Getting an art print is way cheaper and faster than doing the whole drawing or photo thing. Plus, print-on-demand art is stunning, high-quality, lasts forever, and you can easily make it your own. No wonder these things are catching on so quickly!

🖼 Home Decor: Home decor items never go out of style because people constantly strive to keep their homes fresh and livable. Selling these print-on-demand products will continue to be profitable in 2024.

Most Profitable Print-on-demand Sites and Apps for Custom Products

We have already answered the main question ❓. You now know that the print-on-demand business will grow and continue to be profitable this year and in the years to come.

If you have decided to jump into this wonderful world, you will have to choose suppliers that fit your needs.

Let's look at some recommendations! 👇

E-Commerce Platforms

Shopify offers all the essentials for your e-commerce website. You can create, personalize, oversee, and promote your business seamlessly 💪.

It's user-friendly and budget-friendly for all merchants. If you're new to this, no worries— their team is ready to cheerfully guide you every step of the way.

Print-on-demand Providers

Print-on-demand partners are the ones offering white-label products, printing services, shipping services, and more. They're often referred to as POD fulfillment companies. 

They will be your best allies on this journey 🤝, so it's important to choose the ones that best suit your interests. And remember that you don't have to work with just one.

There are many print-on-demand companies, all with their pros and cons, but here we suggest the ones we consider the best:

✅ Printify

✅ Printful

✅ Customcat

✅ Gelato

✅ ShineOn

✅ teelaunch

✅ merchOne

✅ Gearment

✅ Casestry

If you want to learn in detail about the products, advantages, and disadvantages of each of these providers, we invite you to read this article

Product Personalization Apps

A customization software allows you to take both your products and your customers' experience to another level 🚀, helping you stand out from the competition and make your customers happy through unique designs that they can identify with. 

print on demand business

And when it comes to customization, the number one app on the market is Customily Product Personalizer. Among many other things, you will have access to:

🟣 Seamless integration: Customily integrates extremely easily with e-commerce platforms and print-on-demand providers, allowing you to make your day-to-day life easier and your customers to create their products and have them delivered to their homes with no hassle.

🟣 Ease of use: A user-friendly platform with a steady stream of new options and features to improve your custom designs.

🟣 Real-time live preview: Your customers can take a look at the final product before clicking the buy button. It increases customer interaction and dramatically reduces returns, saving you time, money, and the headaches of returns management.

🟣 Access to libraries: Inside the app, you'll discover an extensive collection of clipart and pre-made designs, sparing you the effort of creating them from the ground up.

🟣 Exceptional support: The support team is not only familiar with all the tools, but is ready to guide you every step of the way.

👉 That's not all. If you're thinking of starting your print-on-demand business by opening your store on Shopify, you can get a free 9-day trial here. And if you prefer to start selling on Etsy, you can also try it for free here.

If you have chosen another ecommerce platform, don't be disappointed. Customily integrates with any e-commerce, and you can see how it works by booking a free demo here

Customily Product Personalizer

Summing up

To sum up, turning a profit with a new print-on-demand store is entirely achievable 💪. The keys to success include selecting the right niche, creating top-notch designs, partnering with reliable POD companies, and running effective marketing campaigns.

Still wondering about “Is print-on-demand still profitable in 2024?” Join our community and you will see how many people were in the same situation as you until they decided to take the leap. 

Let’s personalize the world together! 💫



Customily product personalizer logo

Customily Product Personalizer is the best solution to sell personalized products, both in the e-commerce and the print-on-demand market. With the widest range of personalization tools, free clipart designs, realistic live previews that increase conversions, and printing files that help you automate your printing business; Customily is the ally you need to boost your profit margins in a high-competitive market.

Visit our website to learn more about us.

Or try it for FREE on Shopify.




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