21 Jan Print-On-Demand for Dummies (Part.3): Product Personalization
In the previous article, we were going through the steps to get you started with a print-on-demand business. Since I mentioned that differentiation was an important strategy to help you in growing your business quickly, in this article, I will be presenting a method to achieve this strategy: Product Personalization.
What Is Product Personalization?
The first thing that you need to distinguish is product personalization is different from product customization. While product customization is based on the merchant him or herself, product personalization is all about your customers. Explaining in an easy way, product personalization is providing a service that allows your customers to design your product to something that in their wishes, or related to them personally. For example, if you allows your customers to add their name on the product, that’s personalization.
Personalized Print-on-demand: A Game Changer
Normally, print-on-demand is up to your customized design to apply on a white label product from fulfillment provider. However, with personalized print-on-demand, you are levelling up the game of becoming the most worthy brand by offering your customers a new shopping services. If your goal is to generate even more sales with your creativity, this niche might be the one you’re looking for.
Because of these reasons, personalized print-on-demand is becoming a new trend and an exclusive services since everyone loves to make a “personal touch” on the product they want to purchase (according to Printful).
Personalization terms that you should know:
- Artwork: Your original design. The design that include personalized or non-personalized parts, depends on your idea and creation.
- Clipart: The small image that can be replaced in part of artwork. For example, if you want to allow customers to choose hairstyle, then each hairstyle image is a clipart.
- Text personalization: The text part within one artwork that can be replace by inputting.
Market Potentials for Personalized Print-On-Demand
If you follow the trends curve of print-on-demand, you will be noticed that holiday seasons are the best fit for these products. With personalized print-on-demand, it fits even better since it’s the time family gather together, a personal gift with name or similar character design of the recipient would be the best present.
Beside from holiday seasons, personalized products can easily gain interest from customers. In fact, personalization is already a trend and it will continue to rise in 2021 not only within print-on-demand market, but also in other industries. E.g. fashion and clothing, home décor, etc.
Takeaway Mindset Before Market Entrance
If you’ve read POD for Dummies (P.2), you’ve must have gone through the guide to start your print-on-demand business. Since personalized print-on-demand is a special niche, it has also extra different notices that you need to know before starting your business with personalized print-on-demand.
One, you need to come up with a personnalisable design
Before entering this market, there’s something you need to know: Not every design is able to be personalized. A design is called personnalisable if only it includes at least one essential part for customers to re-customize it personally. It can be a name text, a quote, or maybe pet, pet name, or even character details like hairstyle and clothing.
Where can you find these ideas?
As mentioned in my previous blog, you can easily find design ideas on Pinterest, Etsy, Facebook Community and “spy” tools. But remember, you need to have a specific keyword if you want the search results to fit your demand. What you need to do is with every niche you’ve chosen, put keyword “personalized” before the niche name, for example: “personalized dog mug”, “personalize 2 best friends t-shirt”,…
Two, you need to figure out a way to set up personalized products
Unlike normal POD products, your personalized products need to be seen and to be experienced by customers themselves. Also, you must have a method to record the options that are chosen by customers to send the right design to fulfill. But this is not easy to process this if your site is using a platform that doesn’t support product options.
So, how to resolve this issue?
Back in the days, when this trend started new, both sellers and their customers would need to process all these options manually. Customer will make note on store so it can be recorded, and seller will use these noted information to re-create design on Photoshop or Illustrator. This method used to cost lots of times and money of sellers because most the process was done using human resources.
However, since technology develops, many software companies have entered this field and built special tool to reduce the complexity of personalization process. There are two types of personalization tool:
- Product options tool: This type will serve only the purpose of setting up and recording product options. These product options can be varied from clipart , text personalization to add-up fee charge for personalization. The only problem is you might still need to re-customize on Photoshop after by yourself.
- Personalization process tool: This kind of tool can boost your productivity by simplifying the whole process from the input to the output. Generally, these tools can help you to generate the exact print-area with high quality to directly send design to fulfill.
Three, it’s important to let your customers know the services you offer
Regularly, we will see product advertisement show up as something that is similar to this:
However, with a personalized product, you need to represent in a more unique way. Because the nature of this kind of product is different with other normal products, or advertisement that people usually see. This means that for a personnalisable product, your advertisement needs to be informative. It should include information that foretell your customers about personalizing ability. Something looks more like this:
And remember, not only your advertisement, with every channel that your brand has, it needs to speak to your customers that your products can be personalized and that is the reason your brand is unique compared to other print-on-demand stores.
Last one, be prepared for incidents
As life can’t be always pink, so does business. Selling a personalized product doesn’t just mean that you offer your customers an extraordinary services. It also means that more incidents might happen.
For example, sometimes your customers might choose something and they want to switch later. Or, they mistakenly input and incorrect name,… These issues will occur and it can freak you out without a well preparation. What you should prepare now is looking for ways to avoid these issues and to deal with it once it happens.
Things need to be prepared
To help you out with this, here’s a short checklist that you can refer to:
- An instruction: to show how personalized process will work.
- After checkout confirmation: inform your customers about the design they made through your store as a receipt proof.
- A good store policy: you can be flexible, but remember to limit the time for this flexibility. Let your customers know that once design is sent to print, there’s nothing that you can do to change.
- Response templates: come up with the most cases that you’re possible to cover and prepare a response template for those. Preparation is never redundant, it can help you to reduce the worry of facing these cases and also, keep a good customers services.
Now that you’ve gone through all the guides, I want to remind you that research and preparation are crucial winning factors. Why? Because I understand that you will be afraid to start at first. But instead of worrying, you need to focus on what can help you overcome those fears. And certainly, a good research and well-prepared knowledge can help to guide you through the obstacles.
teeinblue is a product personalization tool designed to become a workaround solution to all your concerns about personalized print-on-demand process. The tool is available on Shopify, so if you’re looking for a tool of personalization for your store, why don’t you check it out?