Personalized Print-on-demand Essentials For Dummies
In this article, we are going through the basics of personalized print-on-demand business to get you started easily. Differentiation is an important strategy to help you in growing your business quickly. And there is a method to achieve this strategy: hold in hand the basics and mindset.
Personalized Print-on-demand Basics
What is Personalized Print-on-demand Products?
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, print-on-demand personalization is a service that allows your customers to design your product to something following their wishes, or relating to them personally. For example, if you allow your customers to add their name to 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 service since everyone loves to make a “personal touch” on the product they want to purchase (according to Printful).
Personalization Basic Terms
Here are three terms that appear in this niche:
- Artwork: Your original design. The design that includes personalized or non-personalized parts, depends on your idea and creation.
- Clipart: The small image that can be replaced in part of the artwork. For example, if you want to allow customers to choose a hairstyle, then each hairstyle image is clipart.
- Text personalization: The text part within one artwork that can be replaced by inputting.
Print-on-demand Personalization Market Potentials
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 gathers together, a personal gift with name or similar character design of the recipient would be the best present.
Besides from holiday seasons, personalized products can easily gain interest from customers. In fact, personalization is already a trend and it will continue to rise not only within the print-on-demand market but also in other industries. E.g. fashion and clothing, home décor, etc.
Take Away Mindset Before Market Entrance
If you’ve read our latest blog, 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.
Come up with a Personalizable Design
Before entering this market, there’s something you need to know: Not every design is able to be personalized. A design is called personalizable 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.
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 the keyword “personalized” before the niche name, for example: “personalized dog mug”, “personalize 2 best friends t-shirt”, etc.
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 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 notes on store so it can be recorded, and the seller will use this noted information to re-create the design on Photoshop or Illustrator. This method used to cost lots of time and money of sellers because most of the process was done using human resources.
However, since technology develops, many software companies have entered this field and built special tools to reduce the complexity of personalization process. There are two types of personalization tools:
- 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 charges for personalization. The only problem is you might still need to re-customize Photoshop 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 the design to fulfill.
Get personalization process tool at Shopify Apps Store
Let Customers Know the Services You Offer
Regularly, we will see product advertisements show up as something that is similar to this:
However, while designing and selling a personalized product, you need to represent it in a more unique way. Because the nature of this kind of product is different from other normal products, or advertisements that people usually see. This means that for a personalizable product, your advertisement needs to be informative. It should include information that foretells 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.
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 service. 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 good preparation. What you should prepare now is looking for ways to avoid these issues and to deal with it once it happens.
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 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 it.
- 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, it's important to notice that research and preparation are crucial winning factors. You may be afraid to start at first. But don't worry, focusing on the above factors can help you overcome obstacles. And certainly, good research and well-prepared knowledge can help to guide you through the obstacles when starting personalized print-on-demand products.