5 Common Print On Demand Mistakes That Beginners Can Make
Entering this market field, I know lots of sellers would make certain mistakes when they’re still scratching a way to make it succeed. Although flaws can help to bring us wisdom, it is better if we can notice the mistakes that we might make during this journey. After all, preventing the consequences of these mistakes will benefit you more than resolving it. So here we are, looking at the most five common POD mistakes that a newbie tends to make.
POD Mistake #1: Messed up in choosing a niche and target audience
The first POD mistake can happen during the first period when people tend to look into what opening stores are doing. And then, people would clone and do exactly the same as what those stores are doing. The problem is, beginners didn’t notice one fact, that all the merchants who entered this field before them had to put on a lot of work in order to position themselves in the niche market. Eventually, newbies won’t stand a chance to beat the pioneer of the niche and will suffer from the consequence that their business won’t go anywhere.
Furthermore, many newbies don’t even acknowledge who is their target audience, what is their customers' persona, or what kind of niche they can enter. In fact, it would not be a wise move to try targeting all kinds of audiences. It would be greedy to think that one store can offer everything because sooner or later, you will recognize that your product design can’t even be rated above average. When you try to do too much at a time, your results will end up going nowhere.
POD Mistake #2: Not adopting influencer marketing
Most merchants will invest in digital advertising because it’s the easiest way to bring in traffic and new customers. But they forget one of the important goals in marketing, which is to build the brand to the level highly-trusted. And what can build your brand better by using influencers? According to BigCommerce report, 89% of participants, who have a background as marketers, say that ROI (Return on Investment) of influencer marketing is comparable or better than other marketing methods. By using influencers, you can easily and wisely attract new customers within the influencer’s audience to visit and convert sales on your store.
However, a concern of most merchants when thinking about influencer marketing is the expenses for this marketing method. People have a tendency to consider that influencer marketing would be a huge investment that requires a lot of capital. Eventually, they spend every penny on advertising. However, they don't acknowledge that this expense can be split into two small investments: one for advertising; and the other half is for micro-influencers. Micro-influencers can be influencers with a small amount of audience within a niche, or they can be rising stars in a target market that you need to raise brand awareness.
Within the market of printing on demand, instead of looking for some KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), which will highly cost you, you can look for some micro-influencers in your own niche. Make a deal with them based on the audience size and other criteria, e.g., views amount, view conversion rate,… It would be helpful for sure for your store to gain more awareness and new customers.
POD Mistake #3: Bad quality of the product
Selecting a fulfillment provider can be a headache since we need to make sure if the quality is good enough to meet our requirements and also our customers. Many merchants have failed because they could not even be able to raise any reputation because of low product quality. As a result, they eventually receive bad reviews then give up. Whenever you decide to make any selection on product or services, remember to put your customers on top of that. Because it is their experience and their happiness is your final goal.
Also, don’t forget that product price might go along with its quality. It would be best if you can make a test product before actually selling it on your store. I think many providers (such as CustomCat, Dreamship, Picanova, Yoycol, Printful,…) will offer test products to compete for the product quality. Once you receive the test product, apart from assessing the printing quality, remember to also assess the overall quality of the product, such as material or product color. For example, if you want to sell t-shirt, apart from the black color of t-shirt line, notice other colors too since customers can order it as well and who knows, the quality of different colors results differently.
POD Mistake #4: Advertising insights are limited
No matter what channel you are using to present your products, always keep in mind that advertising does play a crucial role to help your business in converting sales. However, new entrepreneurs can easily get frustrated with online advertisements because of the difficulty in managing and setting up ad.
In this case, looking for an online course or step-by-step tutorials will be an efficient way to learn quickly about online advertising. You can easily find these on Youtube, blog channels or on Facebook communities. But be careful with scammer, since more and more people are starting online businesses, the number of scammers is also increasing. Make sure you look up some credible information about courses before you sign up for one.
Besides, you should really look into other channels for advertising. When I mention other channels, I mean the growing social channels in recent. The gold time of Facebook's domination of social media has already passed. We can see in recent years, many social networks have risen up to become trending social media, including Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter,… Since the active users of these networks are predicted to continue increasing, advertising might be prepared to reach new customers and expand your marketing network widely.
Last one: Poor aesthetic in design
Truthfully, I would not mention this if it’s not important, but trust me, it is. Selling a print-on-demand product, you need to remember that you’re selling your design - your art. But this is a truly common mistake of all print-on-demand newbies.
To resolve this, make sure you check the design before you actually launch it for selling. Upload your design to a group of strangers and ask about their opinions, it is more precise to listen to feedback from someone who totally doesn’t know ourselves since our familiars can be biased. Moreover, before creating design, you need to have a professional review from an actual designer to avoid some design flaws like ratio, color,… If possible, you can take a design course to sharpen your skills.
Furthermore, don’t forget to follow the trends. You can put into design the latest trend to catch up with customers' favor even better. To look for these trends, don’t forget the tools and channels that I’ve mentioned in previous article.
One more advice is the more designs you have, the more chance you can find a winning product. Once you find a winning product, it will help you to identify and clear the path for the future goals.
Here are the five common mistakes that are mostly seen from beginners in print-on-demand.
If you can avoid all 5 mistakes, it is no doubt that you have seized 80% winning of this race.
So, what is your struggle? Comment to us below and discuss it.