A great ecommerce business starts with great products.
However, not everyone has the time or creative skills to make beautiful pieces by hand or the warehouse space to keep vast amounts of inventory. But don’t let that stop you!
With Print-on-Demand (POD) services now faster, more flexible, and more cost-effective than ever before, it has become an increasingly popular option for ecommerce entrepreneurs looking for their way into the market.
Print-on-Demand means that you work with a service to customize common everyday products (think t-shirts, mugs, posters, tote bags, etc.) with your own branding, so you can sell them on an order-by-order basis.
Top benefits of using a Print-on-Demand service:
This means that you can spend more time creating a better business—your Print-on-Demand service will take care of the rest.
POD is a perfect model for artists or YouTubers looking to monetize their audience, people looking to create fun products for a niche crowd (fans of a particular TV show, for example), or simply to test out a new business idea without the associated risk.
Because while you might have smaller margins and less flexibility with shipping, you can quickly create products and have them up for sale in just a few clicks.
Probably the best-known POD service on the market, Printful is the ideal low-risk place to start building your brand.
Some Printful features include:
Ultimately, Printful is a simple-to-use option with low risk and offers lots of products and shipping locations to choose from. You only pay for fulfillment and shipping once you receive an order, and there are no monthly fees unless you choose the pro version—which costs €49/mo and includes extra features. Printful is fast and reliable, making it a great choice for ecommerce merchants looking to find quality products for their stores.
Like Printful, Printify offers a huge range of products ready to be customized. They are also able to take and fulfill orders for you. Printify also has a huge network of partners around the globe, allowing for fast production and shipping at competitive prices.
With seamless integrations to a range of ecommerce platforms from Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce to marketplaces like Etsy and eBay, you can have your store stocked with products and ready to sell in minutes. Printify also makes your designs a breeze, with an easy-to-use mock-up generator, so you can see how your products will look. Plus, they offer 24/7 support if you have any issues.
Printify is also free to set up and use—you only pay when orders are taken by your customers. There is a premium monthly plan available at $24.99/mo, which provides a 20% discount on all orders. This is ideal for ecommerce merchants who have a steady stream of orders coming in and want to boost their profits.
While CustomCat might seem similar in terms of services offered to both Printful and Printify, there are some important differences.
First, CustomCat offers lower prices (thus higher profit margins) and a fast turnaround. This is CustomCat’s competitive advantage, built up over 20 years of experience in the POD business.
Extra features lean more toward the technical side, giving you the ability to split test designs and colors to see which sells best, as well as capture customer data for better marketing and present upsell strategies at checkout.
Teelaunch is a Shopify and Etsy app that has become very popular on the back of its ease-of-use and competitive pricing.
The idea is to keep things as simple as possible with basic design features that are easily accessible and hassle-free for newcomers. With fast, direct-to-garment printing, you can get smaller quantities (there is no minimum order) at excellent quality. This is ideal for small Etsy stores looking to capitalize on their creative designs.
With no upfront costs, fast shipping (depending on your location), and an easy-to-navigate process, teelaunch is great for those just starting out. While there may be slightly fewer products available (120) and fewer features typically used by the more established players, the user-friendly nature of teelaunch more than makes up for it!
Gooten is a POD service that is focused on business growth. The company takes pride in treating its customers as partners by taking care to tailor solutions to their needs and offering tools like trend and benchmark reports to empower them on the way.
Gooten’s global supply network guarantees fast shipping and low tax costs, making it a cost-effective solution. With 110+ products to choose from, they might have a lower selection than the bigger POD players, but they make up for this with specialized and trending products that are chosen especially to give your ecommerce business an edge.
In short, Gooten is not for hobbyists looking to sell a few t-shirts on the side. It is better suited for serious ecommerce merchants who are looking for a serious partner to grow with. There are no setup or monthly fees—you simply pay for the product, printing, and shipping costs, determine your pricing, and keep your profit.
Printy6 integrates with Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, eBay, and BigCommerce to provide fast POD services for ecommerce merchants.
Easy-to-use and ideal for beginners, Printy6 has its products printed and shipped from East Asia, meaning that it could potentially take longer during periods when shipping companies are under pressure.
However, Printy6 does have good customer service and a wide range of products to choose from, with an easy, no-hassle process. There are also no upfront fees or monthly membership costs, so for merchants just starting out, it’s definitely worth a try!
SPOD’s big draw is its claim to offer Shopify’s Best Print-On-Demand prices. With a global platform and high-quality product range, SPOD also promises to fulfill your order within 48 hours, an impressively fast service that’s backed up by an even more impressive 0.8% return rate per 100,000 items shipped.
Other benefits of SPOD include a free library of over 50,000 designs to help you with inspiration for your brand and a user-friendly app that’s quickly gaining recognition among Shopify users as one of the best in the business.
With the advantage of speed in the areas of creation, printing, and order fulfillment, it’s easy to see why SPOD is a growing presence in the POD market.
Apliiq offers high-quality apparel, with some of the best garments available to merchants in the business.
With private labels, embroidery, and customized woven labels available, Apliiq promises a high-end experience and is ideal for ecommerce merchants who are focused on branding, personalization, and quality. They offer a handy partner network, which allows you to upgrade to a plan offering 100 custom labels sewn into your apparel for just $100 per year, as well as an optional quality assurance feature that guarantees an in-house quality check at the factory before shipping.
With the extra focus on quality comes longer fulfillment and shipping times, so consider this when trying Apliiq. But for merchants looking to create a high-quality fashion brand, the extra wait should be well worth it.
Last but not least, JetPrint. JetPrint is more of a niche POD service specializing primarily on watches—although sneakers are available, with more products on the way.
This makes for an interesting niche, with high-quality, customized watches making excellent gifts for family, friends, and corporate customers. The watch face is the primary canvas for your designs, but you can easily customize straps and colors too. JetPrint also offers a back case engraving service and package customization for branding purposes.
With a unique and high-quality product, JetPrint is a great option for ecommerce merchants looking for something a little different. While their production time is surprisingly short, between three and five business days, their free shipping option can take up to 14 to 20 business days.
There are plenty of options in the POD market, so you’ll need to consider things like your niche, location, design skills, and quality needs when making your choice for POD services.
Ultimately, all of these services can bring you value and help you get great products in your store—it’s simply a matter of finding the right fit for you!
Did we miss any? Feel free to let us know!
Help us find great content
Never miss a thing! Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.
Meet the people behind ecommerce businesses. Inspiring interviews, actionable advice, valuable viewpoints.