A big part of succeeding in the Merch industry is knowing what to sell and where to sell it, and in this article, we’ll show you how to choose the best print-on-demand platform in 2022 according to your possibilities and expectations.
While the idea of selling t-shirts online seems cool enough, knowing there are more options to pick from in terms of products and platforms opens up a world of possibilities for sellers who are just getting started or for seasoned Merchers looking for new challenges and more sales.
There are multiple criteria to decide what is the best print-on-demand platform for you, so let’s go over some of the options and see if you find the best one for you:
Print-on-demand novices are usually looking for a platform that has a low learning curve, easy to upload products, and is easy to generate royalties.
While most print-on-demand platforms are pretty accessible, some require a high level of design in order to have winning products, whereas other platforms are easier to design for.
Such is the case of Merch by Amazon, where designs are more keyword-driven than anything.
You still need to make an effort to make a good design, as it will always help get attention on your products and close sales.
Redbubble is another good platform to start a print-on-demand business, as it offers many product options to pick from and, with the right approach, you can make sales with designs that are easy to make.
Mug designs are a great idea to have simple designs work on products that are very popular on this platform. You can even use a few transparent PNG graphics to compose a mug design that sells!
Seasoned sellers who are looking to diversify and get more income streams may do well in taking a look at platforms that specialize in certain types of products.
Even though they do feature a section dedicated to apparel and accessories, Society6 is a marketplace mostly focused on home decor and unique artwork, and it may just be a platform to hop onto if you haven’t already.
Casetify is a marketplace that specializes in phone cases and mobile accessories. Most of their products are geared towards iPhone users, so you are expected to meet a certain design style benchmark. Letterings, abstract, and pattern designs are excellent resources to create phone case designs. As with mug designs, transparent PNGs can also do wonders for phone cases.
The best POD platform in terms of traffic is undoubtedly Merch by Amazon, with Etsy a strong top-tier marketplace in terms of traffic.
Here’s a breakdown of the overall traffic data of a few marketplaces we sourced from SimilarWeb.com:
- Merch by Amazon: 2.7B
- Etsy: 422M
- Redbubble: 28.7M
- TeePublic: 8.2M
- Society6: 6.5M
- Teespring: 5.1M
- Spreadshirt: 1.7M
It’s worth noting that traffic, while being a good indicator of how many potential customers you can reach, does not necessarily mean that you will sell more since factors such as design style can be more suited for platforms with less traffic but more specialized.
At the time of uploading a design, some platforms are more flexible than others.
Such is the case of Redbubble, where during the design upload process you are able to edit and move around your artwork to fit different products as best as possible.
Spreadshirt’s design upload process follows a similar philosophy, giving you ample tools and possibilities to make one design work best in a variety of different products.
Printful’s Design Maker feature also gives you design flexibility; in this case, you’d need to be running an eCommerce website of your own like the ones built on Shopify, or connecting Printful to an Etsy store.
For type of product
Despite being the most popular print-on-demand platform, Merch by Amazon is the platform that offers the least amount of products, focusing on t-shirts, hoodies, and overall upper-body apparel, and only a handful of accessories, including phone cases, throw pillows, tote bags, and PopSockets.
In this regard, marketplaces like Etsy, Displate, Society6, and Redbubble offer dozens of different products to choose from.
Having a business based around mugs is different than running a poster store, and your design prowess could prove to sell more when used on home decor than on t-shirts.
When considering starting a print-on-demand business ask yourself: what product would I love to sell? What kind of design am I good at? These are helpful questions in the journey to Merch success.
For buyer profile
Study and analyze your target market. This doesn’t have to take long days or hours of thinking, it’s more like applying common sense to the question: what am I selling and to who?
Let’s take look at Etsy. After doing a little research, we found that the typical Etsy customers are females between the ages of 18–35, who make up about 80% of Etsy buyers. Not only that, but Etsy buyers are more interested in unique, handmade, and artsy products, rather than standard-looking products.
Displate and Society6 are great marketplaces to sell to people into home decor and art.
The best design ideas are the ones that work the best for your customers, so make sure you listen and understand what your audience wants, and then decide on the platform where you can satisfy them best.
Become Better at Print-on-demand
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