“What’s better, an SME or a start-up? “
It’s an endless debate. Especially when you’re starting one. But deep in the crevices of our hearts, we all know it. Start-ups are cool.
They have flexibility and flair that traditional businesses cannot offer. Consider, for example, a traditional print shop and a niche web-to-print start-up.
The traditional model:
On the other hand, a start-up:
This goes to show that a start-up is a way of doing business that aligns with the principles and habit patterns of modern society. It is not just a promise sought after by 20-somethings. It is quite a serious undertaking.
While the traditional business model may have its own merits, it is not accessible to everyone. On the other hand, you can start a phone case print shop on a shoestring budget, while keeping your day job and with the knowledge and assets available to you.
Entrepreneurs around the world have proved this model time and time again. But we are fundamentally biased people. There are plenty of reasonable arguments that one can make to avoid the idea. Tim Ferriss, in his book, “the four-hour work-week”, says “People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”
So, if you want to get over it and start a phone case printing business, quit making excuses and jump in. Here are all the things that you need to consider.
1. The Product
“Where do I get the designs?”
“How do I know if they’ll get popular?”
There are countless such questions plaguing the online print store founder. The answer? You don’t have to know these things.
Simply use a mobile cover design tool to let your customers create their own designs. This “web-to-print” store will attract customers by giving them the freedom to create the designs that they desire. They can upload and customize anything from a simple pattern to a picture of their favorite character.
The phone case printing software is a great tool that eliminates many dilemmas and inhibitions that an entrepreneur might have to start a web-to-print store.
Types of Phone Cases
You can spread phone cases over a vast spectrum, ranging from cool to practical. But you cannot possibly have all these surfaces available for printing. Refer the below list and choose the ones that will best suit your client’s needs.
Slim cases are cheap, popular, and largely overrated. Still, your customer is most likely to buy one of these. They use a silicon gel to add grip and design. Additionally, you can use them for print-on-demand.
Bumper cases keep going in and out of fashion. They are essentially sides/borders that you can put around your phones. The material used is often harder and shock-resistant. For those of your customers who prefer minimal designs and products, this is the case of choice.
These cases have a flap that folds over the screen to protect the screen from scratches, giving it the appearance of a small notebook. You can even stick some cash or cards or maybe a parking ticket inside.
For those of your customers who’re clumsy or even simply over-cautious, you can offer tough cases, which are tougher than most cases and undergo drop tests and water resistance tests.
Once that you have finalized the designs, it naturally follows that we need a printing solution. In 2019, that solution is print on demand.
Print on demand uses digital printing to provide one of the items in small batches as and when required. You can hire a printing shop for this if you don’t want to invest in machinery at a nascent stage.
It also reduces the risk in buying inventory. So, you don’t have to worry whether your designs will sell or not. Just decide on the printing methods and negotiate the price. Sure, this might increase the cost per piece but it negates the overall risk.
2. The Store
You might’ve guessed, we’re not talking about bricks and mortar here.
Your website is your store. A major chunk of your investment is going to go into your web store. Whether it’s an e-commerce platform or an integrated solution, you must give it due consideration before purchasing it.
For example, it may sound obvious that you must consider the costs, but there are a lot of different hidden costs that you might overlook. This could cost you more than your estimates. A platform may depend on third-party apps for certain functions, adding to what it costs you.
Next, you are going to need a mobile phone case design software. This may come integrated with your store-front or, in case you decide to go for a separate e-commerce solution, may be available for purchase.
Make sure you get all the best features that you’re going to need. A neat packaging will be an added advantage. If you’re not that tech savvy and do not wish to invest your time and money in a developer, it is highly recommended that you try out a web-to-print storefront solution.
Fair warning though, your work is far from done. The feature rich platforms may make it seem easy to establish an online business. It is quite challenging to run an online store.
Additionally, if you’re shipping your phone cases across the globe, you need to make sure that your store-front supports multiple languages.
3. The Method
“But what about other risks?”
If you’re starting a company, you should be prepared for failure, irrespective of your methodologies. There are many reasons for that. But you can trace most of them back to the b-plan. All plans are perfect in theory. That’s their point. But whether they will work in the real world or not is a different question.
Out of the disparity in theoretical models and the real world, emerged the methodology called ‘The Lean Start-up’. The lean method works through iterations of “build-measure-learn”.
Essentially, it involves building the minimum marketable version of the product and releasing it to the real world. After that, we record quantifiable results and undergo validated learning. We do this iteratively till we reach what is known as a product-market fit.
This way, it is easier and faster to build a product that people love, without as much cash-burn. We can use a similar process to validate our questions and beliefs about the venture.
The advantage here is that our decisions are based on empirical knowledge as opposed to theories. This process is going to last throughout the website lifecycle. This will help us in determining which approach works and which doesn’t and taking the right decision.
Another approach that you may experiment with is ‘remote’ work. According to Basecamp, the pioneers of remote work, “remote shows both employers and employees how they can work together, remotely, from any desk, in any place, anytime, anywhere.” The central idea behind this approach is that companies can find employees who are best suited irrespective of the geographical constraints, and vice-versa.
Other than that, it has benefits such as exemption from operational costs like rent and cost-cutting on a commute.
4. The Supply-Chain
One word: Drop-shipping.
Drop shipping is the supply chain model where the business owner doesn’t own the inventory. Instead, he uses his e-commerce store to get sales orders which he directly forwards to the supplier/manager for a cut.
It is the preferred form of supply-chain management due to its transparency and traceability. Manufacturers who participate in drop-shipping are 18.33% more profitable than manufacturers who rely on conventional channels since they’re not as dependent on the inventory space of retailers.
This is an all-around win-win situation. The customer is happy because of the shorter delivery time. The supplier gets better margins. And you as a merchant
The critical factor and practically the only thing you are responsible for as the drop-shipping business owner is marketing. Maintaining accurate organic results is important in the initial stages.
The cash-burn is low. You can adopt organic marketing practices such as SEO, or inbound marketing in general, without burning a hole in your pocket. You can experiment with different marketing channels with minimal risk.
The most important numbers that you have to keep a close eye on is of the organic traffic because organic growth is a good metric to validate your business model.
This knowledge will come in handy when you get to market your business actively.
If you don’t want to get into detail, there is a simple metric you can use to see where you’re heading with your marketing efforts. Calculate the Customer acquisition cost. Calculate the customer lifetime value. If the CAC<CLV, your marketing budget is justifiable. There are of course, several other metrics that you must consider while evaluating the overall financial projections and analysis.
But to this day, the best kind of marketing is the word of mouth between the satisfied customer and the people in his circle. This has become even more relevant in the internet age, where reviews are public.
Beyond that, you must promote your product digitally. You can do this in a passive monthly budget or in short sprints whenever there’s a festive season or when a promising design comes out.
6. What Next?
The logical next step for you would be either to scale or to diversify. There is no limit. Your business will grow into the boundaries of your vision. Let us summarize the first phase of activities in a step-by-step roadmap before we briefly discuss the immediate next step.
Ideally, if you are going to invest in a web store for a digital printing business, it is advisable to go all in and invest in a full functioning e-commerce web-to-print web store. A web store that can showcase multiple products with a proper payment gateway. Moreover, an e-commerce web store is easily scalable as you can turn a phone case printing business into a full-fledged online printing business with products like mugs, t-shirts, shoes, etc.
Check Web to Print Store Live Demo
After you have deployed a well-thought e-commerce web store keeping in the user experience in mind, the next step would be to look for compatible web-to-print software.
As mentioned above, the next obvious step is to equip your web storefront with compatible web-to-print software. Now, this might be the step where you might feel overwhelmed with all the choices and options available. And with so many choices, comes the fear of doubt. What if you chose the wrong option?
Well, you can’t do wrong if you keep the website platform in mind while making this selection. Just make sure that the product designer tool (web-to-print tool) you choose integrates with the e-commerce platform.
But with these two steps, you have only set up the front-end of your business. The next two steps are the crucial ones where you will be setting up the backend process which will, in the long run, affect the customer experience and quality of your service.
Use print on demand
If you have read till here, then I would assume that you want to go with the start-up option where there will be very less cash to invest. And printing machines and buying inventory isn’t exactly cheap. And the space to accommodate and operate these machines will go against the startup nature of your business.
So, in such cases, print on demand is the best and viable option for you. Test the market by distributing some samples around the market. Take decisions based on the data you receive rather than going blindly with what you feel is right. Make it customer-centric and it will sure be a success.
Up until here, we have sorted you with almost everything. Now, you just have to make a quick decision on the shipping method.
If you are setting up an online business, you might as well target the customers globally. It’s like If you dreaming, you might as well dream big.
So, to make your web store compatible with the global market, you would want to go with the drop-shipping method.
A method where you are trading a small bit of your profit with the supply-chain management company and they will be taking overall care of all your shipping.
Sounds good, right?
Because it is.
Being a startup, you won’t be able to do everything in-house and outsourcing these hectic things will make you concentrate on more important things like marketing which is the last stop on our concluding points.
The word marketing itself sounds fancy. Doesn’t it?
And it surely is.
But not for the start-ups. There is some easy and inexpensive way to market your products in this information crazy world. Some best marketing practices recommended for startups are SEO, inbound marketing, organic marketing, social media marketing, etc.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Just pick one method of marketing keeping in mind where you targeted audience spends its most time and move ahead from there.
Any market with a low barrier to entry will attract multitudes of vendors. But there’s no point trying to out-muscle the competition. In that situation, no one wins. You must always aim for a product-market fit. Marc Andreessen defines the term as “being in a good market, with a product that can satisfy that market.”
Most people aren’t born geniuses. Genius occurs in flashes. What you must do to come out triumphant, is to keep at it, diligently, and the sparks come. Unfortunately, no one can tell you what coming up with a product-market fit feels like. You can only experience it. And the more you have experienced, the better chances you have of finding it again.
Businesses these days have to be vigilant to stay on top of the trends. Truth is that the 21st-century customer is like a spoiled child. They want things done their way. They want them promptly. And usually, there’s nothing that you can do about it.
But if you are able to meet these growing demands, you’re sure to generate goodwill and customer loyalty. A satisfied customer will always prefer your service even if he has to pay a premium for it. Additionally, the number of satisfied customers cumulates to multiply your customer base.
And so, it becomes more important than ever to stay up to date with the trends. For print shops, this trend is web-to-print. Particularly for t-shirt printers, it is essential to understand this trend as it will come to define the target markets and consecutively, the marketing strategy.
To analyze this, we must look at the different use cases and why they are opting for custom prints. The most common motivators are as follows.
Social media movements:
It is interesting to observe how various human tendencies have adapted to technology. Millennials express their aggression, joy, and support by using certain filters on their ‘DPs’. The state of things suggests that the next great revolution will probably happen through social media.
Some of the more prominent supporters have their messages printed on their clothes. This gives them a sense of belonging to a group and conveys their motives to the viewer.
Another thing about millennials is that they take their favorite characters very seriously. Everyone is obsessed with one character or the other, be it from comic books, movies, series, or games. And what better way to show it off than wearing it on your sleeve, literally.
And overwhelming as it may be for a t-shirt shop owner to serve all these different demands, it is easy for the web-to-print business owner. All you need is the right Custom T-shirt Design Tool.
Advertising and marketing:
For marketers, it is common practice to get custom printed merchandise with the company’s logo and distribute it among the staff and customers. However, it is becoming increasingly common for them to opt for web-to-print as it is more efficient as a process and provides prompt deliveries.
By making use of T-shirt Maker Software, they can design their merchandise online, without much hassle and get it printed directly from there.
This decade has seen a lot of different social problems come to light. Things that might have once been taboo are subject of many discussions. The fact that we’ve begun addressing such problems shows a great deal about today’s generations.
Custom printed merchandise can be a great way of spreading awareness about an issue. Many NGOs and communities are using it as a catalyst for social change.
In a time that fosters individuation among the people, uniforms are a way of showing a group’s unanimity. It gives people a sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves and a sense of identity. Uniforms can be custom printed using web-to-print with ease.
And it isn’t just school uniforms anymore. Any organization can have a uniform. This helps in identification at conferences, expos, etc.
How web-to-print has changed these market segments
The web-to-print and print-on-demand technologies have revolutionized the print business by practically eliminating the need for a professional designer and various other intermediaries involved in traditional ways.
Designing is easier and more cost-effective than it has ever been. This has opened various avenues for print companies in both B2B and B2C client base.
The above examples are in no way exhaustive of the use cases of web-to-print. It has a wide scope for expansion and diversification. This is the technology to bank on right now if you’re in the printing business.
As the trend progresses further, the demand for custom printed t-shirts is bound to increase. Be sure to stock up on the inventory and have the Custom T-shirt Design Tool set-up on your website. This year could be the tipping point for web-to-print, which means that it will see massive adoption by your customers.
With the right T-shirt Maker Software, you can entice the customer. That means picking a tool that is easy to integrate into your e-commerce platform and is easy to use. This will ensure smooth operation and boost the conversion ratio.
You can get a head-start by going for it right now and establishing a good position in the market, way before the competition catches on. Staying ahead of the game requires constant vigilance. That doesn’t mean jumping on every trend but picking the ones with the most potential and making the best of it.
With giants like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart battling for a monopoly on the e-commerce front, it is very difficult for small scale companies to find their position. Everyone, right from the producer to the customer is moving online, and it is just a matter of time before you too need to move your store online.
Brands have realized that the brick and mortar showrooms are meant to display the look and feel of the product to the customer. Most of their sales will come from online stores. But with this wave of companies moving online, how can you, as a start-up or SME get your foot through the door without being crushed?
The simple answer is customization. If you have a Magento based e-commerce website, you’re in luck. We’ve made a list of the lesser-known ways you can benefit from a Magento 2 web to print store.
Degree of Customization
The degree of personalization is the balance between the features and ease of use of the software. The more functions you offer, the more difficult it becomes for the customer to use them. Therefore, you need to balance between the usability and the functionality. A good Magento 2 product designer extension will by default take care of this by controlling the degree of customization so that you don’t have to.
Your Product Catalogue 2.0
As a new organization, you must make sure that there’s no redundancy in your designs. You need fresh designs to keep your customers engaged. Some companies even go to the extent of having all their designs as a limited edition. This can, however, burn a hole in your pocket if not done right. The solution?! Web-to-print!! With permission, you may put your client’s designs on display. Or better yet, allow them to share these designs directly from their Magento 2 web to print designer, with your business tagged in the comment. What better way to show-not-tell?
The Conversion Dilemma
How often does it happen that a prospect comes to your website but doesn’t make the purchase? Believe it or not, web-to-print can help you with that. If you let the buyer play around with your tool, he might make an impulsive purchase from there itself. Even if that doesn’t happen, he’s bound to come back when he needs a custom print. Just because he’s familiar with the tool.
It is a simple concept. You give your customers the ultimate freedom over the design of the product. If they like what you have to offer, they’ll come to you every time such a need arises. Be it the printing of 100 polo shirts for a company or a few fan-made tees, you will be their go-to solution for all their printing needs.
The Perfect Gift
The perfect gift should have nostalgic value without it being a cliche. This presents a great opportunity for you. Use the product customizer to give a new value to the standard gift items such as T-shirts, Mugs, Cards, and Gadget skin covers. This guarantees a reduction in shopping cart abandonment and an increase in sales.
Any customer is ready to pay a premium if you can assure him that you don’t compromise on quality. This is the primary factor in encouraging customer loyalty. Everything else you hear, loyalty programs, discount offers and coupons and how customers benefited from the product, is secondary.
However, this is not a simple thing that you can establish over the weekend. You need to be patient through the rejections and put in consistent efforts day after day.
Be human. This might not be how you view your company. But if you can inculcate this in your culture, in your interactions with your customers, through whatever medium, if you maintain a human voice, the customer is more likely to have a friendly image about you.
You can solve all your web-to-print needs by using the right Magento 2 product designer extension. This is the perfect time to get into the custom printing business. The product is trending. People are demanding customization everywhere and the market is beginning to saturate. If you get into this business right now, you’ll be able to make the most of this opportunity because of two simple reasons.
First, the demand is big enough to establish a business. On the other hand, the supply has its own limitations. This creates a unique market position for you.
Sooner or later, every company is going online. In a situation like this, no one really has a first mover advantage. Though, you can have something known as ‘last mover advantage’. I.e. True advantage is in being the last mover. The last great company in a category that grows into a hard-to-compete monopoly. “The first mover isn’t what’s important — it’s the last mover. Like Microsoft was the last operating system, and Google was the last search engine.”
Personalized Gifts made it big a few years back and the obsession for it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. The customized gifts have successfully made their way into different gifting sectors such as Festival Gifting, Personal Gifting, and Corporate Gifting. Moreover, this industry is predicted to grow at a rate of 9.52% annually. The reason for the growth in this industry can be the rising e-commerce industry and online printing services equipped with web-to-print software.
The web-to-print software has made it simple to add a personal touch to day-to-day items like mugs, caps, t-shirts, photo album making them perfect gifting items. And there is no doubt that any print service providers can encash on this personalization trend in the gifting industry.
It’s not rocket science to create your space into this 31.36 billion dollars personalized gifting industry. You just need to set up an e-commerce web store and install an innovative product designer tool. That’s it! With these two elements, you will have a working digital printing business. And in this blog, we are demonstrating how to unlock the potential of this billion-dollar industry by exploring its different sectors.
Application of Online Printing Software in Sectors of Personalized Gifting Industry:
Any cutting-edge web-to-print software will let your customers customize gifts like t-shirts, mugs, caps, slippers, and many more. Using the tool, they can upload their own designs, logos or write a personal joke to make the personalized products. Such products make for the finest gifts for personal days like birthdays, anniversaries, work anniversaries, etc. And this industry is worth a whopping $20 billion-dollar industry.
And the best way to step foot into this industry is to have a fully functional web store with an extensive range of customizable products.
Using web-to-print software, the customers will be able to drag and drop the designs and text fields on to the products and create a personal gift for their loved ones.
Giving the freedom to your customers to be the artists and create something of their choice will leave them happy and satisfied guaranteeing a better buying experience. As a result, your customer life-cycle will improve driving in better sales figures.
Who doesn’t like receiving gifts on festivals? I certainly do and the magic that personalized gifts spread on such occasions can take anyone’s gifting game to another level. A web-to-print software makes it easy for customers to design and visualize the final product. And a preview button showcasing the final product demo speeds up the buying process.
Festival Gifting sector is a 7.5-billion-dollar industry. Because people around festivals like to splurge on their loved ones.
And what better way to make it easy for them than to provide with the latest technology to create eye-popping and customized designs. And as for an online printing business owner, you will be investing in a flourishing industry.
A win-win situation.
Personalized gifting industry has three sectors and among these sectors, Corporate gifting sector is one of the untapped sectors of this industry. In India alone, this section is worth 12,000 Cr and is growing at over 200% per annum.
The growth this sector is experiencing is because of the increasing demand for personalized corporate kits, stationery, merchandise, t-shirts, and whatnot.
And these corporate orders will always be in bulk and providing to such needs can be an issue for any online printing store.
The solution for an issue like this is having a designing software with editable attributes. Here, the customers can manage the quantity, colors, etc. of the product they are going to buy. And Brush Your Idea web-to-print software comes with the necessary features that make it the perfect tool for any online printing business.
Corporate personalized products also make up for an innovative way of marketing the brand. Adding a logo or color scheme or some other elements on the products and giving them as a freebie can be great way of indirect marketing.
The above use cases can give you a clear idea of the scope of Corporate gifting and providing such products will help you become the industry leader.
Now you have the full recipe for the success of your online printing business but what will make it great?
The Secret Ingredient:
Understanding Customers and Trends:
Once you have your printing business up and running, make sure you are monitoring the customer buying habits and the industry trends. The combination of this analytics can provide you with valuable insights that can help you create a roadmap for your business.
Once you are done analyzing the statistics, make sure you are making the necessary changes to keep your buyers interested.
Wrapping it up:
The potential of the personalized gifting industry is endless and you can attain infinite growth if you started today. And even if you already have a printing business, then you can take it to another level by launching it online.
You just need the right combination of tools and software to be the industry leader.
If you’re in the printing business, you must’ve come across the paradox of digitization. That it solves problems that didn’t need solving. Photography is largely affected by this phenomenon.
With the advent of camera phones, photography is accessible to everyone. And apps like Instagram and Snapchat have made it easier than ever to share these photographs. Yet somehow, their emotional value has diminished. The younger generation is preoccupied with social acceptance in the forms of “likes” and “shares”.
The elder millennials must be able to imagine sitting in a blanket on a cold night, sipping hot chocolate and smiling at old photographs. What a beautiful experience it is to relive those special moments. And that experience is what you’re offering to your clients, not just a bound volume of prints.
However, this isn’t the experience the coming generation is familiar with. Therefore, it may not appeal to them in the same way. But they will, as well, accept this product if it’s adapted to suit their preferences. So there may be a way to address the situation. And that is, paradoxically, through technology.
You can let them digitally edit and order prints for their photographs by using an online photo album design tool. This gives them the flexibility and control that they’re accustomed to while maintaining the design and form of a photo album.
You are already printing photo albums for wedding photographs. Some of you may also be printing portfolios and catalogs. Millennials, however, form a large market that is still untapped. And it is important that you inculcate, in them, the practice of having their photographs printed.
It’s important because your competitors still haven’t figured out how to cater to this particular market segment. And, as mentioned earlier, there is a vast scope for expansion here.
That being said, we must identify the key elements that go into building a successful album print shop. It will help us define the roadmap and milestones for this particular industry. Get the first mover advantage by starting now. There are several steps to bank on this opportunity, as discussed below:
Step 1: Define the Use Cases
The first thing you need to figure out is the number of ways the customers can use the product. This understanding is necessary to be able to draft an effective marketing plan. Several common examples are gift items, memorabilia, and yearbooks.
You must be aware of these use cases in order to choose a Photo Album Design Software that suits your needs. For example, you’ll need to have a quote manager feature if you’re planning to print yearbooks that’ll require text overlays.
Step 2: Highlight the Value
You must highlight the sentimental value that photo albums have, along with other aspects that have a deeper thought and meaning behind them. These are the pillars that all your marketing material is going to be based on.
They may or may not be directly based on the use cases. For example, holding a physical copy of a photograph gives you a sense of permanence which is independent of the use case. Similarly, the sense of belonging and coherence you get from a yearbook is particular to the use case.
Step 3: The USP: Customizability
This is the factor that defines your product and differentiates it from those of your competitors. This is an important contributor to the success of your business. In this case, the USP is customizability. Your Photo Album Design Software will determine the extent of customizability.
By letting the customers design their own photo albums, you eliminate the hassle and cost of working with a designer. At the same time, it is important that you offer templates so that it isn’t overwhelming for the customer.
Step 4: Storefront
Next, you’re going to need a storefront. You can set it up on various e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, etc. or purchase a web-to-print storefront. Again, it is necessary that your Online Photo Album Design Tool is platform independent so that you can use the platform of your choice without worrying about compatibility.
The storefront must be compatible with mobile because your customers are more likely to view them on their cellular devices. It is an added advantage if the storefront is mobile-first.
Step 5: Marketing
Now that you have your store set up, it is time to market it. We’ve made several points above about the type of marketing material you’re going to need. You should ideally have content and marketing strategies planned out and documented.
Have as much visual element as possible. This is especially important since you are a printing service and most of your work will be visual.
Step 6: Aim for Recurring Customers
It’s great when a customer makes a purchase. But your work doesn’t stop there. You should count your efforts successful only when the customer becomes a repeat buyer. This is only possible when you deliver your best, every step of the way.
It is worth the extra effort because that’s what’s going to set you apart and turn the customers into your evangelists. A satisfied customer is the best marketer.
To put it in a nutshell, people invest their emotions in photographs. A photo album is a portal to some of our fondest memories. It will be a great achievement to bring photograph prints back because they are an expression and experience of humanity. We might as well be the sum of our memories.
Thus, it is possible to turn this opportunity into a business. And that is achievable by our product, Brush Your Ideas. But that’s not all you’re offering. It has a hidden social impact as well. It can help a lost generation grow roots. Consider it good karma. It always pays back in some form. To know more about this product, book a live demo now!
The web-to-print business is paradoxical. It has never been easier to start a web-store. At the same time, it’s never been this hard to make a sale. Your best isn’t good enough. You must have an edge over your competitors to survive. While e-commerce solutions such as Shopify provide a lot of features in a single package, having the right tools will significantly increase your chances of success.
More and more sellers on Shopify are focusing on customizable products and the demand for such goods is increasing even faster. Be it businesses looking for custom stationary or geeks who want to wear their favourite quotes on their tees, they’re all going to need a good custom printer. If you wish to join this trade, you must do it now when the business is at its peak.
And to execute this, the single greatest tool in your Shopify web-store is your Shopify product customizer app. While there’s no such thing as a perfect product, it is essential that you pick the one that best fits your needs. It is, therefore, necessary that you look beyond the generic features that are standard for such apps and find out what makes them unique.
That being said, we must be aware of the said commonalities in order to eliminate the inadequate. You must make sure that all the products on your list have at least image and text editors, and integrations for social media.
Additionally, if your printing needs are more varied, you are going to need a tool that supports different printing options. If you are dealing with many different files, a file manager can come in handy. It is also beneficial to work with developers offering enterprise solutions if you intend to scale your operations soon.
It is essential to gather all the facts in order to make an informed decision. With this in mind, let us take a look at the current top five Shopify product customizer apps:
Brush Your Ideas
Brush Your Ideas is one of the most feature-rich designing tools for Shopify. Available for a one-time payment, it offers value for money. Enterprise solutions are also available from the developer.
InkXE is another great product designer. The best part about InkXE is the 3D preview that gives the user a realistic idea about the customized product. It’s a neat solution, albeit a little costly.
InkyBay is a budget designer that trades rich features for simplicity. It is available for a subscription but has a limited number of orders and customizable products. The price goes significantly higher as you add features.
The cheapest option on the list is also the easiest to use. The focus for Customily is on co-creation. A 14-day free trial is available so that you can assess whether it works for you or you need more functionality.
Fancy Product Designer
A very basic tool, but not bad for the price. Unfortunately, only one package is available for Shopify. It comes with a free trial as well.
You can evaluate the different tools based on the cost and payment options. But the truth is, we all have biases towards the look and feel of the product, or the functionality offered. To understand these factors, you can take a free trial wherever available. For the products that don’t have a trial period, go through the documentation, ask for a demo, and if you’re satisfied, make the purchase. Most reputed firms offer some form of money back guarantee.
Most Shopify Personalized Products are going to be good. But if you offer a great product, it’ll speak for itself. This effect cumulates and compounds and ultimately leads to a great business.
It naturally follows that your product is going to be the most critical factor in determining your success. Inversely, the way you define success will be a decisive factor in the designer you choose.
Understand the different use cases before deciding upon a product designer so that you don’t face problems in your operations. Compare scalability to your projected growth. Changing the designer midway can be a headache.
In a market, where the design is not up to you, you must focus on the factors that you can control; customizability, to be precise. There are going to be many businesses offering the same thing but the more freedom you offer the user, more likely he’s going to buy from you.
If that goes smoothly, the customer isn’t likely to try a different printer the next time he wants something customized. After all, we are creatures of habit and brand loyalty is just a fancy word for that.
We need three things to make a good first impression: an elevator pitch, a confident smile, and a personalized business card. The first two are purely intrinsic qualities to an individual. But a business card is different. There is a great dependency on designers to get one. And even after the to-and-fro communication, delays and all the hassle, there is no guarantee of a desirable result.
Enter, web-to-print and the included business card design software that lets your customers design their business cards by themselves. It is an elegant solution that makes life easier for both you and your clients.
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, you must consider adopting web-to-print. It is the printing solution people are opting for today and can give you an edge over the competition. It’s actually not that hard to set up. Let’s take a look:
1. Market Research
The first step to setting up a new business is conducting market research. This would include everything from studying the demographics to segmentation. The insights that you gain from this research enables you to evaluate the risks involved and determine how you can avoid them. Following are some of the crucial steps in conducting market research:
Chalking down a business plan ensures smooth operation and helps align the various activities to your vision for the company. Therefore, you should create one even if you don’t intend to seek investment in the foreseeable future.
Depending on your goals, you might have to create different versions of the plan. But to start with, you can design a business model canvas. This activity also brings clarity about your product/service and strategy. You may further consult a business analyst to validate the plan.
3. Acquiring Assets
Next, you must consider the equipment you’re going to need. Your primary asset is the printer. Research the kind of printers available and which one would best suit your needs. Initially, you may outsource the printing and act as an intermediary. As you grow you can start acquiring the assets. You are also going to need a cutting machine as it might not be practical for you to cut bulk prints by hand.
Apart from these permanent assets, you need to stock up on inventory so that you’re able to cater to the needs of your customers. For example, you may receive an urgent bulk order. It is not desirable to wait for the delivery of the inventory in this situation.
4. Setting up an e-store
Now that you have the physical setup in place, you are going to need a storefront. More importantly, you are going to need a visiting card design software. This is the tool that your customers can use to design their visiting cards. Your business card design software is the crux of your business model so you must ensure that it offers the required functionality.
Ideally, it should be compatible with all the major e-commerce platforms out there. It should have the basic image and text manipulation tools and should support templates. At the same time, it should be easy to use and navigate so that it isn’t overwhelming for the customer.
5. Marketing Digitally
Once you have the store up and running, it is time to market it. The obvious way of going about it is through the internet. Every individual buyer is on the internet. It has become an instinct to ‘Google’ things. The first thing your average client is going to do when he requires business card printing services is to perform a search online.
You can leverage this information to efficiently promote your web-store through social media, search engine optimization, and through other digital channels. You may also consider advertising, depending on your budget and roadmap.
Web-to-print is a great way to broaden the scope of your printing business or to start one. Once you have established yourself in the visiting card printing business, you can expand your business to include other printable goods. That is why it is an added advantage to have a visiting card design tool which supports a diverse set of printable items.
Today it is more important than ever to stand out from the competition. Having a great design tool in your arsenal will help you with that. You can accomplish a lot more just by picking the right tool.
New ventures are exciting and challenging at the same time. Hopefully, going through this post helped you prepare for it. All set? The journey has just begun.
People are flooding the internet; trying to sell some form of merchandise. Almost every printable surface is up for sale. The competition is maddening and drags in the people or companies trying to be successful in this sector. However, it is possible to rise above this competition.
Wondering how? Well, it is quite a simple idea. Since there are many people selling merchandise, there must be an equivalent demand for design and print solutions. Your task is to build a business around this central idea.
To start with, you need to set up your store-front. Let us consider WooCommerce for this purpose. The reason behind this is simple. WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms out there. The primary reasons for this are that it is open source and highly customizable. This means that most of your clients will find this platform familiar. Therefore, if you build your store on WooCommerce, the customer will feel motivated to stay because of the familiarity and ease of use.
The next thing you’re going to need is a WooCommerce Product Designer. This is the actual tool available to your customers to design their personalized goods; and the core element of your setup. So, you must choose it wisely after considering all the relevant factors.
Additionally, you will be needing the actual items that you’re going to print on. You may plan on having as many items as possible but you need to start with a few. Striking a balance between popular and innovative, here is a list of five items that you should consider printing on:
T-shirts are one of the most popular items that you can sell. You can never go wrong with t-shirts. You can wear them on your night-outs and your sleep-ins. Having a customized t-shirt doesn’t add much to the cost but gives your buyers the garment they were looking for.
Customizing adds to the emotional value of the t-shirt. We all have that one piece of cloth that we wear on lazy Sundays or when we’re sick. We wear them even when they’re tone until it isn’t possible to wear them any longer. It is not difficult to design and sell something like that.
There’s lots of nostalgia around greeting cards. Maybe the coming generation won’t be able to appreciate how much greeting cards meant to us. But some of us are still holding on to collections of cards from previous birthdays and anniversaries.
Trends come and go. And greeting cards are making a comeback; in the form of custom printed cards. It isn’t new for families to send photographs in Christmas greetings but now your customers can upload their pictures, edit, and order prints right from their devices.
When we were kids, we used to look at old photographs and muse over the past. We would look at the childhood photographs of our parents and imagine what it would’ve been like to know them in their youth. Could we have been friends?
And it would be a shame if our children didn’t get a chance to have such experiences because we store our memories on the cloud. An easy fix to this is to print out photo albums from the best picks on our phones. Make it a yearly habit.
It is easy to capture the nostalgic value of photographs by printing them in the form of an album.
“How Often Do You Really Look at a Man's Shoes?” Morgan Freeman’s unforgettable narrative from the Shawshank Redemption is regrettably wrong. In fact, a man’s shoes are the first thing people notice.
You can have pop culture symbols printed on your shoes. Be it Star Wars logos or anime titles, they can add a personality to your casual attire.
Offering customization of shoes is a less popular yet innovative solution. This means there is a big opportunity for you to offer something not many other companies are.
Lastly, we must give serious consideration to mugs. Quotes, designs or photographs; everything goes with mugs. Hate Monday mornings?! Don’t worry, your coffee mug is here to cheer you up.
Mugs make great gift items. Especially when you’re gifting one to yourself. Mugs will probably be among the most popular printable things on your catalog.
Having a wide range of items can give your printing business an edge over others. But to do that, you’re going to need a WooCommerce Custom Product Designer that can create print-ready files for a diverse range of products.
And this is how you can rise above the competition using a WooCommerce Product Designer. Don’t eliminate the competition, supplement it. This will make you indispensable to them. And that is the best-case scenario for any business. Competitive markets divide profits. Always go for a monopoly.
Mr. Pratik Shah is the Creative Head of Brush Your Ideas, a Web-to-Print technology solution offering consisting of magento product designer extension and readymade Web-to-Print Storefront. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid blogger and writes about ecommerce and web-to-print industry.