The POD business model helps e-commerce companies fulfill the customization needs of buyers


Are you an artist or designer? You can find and use enormous opportunities to monetize your creativity as the readymade market of the print on demand model of e-commerce business welcomes you. Although this business model has been in place for some years, it took a formal shape when the e-commerce companies adopted the model alongside the traditional method of selling goods with a pre-printed design. The advent of digital marketing and the immense popularity of online buying increased customer expectations greatly who now want to customize many products for their use. The design bears the marks of their taste and style.  It is a way of owning something exclusive yet personal like T-shirts printed and other garments, accessories like caps and key chains, coffee mugs, diaries, notebooks, books and backpacks, and many other similar items.  

More responsibility on buyers

Buyers who prefer to leave the marks of their individuality on the products use it for gifting greatly. They rely on their creative instincts to envisage right when ordering how the finished product will look like. The task is not easy because buyers first select a plain product without any design printed on it. For example, you can choose a simple T-shirt or coffee mug first and then select some design that you want to print on the item. In commercial parlance, it means that you are ordering a white label product and separately ordering a suitable design that you want the seller to custom print on demand Shopify with the product and deliver to you. 

The product acts like a blank canvas ready for printing with your chosen design which means that in no way can you hold the seller responsible if the outcome does not meet your expectations. If the finished product is not to your liking, you cannot return it unless there is any technical flaw with the product or printing. Refer to print on demand for tips. 

More choices for buyers

Being able to print the design of your choice on the product widens the buying options as customers can now look at numerous design options by referring to the catalog for choosing some designs. The limitations of pre-printed products are non-existent in the new business model because buyers can now get any design printed even if it is not included in the seller’s catalog. Buyers can share their creative design ideas with sellers who can help to transform them into printable designs on the chosen product.  However, buyers must select designs that suit the substrate for printing. You must remember all types of designs might not suit all kinds of surfaces. 

Transforming the creative ideas

Customers who prefer to stick to their creativity must share their ideas with sellers, who then convey them to the designers and artists who are part of the business process. Artists and designers are now part of the e-commerce business that caters to the customized printing demands. Customers who are keen to stand out from the crowd by using some product that is one of its kinds can benefit from the business model that meets their creative expectations in the way they want.  

Besides creating unique designs, the POD (print on demand) business model allows complete personalization of the products as customers can add a name or message on the product. In some cases, the product becomes a medium for communication. The best examples are the T-shirts printed with some messages. 

Testing new products and designs is easy

The POD business model allows sellers to experiment with new designs and products with minimal investment because displaying only a few pieces of the product is enough to understand the kind of response it receives among customers.  There is no need to produce large lots of the same design because the printer, who is also an extended arm of the business, is ready to print even a single product. Going ahead, some e-commerce companies are ready to show their customers the mock-up of the products so that they can better understand how the product will look after printing. It also allows customers to suggest any changes they want to incorporate to make it look more attractive. This aspect is crucial because customers can’t figure out how the design will turn out after printing. The effects and appeal of the design depend on the quality of the chosen surface, whether it is smooth or matte. 

Low inventory and overhead cost

If keeping in tune with the trend of personalization is one reason for e-commerce businesses adopting the POD model, the other reason is that it helps lower the overhead cost of businesses that can operate in smaller spaces without holding much inventory. A few pieces of printed products on display are enough to attract customers and then deliver the printed product at their doorstep within 1-2 days. Maintaining lower inventory leads to substantial savings, and the company can use the money for business development by focusing on more creative ways to attract customers. 

 Since the business model requires minimal products to display, the space requirement is less, which means that the business’s investment is even low. In addition, less space means appointing fewer employees and using lesser utilities like electricity which further lowers the investment. 

Hassle-free business model

Besides low investment, the POD business model is entirely hassle-free because the e-commerce company depends mainly on third-party support to run the business smoothly. On one end, the company engages artists and designers to look after the creative aspect on which the business thrives. On the other hand, it partners with a printing company that is ready to print any quantity from a single piece of product, several pieces, and even bigger lots. Moreover, the printing company takes complete responsibility for fulfilling the order on behalf of the e-commerce company. 

After printing the item, the printing company takes care of the logistics to ensure safe and timely delivery of the item at the customer’s doorstep, which usually takes 1-2 days after customers place the order.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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2 years ago

your personal experienceM indfully using our emotions as data about our inner state and  knowing when it’s better to de-escalate by taking a time out are great tools. Appreciate you reading and sharing your story, since I can certainly relate and I think others can too

2 years ago

Today, price, convenience and fast delivery are important for the buyer. These needs are still important in 10 years, but the buyer himself and the expectations from the purchase will change. The bulk of buyers will belong to a generation brought up on digital technologies, which are constantly online, are not used to waiting, and dictate conditions to the seller through social media, which is why match customers’ needs and expectations are so important.