The Most Important Features of Any Print on Demand Service Provider
So, you are a creative person with some disruptive image ideas, have sufficient seed capital, and know a thing or two about online business to launch a print on demand e-store. The initial step on your road to financial bonanza in this niche should be finding print on demand partners since it is impossible to handle a serious enterprise that has every chance of expanding totally on your own. Among those, you should first of all look for print-on-demand service provider whose role is crucial for the success of your venture. Given the high competition in the field and a broad scope of firms offering print on demand fulfillment software services, many budding entrepreneurs face the problem of how to choose the best print on demand provider.
Naturally, you can’t go by some single criterion while choosing print partner that will suit you to a tee. Yet, there are mission-critical considerations that will ultimately help you decide which print on demand service to choose. To opt for the right print provider, you should go through the roster of features print on demand supplier is ready to extend to you.
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The Characteristics Print on Demand Service Provider Must Offer
When you have looked through a dozen options and set sights on a company that seems attractive, make sure the chosen print on demand provider ticks the following boxes as to the services it furnishes.
Good Quality and Wide Range of Products
You won’t conquer the world even with the most stunning design of your PoD items if the products fall apart after a week of usage or the ink rubs off having undergone a couple of contacts with some surface. To have sight and feel of goods your likely print on demand partner delivers, order a couple of items from them before committing yourself. These will serve as samples for you to check the quality of material and accessories, the smoothness of texture, the accuracy of printing, the vividness of colors, and any other aspect of the product you are planning to manufacture.
Also, it would be wise to get other goods than those from your potential product line. By doing this you will kill two birds with one stone. First of all, you will understand how consistent the quality standards are that the chosen print on demand service provider pursues in all their merchandise. Second of all, you will get the notion of how large is the product range this company sells and – who knows – you may want to include other affiliate or absolutely unrelated items in your PoD business strategy one of these days.
Reasonable Product and Shipping Costs
Your total PoD costs will consist of product plus shipping expenditures so when you choose print on demand company, pay attention to both.
The product price typically comprises the material, packaging, and implementation expenses. However, simply adding up these three may not help you calculate the final PoD products price since some PoD suppliers charge a subscription fee on a monthly basis whereas others will want you to pay a certain percentage of the sales price. So make inquiries as to what you are up to in each particular case.
Shipping rates can also be levied according to various payment models so try to pick print on demand supplier that offers flat rates which aren’t going to change no matter how many, how often, or in what season you will ship your products.
Since PoD products are custom items they will take some time to be manufactured and delivered. However, clients aren’t ready to wait for their purchase indefinitely so try to choose print provider that can complete the whole procedure within one week of getting an order. In searching for one, it is vital to consider its location that should be as close to the market you are going to serve as it could be (and it will cut down on shipping costs too, by the way).
Multiple E-Platform Integrations
If you want to expand your client reach, running one e-store will not take you far. So, entertaining big-time aspirations you should take thought for print on demand integration, that is getting access to leading e-platforms that will help you sell your print on demand globally. These include eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, Wix, and some others.
To get the knack of leveraging them, start small and come to grips with one (say, Amazon). Then you can move on to others but always remember to adjust your policies accordingly, because what works with Shopify might appear useless with eBay or Etsy. Just make sure all these options are available to you when looking for a service provider.
We are all humans and can make mistakes. A client may receive a wrong item, or it can be the wrong size, color, or design, to say nothing of material or printing issues. A good PoD service provider must be ready for such emergencies and have a clear-cut return policy as a pivotal component of the customer satisfaction program.
Printing and Customization Opportunities
Print on demand is all about being unique, so selecting among PoD service providers you should expect them to offer you multiple customization options. Cooperating with it, you are entitled to a wide array of design patterns, surfaces to apply them to, various printing technology, and even some extra tidbits like engraving. A company that can offer all these and even more keeps abreast of state-of-the-art technologies in the industry and regularly invests in equipment that is powered by them.
Solid companies who aim to establish lasting relationships with their customers tend to incentivize them by offering various discount systems – from 20% on sample or bulk orders of 10 and more items to special paid plans subscribing to which for a certain fee they can get a discount on certain products or even the entire catalog.
Easy and Safe Payment
Many people feel uneasy about online transactions so the PoD provider you will choose should take all possible care to dispel these misgivings and guarantee the safety of all financial operations. Moreover, they should integrate payment gates that will cater to the tastes of the widest audience and/or take into account local financial specifics if you focus on some market with peculiar payment preferences or legal limitations.
Obliging Customer Service
Even if you think you have meticulously planned everything in advance, client-related issues are sure to crop up so your service provider must be ready to handle them. A decent PoD company should have a 24/7 customer service department that will not only react to inquiries and complaints on short notice but also keep you updated on new arrivals and changes in the product catalog as well as warn about goods running short or follow up on problem solutions to make sure the client is satisfied with the outcome.
In any remote business, robust communication is the key to success. The same is true about the PoD industry where an open interaction channel should be established and maintained between you, your clients, and the printing service provider. The latter is expected to be always available for contact and responsible as far as their part of the sales pipe is concerned. They shouldn’t avoid acknowledging mistakes and be eager to meet customers halfway to remedy the situation.
While launching a print on demand e-store fledgling entrepreneurs should be very careful to select a PoD service provider that satisfies a whole list of the requirements. Such high demands put serious pressure on print on demand companies that can address the variety of challenges only by onboarding top-notch professional software. PodZa is a superb solution that will give its users a competitive edge over rivals enabling them to offer their customers all features needed to become a successful print on demand venture.