Can you start your POD company without any inventory?

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Starting any business is a money and time investment. Besides, the popular today dropshipping concept completely dispels doubts about a hard start. Instead, e-commerce enhances the positive impact on business development.

The past year has become indicative of the principles of trade relations, partnerships, and market needs. Shoppers are now relying more on online shopping. Statistics show that about 95% of purchases by 2040 will be online at all! Unsurprisingly, an entrepreneur must be ahead and keep track of trends. 

In the print on demand market, there is a constant change in fashion trends, but on the contrary, something continues to remain relevant. This business model is very profitable today because it allows starting an online store with no money. This article will discuss exactly how to create a profitable shop and automate its management. 

Table of contents

Is your idea vital?

Simple rules for those who want to start a POD business

Creating your e-store, searching for a supplier, and promoting products

Conclusion

If you think about starting your own clothing business, or any other household item, consider POD dropshipping as a potential development strategy. Let's figure it out.

This model involves clothing, accessories, jewelry, utensil, decor, lifestyle items sale. An unusual design solution or a unique print is all you need to get started. How does actually the process look like?

  1. Upload your goods to the online store
  2. After the customers are ready to make an order, they perform payments
  3. Start production processes with your manufacturer
  4. As soon as the goods are ready to be shipped from the manufacturer’s facility, you pay for their services and keep the rest money to yourself
  5. Ship the goods to the customers

At first glance, it may seem that this option is passive income, but with the right marketing strategy and store optimization, you can achieve great heights.

A business model that involves the sale of any products with no inventory must be checked for rationality and profitability. To determine the vital importance of an idea, ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Does the product solve any problem?
  2. Will people buy it?
  3. Will the business become profitable?
  4. Who'd want to buy a product?

You have to make sure that your product or service is relevant to the market and that people are willing to pay a certain amount for it. If even one of these statements is negative, then the case can have disastrous consequences.

If you're a budding entrepreneur, then be sure to study the following points. Then the print on demand business will become more clear.

Relevance of goods

When it comes to starting an online store without inventory, then you'd decide on a niche of goods or services and create a business model designed to sell goods for certain people. It's up to you to adhere to trends or offer traditional values, but first, probe the niche and determine what is being sold and what is not. So in the print on demand business, there is one great thing: you can immediately define the product relevance. You’d need nothing more than to design in Photoshop or other editors. After posting on the website, track the page traffic and the number of sales. Based on this data, you'll be able to understand your target audience's needs. Also, use the Google Trends program to predict certain products' relevancy.         

Products setting

To successfully sell the goods without any inventory, you need to understand how to display product information. Creating beautiful layouts as well as meticulous SEO-optimization with keyword tuning will help in your brand promotion. By the way, you can also take beautiful photos of the products by yourself and expose their most advantageous sides. Besides, it’ll increase the potential buyers' interest. They value the seller's authority and honesty. 

As a business owner, you need to have confidence in your product, so be sure to order a product sample. For example, a small Fennec fox print in the upper right corner may appear blurry on a Texas-sized T-shirt! 

An adequate price  

Research the market and determine a competitive price for your product. With the PodZa interface, this is easy to do because you can vary the prices for different sizes. For example, a size S will be significantly less expensive than an XL.

Well, now you're close to understanding how to start a print on demand store. The next step assumes such a simple part - deciding which platform is the most optimal for selling your goods. Of course, the choice will be based on investment opportunities, the required functionality, and the technical component. Let's consider such sites and their functionality. 

starting an online business

E-commerce of the POD goods is directly dependent on their suppliers. That is, you need to find the manufacturers and ask them to make it. After that, they send the product for printing and then deliver the ready product to the customer. Considering that the customer can be located anywhere, to reduce the cost and speed up delivery, it's beneficial for you to work with several local suppliers. The PodZa platform brings together companies from all over the world providing print on demand printing services. It allows you to integrate with leading sites from around the world. As a result, dropshipping develops into a real business and becomes profitable.

Shopify 

To create your online store, all you need to do is to sign up. The site is secure and provides built-in free credit card processing. The only drawback is its high cost. But, if you're not tech-savvy and want to start your own business as soon as possible, selling your first custom t-shirts on Shopify will be successful.

WooCommerce

This platform is one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world. Registration and use of the site are free. You'll be able to create your store on the WordPress platform and then make your first sales! The only downside to WooCommerce is doing all the settings by yourself. 

Etsy

The website is easy to use with low listing fees. It has a strict mass-production policy because many sellers copy products, sell their low-quality fakes. Sometimes, even due to a simple misunderstanding, the site can block access to your store and take you out of business. Recovery can take a long time since communication with Etsy support is exclusive via email. That's why it makes sense to display your products in several different venues and manage them. 

Since your business is dependent on suppliers of goods, it's important to create the right partnerships. At the beginning of cooperation, please pay attention to sample order processing. For example, a t-shirt dropshipping system means that delivery time should take no more than 3-4 days and depends on the type of printing. If you have a carelessly packed product in a crappy banana box, draw your conclusions. But the main criterion is, of course, the print quality. From two different vendors, the same thing may look completely different as it depends on the equipment. 

Your business promotion depends on the marketing strategy. It must contain the following elements:

Brand identification. You buy a domain name, company, or even an app. You customize your brand cover - that is, use a specific color palette universal for all sites.

Marketing tools. Represent your product's benefits and its uniqueness in the market. Track and collect relevant traffic, control brand promotion using marketing tools such as LinkSplit, Klaviyo, Feeds4, Buffer, StoreYa, User Testing, etc.

Conversion optimization. There are tools specially designed for POD business. They automatically track trends, capture the potential customers' attention, create relevant shopper experiences, and more. Great examples of such tools are Attraqt, Brilliance, Antavo, Apptus, Cloud Engage, Evergage, etc.

These three criteria are a secret weapon that will allow you to maintain an advantage over your competitors.

Today, the POD market is heterogeneous and diverse. That's a consequence of the interaction of sellers and manufacturers from all over the world. Profitable dropshipping of goods is growing at an incredible rate. So the annual growth in this area is about 29%, and the market value is 111.28 billion US dollars. Thus, creating your online store is a very profitable business start, especially if all possible platforms and applications have already been created for this. Just start doing it! 

PODMarch 29, 2021
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