Launch and grow your online business

How To Launch A Print On Demand Drop Shipping Business?

By Ecommerce Pro

Have you ever dreamt of starting a business that allows you to make a profit out of your creativity, or dreamt of designing and selling your own custom print designs on t-shirts, mugs, books, home décor, and other accessories? Print on demand, or POD, is a business model in ecommerce that allows you to do this. With print on demand, you provide your customers with custom creations and designs.

Print on demand is a great way for you to start your ecommerce drop shipping business because you need little to no experience and very little in terms of investments. If you do this right, you could be running a highly successful print on demand drop shipping business on Shopify in no time at all.  Already there are a number of successful shops and yours could be one of them.

The great thing about launching a print on demand business with drop shipping is that you won’t have to worry about inventory or the upfront cost of stocking up on products that might get dusty on your shelf. When someone comes to visit your online shop, places an order, and purchases an item, the order will be forwarded to your third party drop shipping supplier who will take care of all the printing, packaging, and shipping for you.

This is the very essence of drop shipping, an ecommerce model of business where inventory, supply, and shipping will be handled by your suppliers. Your sole requirements are a computer with internet access. You will never necessarily have to hold the products you sell in your hands, because the product manufacturers or suppliers will be storing and shipping the products you display on your store for you.

If you are interested in starting an ecommerce business or an ecommerce business specifically in print on demand, then you’re in the right place and this article is for you. We will let you in on the advantages of launching a print on demand drop shipping business, and provide you with tips on how to get started.



1. Easy to start

Let’s begin with the most ideal aspect of running a print on demand, it’s easy to start. This is very appealing for those new to ecommerce and it is perfect for those with little business experience. You could very well launch your POD business on Shopify in a day, and all the resources you will need is your computer, steady internet connection, and some determination to succeed.

2. Low risk

Unlike traditional business models of the past, you won’t need to gather up a large capital to build your store front or rent a location, and buy and print your merch yourself.

You can also just forget about things like inventory, physical goods, and shipping—this is of no concern to you. Much of the details will be worked out by your third party supplier, so you don’t have to worry about printing out the goods yourself at the risk of not selling them and having a bad time at business.

When you are running an online print on demand venture, your products will be printed once they are sold. You’ll never have to touch or spend a dime on stocking up your inventory of goods. This is the beauty of ecommerce and the drop shipping model, it gives aspiring business owners more chances and opportunities than ever before at minimal risks.

3. Start something unique and creative

Maybe you already have some great designs or a few awesome t-shirt ideas. Running a print on demand drop shipping business will be a great way for you to express some of your ideas and bring to life your custom creations. If you’re a creative person or a graphic artist, then print on demand should be fun for you. However, print on demand can also be done by working with freelancers for designs; you can always buy premade designs, or use a vast multitude of copyright free images.

 A print on demand business is also great if you already have an existing brand or business and you want to make more sales by providing branded merchandise for your consumers.

4. Multitude of options for merchandise

So what would you like to sell with your print on demand business? There are a number of Shopify apps that you can integrate into your store that will actually help you create designs and help you create a shop catalogue that displays your mockup creations live on your store.

You can choose from hundreds of products to place your artwork print on. You can sell hoodies, tote bags, wallets, sheets, shoes, phone cases, tableware. I could keep going, but you have the idea. You can build an entire store catalogue of your products and designs ready to be sold, manufactured, and shipped!

5. Automated process

Who wouldn’t want a business that virtually runs itself? Another thing about print on demand drop shipping is that the process can be fully automated on Shopify, from processing orders, and printing, even to your marketing campaign. You would be running a fully automated shop that is open 24/7 all the days of the year. It’s a fully automated shop that works for you, even while you sleep.



Now that we have mentioned the advantages of print on demand, you may have decided to start your own business. Here are five simple steps for you to launch your own print on demand business on Shopify.

1. Choose your product niche

Choosing a niche is a very important step that you have to consider with care. Having a niche will help you stand apart from your competition and distinguish your business and brand from the rest. There are many ways of finding the right niche to focus on with your POD drop shipping business.

The first is to consider your hobbies, passion, and interests. However, following your passion may not always lead you to success. You’ll need to do lots of research to find a good niche for you to get into. The ideal choice is to settle for a niche that already has an established consumer base. You want to choose a niche that a lot of people are passionate about, a niche that gets people excited.

 You have limitless options to choose from, you could do a print on demand service for people with specific hobbies. For instance, things related to all-time favorite books or video games, or maybe you can specialize on printing funny quotes about beer on different types of merchandise. It’s all up to you.

There are a number of tools available online for you to track the popularity of your design ideas. Tools like Google Trends or Facebook’s Audience Insights are powerful analytics tools that will help you track the rise and fall of various product niches using keyword searches. It can also help you track the level of activity of your potential consumer base.

2. Choose your products and product designs

Now that you have chosen your profitable niche, it’s time to get your designs! This step would be easier if you already are a graphic design artist, but if you’re not, you can always hire the help of freelancers from places like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiver, Outsourcely, and other trusted platforms.

If you are the creative type and you really do want to go on ahead with your own designs, then you can  go ahead and modify some royalty-free premade designs from platforms like Creative Market. Just remember that your designs should be unique and not copied from another artist or work. That’s not legal and you want to provide your customers with original designs and ideas.

3. Get your Shopify website ready

Go to Shopify and start your free trial and start setting up shop. Shopify provides you with templates to set up your store and make the process of store design and development relatively easy and highly customizable. This is a very user friendly and uncomplicated way to set up your shop, and no experience with coding is necessary. You also won’t need to shell out any cash during this process as building your Shopify store is pretty much easy and free on a trail period.

Take some time to put some thought into your Shopify store setup and designs. You want a store that looks legitimate and trustworthy. Also, since you have a niche in mind at this point, you might want to match the theme of your niche with the theme of your store.

4. Install a print on demand app on Shopify

POD apps are what will automate the process for you. These apps will process your orders and relay them to your suppliers automatically, without any work on your part. You won’t ever have to call your drop shipping partner or send them an email every time someone places an order because these details will be automatically forwarded to them.

These apps also help you create product mockups. Yes, you have your designs, but your customers are going to actually want to see what your designs will look like on your t-shirts, tote bags, or phone cases. You will need an application that will allow you to choose from different products and colors, an application that will allow you to add your artwork onto the product, and then import them for customer viewing on your store. This will help you build a catalogue of items to sell.

Listed below are some of the apps that you might want to integrate to your Shopify store. All of these apps have great reviews on Shopify that you can also check out yourself to help you in the decision making process:


Printful is an on demand, online printing, fulfillment, and shipping app. They have up to 200 products for you to customize with your own designs, from pillow cases, to t-shirts, pillows, hoodies, and more. They also have an easy to use mockup generator for you to feature your designs on their available surfaces. They also manage inventory and shipping for you. On Printful, there are no set up fees, they only charge when a customer buys from your shop.

Printful is currently considered the most popular print on demand service. It integrates seamlessly with your Shopify store and handles all your orders and shipping with their automated process.


Printify is another on demand manufacturer and a great app for your Shopify print on demand drop shipping business. Today, there are over 50,000 stores that use Pritify’s services. Much like Printful, you can design and customize products with your designs.

On Printify, you can select from hundreds of items, and create products with your own designs. They also manage an automated order production, and ship out your products with your branding directly to your consumers.


Pixels is another popular Shopify app for your shop that offers an automated order, print, and shipping services. They are the largest print on demand company in the world; they currently have 15 manufacturing centers located in 5 different countries

You can add hundreds of print on demand products to your Shopify store within seconds. The great thing about Pixels is their timely service. Pixels manufactures your products in 3-4 days, drop ships directly to your buyers, and notifies you whenever the process is completed.


Gooten is another great print on demand drop shipping platform. Building your catalogue of goods is made easy with Gooten, with over 100 products for you to choose from and design. The customized products that you make for your shop automatically syncs and shows up live on your Shopify store catalogue.

You’ll be able to monitor your orders easily from the Gooten dashboard, where you can view which orders are currently in production, which are out on delivery, and which ones have been delivered. Gooten is also free to use. There are no setup fees, monthly charges, or inventory to manage.


Teelaunch is another leading print on demand fulfillment company. They boast production facilities in several countries all over the world for you to be able to sell from anywhere to anywhere. It is an uncomplicated app for you to create design mockups and then have them show up live on your store. The Teelaunch system also creates fulfillment orders automatically, and prints, and ships for you. Teelaunch also keeps their prices low, so that you can make your profits and enjoy their service hassle-free.



So you have set up your shop, and now have a product catalogue that you created with your POD drop shipping partners and apps. In order for people to know about your business and to make sales, you need to promote your business and brand online.

Spread the word about your store by creating business profiles on social media and showcase your brand and your products. You can create your own hashtags, hire an influencer on social media to boost brand awareness, or use paid ads on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to make sure that when you do get sales to add your customers’ reviews and testimonials to your site! Testimonials are another effective marketing strategy, because people tend to make purchases based on positive shop reviews.



Now that you know the basics of the print on demand business, it’s all on you to get yourself started on a highly successful POD venture. This is one of the best ways for you to get into the drop shipping business with very little investments, and if done right, could have you running a very profitable, life altering business.

Running a successful print on demand business takes some careful thought and strategy. If you still have any questions or wish to consult anyone about your print on demand business ideas, contact Ecommerce Pro. We welcome your questions and would love to help you get your ecommerce business up and running.

About the Author

Ecommerce Pro content team crafts resources with the objective to provide advice for new and existing ecommerce entrepreneurs on how to effectively launch, grow and manage their online business.

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