Print On Demand (POD) is one of the best businesses to enter if you like ecommerce or would like to venture in the digital world. Drop shipping is also a good choice when you are starting in the online world. In this article I’m going to compare this two business models and also tell you which of this two I consider the best business opportunity for you and why.
5 EXTREMELLY IMPORTANT THINGS EVERY ONLINE BUSINESS NEEDS IN ORDER TO SUCCEED!
In order to have a successful online business you must be able to: create a solid brand, generate loyalty, have a good customer service, sell high quality products and have fast shipping.
As you know, ecommerce is continuing to grow year after year and its sales just continue to increase exponentially. “Just last year 2018 consumers spent $513.61 billion online, up 14.2% from 2017. While on the other hand total retail sales increased 4.1% to $3.63 trillion, according to its figures.”
That’s why now is the best time to start your own online business. There several businesses you can try and there are also a couple ways you can do it. For example, you can start a Drop shipping store, private label, Amazon FBA, Print on Demand, digital products, selling your own products, affiliate marketing etc. In this article I’m going to talk about and compare the two ecommerce models (Drop shipping & POD) that are the ones I have experience in.
I started my ecommerce journey by selling drop shipping products and even though I had a little success doing that, I believe it has several downfalls that are difficult to control if you plan to have a successful business that is able to make money and grow in the long term. That’s why I decided to change my strategy and start also selling POD products on my store.
If you are new to the digital and ecommerce space and want to learn digital marketing, a good way to start and learn is by doing drop shipping. However, if you have more experience in this field and would like to start you own online business, I will tell you why I believe Print on Demand is the best online business to start.
The three main reasons why I believe building a Print on Demand store is better than doing drop shipping are:
- Shipping time
1. SHIPPING TIME:
A key factor in any online business is to be able to compete against other online stores. I personally believe that in order to compete in the highest level online, your business MUST have fast shipping times. A big problem I see in the drop shipping business is that shipping times are something very difficult to control, since the majority of the products you sell come from China or other Asian and therefore shipping times are going to be pretty long.
Normally when using this model, shipping times are between 12 to 20 business days if your product qualifies for e-packet, which is the fastest type of shipping between China & the U.S. However, if the product you want to sell does not have e-packet, it can take up to a month to arrive and as you can imagine this can generate a HUGE PROBLEM because people do not want to wait that long for their products to arrive. Plus, this makes selling to those customers you were able to sell for the first time extremelly difficult to sell again, specially nowadays that our society is so accustomed to get everything almost instantly.
On the other hand Print on Demand shipping times are way faster, making this a huge plus to this model. There are several POD factories located in the U.S., therefore you can partner with one of them (I personally recommend you Printful) and fulfill your customers orders in less than a week. The average shipping time you are going to have with POD companies is between 3 to 5 days, which is a timeframe people are willing to wait and it makes a huge difference in comparison to the 12 to 20 business days shipping range, drop shipping products have.
In order to have a scalable business you must be able to sell your products more than one time to the customers who have already made a purchase from you, over and over again.
Customer Acquisition is key at the moment of scaling a business. Getting the first sale from a customer is the most difficult one and you don’t want the first sale to be the last. That’s why the first purchase is so important. The customer must be really happy with what he gets and when buying online and he is going to take two key factors into consideration: Shipping time and the quality of the product. If he is happy with this 2 factors, there is a good chance that customer will buy from you again.
A POD business allows you to scale and sell again to happy customers because you can create an infinite number of designs, plus you can always target and email customers depending on their previous purchase and interests.
Branding is also extremely important for a business to grow in a consistent way. By having a POD business, you have control over the products you sell and promote, whereas when you are doing drop shipping you are selling and promoting someone else’s products.
Plus, when a product takes too much time to arrive to the end customer or the product is in a bad condition you are the one who is going to be blamed for everything amd you are the one who will end up receiving bad reviews and critics which can drastically affect your business and brand reputation.
By owning your designs and promoting your own products with your logo you will be investing in your brand, which is a great thing to do thinking long term and even if some promotions have a bad performance, at the end of the day people will recognize start recognizing your brand, something that is impossible to do with drop shipping.
In my personal experience when people are buying online, they are looking for a brand that they can trust (branding, good reviews, etc.), a brand that sells unique high quality products (niche focus, scaling) and a brand that provides fast shipping.
By doing Print on Demand you are able to do these 3 extremely important things that I consider key, when thinking long term in growing your ecommerce store and scaling it, while on the other hand this is almost impossible to do with drop shipping. You could also combine both models to your store and see which one works better for you.
Let me know in the comments what you think about this two business models? And also if you have experience doing one of them or both.