The Print On Demand Industry - All You Need to Know

Kinnary Nensee Kinnary Nensee
Oct 1, 2022 7 min read
The Print On Demand Industry - All You Need to Know

An industry, valued at USD 4.90 billion in 2021 and expected to expand at a CAGR of 26.1% between 2022 and 2030, is the Print On Demand Industry. This industry has grown increasingly popular among budding entrepreneurs, who are looking for simple solutions to cultivate high incomes and showcase their creative side.

The History of Print on Demand Industry
Print On Demand Industry Growth
Print On Demand Industry – During Covid-19 and Beyond
How Does the Print on Demand Industry Function?
The Process of Print on Demand
Print On Demand – Platform Insights
Print On Demand Industry Predictions

Things to Know Before Starting a Print on Demand Store

The History of Print on Demand Industry

As a concept, it is a few centuries old. There are examples of printing techniques existing before the year 220. It was in the 12th century that Europe first discovered the benefits of printing custom demands onto materials. The art of printing and customising textiles is a prime example of this historical skill.

The modern concept of print on demand emerged in the 1960s as newer methods of printing were introduced in the market. Since then, as the printing for customer orders has grown faster and more affordable, printing solutions have expanded and become more available to the masses.

Now there are various options available for an artist to add custom designs to various products without the need for complex tools or it being expensive. There is a plethora of specialist machines like screen printing, direct-to-garment printing, and digital printing. As new printing options are emerging, so are the startups.

Forecast for the Print on Demand Industry Market Size
Forecast for the Print on Demand Industry Market Size

The POD industry recorded a growth of 12% from 2017 to 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic adversely affected almost all industries except the Print on Demand industry which was actually recording a growing interest. There are several reasons for its growth.

The demand for personalized products has been growing, with approximately 48% of customers ready for a longer wait to receive their choice. Another major reason has been the shift to eCommerce from traditional retail. The pandemic was the catalyst for this shift, which jumped from 13.8% in 2019 to 19.6 % in 2021.

Another contributing factor has been environmental awareness, raising the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products. A survey in 2021 highlighted that 27% of customers had experimented with sustainable products, with 25% spending money on sustainable fashion. This means that print on demand has become the sustainable option to fast fashion. Wastage is reduced as products are made only after the sale has been confirmed.

Other facts include the rapidly changing world of fashion trends, increased disposable income, and, of course, advances in printing technology.

Every industry changed and saw a shift in the face of Covid-19. People tried to increase their financial security by starting a side business. With the massive layoffs resulting due to the pandemic, people veered towards working for themselves instead of a job. This shift saw a huge impact on the print-on-demand industry.

The reason the industry garnered such huge interest was the ease of setting up a fully functioning business. All it needed was a design or a design idea, and the products were ready to sell within a short period of time. Products like custom stickers and personalized gifts increased in search volumes. Custom face masks became the fastest growing print-on-demand product. Based on Google search volumes, the search for custom face masks grew from a mere 345 searches in January 2020 to 172,000 searches by April 2020. By July, that figure reached a whopping 224,000.


The Rise Of 3D Printing Technology Post Pandemic
All the industries are pointing in the direction of shift towards the 3D printing technology. Let us see the complete report on the rise of 3D printing technology post pandemic.

How Does the Print on Demand Industry Function?

Global 3D Printing Market Size from 2015 to 2021
Global 3D Printing Market Size from 2015 to 2021

This is an industry that has quickly accelerated to become one of the most reliable ways for creative professionals to start their own business with minimal upfront costs. The individuals create unique designs and then work with suppliers to customize white-label products. These items can range from t-shirts, stickers, mugs, hoodies, and backpacks to pillow covers and a whole host of other products.

The products are managed by the supplier, which means the entrepreneur does not have to bulk-buy and invest in storing the inventory with a POD service. The entrepreneur has to make the sale and then fill in the order details and then the supplier takes care of the printing and the delivery.

The Process of Print on Demand

The first step is for the individual to decide the profile of the products that they wish to sell and where to sell them. With the print on demand, the products can be sold on existing marketplaces or you can create and build a website for the business by choosing a store-building tool that can integrate with a POD solution. Of course, the advantage of selling on an existing marketplace is the wide access to potential customers, and creating own website allows the advantage for branding the eCommerce store as per personal vision and choice.

Once the platform is ready, it is a simple five-step process to a successfully fulfilled order.

  • Designing POD Products

The entrepreneurs can create their own unique designs or even use designs that are readily available from POD vendors. Another choice is to work with freelance artists who can create affordable designs.

  • Finding a POD Service

This allows the entrepreneur to connect with the manufacturers and retailers. The tools on the POD service allow access to a range of products to choose from to add product designs to.

  • Making Mock-ups

This allows the entrepreneur to build a product catalogue by creating mock-up images using a mock-up generator. It shows the final product with the design printed on them. This can then be circulated among personal networks as an advertisement to generate sales orders.

  • Calculating the Final Pricing

The final pricing after the design is printed on the product, has to be decided after covering all costs as well as adding a certain percentage of the profit.

  • Accepting Customer Orders

The customers can choose what product they want along with the design of choice. Once the order is placed online, it goes to the print provider for the actual printing. From here on, the provider handles the printing to the actual doorstep delivery of the product. The entrepreneur earns the profit.


Top 10 Print On Demand Companies in India
Print-on-Demand (POD) means you will print and supply customized products. Top POD companies in India are Printrove, Qikink, Blinkstore, etc.

The Print of Demand industry can be categorized into two segments – service and software. The service segment is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 28.4% by 2030. This is due to the high number of service providers offering end-to-end fulfilment services and also sometimes offering other services like marketing, branding, custom packaging, photography and graphic design.

The software segment is expected to retain its dominance through 2030 as it registered the highest revenue share in 2021. Advances and investments in technology by service-providers accounts for the growth in this segment. Service providers offer API and design-making tools making it easier for merchants to integrate their existing online stores with print-on-demand platforms.

  • By 2024, retail-focused eCommerce is predicted to amount to $7 trillion in annual sales or 25% of total retail sales at that time.
  • The web-to-print market is poised to grow by $528.71 million during 2021-2025, progressing at a CAGR of 7.99% during the forecast period.
  • By 2028, the global print-on-demand software market is expected to grow at a substantial CAGR of 33.5%.

Conclusion

With the growth in the print-on-demand industry, the competition is also getting stiffer. Service providers are always on the lookout for the latest developments and technologies for offering advanced products and integrating new technologies into their offerings. It will be interesting to see the path that the print-on-demand industry follows.

FAQs

What is print on demand?

Print on demand is a method of printing customised designs. In this method, products are printed only after the customers confirm their orders.

What is the market size for print on demand?

The global market size for print on demand was valued at USD 4.90 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 26.1% between 2022 and 2030 and reach USD 39.4 billion by 2030.

What is the process of print on demand?

Once the platform is ready, it is a simple five-step process to a successfully fulfilled order. The steps are as follows:

  • Designing POD Products
  • Finding a POD Service
  • Making Mock-ups
  • Calculating the Final Pricing
  • Accepting Customer Orders

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