The answer is very simple, but accomplishing it successfully is not easy. It requires a lot of moving parts and a complex distribution system which we will get into later in this post. First, lets look at what print -on – demand (POD) actually is.
POD is similar to TV on demand platforms. You get the product when you want it, free from the normal hassle that goes with traditional printing services. With print on demand, if there is an item you want, that item is made to order and delivered to you.
As a regular consumer, most everything that is ordered is likely viewed as being made and stored in a huge warehouse until your order is placed. Then a worker finds that product among millions of others and ships it to you. In reality, this system is very popular, and you likely get most of your items this way.
Not every company can afford this model. There are large overhead costs that come along with making the products in advance and storing them until they are sold. POD solves this. When an item is ordered, only then, will the product be made and shipped. Of course, there are a lot of systems involved for the design to be ordered, funds transacted, items printed and shipped directly to the customer. In order to make the experience seamless for the customer and the seller, all these parts must work correctly together. Companies like Nymbl are working on solutions leading to that seamlessness
Like anything else, there are tradeoff when it comes to POD versus the traditional method of selling merchandise. There are many things to consider when deciding which method to go with. Let’s go through some of the advantages and disadvantages of POD.
- No startup capital or inventory needed.
- Almost endless number of designs on dozens of products can be offered to the customer
- Designs can be very detailed and complex while still looking great (even photos!)
- Can be used for any quantity
- Nearly infinite colors available
- Every order is organized and taken care of by the printing company freeing up your time and the need to manage every single order
- More cost prohibitive as quantity goes up
- May not be the best option if only doing one design or very few types of items (one design only on a t-shirt for example)
- Not cost effective if you have the ability and means to inventory and ship yourself
Who Benefits the Most From POD?
POD really can be used by anyone successfully, but there are some people of groups who stand to gain the most from POD services. These would be people who check many of the boxes in the advantages column above. Some of these include:
- Small and medium businesses
- Artists/ Designers
- Musicians/ bands
If you are looking to sell merchandise or a product that you’ve designed, POD services are a great option. It’s an easy and effective way to reach your fans, employees or any other target markets segments that you are after. Cool designs on quality products can be excellent advertising for your company or business. Let them be your billboards! POD really is the future of printing merchandise in relatively small batches.
Want to know more about POD? Contact Nymbl at firstname.lastname@example.org