Selling online using the print on demand model has become quite popular.
So, to stand out with your store, you must consider diversifying.
For example, if you're mainly selling T-shirts, consider expanding to hats, phone cases, bags, and more!
When T-shirt sales dip, other products can thrive, maintaining overall sales stability.
Why should you diversify your print on demand store?
Imagine you're running a print on demand (POD) store specializing in pet-themed T-shirts.
Your designs are a hit, but you notice something.
Customers who love their pets often look for more than just apparel. They're passionate about their furry friends and want to celebrate them in various ways.
That's where diversification becomes powerful!
Expanding your product range to include items like pet toys and specialty pet foods, you're not just adding variety but understanding your customers' lifestyles.
This strategy has several key advantages:
- Upsell and cross-sell opportunities. When a customer buys a T-shirt, why not suggest a matching toy or healthy treat for their pet? This approach increases your average order value and deepens customer engagement.
- You are reaching a broader audience. Not every pet lover is in the market for a T-shirt, but they might be intrigued by your pet toys or organic pet foods.
- You are testing new winning products. Diversifying allows you to experiment and identify other popular items. This can lead to surprising new revenue streams and insights into your customers' preferences.
- You are improving your store's authority. A store offering a wider range of pet products is often perceived as more knowledgeable and trustworthy in pet care.
6 Tips to diversify your print on demand store
With the 'why' now clear, let's delve into the 'how' — starting with the first critical step: knowing your market position.
1. Understand your market position to identify possibilities
Understanding broad market trends and customer preferences is essential to remain a standout business in the online marketplace.
Here's how you can do that!
Look at what is popular in the market
Investigate the latest fashion trends, popular culture influences, and broader lifestyle shifts that capture consumer interest.
For example, look at what's trending on social media to add relevant items to your T-shirt store.
If many people post pictures of nature and plants on Instagram, consider introducing notebooks featuring leaf designs and green hues.
Share these new designs on social media and see what your customers think.
This way, your new notebooks will match people's likes and go well with your t-shirts!
Know what you do well and what you need to improve
Reflect on what's working in your store!
If customers often praise your eco-friendly T-shirt materials and unique quotes, this is a strength you can build on.
You could introduce a line of reusable bags with similar designs and quotes, as they align with the sustainability your customers value.
Additionally, if you've received feedback about the T-shirt sizes running small, address this by reviewing your size chart and providing more accurate measurements.
You could also add a feature on your website that allows customers to submit their measurements for a better fit.
Know who your customers are
Suppose your sales data shows that most of your customers are young adults interested in environmental issues.
In that case, you can cater to a market that values sustainability and ethical practices.
Consider creating customer personas like 'Eco-friendly Emma,' a college student who loves to shop for sustainable fashion and supports environmental causes.
With this persona in mind, you could tailor your marketing messages to emphasize the sustainable aspects of your products and engage with topics that 'Emma' cares about, like eco-friendly living tips!
For product ideas, add items that cater to her lifestyle, like organic cotton bandanas or recycled phone cases.
By personalizing your approach based on what you do well and who your customers are, you can create a more targeted and successful product line that appeals to your target audience.
Expanding your store's inventory can increase customer retention and a broader market appeal.
Talk to your supplier for more product options
For example, if your T-shirt store is famous for its funny quotes, you could ask your current T-shirt supplier if they can also produce items like posters or notepads featuring your best-selling slogans.
They might already have the tools to print on different materials, so you could start selling these new products without a significant investment.
Partner with multiple suppliers for product diversity
Consider a supplier like Printify, which connects you with numerous suppliers when diversifying your product range.
With Printify, you can find POD suppliers for various items that complement your T-shirt line.
You could source custom mugs from one supplier and unique picture frames from another.
This approach diversifies your product range and spreads operational risk by not relying on a single supplier.
Introduce different gift items in your store
Grow your shop by adding home items like soft pillows, kitchenware, and fun toys with your unique style.
Think about creating gifts that people can personalize, such as calendars with their photos or names.
These new products can bring in different kinds of buyers or give the people who already shop with you more choices.
For example, a customer purchasing a T-shirt as a gift might be interested in complementing it with a matching hat or a custom phone case.
3. Offer digital products or use VR technology
Today, we use computers and the Internet to shop in new ways. Using the latest tech, you can make buying from your store more fun.
Offer digital products like wallpapers and DIY printing
You could sell designs that customers can download and then print. They can use these to decorate their walls or make their clothes and things at home.
Here's how to do it:
- Make good quality designs. Ensure your designs are high-resolution and scalable to different sizes. Offer them in different formats that work with various printers.
- Show how to use them. Display images or videos demonstrating how your designs can be used, such as wall decorations, custom T-shirts, or computer backgrounds. This gives customers ideas.
- Tell them how to print. Offer instructions on how customers can print these designs at home or local print shops.
- Let them change designs. Customers can request modifications, like adding names or selecting colors, to personalize the designs.
Use virtual reality for customers to try products online
New tools like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are changing online shopping.
You could let customers see how a shirt would look on them or how a picture would look on their wall before they buy, all from their own home.
This fun way of shopping helps customers feel sure about what they're buying and may lead to fewer people sending things back.
Here's how it can work:
- Virtual fitting rooms. Customers can use their phone or computer camera to see how a shirt will fit. It's like they are trying it on in a store, but it's all done on the screen. PICTOFiT has a Shopify app that does that.
- See it in your space. With AR, people can visualize how a piece of art would look on their walls or how a phone case would look on their phone. Blankwall has a Shopify app that does that.
4. Collaborate with artists or local businesses
Partnering with creative minds and businesses can lead to a fusion of unique product ideas.
Work with artists and creative professionals
You could team up with local artists or graphic designers.
Let's say there's an artist in your town known for beautiful landscape paintings. You could put these designs on T-shirts and tote bags.
Another idea — you could collaborate with popular local bands to use their album art on your T-shirts!
This not only adds unique products to your store but also connects you with the fans of these artists and musicians, bringing more customers to your shop.
Make deals with other brands or stores
Look for businesses that sell products complementing yours.
For example, if you sell T-shirts with book quotes, you could work with a local bookstore. They could sell your T-shirts right next to the books you've quoted.
Alternatively, if you have a coffee-themed design, partner with a nearby café to sell mugs with your design.
This way, customers at the café might see and buy your mugs, and your customers might visit the café, too.
Partnerships like these can introduce your brand to new people and help both businesses grow!
To work with creative talents, consider hiring freelance designers from platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. These professionals can bring diverse artistic perspectives to your store, offering unique designs that set your products apart.
5. Diversify your marketing methods
Creating awareness for your store and its products is crucial. How you communicate with potential customers can significantly impact your store's popularity and sales.
Find the best ways to tell people about your new products
Use a mix of social media platforms to showcase your products.
Don't forget about email marketing; a well-crafted newsletter can inform existing customers about your latest offerings.
For example, a 'behind-the-scenes' look at the creation process can be a compelling content piece for your audience.
Engage customers with creative promotions
Promotions can create excitement and drive sales. Consider time-limited offers, such as "Buy one, get the second at half price" or bundle deals.
You could also host themed contests where the winners receive a customized product.
For instance, a photo contest on social media with the theme 'Summer Adventures' could engage customers to post pictures of their favorite items from your store.
This not only promotes your products but also engages your audience!
6. Evaluate and improve
Sales numbers, click-through rates, and social media engagement are the stats that matter the most!
Plus, here are some specific actions you can take to get feedback:
- Run a survey asking customers about their favorite colors. This shows you care about their opinions and can impact your choices.
- Test out supporting like-minded businesses. Announce this test to your customers and see if it makes them more interested in buying your diverse products due to supporting similar values.
- Share your commitment to a social impact on social media. This can start conversations and build a community interested in diversifying more products around your social values.
Before we go, we've created a quick summary of this article for you so you can easily remember it:
- Expand beyond the basics. Include various products like hats, phone cases, and bags in your POD store.
- Understand market position. Analyze market trends and customer feedback to align products with consumer interests.
- Broaden product range. Collaborate with suppliers for more options and introduce lifestyle and gift items.
- Leverage new technologies. Utilize digital downloads, AR/VR for virtual try-ons, and AI for innovative designs.
- Collaborate for unique products. Partner with artists, brands, and creatives to connect with different customers.
Diversifying your POD business can boost sales and enrich the customer experience.
Implement these six strategies to reach more people and build a resilient, creative online presence.
Your next big idea could be just one bold step away!
Want to learn more about POD?
Ready to move your print on demand store to the next level? Check out the articles below:
- How Do You Handle Print on Demand Returns in 2024?
- 10 Best Print on Demand Tools for Your Business in 2024
- How to Pick the Right Niche for Your Print on Demand Store
Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth how to start a print on demand business guide here!