The dropshipping process can be an exciting and profitable business as a side hustle or a full-time job. One of the most significant ways to provide for your customers is to give them ways to have a custom-made product of their choice.
Don't know how and want to learn more – then read on!
What does dropshipping personalized products mean?
Dropshipping is from the retail business model of sourcing and selling products from a supplier.
You do not have to open a brick-and-mortar store, deal with overhead fees, and stock physical products.
Instead, you'll be opening a digital storefront as a website that your customers can visit. They then purchase products that you'll order from your supplier, who will send the product directly to your customer.
No need for inventory. It's essentially a hands-off way of providing products to your customers while you handle growing the business.
Dropshipping a personalized product is the same process as dropshipping any regular product. The difference is the product is custom-made for your customer specifically.
Personalizing is more hands-on and collaborative than purchasing a product they want from your store.
Is dropshipping personalized products worth checking out?
Let's look at the most significant reasons custom personalized products can help you be successful.
1. Less competition
Since you are creating one-of-a-kind products for your customers, there will be less competition and more room to grow in your niche.
Less competition is excellent because your existence is more self-explanatory and less trying to win people over since many dropshippers can use the same supplier.
For more information on choosing your niche, check out this article: How to Start an Online Niche Store in 2023 (7 Tips)
2. Long shipping times are normal
While long shipping times are typical in dropshipping, printing and shipping are more acceptable than purchasing a regular product.
The reason why is because personalized products are upfront about being made to order, so the customer knows they'll be a wait.
Not only that, but also it's unique to them, so they're less likely to be in a rush to receive it, so you don't have to worry about them getting mad at the long wait times than they're used to.
3. More connected to the customers
Unlike most dropshipping stores, you have to interact more with your customers. Some can see that as more' work,' but you also have a more personal connection with them.
The additional communication means you can know firsthand what their problems are and what they like buying from you. There's a lot less guessing because you can ask them as you work with them.
How do you get started with dropshipping personalized products?
The process is quite simple, but there are a lot of choices to be made. Here's what you need to know.
1. How to choose a supplier
The supplier is the most crucial choice in how your business will be operating because they have the type of products and shipping to your customers.
You should choose carefully, but also you can stop and choose a different supplier whenever you like without fees or penalties.
Now let's look at the most common and readily available suppliers you can choose right now!
Printful is the leading provider for print on demand dropshipping from various products, from apparel to wall art to everyday use products you can print a design on.
You need to provide the graphics to use the designs on these products.
While Printful cannot automate the custom demand of your customer's owners, they are the most flexible and accessible for all kinds of printing you can do.
The biggest marketplace is to find a specific supplier for a product. While seeing the right one can take effort. But once you do, you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.
One example of this is AliExpress!
Depending on the product's availability, the custom can be on whether the supplier can change or add something to the product.
These additions can be an additional fee on top of the product and shipping, so keep in mind your profit margins when creating the price.
There are tons of other suppliers than these two, so search around by using this article here. Or you can use this one to find the best print on demand suppliers!
2. Move your designs to the suppliers's site
When you have your provider, their site is the way to customize their catalog of products.
An example will be through Printful's process.
When you have your design from a designer or yourself, you will now transfer that design to their website. With their mockup generators, they can show the size of the design that will fit nicely on the product.
When it looks great, you can use each variation of a product you would like or more products with that design. Remember, you may need to expand the design depending upon the size.
For instance, a 200DPI can work with an 8×10″ print. However, it'll be way too low of a resolution for a 24×36″ print.
Also, you can sell based on specific niches of your choice!
3. Create the product page with its information on your website
You can make a product page on your website where your customer can purchase the item with your design.
No need to stress over the product pictures and description; your supplier has tools on their website to make and set up your website.
There are mockup images to make various designs of your product, mainly worn or used by an accurate model. This will add a feeling of authenticity.
Create an item description that uses the five feelings of taste, contact, smell, hear, and sight, regardless of whether they're used for the product. Provide your customer with a sense that makes a difference.
Use emotions and different metaphors people can connect with your products.
Note: Want to know how to make your product pages even better? Check out ConvertMate 一 a Shopify app that uses AI to optimize product pages, improve SEO, and track customer behavior.
4. Sync the realistic and item with the provider's site to your site
When the product page is set on your website, it's now ready to go to the sync page of your supplier to sync the item, and the product matches your site.
On there, you can choose your product, its variations of sizes and colors, and your design to be put on it. It's straightforward, and with a press of a button, anyone who buys from your site will be sent to your supplier.
This automatically uses the address and name of an order, so you don't need to stress about handling that.
Your website will be ready to take orders that your supplier will fulfill and ship for you!
5. Market your personalized products
It's not enough to exist and create personalized products if no one knows you're live! That's why these three preferred methods are noticed and known to work.
1. Social media
Social media marketing is one of the strongest and easiest marketing strategies to use! Just about every dropshipping business uses social media in some way.
While there are many different social media platforms and ways to be seen, Facebook and Instagram are most common due to their large user base and detailed analytics over the ads.
For more information, check out this article here!
Search engine optimization ranks your website higher on the list where someone searches certain words that match your business.
Once your website reaches the first page for a couple of keywords, you will start seeing a consistent flow of traffic to your product pages coming from these search results.
Here's an example:
In other words, Google is giving you paying customers for free on a consistent basis.
Sounds awesome, right?
For more information on how you can use SEO to your advantage, check out this article!
Contests work with many other great marketing strategies such as social media, email, and right on your website to create ways to gain more followers, engagement, and sales.
Multiple tools can help you create contests that set up participants' conditions to enter, such as following you on Facebook or signing up for your newsletter.
You can also manually check if someone meets the requirement(s). Once you have selected the winner, you can offer them some rewards like a free product, free shipping, or anything you can think of that would be worth winning!
Don't know which strategy is best for you? Here's a guide on how you can find out! Or you can check out our infographic below.
Now that you know all the ins and outs of what personalizing and products look like, let's see how other businesses are doing, for example!
Personalized product stores examples
The process of these businesses is a great learning lesson on what they do well and why.
So guess what? We have a few amazing examples for you below!
1. Craft & Oak
‘Pay tribute to your favorite city, revisit unique travel spots, immortalize a place where something extraordinary happened, or create an incredible piece of art' is Craft & Oak's mission in designing beautiful and detailed maps for their customers.
What can you learn from this store?
Maps can be an ordinary tool used for traveling, but since Craft & Oak uses them as art, it holds a more special place in these locations. They're essentially selling memories of classes a customer has been to or dreams of where they like to go someday.
When creating a personalized product, allow the customer to hold a particular emotion attached to it. It can look incredible or beautiful and significant in how your customers want to live their lives.
Turned Yellow started with artists with the incredible talent of recreating the Simpsons' beloved and familiar style has found a way to create unique art for their customers.
It's quite the gift for all those who enjoy the art style and can see themselves on one of their favorite tv shows.
What can you learn from this store?
Have an interactive ordering system for custom orders
Turned Yellow has an excellent way of displaying its settings for an order. You can easily toggle what you want.
They design in a way that fits their visual brand nicely and something you can keep in mind to create a similar experience for your customers.
3. Just Buttons
Just as the store name suggests, it's all buttons!
Not just any buttons, though, but many different kinds you can all be personalized to suit the customer's needs. They have also been venturing into banner designs and
What can you learn from this store?
While Just Buttons focus solely on buttons, they want to become the most economically friendly for brands and people alike.
The economic part means supporting like-minded nonprofits or charities that can help support this. Another idea is to work together with other businesses that love to share buttons. Examples have been apparel, collectors of miniature art, and stickers.
Related article: Interested in seeing more personalized stores? Check out these 15 personalized store examples here!
Dropshipping personalized products: FAQ beginner questions
Now let's look at the common problems these businesses deal with and how they overcome them.
While the benefits of providing personalized products are pretty, some issues can arise naturally through this kind of business you need to be aware of!
1. Handling returns
One of the most challenging things about running a dropshipping business is dealing with returns, and personalized products make it more so.
The problem with handling returns is the supplier generally does not accept returns, so you're often stuck with the product. Fear not, though; they are ways to use this setback to our advantage!
You can use the product for promotional photos in advertisements, on social media, or on your website.
You can also use them as a giveaway contest where people have to do specific actions such as following you on Instagram to enter a chance to win the product.
Another way to avoid returns is to have the policy the customer doesn't;t need to send the product t back to you if they want a refund.
2. Customer service is more challenging
Focusing on personalized products means working more closely with your customers than the traditional dropshipping store.
You'll be able to connect with them, and this means your communication skills need to be good enough to remove the hassles and errors that can happen.
Sometimes a customer may not know what they want or say it understandably, which can be frustrating and certainly more challenging.
A way to overcome this is to be patient and ask questions. It's super insightful to know directly from them, so you'll never have to guess what the problem is for them to complete a purchase!
Related article: Wondering how to correctly do customer service when dropshipping? Check out this article here!
3. More difficult to fulfill orders
With all the pros of offering a unique product and knowing your customer, it's pretty hands-on throughout the whole process.
Someone has to design the product, communicate with the client, and have the outcome be created through the supplier for them to ship it. That can be quite a lot to deal with!
Since there are quite a few moving parts and they all require hands-on, it can be pretty time-consuming to do, and often people will outsource to others to do this for them.
While this can be another expense, it's worth it so the process of generating sales is smooth as possible.
So, should you dropship personalized products?
Designing and selling personalized products is super fulfilling in making sure your customers get something that has more value than what the product itself does.
A sentimental value such as cherishing a loved one or remembering something from the past can add so much value to products!
Once you have figured out the process and know your customers, the personalized product niche is precious and sought to create a dropshipping business!
So what are you waiting for? Try it for yourself!