The Print on Demand industry is a booming sector of the ecommerce world, and with good reason.

It’s an easy way to get your products into people’s hands without having to invest in inventory or deal with logistics.

And it also offers a variety of benefits for both store owners and shoppers alike!

In order to help you make sense of this ever-growing industry, we’ve compiled a list of 15 successful print on demand stores that are thriving in 2021.

Before that though, let’s learn what exactly print on demand is:

What is Print on Demand?

Print On Demand is a popular way to make and sell products in the fast-paced world of ecommerce.

POD works by using your own design work on an item like shirts or coffee mugs which are then sold through your website.

Once someone purchases one, your supplier will then print your design onto it before shipping them out for delivery. Just take a look at our infographic below:

The print on demand model - Infographic

This ‘print your design’ is also one of the main differences compared to ‘normal’ dropshipping.

The best part about this process?

You don’t have to spend extra money ordering more items that may not end up selling!

This also means that the process is largely hands-off, and you’re mainly focused on marketing and design work.

For more information about what print on demand is, check out our beginner’s guide here.

The list of 15 Print on Demand store examples

One of the most effective ways to own a successful business is by learning how others have done before you.

This is true for POD businesses as well, so let’s take a look at 15 notable print on demand stores!

As we go over each company in detail, you will learn what makes this store stand out among its peers and ultimately leads it towards success.

Then after reading about these companies’ successes – from layout choices to copywriting strategies – you’ll get a better idea of how you might apply some (or all) of these ideas to your own store moving forward!

Are you ready for some inspiration?

If so, let’s begin!

1. Afro Unicorns

Afro Unicorn homepage

Afro Unicorns is founded by a single African American mother and inspired by motherhood and women of her culture to create a sense of belonging with their apparel.

Their success is from is cohesive designs and a powerful message of supporting other women just like her. One of the strongest strengths of apparel is a community-driven effect that aids in the business’s overall mission.

What can you learn from this store?

Powerful descriptive words
powerful words used for branding

Afro Unicorn loves to use the words:

  • Unique
  • Divine
  • And magical.

They tied to their branding about unicorns and the uplifting message to women of color.

This helps their target audience feel better about themselves, so when they wear their apparel, they can believe in sense magic now they feel like they belong to something greater than themselves.

You can apply this too but writing down words you would like your store to be associated with and use them when you can everywhere. The more people see it, the more they will think of your store when they see those words.

Branding Colors

Afro Unicorns’ use of color is powerful shades of browns and blacks. However, you’ll also see they strategically used reds and blues to make the brighter colors more vibrant than the darker ones.

You can use this by using certain colors like red sparingly.

So when something is important to say in your store, that color will be noticeable without using capital letters or other ways you would have to express it.

You can check out this guide by 99designs to learn more about branding colors.

2. Ferris Built

ferris built homepage

Lindsey created Ferris Built after she had to reevaluate what to do with her life after having to lose her event production business due to COVID-19.

Inspired by women’s issues and current events, she embraced her creative side to launch her own apparel brand that uses POD to help her boast a catalog to be proud of.

What can you learn from this store?

Have an impactful ‘why’

This means there’s a reason why every business is done besides just making a profit. Lindsey’s story is about loss and transitioning to a new way of living, like how COVID-19 changed everyone’s lives.

People love to hear a good story overcoming adversity, and Ferris Built is based on that.

You can also apply your ‘why’ to your store’s ‘about us’ page that will help resonate with your customers so they can say, ‘this store is for me.’

Supporting a great cause
mental health support apparel
Mental health awareness collection

People don’t really like supporting a business; they like supporting humans who are making a great cause with their business. This is true with Ferris Built and their support of autism and mental health awareness.

25% of their proceeds will be donated to an Autism Empowerment organization, and that’s huge in their brand perception that makes you feel like your money is being spent on something worthwhile.

You can apply this by looking at local nonprofits that align with your store’s mission and continue a percentage of your profits to them. You can take it a step further by joining in collaboration with them as well.

3. Black Fathers Exist

black fathers exist homepage

A single father made Black Fathers Exist by the name of Charles. His problem was seeing stereotypical jokes that African American communities don’t have father figures due to the lack of responsibilities.

Charles knew this was an unfair mindset and wants to bring it to the world that his culture can be supportive and responsible adults to their children.

That’s why they have apparel designs to showcase they are good fathers and can be an example.

What can you learn from this store?

Have a powerful message
powerful mission statement
Their about us page

With every great story, there are emotions. Charles felt annoyed, sad, and frustrated to hear all the cliches and jokes about abandoning their new family. He is challenging that idea by proving it with his community of African American fathers who are there for their families.

You can have a powerful message too by talking about what frustrates you in your industry.

Do other’s feel it too? Now you can be the example of what it would look like so your customers will be more likely to support your message.

Have an easy way to navigate

With all websites, you need to move around and click on buttons to get to your desired outcome of a website. Black Father’s Exist makes that super easy to find and buy their designs by keeping them simple and organized in their header.

When you’re designing your header, remember people want to find the most important pages ASAP, and the least amount of clicks to get there, the better. So remember why someone is on your website and remove anything that can hinder that.

4. The Happy Givers

the happy givers homepage

The Happy Givers is a nonprofit POD store for apparel and accessories that supports The Happy NPO, which helps builds home for people in Puerto Rico.

What can you learn from this store?

Leverage your store with another business

Their success comes from building off these nonprofits off of each other that share the same mission. So when one nonprofit becomes successful, the other will inherently be as well.

If you have another side business, think of how you can work with that into a POD business. Your customers would love to support you in other ways, and this makes it that much easier to do so.

Use an ambassador reward system
ambassador reward program page
Their ambassador rewards page

A powerful marketing tool is to reward people who are the most invested in your brand.

This can be they get exclusive products or discounts they can use to market your products for you.

You can be in full charge of what they can and cannot do as an ambassador, and a great way to share your success with others who helped make it possible.

5. Famous in Real Life

famous in real life homepage

Pop culture is a fun phenomenon that makes people laugh and share similar niche interests. Famous in Real Life (IRL) uses these designs based on pop culture that brings out the personality and hobbies of the customer.

What can you learn from this store?

Gallery of photos

Photos of your products are much needed to know if it’s worth purchasing them. Famous IRL knows this by having a gallery page of their appeals being used out realistically.

Having your own gallery gives a cool page to show off all your products in one simple way.

Have a mystery product
mystery product tee

With so many designs to choose from, it can be difficult to find your next shirt. That’s why Famous IRL has a mystery shirt option where you purchase a shirt that will be randomly selected from their collection to be sent to you.

It’s exciting to find out what it could be and adds a fun element to the mystery.

You, too, can have a mystery product where you get to decide what they’ll receive. It’s all about having fun and fitting with the humorous brand.

6. GearBunch

gear bunch homepage

GearBunch is a well-known brand for yoga pants and leggings for women. It started as a research project to find what are the best workout pant designs. As it turned out, it can be profitable to find the answer to that!

There’s a lot of surface area in leggings to work with, so there’s lots of room for creative expression on them, and it shows. They’re popular based on a strong focus on workout pants while looking great.

What can you learn from this store?

The product images
leggings product page
Blue Honeycomb Carbon Leggings

When you look at a legging product, you’ll see in the photos a range that captures the full 360 degrees of how it looks. This is useful because you get to see it from all angles to know just how good it’ll look.

Mostly when you see a product, it’s just a forward-facing picture of it. With this idea, we can use more angles of it to reassure what it’ll truly look like without surprises.

So when you’re adding a new product to your store, think about if it needs to have other photos of it.

7. PassionFruit

passionfruit homepage

PassionFruit‘s simple but powerful story is trying to celebrate pride all year long with clothing and accessories. They also give back to the community that inspires them for their designs.

They are designed by and for the pride community, which adds a human and empathic element to their products. They also love to have people share their products on their Instagram for fun exposure from their customers.

What can you learn from this store?

Use a blog
blog page for community posts

Passionfruit is so involved in the pride community they like to showcase the culture around fashion, music, art, film to promote on their blog. So there is less about them as a brand but rather the people associated with the brand.

Like how people like to purchase from humans rather than faceless business’s these blog posts are successful because it’s about the people.

They even like to support other businesses in the same industry because they want everyone to succeed instead of being fearful of competition!

8. The Classic Dad

classic dad homepage

The Classic Dad is a homage to the old Dad style of puns, grilling, parenthood, and being a family man through shirts. Filled with humor and classic terms, there’s success in every father that sees a little bit (or a lot) in these humorous designs.

A strong marketing strategy The Classic Dad uses is videos.

classic dad video page

Found on their main page, various videos fit the classic dad’s brand of what you would expect from a family man.

What can you learn from this store?

Website design simplicity

Web design is important for all POD businesses is because that’s the only storefront of the business. This means making it well is a huge deciding factor of success. The Classic Dad’s design works because it’s dead simple.

The shirts are all in plain view with easy to read and navigation. No need for extra clicks or find what you want. While this isn’t going to win originality but why improve what’s not broken?

9. Vegan Savage

vegan savage homepage

Vegan Savage started with the lifestyle of being vegan through health and mindfulness of the environment.

This POD niche is strong because the vegan culture becomes more powerful if more people join it.

What can you learn from this store?

Using other social media platforms

What Vegan Savage does well is promoting via content marketing across multiple different platforms such as youtube and Instagram. This allows more reach in their mission of celebrating veganism.

The use of hashtags
hashtag be a savage gallery

#BEAVEGANSAVAGE is a simple yet powerful hashtag because not only is it direct with the brand name, it also means you want to show off what being a vegan means.

To a lot, this means being strong to challenge the common thought of vegan are weak because they don’t eat protein.

The challenging social expectation is a great way to have a unique voice and be heard within the community. Vegans worldwide can feel proud of their health choice; knowing others show how positive it can be.

10. Jolie Noire

jolie noire homepage

This POD apparel store started with two sisters wanting to be role models for women like them. They want to challenge the views of the color black. They believe it’s beautiful and wants the color to speak on a cultural level.

Jolie Noire shows the black color in a lot of their apparel, matching with different colors.

What can you learn from this store?

The product descriptions
product description of shirt
Girl with Hat Tee

Jolie Noire knows fashion and key elements to look good. They also know how and where their customers will use their products.

With the power of words, they’re able to envision using comfy joggers to lounge on the couch while watching a good show.

Have a ‘What’s New’ section

With constant new designs coming, it’s a great idea to have a page to show off what’s new.

The word ‘new’ is powerful. It makes people think there’s something special that worth looking into. So if you always have new designs, it’s worth the time.

11. House of Chingasos

house of chingasos homepage

House of Chingasos is a fun and playable brand in Latino culture. They live and breathe the humor and want to share it with everyone.

What can you learn from this store?

A good sense of humor

You’re imminently greeted with an in-your-face design that features a play on words with big, bold imagery. There’s a lot of fun to be shown, and it all makes it memorable.

When you’re doing humor, it’s about creating joy or a way to express based on trends or cultures.

Have an organized collection of designs
organized collection of designs

House of Chingasos does a great job of having a collection of different ways of sorting their products.

From Cinco de Mayo to new drops, to men or women specifically design shirts. It makes everything easier to find, especially when they have a big collection of designs to look through.

12. I Like Maps

i like maps homepage

I Like Maps started as a hobby of loving maps from the owner and realized it’s a profitable business having map locations worldwide.

What can you learn from this store?

Allowing custom design work
custom order review page

Because there are so many locations globally, it can be difficult for I Like Maps to cover them all. That’s why they have a service to do a specific location for your request.

Let’s think of ways you can allow your customers to have their own special designs in your POD business as well.

Think simple

When you think of designs, you think of wanting to create a wow factor for your customers. But, sometimes, it’s actually as simple as making them resonate with something they’re proud about.

The locations of maps have a story within themselves, and the product idea can apply to a lot of other designs. So don’t worry about always looking cool but also what emotions they want to feel.

13. Iconspeak

iconspeak homepage

It feels impossible to not see icon graphics everywhere we go. It’s on every device we use and Iconspeak knows it. That’s why they’re also on your shirts!

What can you learn from this store?

Using social proof from publications
as seen on social media logos

Featured on their website, you’ll see they have been on CNN, the Huffington Post, 9GAG, and National Geographic. This helps build a social trust they’re worth buying from.

This also gives an edge over the competition as well. Anything you can say or do over what other POD businesses are doing helps build a brand.

Use in trends

To add how they were featured in big publications is by having similar trends as them.

Right now, we’re seeing a ton of icon graphics and why they’re able to use them in their own way.

None of this is breaking new ground, but it doesn’t need to be because that’s how trends work. It’s about using what is already successful, so you don’t need to create your own validation when it’s already been done for you.

14. Grafo Map

grafo map homepage

Grafo Map offers fully customized maps and posters for others to create and order.

However, they actually don’t sell any of their own designs. Instead, you design your own through an easy-to-use in-app right on their website!

What can you learn from this store?

Full custom work for customers
custom page for prints

Since their competitors are offering their own designs, Grafo Maps is just focusing only on the customizability aspect of the business.

But, on the other hand, it means they are fully interactive and give a unique identity in their advertisements.

Offer a full return policy

Having a full return policy can be tricky because you have to handle the returns and the shipping of the product. Not to mention if it’s a customized design, then it’s going to be super hard to resell it.

So why bother? It creates reassurance to your customer that you’ll cover the worst-case scenario. SInce Grafo Map has been offering it for so long, they may find the setback of this policy to not really be difficult to deal with.

You may offer one yourself and find out if it’s too much of a hassle, then you can reconsider how you want your policy to be.

15. Prinstant Replays

printstant replays homepage

Prinstant Replays offers prints based on sports plays and games. It’s a fun and interesting way to display a historical game of a sport through an easy way to see the plays of the ball amongst the players.

You can tell the owner is a big fan of sports through the use of imagery and words as you’ll see that passion is used throughout all the designs and why they’re so popular.

What can you learn from this store?

Have a brand voice
blog page for brand voice
Printstant Replays blog page

Prinstant Replay is all about the play on words of their brand and identity. They do it so well using words like ‘submit a play’ and ‘touchdowns that changed your life.

When coming up with your own identity, don’t be afraid to use the terminologies of the industry on your own!

Just be aware it’s not too hard to understand so people who are new or not familiar with the lingo can pick it up easily.

Offer gift cards

A lot of physical retailers offer gift cards, so why not digital retailers? It’s actually quite easy to make, just like any regular product. With apps and built-in tools with website builders like Shopify, you can create your gift cards like them.

Its experience is even better because it’s often through a simple process through an email or a pdf that allows a code to be used at the check out just like any promo code.

What did we learn from these POD stores?

Before we close off this article, let’s quickly go over the main things that we learned today from these amazing print on demand stores:

  • Use powerful descriptive words. People like to know what the product is about, but they always like to envision what it’ll be like to have it. Let them know that.
  • Use brand colors. When they see those colors, they’ll instantly associate them with you. Anything that makes you memorable will keep you relevant.
  • Have a powerful message. If you believe in something, others will be willing to believe in it too.
  • Have an easy way to navigate. If people can’t find what they want to buy, they’re not going to purchase anything. So always keep the navigation simple.
  • Supporting a great cause. People love to support businesses that are helping this world become a better place. Always look for ways for everyone to ‘win.’
  • Leverage your store with another business. Collaborations are huge because you can share like-minded audiences, so everyone wins.
  • Have compelling product descriptions. Use words that captivate the five senses (touch, taste, smell, hear, and sight) when describing a product to make them sound more appealing.
  • Use social media proof. Building trust is one of the hardest things for a new store to overcome. Using well-known media or people that have featured your product or store will be a great way to show you’re worth purchasing from.
  • Use trends. Trends are powerful because they’re proven to work. But, They’re also about using it to fit your brand to find a way for your customers to love it.

Pretty interesting, right?

Let’s go over now how you can find more print on demand store:

How do you find successful Print on Demand stores?

That’s a good question because google alone doesn’t give you the kind of results you would hope for.

A great way to find other successful print on demand stores is to venture into other POD communities. They exist all over the web and social media.

printful facebook group
Printful Facebook group

Facebook groups such as our own can help connect with like-minded people to share what’s been working for them.

There are tons of communities that love to share their success stories and helpful to those who are just starting.

Another is searching the top on design marketplaces like Red Bubble and Society6.

red bubble homepage

But, again, the first products you see are usually by successful account holders that you can view their profile and other designs to see what they’re doing well in.

Lastly, a great way and inspired by this article is to browse through your POD supplier’s blog and see what success stories of their users are there.

printify blog page
Printify’s blog page

They often give real-world advice about what made them successful and can be easily applied to your business!

Conclusion

With this knowledge of these 15 successful POD stores, you should identify what exactly made them successful now.

It’s important to know not every store is doing every feature that is highlighted here. Some don’t see a need, some may not actually be helpful or don’t align with their goals.

It’s all about finding what works well for you and what your customers would like! Don’t be afraid to experiment as well; it’s a journey and not a straight path.

Have fun and best of luck on your journey!

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Author

An owner of a Print on Demand dropshipping business and writer of ecommerce articles to share my experiences.

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