Print on demand (POD) is a massive industry with countless designers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and customers. Product designing is one of the core pillars of a print of demand along with marketing. Without design, there is nothing to sell or purchase. In print on demand, the biggest dilemma we face with designing is not knowing where to start or how to start.
Sometimes all we need is a little push in the right direction. Every print on demand store owner wants to find potential design ideas for their store that will sell in bulk for sure. The biggest advantage of print on demand is that there is zero production cost for the designers and no production means no inventory cost as well.
These are done by the suppliers themselves and therefore there is minimal risk. Another mentionable benefit is that print on demand is a low investment – low risk. So, it’s easier to add or remove products and test new product ideas with minimal risk. In order to find the best product ideas, a designer must perform a thorough market and product research.
In this article, I will explain where we can easily perform our market research and find the winning designs! This will help you to make an accurate decision to locate the designs that are already proven successful and making money on various other platforms.
We will get to know various ways to outsource our designs and create our designs that can be used to leverage and build our profitable print on demand store. Before we proceed to the ways on how to find the designs, we have to know who our target audience is or what niche are we targeting.
Which Print on Demand Niche Should We Choose?
When it comes to picking a specific niche, there are some basic factors we must consider. Choosing the right niche and working on it is the first step of any designer’s print on demand journey. Choosing a niche means choosing an area of interest where you want to work. It means you are familiar with it. However, some niche works better than others.
For example, a personal niche like hobby/interest or professional niche like sports or work profession works better in these cases. These tend to work best as the audience in these niches are more passionate and dedicated to these specific products. Let’s take a special occasion as a niche.
As a designer, you can easily make a schedule of the top holidays in a year and create designs accordingly and before those occasions. For example, Christmas and Halloween are some of the most celebrated global holidays every year. You can easily target these holidays and create designs for your audience.
You can also create designs based around any fictional characters but before that learn on the copyright issues and the legal issues if you want to take that approach. Directly copying could only lead to more harm than good. However, there are always ways to work on these nice. You don’t necessarily have to create an original design.
You can modify/change design that suits your store or the designs you want to create. You can print similar designs or maybe the same one on different products or rework on the designs like changing the backgrounds and other elements on the design too. There are many ways how you can work with designs. Creative designers always find a unique design idea for each product or niche.
Now here is the important part. So where can we find such unique designs that will sell a lot? Where can we find the inspiration to create our designs? Many online platforms exist to help you research the best designs and help you find the starting point you need.
1. Amazon Merch
Amazon Merch is a print-on-demand T-shirt service platform that is affiliated with Amazon itself. The platform itself contains a massive collection of designs from some of the best designers and sellers in the world. The process is quite simple. Simply go to the platform and search for the type of design you are looking for along with the niche.
The keyword you use for the search will show the relevant designs. You can’t determine the bestselling design simply by its visual charms. There are ways to know which designs are selling the most. Firstly, there is the platform’s own method to score a designer called “Amazon BSR (Best Sellers Rank).
There are various criteria to fulfill for a designer in order to rank up high in the BSR. Generally, the seller with the best score is likely to generate the best designs. However, it should not be the only deciding factor for you to choose a design. There is the customer review section under each sold design as well.
You can accumulate customer feedback from there. Again generally, the designs with the most positive reviews should be your winning design. It’s another important deciding factor. But if you are an individual who is data-driven and not satisfied with just reviews and scores, then there are tools available that will help you to generate more approximate values.
With the tools, you can find the estimated sales amount of each design over a certain period. It’s a great way to understand what’s trending and what’s virtually dead. You shouldn’t just rely on one method. It’s better to combine all the methods and then decide on your winning design. The combination of methods will show you a much accurate result in winning designs.
To finish the paperwork for its invitation procedure, you need to apply for an invitation and sit tight patiently for the acceptance message. It takes around 3 weeks to 3 months however in the end everybody gets acknowledged and receives a special invitation link.
As it requires some effort, it’s smarter to send the application in advance, which means before you begin planning your work tactics. When you receive the acceptance message, you’ll have the option to make another account on the Amazon Merch platform. Fill in vital data like association name (If there is any), installment alternative, banking subtleties, charge data, and so on
Amazon Merch is a dominant and prospective marketplace that contains great potential and existing winning designs.
Etsy is an online global marketplace where sellers sell their products and customers purchase them. They support independent creators as they form a bridge between the creators and the suppliers. Etsy has become a dominant e-commerce platform in the world and that’s why it’s a great place to perform market and product research.
Etsy is a very colorful and vibrant site full of great designs. The first thing after visiting Etsy you will find a section called “popular now” on the homepage, where the most trending and popular designs are displayed. If there is any popular holiday nearby, you will find trending designs targeted towards those specific holidays.
The platform is full of various types of printed products and not just clothing and apparel. This will give you a good idea to print what designs on what products. You can find unique and cool product design ideas on Etsy that you won’t really find anywhere else. Etsy believes in the individualism of the site and focusing more on independent creators and their products.
That’s mostly why this platform has so many unique designs. Since our audience is passionate and dedicated to these specific products, there is a separate tab called personalized gifts. You can find amazing personalized gift ideas from there. You can find great designs as well as great product ideas too.
That being said, make sure to stick to products that your suppliers can easily produce. Sometimes you will find complex product ideas from the site but it will be hard to find suppliers for those and even if we do, the price will be really expensive. Under every product listed for sale, you can find customer reviews and the number of orders made on the products.
These metrics can be deciding factors for you to choose a winning design. You can analyze these reviews based on the price and orders made. However, these shouldn’t be the only metrics to decide on your winning design. You might find difficulties to find suppliers for some products because some of the best product design will be homemade.
However, you can contact Etsy, they will be delighted to find you a supplier for you who can replicate or produce similar product design. Another great way to find ideas is through Etsy’s search bar. The search bar will give you suggestions based on the keywords you type. And even if you don’t type anything, the search bar will show popular suggestions.
These suggestions are based on how a well specific type of design in a niche is performing. The suggested keywords are usually taken from how well the product is listed and optimized in the platform. An example of a suggestion would be “Christmas best selling T-shirt” or “friendship jewelry” and so on.
The best thing about Etsy is that its product catalog is so diverse that you can find any type of product that can be printed on. The deeper you go in the platform, the better you will understand on which design to print on which product. If you already have a niche in mind, browse the platform, and use different kinds of keywords.
Etsy has so many unique designs and they are only promoting them in their own platform. So, you can find everything on one platform. Once you find your winning design, you can bring it out and sell it from your store by making suitable changes. Once you discover the pattern to find the winning design, you can make a lot of sales from your store as well.
Fiverr is a dominant freelancing platform where you can find the best freelance designers. It is a great place where you can outsource your design from a freelancer working there. Fiverr has many unique features which makes it one of the most preferred platforms for both who want to hire a designer and want to get hired.
For example, Fiverr has this feature where it highlights the work quality and selling level of the freelancers. Through this, you can easily identify the best freelancers in the platform. Every work they get is carefully recorded in the platform. Therefore, you can easily go through their designs and see their work.
The issue of finding a good designer isn’t that difficult. The more difficult part is coming to deal with them that is beneficial for you and your designer. It’s really important to make a proper deal with your designer.
Ask them to reduce the price per design if you bring them more orders. They will design for you once you give them sufficient details. The platform itself has amazing designs created by freelancers there. There is even a separate tab for graphics & design inside the platform. Under which, there are various types of sub-tabs, each with its own type of design and illustrations.
There is one tab called logo and brand identity which contains tons of logo designs, brand style guides, business card design, etc. But the one that’s important to us is the art and illustration tab. That’s where we can find inspiration for our winning design. Here we can find many amazing designs and illustrations that we can print on our products.
Fiverr has a separate tab for portraits and caricatures. Here you can make your own account and take customized orders from your customers. You can make cool fictional portraits or make personalized ones for your customers.
You don’t necessarily have to create the design yourself because you can easily outsource it from a professional designer in Fiverr. That way, your account will have more credibility and you will get more orders. Generally, Fiverr is really cheap. Some of its services cost only around $5!
I have listed the places on where you can find winning product design ideas for POD. This has been an ongoing issue for most of the new designers who want to enter the print on demand market. Find the most appropriate design that matches your niche and then run some ads and try to make as much as sale as you can. The best way to find profitable designs is to continue testing and finding the best designs.