How to Launch a Print on Demand Shopify Store: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Print on Demand?
  3. Setting Up Your Shopify Store: A Step by Step Guide
  4. Marketing Your Print on Demand Store
  5. Final Thoughts
  6. Print-on-Demand FAQ

Intrigued by the possibility of creating a thriving online store without the hassle of inventory management? You’re not alone. The allure of a print on demand (POD) business model is undeniable, allowing entrepreneurs to sell custom-designed products without upfront investment in stock. Specifically, within the Shopify ecosystem, setting up a POD store has become an attractive route for many. This guide will walk you through how to print on demand Shopify store, from ideation to execution, ensuring you’re well-equipped to launch and grow your business.


Did you know that the global print on demand market is expected to soar, reaching an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.1% by 2030? This statistic not only highlights the booming popularity of POD but also underscores the vast potential for entrepreneurs willing to dive into this market. For those attracted to the creative aspects of business—be it in design, fashion, or unique product offerings—POD offers a perfect blend of creativity and commerce.

In this guide, we're not just covering the basics; we’re delving into how you can leverage the power of Shopify, one of the leading eCommerce platforms, to launch a print on demand store that stands out. Whether you're an artist, designer, or entrepreneur at heart, this article will provide you with a comprehensive roadmap to success.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand is an innovative business model where products are created and printed once an order is made. This approach drastically reduces the risk associated with bulk inventory, making it an ideal avenue for experimenting with designs and products. In a POD setup, you design your products—t-shirts, mugs, posters, etc.—and list them for sale. When a customer makes a purchase, the order is sent to your POD provider, who prints, packages, and ships the product directly to the customer.

Advantages of Print on Demand:

  • Minimal upfront investment: No need to purchase inventory in advance.
  • Flexibility in design: Test and tweak designs without financial repercussions.
  • Simplified logistics: Fulfillment is handled by the POD provider, allowing you to focus on your business's creative and marketing aspects.

Challenges to Consider:

  • Lower profit margins: Given the convenience, the profit margins in POD are typically lower than traditional retail models.
  • Dependence on suppliers: Timeliness and quality control rest in your provider's hands.

Setting Up Your Shopify Store: A Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Sign Up with Shopify

Start by creating an account on Shopify. The platform offers a free trial, allowing you to set up your store without immediate costs. Choose a store name that reflects your brand and products you plan to sell.

Step 2: Choose and Customize Your Shopify Theme

Shopify offers an array of themes—both free and paid—that cater to various aesthetics and industries. Select a theme that aligns with your brand identity and customize it to create a unique look for your store.

Step 3: Select Your Print on Demand Partner

Your choice of POD partner is crucial. Platforms like Printful, Printify, and Gooten are popular choices, offering wide product ranges and Shopify integration. Evaluate based on product quality, fulfillment times, and profit margins.

Step 4: Create and Upload Your Designs

Whether you’re designing yourself or hiring a designer, ensure your products resonate with your target audience. Utilize tools like Adobe Photoshop or free options like Canva to create your designs. Then, add them to the chosen products in your POD platform.

Step 5: Add Products to Your Shopify Store

Integrate your POD platform with Shopify, allowing you to easily import your products. Set up product descriptions, pricing, and SEO details to optimize your store for search engines and customers alike.

Step 6: Set Up Payments and Policies

Configure your payment gateways through Shopify’s settings, ensuring you can accept payments from customers globally. Additionally, formulate your return, shipping, and privacy policies, keeping transparency with your customers.

Step 7: Test and Launch

Before going live, conduct thorough testing of your store’s user experience—from browsing products to checkout. Once satisfied, remove any storefront passwords, and officially launch your store.

Marketing Your Print on Demand Store

  • Leverage Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase your designs and engage with your target audience organically.
  • Invest in Paid Advertising: Consider Facebook and Google ads for targeted advertising, focusing on audiences that match your ideal customer profile.
  • SEO: Optimize your store’s content for search engines to increase visibility.

Final Thoughts

The journey to creating a successful print on demand Shopify store is both exciting and challenging. With the right strategy, a focus on design quality, and effective marketing, your POD store can thrive in the bustling eCommerce landscape. Remember, the key to success lies in understanding your target audience, consistently offering value through your products, and being adaptable to trends and customer feedback.

Print-on-Demand FAQ

  • What are the most popular products to sell? T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, and posters are among the most popular and profitable print-on-demand products.
  • How do I price my products? Factor in the cost of production, shipping, and your desired profit margin. Competitive pricing also depends on understanding your market and positioning your brand effectively.
  • Is it possible to brand my POD products? Yes, many POD services offer options for custom labeling and packaging, allowing you to strengthen your brand experience.

Embarking on a print on demand business on Shopify offers a doorway to not just financial rewards but creative fulfillment. Remember, every successful store starts with a single step—or in this case, a single print.