Which one is better for your startup dropshipping vs. Print-On-Demand? Which of the two best fit your business?
Dropshipping and print-on-demand are two of the most popular business models for startup eCommerce stores. Both business models have benefits and drawbacks – it depends on what you’re looking for in a business and which model suits your needs better.
We’ll compare the difference among them to help you understand, as well as the advantages and disadvantages later in this post to assist you in deciding which is best for you. Continue reading!
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model in which eCommerce entrepreneurs sell products without carrying any inventory. When a store owner receives an order from a customer, they contact the supplier, who will ship the products directly to the customer’s doorsteps.
Dropshipping is one of the most popular business models for startup eCommerce stores because it’s easy to set up and requires very little capital. You can launch a dropshipping store in just a few days, and you don’t need to invest in any inventory upfront.
To put it more simply, the following is a list of duties that you will be responsible for when trying to work with a dropshipping supplier:
- Research: Before you begin, you must conduct product research and determine whether you want to open a general, specialty, or one-product store.
- Store layout: You are responsible for designing a different dropshipping store that transforms well. (And, yes, you can begin dropshipping without needing a website if you want to.
- Customer service: You will handle customer service inquiries, including returns and refunds.
- Advertising and Marketing: You must create and manage all store promotions and advertising campaigns.
What Is Print-on-Demand and What Makes It Unique?
Print-on-demand is similar to drop shipping in that you don’t need to invest in any inventory upfront. You can also launch your store quickly and easily.
The main difference between print-on-demand and dropshipping is that with print-on-demand, you are responsible for designing the products that you want to sell in your store. With a dropshipping business, on the other hand, you select the products that you want to sell from a supplier and list them in your store.
Print-on-demand is a manufacturing process where products are only printed after an order has been placed. It is in contrast to the traditional manufacturing process, where products are mass-produced and stored in warehouses until they are sold.
RaccoonBrand is an example of a print-on-demand eCommerce company. It markets raccoon designs on wallets and tees.
They maintain the branding simple and consistent during each design. It increases the store’s credibility and distinctiveness.
RaccoonBrand has achieved success by capitalizing on what people like about raccoons. They’re cunning, cute, and entertaining.
Dropshipping vs. Print-on-Demand: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
Now that we know what all these two different digital commerce models are, we can examine which areas they excel in.
Remember that there isn’t a perfect model; it’s all about which one you would like based on your skillsets and your brand’s vision.
The Benefits of Dropshipping (or disadvantages of POD)
1 – times for completing orders are shorter.
A dropshipping supplier typically keeps inventory of their goods so they can ship quickly after receiving an order. When using POD, the supplier must print the product’s design before sending it. An additional 1-3 working days may pass for your client to receive it.
2 – Your products are not dependent on the level of design.
People consider designing the most important deciding factor when choosing POD businesses. You don’t need design expertise or hire someone to do it when you dropship. The product is ready to use from the supplier without any additional work on your end.
3 – You can list an almost infinite number of products without any extra cost
When you dropship, each product listing costs you the same amount in terms of time and money. You don’t need to invest in inventory space for storing products. In POD, however, there may be a design or set-up fee for each product.
4 – Dropshipping is more beginner-friendly
Dropshipping is an eCommerce business model that’s easier to set up and run than POD. You don’t need to worry about designing products, maintaining inventory, or managing shipping logistics. All you need to do is find a good supplier, list their products in your store, and start selling.
The Benefits of Print-on-Demand (or disadvantages of dropshipping)
1 – You have more control over the quality of your products
With print on demand, you can choose the materials used to make your products. This way, you can be sure you’re using high-quality materials that meet your standards. With drop shipping, on the other hand, you have to rely on the supplier to provide quality products.
2 – There are no minimum order quantities
With POD, you can order just one item at a time. Unlike drop shipping, suppliers typically require you to order in bulk. POD is a more flexible and customizable option for those who want to sell unique products.
3 – You can create truly one-of-a-kind products
POD gives you the freedom to design your products from scratch. Dropshipping suppliers typically offer only a limited selection of products that you can choose from. It means that there’s a good chance that other stores are selling the same effects as you.
4 – You can build a stronger brand identity
Printing on-demand gives you more control over how your products look and feel. It allows you to create a solid and cohesive brand identity for your store. Drop shipping can be challenging to stand out from the competition since you’re selling the same products as everyone else.
Is Dropshipping Preferable to Print-on-Demand?
Whether print on demand is superior to dropshipping varies based on your set of skills as well as your long-term company goals.
If you’re starting an eCommerce business from scratch, then dropshipping may be the better option since it’s easier to set up and run. You don’t need to worry about designing products or managing inventory, so you can focus on building your store and marketing your products.
However, if you’re looking for more control over the quality of your products and want to create one-of-a-kind items, then print-on-demand may be the better option. POD gives you more control over the design and manufacturing process, so you can develop higher-quality products that stand out from the competition.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which business model is best for your eCommerce store. If you’re unsure which option to choose, we recommend testing both methods to see which works better for you.