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Questions You Should Ask Before Adding Print On Demand to Your Mobile App

Frank Jackson, 02/09/2018,

You could be sitting on a potential gold mine.

We know this, because we’ve seen it. Mobile app developers who have created photo-editing, photo-sharing, or gaming apps that have created huge communities and online followings. They’ve taken the next logical step, which is finding ways to monetize the success of that following. They work with advertisers to provide curated ads that are relevant to their user base. And they create ways their visitors become buyers through an online store.

Becoming an ecommerce entrepreneur may not have been what you intended when you started developing your app, but the opportunity to generate these additional revenue streams is one you would be wise to consider.

The times, they are a-changing

You may be thinking to yourself, sure I’ve got an audience and consistently growing site traffic, but why would they want to purchase products from me? The real answer to this question is maybe not one you want to hear. It has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with your users, and the changing cultural trends that are developing.

The age of user-generated content

Let’s say you have a mobile app that lets users upload photos, edit and store them so that they can share them digitally as they wish. These could be personal memories, of people or places that have meaning for them. Giving them the opportunity to put that image on the back of a phone case, or a favorite coffee mug, or nice fitting t-shirt is something that appeals to a huge demographic. (Rhymes with “shmillenials”).

The age of bringing digital products into the physical world

Ok, I promised I wouldn’t get too philosophical here but simply think about how much our culture has changed recently. Everything is on-demand. TV. Ordering groceries. Finding a car ride home. Getting chores done. For pretty much everything – there’s an app for that. Now what we see happening is digital brands finding ways to bring their digital product into the physical world. Selling print on demand products is a great way to engage with your audience and to turn them into brand ambassadors IRL with your printed products.

Before, people were apprehensive about the digital age and that we would lose touch with physical engagement. But what we see happening instead is people taking photos that happen in real life, customizing it into digital platforms and then wanting to bring it back again into the physical world somehow onto an everyday product. The process comes full circle.

Questions you should ask before you add print on demand to your mobile app

1. What is print on demand?

Ah! Good question! A print on demand service involves the process in which your products get made and delivered. It’s on demand because everytime your customer creates an order, that order gets automatically sent into production. This way you never have to worry about the logistical headaches involved with shipping and managing inventory. Some type of smart technology does that all for you, and you can simply monitor your orders in production or out for delivery from your account dashboard. This is a low-risk solution because everything you sell is essentially profit. Your end price is marked up based on what your production costs will be, so you never have to worry about debt or high overhead costs.

2. How do I know what products I should sell?

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If you look at the Gooten Product Catalog, you’ll see the 100+ products we offer that can be custom-designed by either you or your audience through user-generated content. So you definitely have your options. However, if you just add a huge amount of different products to your store, you can overwhelm you visitors with too many options. Your list of products should be curated according to the characteristics of your brand. What ties into the overall goals of your business brand? Your products are an extension of your brand, so whether it’s technology, home decor, wall art, canvases, prints, puzzles, shower curtain, ask yourself what speaks most to your brand, and what will your audience want to purchase to show off in their day to day life.

3. How will customer service work?

Once you decide to become an ecommerce brand, customers or potential customers will inevitably have questions about the quality of your products, shipping times and status of orders. How will you handle these requests? Delivering delightful customer experience needs to be apart of your strategy. It often times is the difference when it comes to success. Having someone manage this is essential, and so is working with a reliable print on demand company that has its own exceptional support team.

4. Can I ship globally?

Likely, your visitors are coming from all over the globe. Having a print on demand provider who only ships to the United States limits your ability to reach all your users. Demographics are continually changing, so being able to ship across the world puts you in the best position possible. When finding a print on demand solution, you want one that allows you to touch all markets globally where your users are and lets you go international.

5. How will I market this?

If you build it, they will come – is not a good marketing strategy. Sitting back and letting people try to figure it out for themselves who you are and how they can purchase your products is a pipe dream. The fact of the matter is you may need to expand past your comfort zone in order to learn how to scale your ecommerce sales.

Do your homework on the products you’re selling, order samples, and get a clear understanding of your customer experience. Spend time testing and optimizing elements of your checkout page. A/B test your call to action, colors of buttons, customization of themes, anything that could influence the decision to buy. Take seasonality into consideration. Learn what merchandise to sell and when to sell it. You need a whole strategy around trial and error testing to eventually get conversion rates up. Success doesn’t come overnight.

Perhaps the main question you should ask yourself, is what amount of commitment will I give to continually optimize and give attention to this side of my business. The payoffs and rewards could be plenty, but dedication and determination have to be embedded throughout.

6. What print on demand company do I work with?

Duh. You work with Gooten. (Haven’t you been paying attention) We’re the experts. We’ve seen it all! And most importantly, we value you as a partner. If you’re not successful, then neither are we. Our Partner Success team works with you to get you up and running, to maximize your potential, and delight your customers.

You’ve got the audience just sitting there. We help you find products and automate print fulfillment so you can engage your visitors and extend your brand. Contact one of our Partner Success agents today, and find out how print on demand can be the new source of revenue you’ve been searching for.

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