Ever heard the term POD when it comes to online stores and wondered what it means?
POD stands for Print on Demand, and it’s a type of dropshipping. It’s often used for creators who sell merch on typical items like tshirts, hats, mugs and reusable bags. Basically, POD allows the shop owner not to have to carry any inventory. The advantage is low overhead, the ability to test the market, and a ‘touchless’ supply chain.
However, without eyes on the full process you can lose a lot of the quality control over the products, as well as customer service.
To mitigate those issues, I would suggest:
— Extensive product testing (make sure to order every variation in samples)
— Extensive manufacturer testing (test different companies — there are MANY!)
— Supply chain/shipping tests (for speed, loss and accuracy)
The bottom line is, to get a well functioning POD store, you need to have eyes on every aspect of production. POD can be a good testing ground for products that you intend on mass producing, and fulfilling internally.
POD has its place, but needs a lot of initial assessment and experimentation to run a high quality POD shop.