How to find design ideas?
Once your target(s) are well defined, you will need to create T-shirt models that match the targeted audience. For this, you can find ideas or draw inspiration from visuals that you find on the web. However, you must be very careful not to plagiarize the graphic creations of other artists. This is neither moral nor legal!
Sometimes it is subtle and the law is not always easy to understand, sometimes it is obvious: for instance, you cannot take a design from Star Wars without paying copyright fees to Georges Lucas!
Therefore, it is up to you to be imaginative and to get intelligently inspired from ideas available on the internet. You will also need to master graphic tools that will allow you to make the visuals yourself.
Alternatively, you can call on graphic designers to help you with the technical materialization of your ideas.
What kind of textiles?
The textile represents more than 90% of the demand. However, limiting yourself to the sale of t-shirts would be a serious mistake.
Your printing provider can offer you a wide range of textiles which can be an incredible opportunity to boost your sales and retain your customers! And since your customers have the ability to choose which design they want, it would be a great idea to provide them with the ability to choose the textile they would like.
There are tank tops, Vests, sweatshirts, jackets … As many supports as potential additive sales! Of course, make sure your printer has stock on all the models you integrate into your shop. It would be a shame if your client only received a part of his order! This would be a source of frustration and discontent.
It is therefore important that your printing service provider is automatically connected to your website and receives your orders in real-time.
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How to choose your printing solution?
To choose your provider and your platform/distribution method, it is important to take several criteria into account:
- The country in which you sell: you have to think about the delivery time. This is one of the main criteria of choice for the user. For instance, if your provider is outside your country, it is unlikely that you will be able to deliver in less than 72 hours, or the cost of transport will be prohibitive. It is therefore important to select a local printer.
- The currency of your buyers: some platforms only offer payment in Dollars. Therefore, if you are paid by your local customers in your local currency, you will have to pay an invoice in dollars. The exchange rate will reduce your margin!
- Branding: With some platforms, you do not have the option to customize the domain name of your store. This will necessarily be a sub-domain: it is less professional towards your customers and you will have a lot of trouble retaining them.
- Estimating your turnover: depending on the volume of orders you are targeting, it will be preferable that you opt for a solution with a variable or fixed cost. Some solutions are free but take a commission on each sale, others are paid in the form of subscription or module purchase. Thus, it is essential to calculate your break-even point and choose, according to your sales solution.
- Your long-term strategy: are you looking to make a move to raise a few dollars during a period or do you want to create your own brand of t-shirts, retain your customers and federate a real community?
- Your skills in web marketing: are you able to generate enough traffic to sell textiles regularly? You will have to familiarize yourself with many web marketing techniques and face increasingly harsh competition. Take this into account before you launch with this or that platform.