There are many reasons to launch a store: the desire to monetize your visual talent, a consuming passion for marketing and its workings, or the desire for an extra income to eat something other than pasta with butter at the end of the month. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: you're not here to twiddle your thumbs.
Except that sometimes the financial results can be a little disappointing.
The kind that makes you want to call your bank to make sure no zeroes have been forgotten.
This is a phenomenon that outwardly seems to be facilitated by the Print on Demand system, notably by the paying of the unit costs of each product, but make no mistake: making a good margin is a largely realistic objective in POD! As much as with a more "classic" business model, such as the product stock model, yes. Especially since POD allows you to avoid certain expenses related to stock (such as storage and logistics costs or those of the inevitable unsold products), but also to save precious time thanks to an almost total automation of tasks. So, we can keep 100% of your sales margin without having to work too hard? Where do we sign?
That margin, how to calculate it?
If you did, it's okay, the formula is very simple:
Cost of sale - cost of purchase = your sales margin
The profit margin is still a better indicator to define the profitability of your store. You will be able to know it as follows:
(Your sales margin / purchase costs) x 100 = your margin rate
Note that the average profit of online stores is about 7%.
Not even close? To get closer, we advise you to equip yourself with effective marketing tricks. Don't worry, you don't have to invent them or pull them out of your magician's hat: we're about to share the best ones with you, right now, NOW. Tadaaaa...
The 7 best practices to boost your margin
1. Sell quality products
You chose TPOP, you did the right thing. We counted 357 good reasons to do so, but we'll mention one in particular: the premium quality of our products, the top of the print on demand line.
This will allow you to set a much better margin than with some of the cheap items you can find elsewhere. Another good point is the fact that most of our catalog is composed of eco-responsible products... Since 66% of the consumers would be ready to spend more for this type of articles. An above-average price is certainly not a problem if it has an explanation!
2. Offer customization
Among the allies of Print on Demand, here is a REDOUBTABLE element...
By processing orders one by one, POD stores are able to offer this option. Let's face it, this is great news: personalization is trending. In fact, consumers are LOVING it: so much so that one in five shoppers would be willing to spend 20% more on a customized product. Twenty percent. Knowing that it won't cost you anything, it sounds like a golden opportunity.
To join the party, it's a piece of cake: when you create your product, make sure you check the "Customizable Product" box. Enjoy your optimized margin!
3. Sell in quantity thanks to viral designs
And there you have it. ANOTHER good side to POD...
Reactivity! Indeed, Print on Demand is an ideal mechanism for brands that want to be on top of trends without delay. Once a design is prepared, it will take five, ten minutes at most for a product to be released. Faced with this fact, stock ordering is not the way to go, as a product may take weeks at least to arrive in a brand's warehouse.
Reactivity is a strength you can use to optimize your margin, especially by surfing on viral trends. A new meme in sight? Does it fit your niche? Could it appeal to your community? BINGO. With a timely viral design, you'll not only be able to sell to your existing audience, but you'll probably also get some nice word-of-mouth, since there's a good chance that its publication will generate comments, shares, engagements... Which can, in turn, lead to sales. If you don't have a big margin on each product, selling a viral article in quantity is a very good solution to maximize your profitability.
4. Promote your high margin products
Digital marketing gives you a formidable power: the power to control the image of your business at will. You can use this power to boost your profits by focusing your promotion not on your most popular products... But on the other ones, especially on those that will bring you the most money!
There are several ways to do this, starting with promoting your highest margin product as a "best seller", or simply actively promoting your products of this type on social networks. Pretty smart, if you ask us.
5. Maximize the average basket value
You can have enough customers to fill the Wembley Stadium and make less profit than a store whose audience would fit in the village hall of Old-Bottom-On-Sea. The difference? The average basket.
This term refers to the average amount spent on an order in your store. Having a lot of customers is great, but it's even better to make sure you optimize each of their visits! The buying process is a precious thing in e-commerce: you might as well get the most out of it.
To do this, there are some very simple tricks: improve the product recommendation on your website with new sections specially dedicated to high margin products (Upsell technique) or others presented as complementary to the current purchase(Cross-sell ). Tested and approved by many e-tailers, these two tactics will be invaluable throughout your career.
To see the average shopping cart take off, other possibilities are available to you, such as making delivery free from a minimum order. Ka-ching!
6. Increase the perceived value of your brand
End of July 2022. Big moment in the fashion world: the luxury brand Balenciaga announces the release of a brand new product.
Despite its uncanny resemblance to the garbage bags sold in 30s for 2 dollars at your local supermarket, this bag will be yours for the modest sum of 1790 dollars. What explains its ambitious price tag?
In two words: perceived value. Like all luxury brands, Balenciaga benefits from a boosted perceived value thanks to the meticulous shaping of a prestigious brand image. This has a direct impact on the perceived value, i.e. the value that a customer will instinctively and unconsciously attribute to this brand and its products.
Without going to the extremes of luxury fashion, it will be possible to increase the perceived value of your brand - and therefore, the margin of each of your items - by selling, rather than products, a real lifestyle. This will require some investment in marketing, including photos of your products and your communication on the networks ... But believe us, it can be well worth it.
7. Knowing how to be patient
The world of e-commerce can seem unforgiving, like a desert without an oasis or a shopping mall on the first day of sales. For the first few months, you'll probably only get a pittance out of the experience: faced with that, it's easy to get discouraged.
The secret? Have realistic expectations: profit doesn't happen overnight! It's good to have an ultimate goal in mind, but if it doesn't happen as quickly as you expected, that's okay. Are you not satisfied with your profit right now? Don't commit, for example, to a rash price increase that might turn off your potential customers. Think of the adventure step by step: you will see, it will be all the more pleasant.
Bonus: Use promo codes
Can't wait to see your revenues take off? In that case, we advise you to use a powerful tool to increase your sales volume: discounts.
Use these, yes, but strategically!
You're not Santa Claus: we know this because he's obviously too busy in his workshop to indulge in Print on Demand. So you're not there to give gifts - at least not to anyone! Does a customer tend to have a low basket value? Offering them 25% off their order would be a little too generous. So, it's up to you to base your offer on your customer's basket size and offer them personalized coupon codes.
Also, note that existing customers tend to spend more (about 31%) than new ones. So don't hesitate to pamper them by offering them the best discounts; if everything goes well, they'll give it back to you.
Profit is the destination: e-commerce is the journey. So, put on your sunglasses, your best bucket hat, and en route... We trust you to apply these tips like no other and see your goals come to life before your eyes. Don't give up, buddies!
Sources: ComCap, Nielsen, Forbes