Switching your print on demand supplier? Get in touch with us here

1. Benefits of using print on demand for your Shopify merch store

Boost your Shopify merch store with print on demand

Whether you’re a digital content creator with an online fan base or an ecommerce entrepreneur with a niche audience, a Shopify merch store is the ideal platform to sell custom products. When it’s time to scale your Shopify store, don’t neglect the power of print on demand (POD) services to expand into new markets and experiment with endless product customization options. 

Print on demand enables Shopify businesses to create and sell products on a per-order basis, with no minimum purchase orders, no inventory management, and little to no effort required. You design the Shopify merch, and your print on demand partner handles the rest! If you’re looking to elevate how you create and sell merch on Shopify, print on demand just might be your solution.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Print on demand (POD) is a cost-effective, high-quality method to produce Shopify merch. 

  • A print on demand provider is responsible for the entire Shopify order fulfillment process. 

  • Shopify store owners with a POD partner can sustainably scale into new global markets. 

  • POD is an efficient solution to test new products with minimal risks and investments.

Benefits of using print on demand for your Shopify merch store

Print on demand empowers Shopify store owners to produce and distribute unique product designs in near-real time worldwide. When you combine your Shopify merch store with the functionality of a print on demand partner, you can not only create and list custom products in a fraction of the time, but also fulfill customer orders more cost-efficiently — and sustainably — than ever before. 

But, don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at the benefits of partnering with a print on demand (POD) service to elevate your Shopify merch store and establish long-term profitability.

1. No inventory management

no inventory management

If there are two words no ecommerce entrepreneur wants to hear, they’re ‘inventory management.’ Whether you’re operating a small-scale storefront or a robust Shopify merch store, the challenges of inventory management can quickly cripple your operations. Even the sheer supply chain complexity of inventory management requires multiple parties for receiving, putaway, and consistent tracking.

In other words, inventory management is both labor and capital intensive. Enter print on demand! Print on demand (POD) providers handle every aspect of inventory management, so Shopify sellers can focus on designing and promoting new merch instead of monitoring and maintaining a product warehouse. Say goodbye to the multiple parties handling your stock, and hello to one POD partner!

Print on demand reduces the amount of time, money, and effort currently being allocated to your inventory management. Even better, POD enables you to remain one step ahead and customer demand, which is constantly shifting. With a print on demand partner, you don’t have to risk overstocking inventory that won’t sell, or worse, running out of inventory that’s in high demand.

2. Streamlined order fulfillment

While there’s no greater feeling than seeing new customer orders come through on Shopify, the realization that you’ll now need to package, ship, and follow through on each order isn’t always as positive. No matter if you have 10 customer orders per month or 100, order fulfillment can pose several issues for your Shopify merch store — especially timeliness and miscommunication.

Complications with order fulfillment is why Shopify integrates with print on demand partners to automate production and delivery. Rather than manually selecting products, packaging them for delivery, and dropping them at the post office, your POD integration does the heavy lifting for you. With a POD integration, each customer order is sent directly to your POD partner immediately. 

Once your POD partner receives the order details, they instantly get started on production. In addition to cutting back on manual effort, print on demand also speeds up the timeline from order placement to order delivery, which can enhance customer satisfaction. Plus, your POD partner can provide automated shipping confirmation to your customers to improve general communication.  

(Tip: A premier print on demand partner like Gelato offers 30 days of free shipping with an annual Gold plan plus an exclusive 50% discount on shipping to further streamline fulfillment!)

3. Broad product selection

product selection

Today’s Shopify merch stores are bursting with various product types, from apparel like t-shirts and tote bags to home décor like wall art and wallpaper. As a solo Shopify merch store, it can be difficult to compete with such robust product offerings (not to mention super expensive). Fortunately, you can easily partner with a print on demand provider to expand your product selection affordably. 

Print on demand services offer a wide range of high-quality products to customize with your merch designs. Just think about how you could diversify your Shopify merch store with custom hoodies, wall calendars, mugs and tumblers, phone cases, and even baby clothing! Before long, you can create your own catalog of quality products, all without ever stocking inventory or raising operational costs.

4. More customization options

customized options

When it comes to ecommerce success, product customization is the name of the game. Rather than stamping the same design across multiple products, print on demand offers ample customization options that can be tailored to meet your specific criteria. With more options for selling merch, you can not only cater to more customer preferences but also increase your potential revenue stream.

A preferred print on demand provider like Gelato has extensive selections for product types with even more options for product materials, design colors, and design location. By partnering with a POD provider like Gelato, you can bring endless merch ideas to life! You can also keep up with the trending products to sell on Shopify to consistently provide your customers with in-demand merch.

5. Reduced cost

A primary benefit of print on demand for Shopify merch is the dramatically reduced costs for nearly every aspect of your operations. Let’s start with your printing costs. It’s no secret that any type of printing, from DTG printing to screen printing, can be expensive to complete at home. A print on demand provider takes care of printing for you, so that’s already a massive amount of money saved.

Next up, consider inventory management costs for your Shopify store. Well, we already discussed that your print on demand provider is responsible for storing and maintaining inventory, so none of those complex supply chain costs are passed down to you. And because you never have to put an upfront investment into product inventory, that’s another automatic reduction on startup costs! 

Lastly, remember that your print on demand provider will handle the packaging and shipping involved in order fulfillment. So, you won’t find yourself scrambling to purchase new packaging components or paying expedited shipping costs on a customer order that should have been put in the mail last week. All that extra money you save equates to extra income for your Shopify store.

6. Quick turnaround


In the same way that high-quality print on demand providers can streamline order fulfillment, they can also accelerate the turnaround time on custom merchandise. It’s no secret that the faster a customer receives their merch order, the more satisfied they will be with their purchase experience. In the world of ecommerce, satisfied shoppers mean positive reviews that can drive new business.

How can you guarantee that your POD provider can promise a quick turnaround time? Look for local production capabilities in numerous corners of the globe. Here at Gelato, your products are produced and shipped where your customers are to speed up delivery times and make your Shopify merch store more reliable — over 90% of our orders are produced and delivered within five days!

With more than 130 production hubs in over 30 countries, few print on demand providers can execute custom Shopify merch as quickly as Gelato. While an accelerated turnaround time greatly benefits your customers, it can also come to your advantage when testing new merch ideas. You can quickly order samples to get a sense of new product designs before listing them on your website.

7. Greater scalability

Speaking of ordering samples for new product designs, the simplicity and timeliness of print on demand for custom products also enables Shopify store owners to easily scale their operations. With a robust print on demand partner, you can sell merch related to your existing brand or test new products and complimentary niche markets to reach new customers and grow your sales.

Print on demand providers make it easier than ever to grow your ecommerce business. You can rapidly expand your product catalog without ever needing to invest in additional inventory or store extra products. Print on demand even allows you to offer seasonal products, such as holiday-themed merchandise or limited-time apparel items, to continuously create new revenue streams on Shopify.

8. Global reach

global reach

If the potential to scale your Shopify merch store is enticing, you’ll also prefer print on demand providers for their ability to widen your customer base and tap into new markets. Print on demand providers often ship custom products globally, which allows Shopify store owners to operate in one country but launch one-of-a-kind merch anywhere in the world with a simple website integration.

Take Gelato’s global production network, for instance. Gelato is preferred by Shopify sellers for our ability to harness the power of local production in multiple corners of the globe. By integrating Gelato directly with your Shopify website, your orders are automatically fulfilled at the production facility that is closest to each customer. With Gelato, you can launch your merch in 32 countries!

A print on demand provider like Gelato empowers you to scale your own brand from Europe and the Middle East to Africa and Australia, and just about every continent in between. And with a Gelato subscription plan, you can even sell merch with branded labels and packaging inserts, so existing fans can instantly spot it when new customers rock your merch in new markets.

9. Improved sustainability

improved sustainability

Print on demand is also a fantastic production option for Shopify storefronts that prefer to be more sustainable. Because print on demand providers produce items on a per-order basis as opposed to in bulk, there are considerably less excess products than there would be with a traditional inventory management process or wholesale retail operation. Less excess equals less wasted resources.

Not to mention, a print on demand partner that produces locally drastically reduces shipping distances on each order. With a mission to make the print on demand industry more sustainable, Gelato is proud to leverage our local production hubs to reduce transportation distances and carbon emissions on each order. In fact, Gelato can reduce carbon emissions by 67% on every shipment!

10. Minimal risk

If you needed an extra benefit to partner with a print on demand provider, it’s probably this one: there is minimal risk involved! The start-up cost with a print on demand partner is minimal — like with Gelato, you only pay for the products you sell. And since your Shopify merch isn’t produced in bulk, you can simply stop working with your print on demand provider if it’s not a good fit. 

Likewise, because your merch products aren’t mass-produced, you can easily remove a product from your Shopify store if it doesn’t sell well. Let your existing audience-based preferences drive the products you offer — as well the merch you eventually create and list on your website — with the peace of mind that you can completely eliminate any unpopular products without any waste.

Level up your merch store with a print on demand partner

When it’s time to take your Shopify merch store to the next level, a print on demand partner can amplify your custom products and magnify your customer sales with minimal risk or investment. With a reliable POD service handling your order fulfillment, your Shopify merch store is free to scale to new markets, accelerate product delivery, and experiment with new items, all at a reduced cost. 

If you’re ready to level up your merch store with print on demand, look no farther than Gelato’s premier print on demand services. As a trusted partner for thousands of creators who are growing their online businesses, our seamless Shopify integration takes all of the guesswork out of selling and fulfilling custom merchandise. Simply integrate Gelato with your website, and we do the rest!

Between our unrivaled product collection offerings and unparalleled production and delivery network, no other print on demand service can elevate your Shopify merch store quite like Gelato. And with our passion for sustainability and scalability, we can guarantee that Gelato POD can help your Shopify storefront become greener, faster, and more profitable than ever before.

Start selling custom merch across the globe with Gelato print on demand for Shopify.


Next steps

Start successful store with Gelato