For decades, success in retail was defined by a simple formula. Secure a high-footfall spot in your street and shout louder than your competitor to attract and engage more shop visitors. Function at a lower cost for gaining higher profits.
Fast forward to the post-pandemic 21st century, it is not that easy. The world has moved online, and how! Geographical lines have blurred.
There is more competition for all retail sub-domains. Moreover, a physical location can be more of a nuisance than a convenience.
There are very few chances of success for a small local store operating with a lean budget and limited inventory. If you want your retail business to thrive, you must adopt a digital-first approach to engage your spoiled target audience.
A McKinsey research says 46% of US consumers placed orders with new retailers in 2020.
That shows they do not hesitate anymore to shift brands. In addition, the volume of purchases from infrequent eCommerce users is expected to increase by 160% in the future.
Printers are going online faster than ever.
Having an online shop is necessary even for print businesses. Did you know the print-on-demand industry grew by 12% in 2023?
Print-on-demand received a record-high interest when other sectors were stumbling during the pandemic.
That is because of the growing demand for custom and one-of-a-kind products. Not so surprisingly, 36% of consumers expect some form of personalization by default. And having a web2print solution enables that.
A single personalized product can also be printed since print-on-demand products are made to order with no minimum.
This empowers printers to satisfy a demand for personalization while remaining profitable.
Build your print shop on BigCommerce
The interest in print-on-demand also spiked in January and April of 2021. As of May 2022, it remains above the pre-pandemic level.
If you are convinced about jumping on the bandwagon and building your print business online, you first need to choose an eCommerce platform.
There are many options in the market – Shopify, WooCommerce, Prestashop, OpenCart, BigCommerce, and so on – that you can choose from. So, which one is it going to be? In our opinion, BigCommerce is a pretty powerful eCommerce solution.
You get access to unlimited products and staff accounts across all plans. It has 99.99% guaranteed uptime.
All BigCommerce online shops are user-friendly and mobile-optimized. There are more than 40 payment options with PCI DSS certification.
BigCommerce is an ideal choice for selling online courses and educational products, music and art, digital media planners, branding kits, and memberships besides the usual products such as clothing, automotive parts, groceries, and so on.
Because your niche is print, you can configure a robust web2print solution and sell various products such as business cards, brochures, labels and stickers, signboards, t-shirts, trophies and awards, uniform builders, apparel, photo books, printeriors, and more.
Inventory management is a breeze on BigCommerce, and you can keep track of stock levels through SKUs.
You also receive email notifications when a product is low or out of stock. You can assign such notifications to your team members.
Integrate with top print-on-demand plugins like DesignO and shipping options like UPS, FedEx, Canada Post, and Royal Mail.
Lastly, it gives you a free trial for 15 days, plus a free 30-day trial after picking a plan, so you are 100% sure about BigCommerce.
Add the DesignO BigCommerce App to your Bigcommerce site and grow your print store in minutes.
Steps to setting up your BigCommerce online print shop
This is where the fun begins. Setting up a full-fledged online store can be a daunting process. But it does not have to be. Just follow the steps mentioned below, and you will be good to go!
Here’s a quick index to help you navigate this guide:
1. Pick your niche
To make the right decision for your BigCommerce online print shop, here are the steps you must take:
- Conduct a SWOT analysis. List your strengths and weaknesses. Identify the opportunities your print business has and what are the threats you need to be aware of.
- Find industry gaps using social media listening and tools like Google Trends. Everyone you know offers personalized print services. But how can you stand out? Are people concerned about the use of harmful ink? Perhaps, you can promote yourself as an environmentally conscious print business that uses eco-friendly ink.
- Confirm your buyer persona based on demographic (age, location, income group) and psychographics (interests, value, belief) data.
Based on your findings, choose a suitable business model and products.
Note how and where your intended audience tends to purchase products and what is the best way to reach them.
Without doing preliminary research, it would not be possible for you to get yourself a slice of the market.
2. Purchase a domain name
If you have chosen a business name (i.e., the name on which your business is registered), that is great.
Your domain name can be the same as your business name. However, if it is too long or tedious, you must choose a brand name by which you want to be known in the market.
- Use descriptive, accurate words such as ‘print,’ ‘ink,’ ‘market.’ Examples could include ‘Print Shoppe’ or ‘Ink Your Dreams.’ Avoid using unfamiliar words or creative spellings, as they will hamper your search results. Please also do not use offensive or inappropriate terms. Stay away from hyphens or numbers.
- Keep your domain name under 12 characters. You will need similar social media handles for your print shop, so do not get carried away.
3. Choose a BigCommerce theme for your print business
This is where you decide how your print shop will look. Choosing a suitable template can make all the difference. Please keep in mind the types of products you offer.
You must have a template that aesthetically bifurcates and displays all categories if you have multiple categories.
The ultimate goal is to enable a powerful and smooth browsing experience. BigCommerce, for instance, uses themes to control the overall look and feel of the online store. Its default theme is called “Cornerstone,” which allows you to make some customizations.
What is more – you can also personalize the colors and branding of your BigCommerce online print shop.
If you want to explore more options on BigCommerce, you can visit the Theme Manager in the Store Admin area of your BigCommerce site.
Also, embed social media accounts and branded content, experiment with different pay layouts and product listing types, and customize fonts and text sizes.
4. Select the right plugins for your print shop
BigCommerce will indeed give you a self-sustaining storefront. However, sometimes, you might need extra support to improve the efficiency of your operations. Choose the right plugins to supplement your backend.
For instance, you might need plugins to better manage your inventory, communicate with your team and customers via email, handle shipping updates, and leverage financial and reporting analytics.
Suppose you are interested in selling print-ready, customizable products on your eCommerce.
In that case, you could integrate DesignO, an API-driven plug-n-play design tool with built-in print and order workflow management capabilities.
Hey PSPs Want to see how DesignO works? Start 14-day free trial
5. Keep a healthy mix of products on your BigCommerce store
One of the critical factors that define your eCommerce success is your product range and how well you present all products on your site.
Product categories, for instance, are essential for properly displaying your catalog and making your inventory more discoverable.
Most garment e-retailers go with “women’s, men’s, accessories, flash sale, and new in” categories.
If you sell print-ready business cards, you could add categories such as matte or gloss, or plastic finish.
Similarly, write persuasive product descriptions that explain how this product is for, list the crucial specifications, suggest when someone would need this product, and so on. Descriptions should also comprise essential keywords.
At the end of the day, you want your customers to be able to find your products easily by sifting through various categories and supplementing them with comprehensive product descriptions and strong imagery is only going to make their browsing experience better.
Don’t miss this: Why Set Up A Custom Table Cloths Printing Business
6. Add product custom information on the detail pages
When designing product category pages, add extra filters to help your customers narrow down their choices, including “price range,” “size,” “color,” “material,” and so on.
You can also add advanced pricing information, such as wholesale or sale costs and bulk discounts, so that the customers know exactly what they are getting.
7. Integrate the proper payment gateways
BigCommerce can integrate with many payment gateway systems such as Ayden, Affirm, Afterpay, Amazonpay, Authorize.net, Barclaycard Smartpay Advance.
It also allows BigCommerce shop owners to transact via Cash on Delivery or in-store payments.
Thanks to the abundance of options, every customer can pick something they are most comfortable using for buying in your print shop.
8. Solidify your store with a vital product design tool
Design’N’Buy’s All-In-One web2print software is feature-rich and meets all product personalization requirements while producing print-ready vector files.
The web-to-print online designer has a modern and intuitive user interface that works well for all sorts of products.
It offers multi-language support for the design studio with RTL capabilities and enables 10X faster editing compared to PhotoShop™.
It provides users access to all Canva-like editing features, including social media integration, QR code insertion, uploading/importing images, stock imagery, text, and fonts.
We also give a live 3D preview of the design to show you how the product will look once it gets printed.
9. Sort out your shipping policy and platform
If your shipping processes are haywire, there is no way you can match up to your customer’s expectations. You must, therefore, have a policy where you communicate the costs, terms, and any limitations of your shipment.
The document must answer questions like whether you offer free shipping, a variable fee, or a flat fee. Sort out a realistic “free shipping” threshold.
Consider the pricing, timings, and shipping restrictions of your carrier. For instance, a cheap shipping service provider may not offer any insurance in case of damage.
Deploy a shipping platform to pack your order, automatically print packing slips, automate alerts and notifications to the team and customers, and sync orders and shipping details with your BigCommerce online print shop.
Promote and market your online print shop
Now that your BigCommerce online print shop is ready, you have to make sure visitors come flocking to you. Of course, sitting on your website will not do you any good.
Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure higher footfall:
- Get active on social media. Share your offerings, product reviews, benefits of personalization, and fast shipping on your channels. You can do a countdown before the site launches and give away special discounts and promos to your followers.
- Network in niche online communities and forums for free publicity in case you have a niche print store that, for example, sells vintage posters.
- If you know an influencer in the industry, get them to give your BigCommerce online print shop a shout-out. This can help attract the first few sales or at least get people talking about your store.
- Run targeted Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest campaigns to facilitate brand and product discovery. Pay for only meaningful action – visits, clicks, sales, and inquiries.
- Make your SEO game strong. It needs commitment to “take off,” but the organic results can go through the roof if done correctly.
- Start an email list and send periodic newsletters selling your products and how easy it is to personalize an item and place an order on it. Create on-site subscription forms and incentives for subscribing (e.g., first-order discount) to build your email list.
Everyone’s journey to online commerce is different. However, you can create a solid business that stands the test of time with the right eCommerce platform such as BigCommerce and a web2print solution from Design’N’Buy.
We hope you enjoyed our article on how to set up a BigCommerce print store.
If you want to know how well our web2print solution will work on your BigCommerce store, please email us at [email protected] or call us at +1-347-647-9799.