Given the numbers, we’re sure that you can judge that starting an online t-shirt printing business or selling almost anything over the internet has great potential for success. But starting a new retail business usually means a big upfront investment and considerable time and effort.
Don’t have the bandwidth for that? We say join hands with a Print-on-Demand (POD) provider and invest in automation technology – keep reading until the end to learn more.
Benefits of Print on Demand
With the POD business model, you partner with a third-party vendor that produces custom-made items by putting your unique designs on white-label products. However, these products are made order-based. This means products are created only when there’s an order placed.
The third-party partner also packs and ships the order right to your customer. All of this comes at just a small fee. The benefits of POD might be clear with this, but let us outline them below for your clarity:
- No upfront investment for buying an inventory.
- No effort in holding or managing inventory.
- Save time to focus on core business and creating designs.
Now that you understand the benefits of POD let us go into the detail of automating a POD business.
Why Automated Print-on-Demand Services are Beneficial
The fast development of AI has brought automation to a critical juncture. Machines, including computer software and hardware, can now handle a greater share of the mundane work previously done by people across sectors, freeing them up to concentrate on higher performance and efficiency.
POD business is no exception, and automation can provide continuous business growth. Staying in line with advancing technologies, automation will even help you to set yourself apart from the competition.
While others put time and effort into doing each task manually, you can invest in automation, save time and effort in doing repetitive mundane tasks, and use it to get ahead in the game. In particular, AI-powered solutions like chatbots and product description generative AI services are becoming indispensable for eCommerce merchants looking to scale efficiently.
Why is it Important to Use Automated Order Processing and Fulfillment
Automated order processing refers to the use of software and hardware tools to streamline the ordering and fulfillment process and reduce processing time. Order processing may be automated to:
- Cut down on human error
- Boost efficiency
- and quicken packing and delivery times.
So, for example, when a customer places an order at your custom mugs business, with an automated order processing and fulfillment system, it won’t require your intervention to check and approve it. It will go straight to your POD vendor, and they will print it and ship it away.
There are five clear benefits of investing in an automated order processing and fulfillment system with the POD model:
- Automatically updates new orders placed by customers to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
- Collects data from customers to provide better customer service and enhance their experience
- Allows tracking of orders and fulfillment
- Can automate the creation of shipping labels and can boost the shipping time
- You can be anywhere in the world doing anything, all new orders are automatically checked, verified, and sent to your POD vendor for fulfillment
Marketing Tools That are Automated and Why You Should Use Them
Given the saturation in the eCommerce sector, a strong marketing plan is what will help customers discover you. When done right, they’ll allow them to determine why shopping from you is a better choice than going to your rivals. However, to get consistent results, you need to put in consistent efforts.
In marketing, many activities can be automated and save you time. Below is a list of the five best marketing and project management tools that you can use to automate certain marketing tasks. It will help you get efficient at marketing without putting the extra effort.
When it comes to content marketing, no other beats Hubspot. We love HubSpot because it will significantly reduce your time spent in marketing. It provides the following benefits:
- Automates email campaigns.
- Personalizing workflows that allow visualization and customization of projects.
- Supporting collaborative efforts with a complete marketing solution.
- Simple interface that will help you streamline efforts towards your target audience.
Adobe’s Marketo is an automated marketing platform that takes care of digital advertising and marketing with a feature-rich program. Here’s what we love about it:
- It recognizes customers, gets them involved, and speeds up the service process.
- Create and expand the reach of your automated marketing initiatives.
- Make use of the available behavioral data and move quickly to seize the greatest business opportunity.
- Provides a wide variety of services, including content customization, analytics for marketing, cross-channel interaction, and sales collaboration.
The purpose of Omnisend, a marketing automation platform, is to boost sales and cut down on administrative tasks. It offers pre-built automation templates that may be adapted to the specifics of a company’s marketing procedure. Here are three main reasons to use Omnisend:
- Allows for easy interaction with popular eCommerce platforms.
- Support is available around the clock.
- Fully synchronized data.
Customer.io strengthens relationships with customers and increases loyalty by automating communication. They send your customers personalized emails, push alerts, and SMS. Here’s a list of unique advantages for your POD store that Customer.io offers:
- Contributes to audience growth by capitalizing on current events.
- enables targeted communication depending on recipient actions.
- Analyze the data and use A/B testing to make constant improvements.
Finally, Salesforce’s recent acquisition of the automation tool Pardot has helped businesses make stronger connections with customers and build more robust sales funnels, as it:
- Helps bring in more potential customers.
- Get your customers’ attention with targeted ads.
- Merge advertising and sales efforts.
- Shows the Return on Investment.
- Use the might of AI to your advantage.
Automated Analytics and Reporting Tools and Why You Should Use Them
D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) businesses may benefit greatly from the information provided by eCommerce analytics solutions. They give insights into important performance indicators and customer behavior. We’ve compiled this list of the top five automated eCommerce analytics and reporting tools, which vary in terms of features, usability, and advantages.
Google Analytics is a must-have for any online shop. It’s simple and you can test it for free on a test site with a Google demo profile before you commit to using it on your POD store. Here’s why you should go for it:
- Free-to-use tool.
- Provides rich graphs and reports to aid in making decisions about your business.
- Provides data on customer lifetime value.
- You can track conversions and other important eCommerce metrics.
With Triple Whale, business owners can get all of the data they need in one place, from Facebook and Shopify to Klaviyo and TikTok. To maximize your advertising’s return on investment (ROI), it is equipped with a robust server-side tracking pixel. With Tripple Whale, you get the following benefits:
- Control groups to make better forecasts and analyze sales cycles.
- In-depth familiarity with the consumer lifecycle and the kind of advertisements most likely to result in sales.
- You can customize the dashboard the way you like and use it on various devices, like phones, pc, or tablets.
Klaviyo is a tool for evaluating email data that may be used in your e-commerce business. It recognizes the inextricable link between online retail and email marketing and provides a number of analytics and automation solutions to assist you do just that. If you use Klaviyo, you can:
- Analyze Powerful Email Metrics.
- Classify audiences mechanically using a variety of parameters.
- Create various automated responses, including those for abandoned carts.
- Inspect the income, clicks, and opens of your emails.
When it comes to increasing your online store’s conversion and sale rates, Hotjar is an invaluable tool. Heatmaps of your site’s traffic and live user recordings are both available to you in Hotjar. With Hotjar, you can:
- Determine if people are responding to your CTAs.
- Find out what they’re interested in and focus on it.
- Locate the most crucial problem areas.
Kissmetrics is an all-inclusive analytics platform that facilitates in-depth reporting on your website’s performance metrics. Instead of focusing on the big picture, it zeroes in on specific details inside your website. Here’s what you get with Kissmetrics:
- Figure out the churn rates of each marketing campaign.
- Discover with a single click how well your campaigns are doing.
- Investigate how the layout of your website influences sales.
- Triggers may be personalized, divided, and previewed.
- Uses A/B testing elements.
Automating your POD business has great benefits, especially for people who want to jump on the bandwagon of success in the eCommerce industry while saving time and effort to manage every aspect of the business.
There will always be demand in the eCommerce sector to be met. However, to thrive, one must beat the competition. Automation can be the secret weapon of up-and-coming entrepreneurs to catch up with the competition and even beat them with increased efficiency and productivity.
We hope this article helped you explore some aspects of automation that you can use for your POD store.