The versatility of wide-format digital printing equipment combined with the rise of e-commerce and digital marketing have made it easier for automated print shops to create new print business niches. Developing and marketing products to highly specialized markets can generate additional revenue streams and differentiate your shop from other printing firms.
If you search online, you can find hundreds of products that are being custom printed on demand for niche markets. Below are nine popular categories and examples products within each category.
Outdoor home decor. Outdoor wall art for decks, patios, and porches. Garage door and garage wall murals. Tool chest and ice chest wraps. Decorative privacy screens for patios and gazebos. Permanent pool and patio signs. Garden flags. Door banners and yard signs for parties and holidays. Birdhouse wraps. Mailbox covers. Patio umbrellas. Mini-fridge wraps.
Travel gear. Luggage tags and covers. Tote bags. Beach towels. Beach umbrellas. Phone chargers. Passport cases. Laptop and tablet sleeves.
Home accessories. Duvet covers. Pillowcases. Sheet sets. Shower curtains. Cutting boards. Coasters. Serving trays. Placemats. Children’s play tents. Mouse Pads. Desk organizers. Pet beds.
Packaging. Custom shipping boxes for e-commerce companies. Short runs of folding cartons for corporate gifts, prototyping, and test marketing. Flexible packaging for specialty products such as candy, baked goods, teas, trail mix, pet treats, dried fruit, and cannabis.
Specialty outdoor graphics. Fence screens for construction sites and sporting events. Barricade graphics for outdoor events and restaurant patios. Pop-up tents and canopies for outdoor events and festivals.
Specialty indoor graphics. Backdrops for event photo booths and photography studios. Acoustic fabrics to cover speakers and acoustic panels in home theaters, restaurants, churches, office conference rooms, and music studios. Inflatables and 3D props for selfies at events.
Home decor. Wall murals and decals. Window blinds and shades. Art-print room dividers. Door mats. Kitchen mats, Backlit canvas prints. Backsplashes. Tiles. Wall art for nurseries, man caves, kitchens, home theatres, and bathrooms. Floor art. Staircase murals Ceiling tiles and murals. Beanbag chair covers.
Outdoor recreation. Decals, graphics, and wraps for vans, campers, and RVs. Cooler wraps. Water bottles. Golf bottles. Frisbees.
Personalized gifts. Gift wrap, gift bags, gift boxes, and tissue paper. Memento boxes, Wine labels and boxes. Awards and plaques. Drinkware. Photo tiles. Journals. Spiral notebooks. Stationery. Laptop stickers. Photo books. Calendars. Photo puzzles. Ornaments. Tablet cases. Yoga mats.
Lay the Groundwork for Success
Study what other online retailers are selling. Determine what your print shop can do differently. Can you pursue a narrower segment of the market? Can you offer some distinctive designs, images, or product fabrications?
Visualize your ideal customer. Will you target specific types of businesses or targeted groups of consumers? For example, will you sell to older suburban homeowners or young, urban apartment dwellers? Will you make custom products for seasoned business travelers or young adventure-seekers? Understanding the type of customer you want to reach will affect the design of your products, website, and marketing plan.
Learn how to reach your targeted customers. What keywords do they use to search for the types of products you offer? Which types of social media do they use most often? Do they join online forums and groups? Do they attend certain events?
Partner with talented designers and niche photographers. The retail value of your niche products will be determined partly by the originality and creativity of your designs and imagery. Consider licensing designs and images from talented artists, designers, and photographers.
Design and show prototypes of your custom products.Build an efficient workflow for printing these products at a predictable cost. Display your products at local events to gauge the level of interest, Take high-quality photographs for your website, email marketing, and press releases.
Develop and execute integrated marketing plans. Bringing people to your website to order custom-printed products for niche markets requires understanding strategies for search-engine optimization, social media, online public relations, content marketing, email marketing, and influencer marketing.
Developing and promoting products for niche markets takes focused effort. But over time, it can help your shop achieve increased revenue streams, a broader customer base, and greater financial stability.
To find the time, you should automate as many of your print-shop processes as possible — including the print-shop management systems needed to handle incoming orders, managing job and customer data, ordering supplies, and preparing shipping labels. When you spend less time managing everyday bottlenecks, you can spend more time expanding your business. Ordant offers print-shop management software that is supremely simple to implement, use, and customize. Our integrated web-to-print module enables online orders to feed directly into the same workflow you use to manage orders from other sources. To schedule a demonstration, visit www.ordant.com