Guides & Explainers

Print on Demand Industry Facts and Predictions – Now and in the Future

Published:
November 24, 2023
12
min read
Table of contents:

In the ever-changing landscape of business, the print-on-demand industry has risen as a dynamic player. Its expansion and transformation have been shaped by a mix of technology and evolving customer preferences. Join us on a journey through the world of print-on-demand as we unravel the present-day realities and gaze into the crystal ball to anticipate the exciting prospects that await this industry in the future.

What is print on demand?

A Print-on-Demand (POD) business prints products on demand as soon as orders come in. One of the notable features of this business is that it doesn't require any minimum orders.

POD will help you to sell white-label products with your own customized design from a supplier. These products (t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, etc.) are then sold by you on a pre-order basis to your customers. 

In short, an order comes in, you contact a POD service (for example, us, Printseekers.com) and the supplier does all the work – allocating material, making the product, printing the design, and shipping it to your customer.

History of print on demand

The beginning of the POD Industry set its foot in the global world in the 1960s. An artist and inventor, Michael Vasilantone, created the idea of screen printing. This led to the possibility of creating new designs at ease.

By the 1980s, printers became available to the general public, and the process of print-on-demand was off. This concept originated from simple paper printing and subsequently expanded into the domain of fabrics, encompassing clothing and apparel, a process commonly referred to as Direct-to-Garment (DTG) printing.

The first ever DTG Printer was named 'Revolution,' and in the 90s, several companies started offering POD services.

Benefits of print on demand

In terms of advantages, the POD Industry excels like no other. POD enables you to:

  • Reduce the influx of costs that are primarily related to inventory and outdated designs
  • Streamlining print ordering system
  • Fast turnaround times and quality results
  • There are endless possibilities to customize products
  • It is environmentally friendly

Print on demand industry today

In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce and customized products, the Print on Demand industry stands as a vibrant and dynamic sector. Today, it has transformed into a powerhouse, reshaping the way businesses approach manufacturing, marketing, and consumer engagement. Let's delve into the current state of this industry and explore the key factors driving its remarkable growth and innovation.

Market Size

The POD Industry has received remarkable growth throughout the most recent years. On the global level, the sheer market size of the Print on Demand Industry accounted for $6.34 Billion in 2022.

It is certainly not wrong to say that the world of e-commerce, accompanied by the POD Industry, is booming. The print on demand e-commerce industry has remained a strong unit in the last years despite the challenges the world has faced in that time. That is why the POD Industry is more significant than ever before as of 2023.

Latest trends in print on demand industry

In this dynamic world of customizable products, it's vital to understand the latest trends, the very pulse of the industry. Let’s have a look!

Sustainable printing

Sustainability and nature-friendly choices are something a lot of people these days pay attention to. It is no surprise that it has become a trend in print on demand industry as well. Eco-inks and organic cotton are the top choices. As well as more eco-aware packaging, for example, from recycled materials or paper. 

Limited editions and exclusivity

The demand for owning something unique in this global society has definitely risen. As for print on demand industry, it is the perfect opportunity to offer something exclusive, for example, a special design. 

Merchandise

The new profession of content creators and influencers has driven the merchandise market to new heights. From bloggers and YouTubers to Instagram personalities, people with a wide following are excited to create something that represents their brand and values. It is the perfect way to expand their business and give something special to their subscribers.

Printed Home Decor

Personalization is key. And sometimes it is just hard to find in the stores exactly what you are looking for and for the right price. With printed home decor, for example, posters and canvas, you can have affordable and high-quality home decor. It is also a possibility for designers to show off their work and offer it to wider audiences.

Collaborations

Print on demand offers the perfect medium for artists and companies to come together and create an exclusive design. Collaborations between different fields are exciting for the collaborators as well as the audience. And if the end result is something unique and interesting, that’s even better!

Global Expansion

Globalization is not yet slowing down, and print on demand industry is definitely taking advantage of this trend. It is possible to order a design online, have it printed in Europe and sent to U.S. in just a few days. Global logistics are becoming more and more available which helps print on demand businesses to expand their audience worldwide.

Inclusive Sizing and Styles

Body acceptance is something we as a society have been working on for a while now. And that includes having inclusive sizing and styles that work for different body types. Print on demand companies now offer sizes from XS to 5XL and different cuts for their apparel.

Responsive Customer Service

As humans, we have grown to value our time and connections more than before. It means we expect respectful communication, fast responses, and helpful customer service. Here at Printseekers.com we offer working with one project manager from day one. It helps with the workflow, they get to know your business very well and can offer the best solutions just for you. And as a bonus, you don’t have to wait and run around to find the “right person” to speak to. Interested in working with us as a print on demand supplier? Contact us and your new manager will get in touch!

Challenges and Opportunities

The biggest hurdle to cross is increased competition. The world of print on demand is an amazingly crowded place. With new entrants popping up (launching) each day, there's no telling what the market size has grown up to at this very moment. 

Increased competition has made it greatly difficult for new businesses to stand out and get their hands on market share. Furthermore, the cash flow has become complex, and apparent increases in the prices of products and running a business in 2023 just add an extra load of challenges for today's entrepreneurs.

However, there are a set of opportunities, too. With the emerging trends and newer findings each day, consumer products change day to day. This means that you can have success selling customized products, and much more.

Print on demand industry predictions

In the fast-paced world of print-on-demand, staying ahead of the curve is both a challenge and a necessity. To navigate this ever-evolving landscape successfully, it's crucial to peer into the future and make informed predictions. Join us as we delve into some key industry predictions, offering insights into the potential twists and turns that lie ahead in the exciting world of POD.

Market Growth

With the rapid growth in this business, the Print on Demand Industry's market size is bound to grow up to $67.59 Billion by 2032, marking its increase at a CAGR of 26.71% in the time span of 2023 to 2032.

The overwhelming demand for changing fashion trends increased purchasing capabilities, as the advancements in printing tech will rapidly increase the market growth of the print on demand industry.

Technological Advancements

Innovation and inventions in the tech world are bringing massive improvements in daily life. These tech advancements aren't merely affecting every aspect of your everyday life but also shaping a newer, more improved, quicker, and somewhat complex future.

The tech advances in the POD Industry are the same. Newer ways of etching designs and printing media have taken form. Moreover, many such pieces of tech are already being used the world over, such as:

  • 3D printing technology
  • Sustainable printing practices (using recycled materials, biodegradable inks, and energy-efficient equipment)
  • The option for personalized printing
  • Augmented Reality (AR) printing (virtual try-ons and tutorials, etcetera)
  • Using Nanotechnology for high-quality printing
  • Cloud printing
  • Digital printing

These also relate best to newer trends and various applications being adopted in the POD Industry. There is an increased demand for:

  • Customized and personalized apparel
  • Customized home decor
  • Personalized accessories
  • Drinkware and so much more

Sustainability

The future holds the key to an exceptionally sustainable and efficiently structured way of producing goods and delivery hassle-free. 

But one thing is for sure: the Print on Demand Industry is on the verge of changing the world for the better. There is a dire need for printing practices in such a way that it has the least effect on the surrounding environment. This may include:

  • Use of eco-friendly materials
  • Lessening waste
  • Seeking alternatives to harmful substances for less harmful ones
  • Use of biodegradable inks (soy ink, for example)

Conclusion

The print-on-demand industry has grown a lot recently and is expected to keep growing. As we've explored the facts and predictions within this industry, it's evident that the convergence of digital technology, customization, and evolving consumer preferences is reshaping the way we produce and purchase goods. With the increasing emphasis on sustainability, personalization, and niche markets, print-on-demand is set to continue its ascent.

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On the 22 July, 2022 Printseekers signed an agreement with Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), agreement No. SKV-L-2022/320. The project “Printseekers International Competitiveness Promotion” is co-financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).