Tutorials & How To's

Switching from digital designs to prints

From digital to physical - let's see how and why!
Published:
October 20, 2021

Digital art is in demand

These days creating digital artworks is a legitimate business opportunity. People want something unique, custom, personal, and artists are happy to give what they want. Selling digital files is simple and lucrative. But is it the best option you have? No. This article is all about how and why you should go for physical products with your designs printed on them.

Why printing is better than files

Physical items can justify their price easier than digital files. The customer actually receives something tangible, and understands that materials, labour, shipping all have a cost. Due to this, you can set higher pricing with larger profit margins. We have partners setting a 100EUR price tag for a standard 50x70cm poster. This would be impossible with a digital download!

Customers will receive a physical copy of your design, and not the perfect, ready-to-use digital version. Design stealing is a bigger problem than you might think. We have seen multiple cases where someone buys an artwork from a shop, then opens their own shop and sells it for cheaper. Selling prints lets you avoid this issue.

Furthermore, with prints, you can customize the customer journey and reach customer on a deeper level. Think about a letter - receiving an actual handwritten letter feels so special, so heartwarming. An email? Not so much. It is similar with products, you can add stickers, written notes and other goodies to the package, which will be more impactful than digital stuff. Why is this important? Because good customer experience leads to loyal (returning) customers, who will shop again and also tell friends.

How to start selling prints

For the purposes of this article, let's assume that you already have an online shop selling digital designs, so you already have half of the work done! First, you need to decide what products to sell. Previously, your product was a file, but now you have a choice between stuff like apparel, canvas, posters, tote bags and whatnot. Or just pick all of them! You can choose products you're interested in personally, or do market research for the most profitable options, or take a look at your designs to decide which is the best format for displaying them. For example, if you paint art on canvas, then scan it to a digital file, then selling the stretched canvas product would make a lot of sense.

After choosing products, the most important part now is to find a supplier who will produce items with your designs and ship them to your customers. These two are complicated and costly things to do on your own, so it is best to partner up with a company who already has the necessary infrastructure in place. If you chose Printseekers, that's great! After getting in touch, it is important to negotiate all the details - the pricing, the types of products you want to sell, fulfillment times and other.

Now your orders will need to be actually fulfilled. To do this, you need to forward any new orders to the supplier so they can see them and start producing them. There are multiple ways to do this, such as providing limited shop access or filling out a table, and you will choose the best method together with the supplier. Luckily, you don't need to do anything else with orders, the supplier takes care of both production and shipping!

You will also need to make adjustments to your shop as well. Listing descriptions need to be updated with information about the product itself, such as materials and dimensions. Product images are important to show the physical nature of the product and how it might look like in real life. If taking pictures is not an option, then mockups are also okay. Last, but not least, digital downloads are instant, but manufacturing physical items is not. You need to add realistic fulfillment times (production+shipping). This information can be received from your supplier.

Print on demand supplier will help

Hopefully, you have an idea now how and why to convert from a digital-only shop to selling print products. And it is okay if you still have questions or need any help, that's why we have personal managers for our partners! Let's get to work.

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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).