TFE/TFE Licensing, February 2020

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Print on Demand And How It Can Work For You BY JANICE ROSS Print on demand (POD) is not new to e-commerce or the licensing industry, but what is new is the myriad categories beyond just t-shirts and mugs and the exponential increase in the number of POD platforms on which to sell such as Merch by Amazon or Etsy. This perfect (POD) storm presents new opportunities for brand building, growing a revenue stream and consumer insights. POD has been on an upward trajectory in recent years due to advancement in printing technologies that have improved product quality while maintaining or lowering the cost of goods. Coupled with the ability to get product to consumers in one day, POD can now deliver on the “next day” gratification customers have come to expect with online purchases. Building on these favorable market conditions, POD is drafting off of some long-lasting trends which include love of nostalgia, collectability and limited-edition everything. While POD is not fully customizable or exclusive, it’s a close cousin that gives consumers the ability to create their own version through a series of selections on design, style and color. The result is a “one-of-a-kind”– and “this was made just for me,” feel without the cost of time and money for hard-to-get exclusive collections. The business case for POD is equally as compelling. Each day millions of people are searching for a wide variety of different products. With endless “shelf space,” POD benefits from the ability to literally have millions of sku’s. That depth and breadth of choice means that POD can capture and convert search inquires to sales opportunities. Not to mention, POD means you never run out of stock. Business 101 will tell you; inventory availability is the key to a good customer experience. SEO also rewards POD for always being in stock because it will push the prod-

ucts towards the top of search, leading to more sales opportunities. Brand owners also stand to gain from the POD ecosystem. Unique designs can drive fan interest and excitement and will demonstrate what is and is not resonating with your followers. Because there are no inventory risks, brands can also celebrate special events or milestones that brick and mortar retailers could not accommodate. New and different product designs can help build a brand story and with great marketing and digital advertising, the results can be both revenue-generating and a deeper connection with your brand fan base. Trevor George, CEO of Trevco and Blue Wheel Media knows that the magic formula to winning on a marketplace like Amazon in the POD category requires 3 critical components: 1. Offering a large selection of products, styles and designs. 2. Investing in targeted marketing and advertisi ng. 3. Delivering a great customer experience sup ported by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! As a top seller of licensed POD products on Amazon and marketplaces around the world, Trevco knows you have to distribute to where your customers are. Equally important, George shared, “you have to make your product discoverable, and effective advertising based on SEOrich product info and keywords can do just that.” As a brand owner, if you considered POD in the past but didn’t think there was a good business case to take the leap, look again. POD gives you the opportunity to capture a piece of the ever-growing online sales revenue, drive fan engagement through robust design selections and test new ideas with little or no risk.

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