Are you wondering how to sell t-shirts online? Having a thriving online Direct To Garment (DTG) business is now more viable than ever with new advancements in the technology. New high end printers, purpose built for garment printing are more affordable and easier to operate and maintain, which means less downtime and more reliable production. Equipment reliability is essential to success in DTG to deliver product affordably, quickly, and on time is critical to selling products online.
But it’s important not to forget that the biggest advantage to DTG is the ability to create a full color, custom, 1 off shirt in a matter of minutes. That is the key to success with these printers. I’m going to show you how to expand your DTG offerings into an online store and how to sell your products online with little to no overhead.
Pick a Website:
Let’s start with your website. If you have a DTG business and you do not have a website, I highly encourage you to make one. Marketing your business online is a large component to diversifying your customer base and expanding your business. To learn more about marketing your DTG business, read this article.
There are numerous web template companies where you can easily customize a website for your business. Some cross over and offer webstores or ecommerce options like Shopify or Squarespace. I say avoid those options, they are expensive and not versatile enough, let me explain.
If your garment decoration business is focused on servicing your community and customers paying for custom art volume orders, I suggest having an informational and service driven site first and developing an online store as a plugin, redirect, or link back.
If your business is largely generated by online sales of predesigned custom printed product, going with an online store predominant site might seem to make sense. Don’t limit this site to selling your product however, have a page or two that outlines your ability to do large volume and custom orders.
Because DTG is so versatile, where you can offer the custom art volume orders, and one off pre-designed webstore concepts, to be most effective I argue you should have 1 informational service site and at least 1 webstore. Don’t fall in the trap of signing up for expensive Shopify and having 1 site for all of your services. Multiple linked sites are a huge advantage in getting your product and message out. Have 2 sites that work together, and better yet, do it for free. Here’s how.
Pick a platform:
I’m going to focus on free options. I like free and the free options are a solid foundation for growth. You can jump into expensive monthly options with crazy bells and whistles but I think this is one area where you can be very effective starting with little to no expense.
Free options for a website builder:
I like google and doing all things Google partly because I want to get in good with Google and do everything I can to increase my SEO ranking. So my first choice is sites.google.com. Simply create a Google account for your business and select a template for your free Google website. From here you can pick a domain name, set up email, google map location, manage your Adwords and Analytics and much more; all very streamline and in one convenient account and location.
I also use WordPress mainly because they have been around a long time and I know the platform. It’s easy, and free, and can be very customizable and effective, but it’s my 2nd choice. Google is just to integrated now to argue other free options.
Some other free options are Sitebuilder.com. Websitebuilder.com. Haven’t used them but they do get high reviews. Still, not sure why anyone would use these over google.
To recap, pick your domain and set up your free site. Remember, this is the place where customers can learn about your custom printing services, pricing, turn around, your shop location, about your business, contact info, testimonials, etc.
Start an ecommerce/webstore site:
Again, I like free. There are not as many options with free webstore templates. Wix.com does have a free option however, and it’s very versatile. In fact I love the wix.com free option so much, it’s the foundation to my argument why every DTG service site should have an ecommerce platform.
There are a number of options for an online store and many are great, but they cost and I don’t necessarily want to spend more money than I have to when starting up. Plus, when starting with the free Wix option, you can easily upgrade to paid options with the same features as the main competitors and you wont’ ever have to rebuild your page. Simply pay for added features and build on what you already have.
So here are the drawbacks with the free Wix option. You are limited to 5 free products and your domain must include wix.com. Now this is not a problem for me when starting my webstore because this is going to be an extension of my main webpage, a plug in.
On your website, simply create a button for webstore or whatever you want to call it, and link back to your Wix ecommerce page, easy.
Now having this store opens a whole new revenue stream for your website and business and has multiple functions, plus, you can create as many free webstores with Wix as you like, see where I’m going with this?
Sell your unique ideas:
Garment decorators are creative people and most of us have some great shirt ideas, well because you own a DTG printer you can make as many or as few as you like and the best part is you don’t have to pay a screen printer to make them.
Put together some of your favorite ideas, create some original art and print a sample or two, take some photos and put them on your Wix ecommerce page. Here’s the best part, you don’t have to carry any inventory, you can print after the order is placed. This is HUGE for limiting your cost and overhead. Order the blank after the order was placed and simply print on demand.
Create your own brand and market it:
Try taking the unique ideas concept further. Develop a, niche apparel brand. It cost you nothing but time and brain power. There are a TON of branded companies out there that cater to every interest. Maybe it’s the city you love, or a specific type of dog or cat, or fishing.
A little creativity and proper product placement can go a long way.
Here are 4 examples of a niche market.
Create stores for reorder customers:
Chances are you have customers asking you to print goods for them. That’s one reason why you want a main informational website. How about approaching your most qualified customers and incorporate a custom Wix page just for them? You can host 5 of their most popular designs for free. When they need to order, they can simply go to the page you created specifically for them, and place the order. Talk about customer service! This is ideal for schools, restaurants, anyone that does multiple reorders.
DTG is extremely an versatile decoration option. With the right equipment you have the ability to deliver full color, full custom, high quality, 1 off prints quickly. Use this to your advantage and create a webstore and let the internet work for you. No need to carry printed inventory of concepts that may never sell. Put your concepts out there for the world to see and when someone wants to buy it, print it on demand. Now that’s smart business.
New to t-shirt printing or have been using heat transfer or screen printing? Click here to learn more about the benefits of Direct To Garment printing.