9 Top Print on Demand Apps for Your Shopify Store

September 12, 2023

print on demand apps scaled print on demand

Print on demand is a powerful way to grow your online clothing store’s revenue without investing heavily in inventory upfront.

The problem is, there’s no short supply of print on demand apps.

Distinguishing between POD suppliers, especially when evaluating ecommerce platforms and determining which app works and makes the most sense for your Shopify brand should be your first port of call.

We’re here to help with that. In this guide to Shopify print on demand, we’ll dive into the nine top apps with Shopify integrations and wrap up with a quick buyer’s guide. This will help you pick the best print on demand company option for your online store.

But first, for those of you new to the world of print on demand and the benefits of partnering with a good print on demand company, let’s briefly explain how it works.

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Build beautiful Shopify landing page<cta-title>DIY your ecommerce landing page design with the best drag-and-drop page builder for Shopify.
Start designing for free

Shopify print on demand 101 

Print on demand (POD) is a business model where the products a store needs are purchased, produced, and distributed as ordered.

While print on demand is more commonly known for clothing apparel (t-shirts, hats, socks, etc.), it’s also a go-to for homewares, accessories, decor, and branded stationery.

To illustrate how POD works, let’s compare it with the traditional model—purchasing inventory in advance—for an online t-shirt store.

First, let’s consider the traditional model. You’ve just created a new tee design and want to get it printed.

You’ll need to forecast and predict sales of that design in different sizes, colors, and fits. Then, pay a clothing manufacturer to create them all for you.

Then, you’ll need to pay to store the items as they (hopefully) sell.

With print on demand, you don’t need to pay for anything upfront. Once you design a mock-up, upload the item to your Shopify store and start selling

Only when a customer hits the buy button is the product created in their desired color, shape, and size. Often, the print-on-demand supplier ships directly to the customer, although this can vary depending on the supplier and your business model.

There’s a clear benefit here—no upfront outlay is required. You don’t need to forecast sales or pay for inventory storage.

The downside is that you’ll be paying a whole lot more per unit, reducing your profit margin, as print on demand tends to be more expensive than bulk ordering in advance since you’re only creating one item at a time.

Still, print on demand is a solid option, especially if you don’t have a lot of capital to invest in a new brand or want to trial products that don’t yet have a sales history.

9 top Shopify print on demand apps for starting your custom biz

Consider leveraging a print on demand service on Shopify. When choosing your print on demand company app, be sure to think about the following key aspects:

  • Product range: Do they stock the right items for your brand?
  • Associated costs: What costs are involved in shipping, printing, and so on?
  • Delivery timeframe: How long can products take to get to your customers?
  • Packaging options: How are products packaged? Is custom packaging available?
  • Availability and quality of customer support: What do user reviews say about customer support?
  • Ease of use: Is the app intuitive, easy to navigate, or clunky and outdated?
  • Product customization: To what degree can you customize print designs, or are you trapped within the app’s design features? 
  • Fulfillment and storage options: Can you print in bulk and store products at the POD supplier? Do they have an Amazon FBA integration?

1. Printful

Screenshot of the Printful homepage website

Printful stands out as a dominant force in the popular print on demand arena, boasting a vast range of top-tier products and distinctive in-house printing. 

Their expansive integrations cater to a broad audience, consistently delivering unmatched quality.

Rating: 

★★★★☆ (4.6/5 from over 4,000 users)

Key features:

  • Stock products from renowned manufacturers like Gildan, Comfort Colors, and Bella + Canvas
  • Famous for high-quality in-house printing

Drawbacks:

  • Slightly more expensive than other suppliers
  • Some reviews complain of poor customer service

Products supported:

  • Wide range of apparel from manufacturers like Gildan, Comfort Colors, and Bella + Canvas.
  • In-house printing on various products.

Pricing:

  • No upfront or registration fees
  • For detailed prices, contact directly

2. Zendrop

Screenshot of the Zendrop website homepage

Zendrop seamlessly merges dropshipping and the always popular print on demand, offering users an intuitive experience further enhanced by top-notch customer service. 

It’s popular among Shopify stores because of its easy-to-use and practical features.

Rating:

 ★★★★☆ (4.7/5 from over 6,000 customers)

Key features:

Drawbacks:

  • POD service is only available on the highest-priced plan, which includes better automation, detailed reports, and unique products for stores looking to grow and work efficiently.

Products supported:

  • A diverse catalog of dropshipping products
  • Print on demand services (specific products not detailed)

Pricing:

  • Free plan – basic access
  • Pro – $49/month (automation, custom branding)
  • Plus – $79/month (POD service)

3. Printify

screenshot of the Printify website homepage

Printify stands out with its blend of affordability and quality, positioning itself as a dependable choice for print on demand and dropshipping businesses. 

They’ve carved a distinct space in a saturated market with a unique quality promise that guarantees satisfaction.

Rating:

 ★★★★☆ (4.4/5 from nearly 2,000 users)

Key features:

  • Assurance of high-quality products and a free reprint if they don’t meet standards
  • Option to place bulk orders for apparel printing

Drawbacks:

  • Complaints regarding shipping times and quality
  • Some accounts closed without notice

Products supported:

  • High-quality apparel and prints
  • Customizable bulk orders for various products

Pricing:

  • Free plan available
  • Premium plan at $24.99/month—includes 10 stores per account, unlimited product designs, and up to a 20% discount on all products

4. ShineOn

Screenshot of the ShineOn website homepage

ShineOn specializes in the jewelry and watch niche, introducing a fresh take on print on demand services. 

They offer extensive training resources, ensuring merchants thrive in their sales and overall business growth.

Rating:

 ★★★★★ (4.8/5 from around 600 users)

Key features:

  • Specializes in jewelry and watches
  • Extensive training resources for sellers

Drawbacks:

  • The app’s user experience isn’t as intuitive or user-friendly as some might expect—it takes time to understand customer needs to build a more intuitive user experience, and they only launched in 2022

Products supported:

  • Custom jewelry—from necklaces to bracelets
  • Watches with custom features

Pricing:

  • Essential features are accessible for free
  • Paid plan at $47/month includes 24/7 support, additional training resources, and Amazon FBA functionality.

5. Apliiq

Screenshot of the Apliiq website homepage

Apliiq captures the essence of streetwear, offering a curated print on demand company experience tailored for the urban clothing market. 

They provide custom products and hands-on expert support, making it the go-to choice for brands aiming for authenticity.

Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ (4.7/5 from around 400 users)

Key features:

  • Specializes in unique streetwear designs like pocket tees and hoodie liners
  • Expert support for designers

Drawbacks:

  • Complaints about hoodie print quality and shipping delays

Products supported:

  • Streetwear designs like pocket tees and hoodie liners

Pricing:

  • Entirely free to use—pay only for products and shipping costs

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Build persuasive and memorable product pages<cta-title>DIY your ecommerce product page design with the best drag-and-drop page builder for Shopify.
Start designing for free

6. Gelato

Screenshot of the Gelato website homepage

Gelato offers a global print-on-demand service, crafting products near the customers. With clear pricing and a wide product selection, merchants enjoy a straightforward and diverse experience.

Rating: 

  • ★★★★☆ (4.5/5 with around 220 reviews)

Key features:

  • Production in over 32 countries
  • Extensive product range, from clothing to wall art

Drawbacks:

  • Quality consistency issues due to a wide supplier base

Products supported:

  • Wide range of products, from clothing to wall art, printed and shipped from over 32 countries

Pricing:

  • Free base app
  • Gelato+ at $14.99/month (premium designs, personalization)
  • Gelato+ Gold at $99/month (free shipping, added support, automation)

7. Teelaunch

Screenshot of the Teelaunch website homepage

Teelaunch caters to the Etsy and Shopify markets, offering a diversified range of products. 

This platform meets all print on demand needs, from t-shirts to unique items like hardwood, under one roof.

Rating: 

  • ★★★★☆ (4.4/5 from more than 600 users)

Key features:

  • Wide product range, including t-shirts, cards, hardwood, and jewelry
  • Integrations for Etsy and Shopify

Drawbacks:

  • Limited design options compared to competitors

Products supported:

  • Diverse product range, including t-shirts, cards, hardwood, and jewelry

Pricing:

  • Free usage—costs apply to products and shipping

8. Printy6

Screenshot of the Printy6 website homepage

Printy6 pushes the boundaries of creativity by allowing merchants to design custom shoes, setting them apart in the crowded print on demand marketplace. 

Their unique offerings and standard products ensure a well-rounded catalog for sellers.

Rating: 

  • ★★★★☆ (4.1/5)

Key features:

  • Unique custom shoe design capability
  • Offers everyday print-on-demand items like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases, providing a comprehensive selection for sellers

Drawbacks:

  • Some issues with production times

Products supported:

  • Custom shoe designs
  • Standard print on demand products like T-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and more

Pricing:

  • Free to install with transparent product pricing

9. SPOD

Screenshot of the SPOD website homepage

SPOD promises speed without compromising quality, making sure that products are in customers’ hands within 48 hours of ordering. 

Their comprehensive catalog caters to a global audience, making swift deliveries in the US and Europe.

Rating: 

  • ★★★★☆ (4.1/5 from over 700 reviews)

Key features:

  • Quick print and ship within 48 hours
  • Production facilities in the US and Europe

Drawbacks:

  • App usability and syncing issues

Products supported:

  • Comprehensive catalog of apparel and prints
  • Production and shipping for a global audience, especially the US and Europe

Pricing:

  • “Free forever” app, costs apply to actual products

What is print on demand?

Print on demand is a business model where instead of purchasing inventory up front, items such as clothing and apparel are printed and delivered only at the point of customer purchase.

Is print on demand profitable on Shopify?

Print on demand can be a highly-profitable way to make money on Shopify.

For many, investing enough inventory upfront to start a store is impossible, meaning print on demand can help new sites get off the ground.

While profit margins will be lower with print on demand than bulk orders, due to the average cost per item, POD can still be profitable if your pricing is optimized.

How much money can you make from print on demand?

Like all business ventures, some will be highly successful from print on demand, whereas others will need help to make an impact.

Some POD store owners, like Michael Essek, claim to make as much as $10,000 monthly using print on demand sites.

Can you use Printify and Printful for Shopify?

Yes, both Printify and Printful have Shopify apps, making it easy to use these companies for Shopify print on demand.

Why is Printful more expensive than Printify?

Printful costs more than Printify primarily because they offer a higher print quality. To ensure that quality, Printful has invested significantly in advanced printing equipment. 

On the other hand, Printify outsources their orders to third-party manufacturers. This allows Printful to have better control over the production process, ensuring a consistently high quality.

What is the difference between dropshipping and print on demand?

Dropshipping and print on demand are similar but slightly different.

In dropshipping, you only place an order with your supplier after a customer orders from your store. The supplier then ships the item directly to your customer, which is why it’s called dropshipping.

With print on demand, you order from your supplier only after a customer purchases from your store—just like in dropshipping. The key difference is that the product is custom-made and printed when you place the order—like a design on a blank t-shirt.

Usually, print on demand products are also shipped directly to the customer.

Is print on demand worth it?

Print on demand can be worth it, so long as you’re able to:
– Maintain a healthy profit margin
– Attract and convert a paying audience

Print on demand tends to come with lower profit margins than the traditional model, as you can secure a better per-unit price when purchasing inventory upfront.

POD can be profitable, depending on your pricing model, but it’s wise to use it as a short-term strategy and then look at increasing profit margins later.

A good strategy is to start with print on demand for new products. 

Once you have some sales history and understand what sales numbers for that particular product might look like, you can more confidently invest in inventory with a lower per-unit cost.

Like any business model, however, you’ll only be profitable if you convert visitors into paying customers.

Drive print on demand success with a high-converting site 

Print on demand can be a lucrative business model for online clothing stores, especially when profit margins are kept positive. 

But remember—success isn’t only about the product. 

Store design and user experience play a pivotal role. A confusing or slow website can quickly push potential customers away. To give your store the best chance at converting visitors, tools like Shogun Page Builder are invaluable.  

With Shogun, you design engaging storefronts and get continuous analytics for deeper campaign insights. Join over 35k Shopify sellers who trust Shogun’s capabilities.   

#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Build high-converting Shopify home pages<cta-title>DIY your ecommerce home page design with the best drag-and-drop page builder for Shopify.
Start designing for free.

Leigha Henderson

Leigha is a content marketing specialist and content creator. She found her path through a love of research, strategy, data, and the written word. (And skiing. She also loves skiing.)

The latest ecomm tips sent to your inbox

share this post

You might also like

Advanced Multi-store Discounts

[go_pricing id="pba-discounts"]

We use cookies to store data for analytics, marketing and personalization to give you a better experience while visiting our website. By remaining on this website, you indicate your consent.
We use cookies to store data for analytics, marketing and personalization to give you a better experience while visiting our website. By remaining on this website, you indicate your consent.