If you are running or planning to start a print-on-demand business, then you need to find a platform that is going to help you do this in the most efficient way possible.
And while there are plenty of ecommerce platforms out there that can be used for building a print-on-demand store, there are better options than others down to:
- The number of integrations that they offer
- How many marketing tools they include
That is why we created our list of what we think are the best ecommerce platforms for print-on-demand stores.
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Best for Print-on-Demand Stores
When it comes to print-on-demand, nothing really comes close to Shopify as it offers:
- The largest number of integrations
- A good selection of marketing features and a large number of marketing apps
- An easy-to-use platform
This is why it is the go-to ecommerce platform for many Print-on-Demand businesses and many of the apps offer high levels of automation, which leaves you to focus on the important aspects of running your business such as marketing and customer service.
But what exactly does Shopify offer in terms of Print-on-Demand?
One advantage that Shopify does offer over all of the other options on this list is that it is currently the only ecommerce platform that has an integration with YouTube, meaning that content creators can link their Shopify store to their YouTube channel and display products directly below their videos.
It is also very easy to set up a store for your print-on-demand products using Shopify as they have made the platform easy to use, even if you have never built an online store before and there are plenty of Shopify tutorials out there to help you get started.
|Number of Products||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
In terms of monthly pricing, Shopify is similar to many other platforms out there but they do differ in two main ways:
- Shopify doesn’t have annual turnover limits on any plan
- Shopify does charge a transaction fee on all payments received using third-party payment gateways such as PayPal or Amazon pay
If you are taking payments using Shopify’s in-house payment gateway Shopify Payments then you won’t pay the additional transaction fee. If you are unsure which plan is best for your business, then check out our free Shopify fee calculator.
Shopify Pros and Cons
Who Is Shopify Best For?
Shopify is best for anyone looking to start a print-on-demand, whether you are a designer, entrepreneur or content creator.
They offer the largest number of Print-on-Demand integrations and have a large number of marketing features that you can use.
If you want to learn more about Shopify, then check out our Full Review.
Best Alternative to Shopify
If you don’t want to use Shopify for your online store, then you will want to consider Bigcommerce as not only are they one of Shopify’s biggest competitors but they also have a decent offering when it comes to their print-on-demand options.
While the main focus of Bigcommerce is enterprise level ecommerce businesses, they do also cater to small and medium-sized businesses with their Essentials plan that offer users a great selection of tools to help them start selling online, including:
As you can see, they don’t offer as much as Shopify but there is still more than enough to get you started as they offer integrations with all the major Print-on-Demand companies, the Bigcommerce platform is also very easy to get started with and use.
|Number of Products||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
As you can see, Bigcommerce is very similar to Shopify in terms of monthly cost but the big difference is that they have annual turnover limits and they are some of the smallest in the industry with the entry-level basic package only having a $50,000 per annum limit.
For larger stores, you can choose to use the Advanced Package and pay an additional $150/m for an additional $200,000 limit per year or choose to upgrade to a custom enterprise package.
Bigcommerce doesn’t charge any transaction fees and offers a selection of 65 pre-installed payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay and Apple Pay.
Bigcommerce Pros and Cons
Who Is Bigcommerce Best For?
Bigcommerce is best for anyone who doesn’t want to use Shopify but wants a platform that offers a similar set of features.
It is also a very good option for businesses looking to add Print-on-Demand alongside their own products.
If you want to learn more about Bigcommerce, then check out our Full Review.
Best for Small Print-on-Demand Stores
Coming in third place on our list is Wix it offers a low-cost alternative to Shopify and Bigcommerce, which can be very appealing to smaller stores but still includes a full website builder, a good selection of integrations and marketing tools, such as:
As you can see, Wix doesn’t offer quite as much in terms of integrations or marketing tools as the top two options but this is very much countered by the pricing of Wix, which is considerably lower as we will cover more below.
You may notice that we scored Wix lower than some of the options below but Wix is one of the few ecommerce platforms to offer 10+ Print-on-Demand integrations, which is why it placed third on our list.
|Number of Products||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
One of the big advantages that Wix has is that they are one of the cheapest options around when it comes to monthly subscription costs and all plans come with:
- Unlimited Products
- No Annual Turnover Limits
- No Transaction Fees
This can make Wix very attractive to business who are looking to start a Print-on-Demand business on a budget.
Wix Pros and Cons
Who Is Wix Best For?
Wix is best for people or businesses who are looking to start a Print-on-Demand website on a budget.
This is because you get a full website builder and a good selection of integrations and marketing tools for a very reasonable monthly price.
If you want to learn more about Wix, then check out our Full Review.
Best for Existing Websites
If you have an existing website and want a quick and easy way to start selling Print-on-Demand products through it, then you definitely want to consider Ecwid or you could use their website builder to create a simple online store.
Due to the excellent integration with WordPress, Ecwid is a great option for bloggers who are looking to monetize their blog with Print-on-Demand as it only requires 1 plugin and the checkout is fully secure.
When it comes to integrations, Ecwid is a bit limited but they do offer some good marketing tools:
Ecwid definitely does a good job on the marketing side and it would be nice to see them increase their Print-on-Demand offering.
Ecwid is also one of the easiest platforms to get started with, the interface is well-designed and easy to navigate and all of the dashboard pages are simple and easy to use, which makes it a great option for businesses looking for a reasonably priced, easy-to-use shopping cart.
|Number of Products||100||2,500||Unlimited|
Ecwid also offers a completely free package and is one of the best free ecommerce platforms out there but the plan is limited in terms of only being able to sell up to 5 products and not having access to all of the platform’s features.
Ecwid also doesn’t have turnover limits or transaction fees, which makes the pricing very straightforward and they offer a selection of over 30 payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe and Square.
Ecwid Pros and Cons
Who Is Ecwid Best For?
Ecwid is a great option for people or businesses with an existing website who want to add a fully-hosted checkout to their store.
It is also a great option for bloggers looking to add Print-on-Demand due to its excellent integration with WordPress.
If you want to learn more about Ecwid, then check out our Full Review.
Best Self-Hosted Platform for Print-on-Demand
If you are looking to go down the self-hosted route with your Print-on-Demand store, then WordPress and WooCommerce are one of the best options out there as they offer one of the largest selections of integrations along with numerous marketing options, such as:
As you can see there are a lot of options to choose from but you will need to install quite a few different plugins on your site, including payment gateways in order to be able to start taking orders.
One thing we noticed when doing the research for this list was that many of the Print-on-Demand plugins for WooCommerce have lower ratings than apps from the same company on the other platforms mentioned on this list.
But WooCommerce does offer a lot more in terms of options for Print-on-Demand than many other self-hosted platforms, so if this is the route you want to go down, then WooCommerce is definitely worth checking out.
The WooCommerce plugin is free to use with self-hosted sites but you will need to pay for hosting for the WordPress CMS. Additional plugins and themes may also need to be paid for options.
WooCommerce Pros and Cons
Who Is WooCommerce Best For?
WooCommerce is a very good option if you want complete control over your website as it is self-hosted and open-source.
It also offers a large number of plugins, not only with Print-on-Demand suppliers but also marketing options as well.
If you want to learn more about WooCommerce, then check out our Full Review.
What to Consider When Choosing an Ecommerce Platform for your Print-on-Demand Business?
When it comes to choosing an ecommerce platform for your Print-on-Demand business, there are a few things that you want to think about.
1. Do you want a Hosted or Self-Hosted store?
There are lots of ecommerce platforms out there but they generally fall into one of two categories and deciding which one is best for you, will make the choice easier.
- Hosted ecommerce platforms, sometimes known as SaaS (Software as a Service) include a website builder, web hosting and in most cases support
- Most hosted platforms are subscription services, meaning you pay a monthly or annual fee for using the platform
- All technical aspects such as hosting setup, performance, security etc are taken care of for you
- Self-hosted platforms require you to buy your own hosting and then install your chosen software
- While the software itself may be free to use, you will need to pay for your hosting and possibly an SSL certificate
- Little to no support and you will either have to manage it yourself or employ the services of a developer
For many print-on-demand stores, a hosted ecommerce platform is probably going to be the best way to go as it is the easiest way to start building an online store.
2. Integrations and Features
With Print-on-Demand, you will in most cases be outsourcing the order fulfillment to a third-party company and ideally, you want to automate this process as much as possible, so check to see if your chosen print partner offers an app or plugin for the platform you want to use.
The second set of features you want to check for is marketing tools as marketing your store correctly is going to be a key factor in whether or not your store is going to be successful, so check to see what marketing tools they offer as standard along with any apps or plugins for additional marketing features.
Another feature you want to consider is the payment options that are available as you want to offer your customers a few different options, including:
- Credit Card
- Mobile Payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay etc)
As this can increase your store’s conversion rate.
3. How Easy is it to Use
Choosing a platform that is easy to use is very important when it comes to running a successful Print-on-Demand business as it can save you time and a lot of headaches, some things you want to consider are:
- Getting your store set up
- Changing theme & theme customization
- How well do the integrations work
- Inventory and Order management
This is why we recommend trying out a couple of options before committing to one platform as even though we can make our recommendations, they might not be right for you.
Choosing the right ecommerce platform for your Print-on-Demand business is a very important part as you want to choose a platform that is going to help not hinder your business.
And while it can be very tempting to go with the cheapest option to start with, this could actually end up costing you time and money in the long run, so spend a little bit of time trying out the options that you think might work for your business and then select the one that you feel is going to work best.
Editors Choice: Shopify
Shopify comes out top for starting a Print-on-Demand website because it offers:
- A large number of Print-on-Demand apps
- A good selection of marketing features
- It is easy to get started with and use