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The definitive Printful 2014 year-end review

The definitive Printful 2014 year-end review
Julia Gifford

By Julia Gifford

5 min read

2014 has been a wild ride. Most certainly for you too, with the growth of your ecommerce store. Here we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting data from 2014, see how it went, and what we can learn for the next year.

Printful has shipped so many shirts that we could clothe the entire population of Greenland
Printful has shipped so many shirts that we could clothe the entire population of Greenland

Amount of registered users

We started out the year with around 800 registered users on Printful. We’re ending it with over 14,000.

What does this mean? You’re on the right track. E-commerce is on the rise so high-five for spotting the opportunity on time!

Average order value

What does this mean? If your products cost less, then you can take advantage of people’s readiness to spend about 35 bucks at your store, and offer them “related” products.

The month with the highest order value is January, with an average of $42.93. We can learn that though January is usually a slump month, people are still willing to buy those things that they didn’t receive for Christmas, so pay special attention!

International Shipping

Countries our products are most often shipped to:

USA – 78%
Canada – 5.54%
Great Britain – 4.97%
Australia – 3.03%
Germany – 1.13%

What does that mean? These are the countries you should be marketing towards, the data implies that the inhabitants of these countries are more ready to buy online.

Our top seller: The American Apparel 2001 t-shirt

This is our top seller for several reasons. As an American Apparel garment, it’s made in the USA, sweat-shop free (which is important for many stores). It’s also available in many sizes and colors.

We’ve shipped 58,702 t-shirts

Enough to clothe the population of Greenland, or to fill the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmondon, Canada.

Stadium picture
This year Printful has shipped enough t-shirts to clothe each person who fits in this stadium

We’ve shipped 23,386 prints

Empire state building

That’s enough to completely wallpaper the outside of the Empire State Building.

Added 3 new product categories

1

And plan to expand even more in 2015

We ship in 2.7 days

Our average shipping time is 2.7 days. That means we get an order shipped within 2.7 business days of it coming in. Yes, we’re that fast.

Truck

We’ve Embraced Innovation

To efficiently manage the high influx of orders and keep bootstrapped as long as possible, we try to optimize every element of the printing process. That means having the best machines, nicely labeled bins, and also, an excellent pick-up process. At first we built custom iPod apps that meant that we didn’t have to run back to the computer to check each product that had to be picked up (item, brand, color, size).

When Google Glass came out, we used the opportunity to make the pickup process even easier. By using Glass to pickup items, it frees up both hands, keeps things a little safer, and lets you carry more items. We made a Google Glass app in one day, and this is what came out of it.

$200,000 worth in attempted fraud

Credit card fraud is a very real problem in the ecommerce industry. Printful caught 96 fraudsters this year, who had tried to steal more than $200,000 worth in items. Luckily, we caught the majority of them.

What does this mean? Your ecommerce store is at risk, too! Keep an eye out for suspicious orders and potential fraudsters. We use Sift Science and MinFraud to catch potential fraud. We’ll send you notifications if we detect suspicious activity in your transactions.

$68,000 in redo’s

It’s no secret that not every print comes out perfect. Sometimes there’s a paper jam, a wrinkle, whatever may be. We’ve reprinted over $68,000 worth of items that didn’t manage to go through our quality control.

What does this mean? You can rest assured that your customers will receive top-notch items. We’re not cheap, we won’t send you a sub-par item.

Cyber 5 – the busiest days of the year

From Thanksgiving Thursday to Cyber Monday, these 5 days are hands down the most busy for the ecommerce industry.

This year, according to Printful data, stores received on average 3x more orders on one of the Cyber 5 days than on any other day of the year.

Of all the cyber 5, the most orders BY FAR is Cyber Monday.

Cyber 5 orders comparing 2013 to 2014

Compared to the previous year, when Cyber Monday only had a few more purchases than the other days, this year it had significantly more, which shows us that ecommerce is on the rise (totally in accordance with all the other industry data that exists).

Lesson for next year: taking advantage of cyber 5 deals is a must if you want to triple your orders. Make a big Cyber Monday push, because people are willing to buy.

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Customer with received custom jacket
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24 blog posts this year

We’ve written and published 24 blog posts this year. Turns out blogging is a great way to rank in Google, reach new customers, and in turn receive new customers. Our blog is actually the top referrer we have that sends people to the Printful website, besides Google searches.

What this means for you: do you have a blog on your store? Maybe you should consider making one. The evidence is undeniable – blogging helps business. Here are some more reasons, if you’re not convinced. And the Shopify blog also has great articles on marketing your ecommerce store. The articles are incredibly valuable even if you’re not on the Shopify platform.

To keep up with your growth in orders, every month we’re hiring even more employees to help with printing. Know anyone who’d be interested in working at the Printful HQ? We’re hiring.

We moved into an office 5x bigger

And are looking for an office 3x bigger for next year

By the way, if you haven’t seen our current space yet, check out the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7ryHQfmOkc

3 babies were born into Printful this year

Our US HQ’s softball team won 3 games of a 10-game season

But scored 65 home runs

Our Latvian office’s hockey team this season has won 2/5 games this season

Looking forward to 2015

We hope your year has been as exciting and growth-filled as ours has. This sets us up to be in the ideal position to rock it in 2015. Besides our usual growth, here are some of the things we’re looking forward to launching in 2015:

– screen printing (you might be even able to keep your stock with us!)
– giclée prints
– t-shirt sublimation printing
– dog apparel

Now it’s your turn

Tell us about your 2014 in the comments – what are you most proud of? What did you learn?

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By Julia Gifford on Dec 18, 2014

Julia Gifford