One of the main advantages of working with the print-on-demand business model is the ability to create products tailored to your target audience’s preferences. To do this successfully, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of who your audience is and what they want.
When selecting the optimal niche for your print-on-demand venture, several factors should be taken into account. It’s important to choose a niche with high demand, profitability, and minimal competition. The range of possibilities in print-on-demand niches is vast, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not! I’m here to provide you with professional tips and valuable suggestions to guide you in the right direction.
In this article, you’ll not only learn what defines a print-on-demand niche, but you’ll discover a comprehensive list of print-on-demand niche ideas with examples. I’ll equip you with the knowledge to conduct your own research and determine the profitability of any niche you’re interested in.
So, let’s drop anchor for a moment and uncover a treasure trove of print-on-demand niches awaiting exploration.
A print-on-demand niche is a specific segment or group of consumers with similar interests and behaviors who are targeted by a print-on-demand business.
Understanding your audience’s needs and expectations allows you to create products that resonate with them, leading to greater success with less effort invested in the sales process. By offering items that people are already seeking, you can tap into existing demand and capture the attention of potential customers more effectively.
To illustrate this concept, let’s explore some practical examples.
Significant events have spurred major societal changes over the past several years, influencing the way people think, work, and express themselves. These shifts in behavior have given rise to new business niches and more opportunities for entrepreneurs in the ecommerce realm.
In this exciting scenario, print-on-demand has been making waves as a game-changing solution for new online businesses. The best part? You don’t have to worry about investing upfront in inventory or dealing with stock maintenance.
Taking this into consideration, below is a list of the most popular niches at the moment, along with evergreen ones that have stood the test of time. Each of them offers great potential for online store owners that want to find their ideal customer and boost sales.
Right now, fashion is the leading ecommerce industry in the world. From trending apparel and accessories to fabulous footwear, this market is valued at a staggering $775 billion and projected to skyrocket to $1.2 trillion by 2025. So naturally, it’s a niche that’s worth exploring in 2023.
But here’s a word of advice if you decide to take the plunge and jump into this fashion-forward niche: don’t make the rookie mistake of trying to cater to everyone. By doing that, you’ll have more difficulty standing out from big retailers and building a loyal customer base. On the other hand, working with a more narrow niche within fashion (like hoodies, hats, or swimwear) allows you to create a powerful brand presence and attract high-quality leads through top-notch content and SEO strategies.
Look around and answer fast: how many of your friends and relatives have at least one pet? And how much do they spend on their special companions? In 2021, the global pet care market in the US was valued at $150.67 billion and it’s expected to continue its growth trajectory with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% through 2030.
A shift in towards humanizing our pets coupled with new family structures and smaller households has created a climate where people are more willing to spend money on the well-being of their furry friends—and the products that express our love for them.
This increasing interest in investing in pet-related products and services means pet owners are a consistently profitable niche.
Source: Club Huey
This is another great idea for print-on-demand businesses. Jokes, memes, punchlines, and cartoons can all become funny designs for different kinds of products depending on what makes your audience smile.
For example, if your niche revolves around parents and parenting, think about funny designs that resonate with their kid-centric experiences—it’ll surely hit the mark.
Pro tip: one advantage of working with humor is that you don’t necessarily need detailed designs. Products with witty quotes are an easy way to get started.
Work-related designs can be a lucrative print-on-demand niche too. Each profession has its own unique set of struggles and specialized vocabulary just waiting to be transformed into profitable products. Check out this example from Etsy made for occupational therapists.
Source: VnArtStoreBoutique on Etsy
By tapping into this niche, you can create print-on-demand products that resonate deeply with professionals in specific fields. Whether it’s a clever design highlighting the challenges and triumphs of a particular job, or a smart inside joke that only those in the industry would understand, it’s a chance for professionals to showcase pride and passion for their work. Focusing on a niche like this not only establishes a stronger connection with your target audience, but it creates a sense of exclusivity and belonging.
An increased access to information and the influence of social media have made us more aware of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle in recent years. This has contributed to an annual growth rate of 8.7% in the fitness industry, and meant more searches related to physical and mental well-being. As a result, the demand for products centered around this topic has grown.
Focusing on different sports or physical activities are an amazing print-on-demand niche idea for your online store. Think yoga, tennis, golf, boxing, kayaking. . . the more specific the better.
The growing recognition of the need to balance economic development, environmental protection, and social responsibility make sustainability one of the most relevant niches on this list.
Importantly, print-on-demand is a more sustainable business model than traditional bulk manufacturing since it doesn’t require excess inventory. This means it generates less waste compared to fast fashion (57% of all discarded clothes end up in landfill or burned).
If your audience values eco-friendly products, choose a print-on-demand supplier that operates with responsibility and transparency, offering organic and recycled options in their catalog. Your high-quality custom designs will be the icing on the cake for customers.
Love and family will always provide beautiful inspiration for any design—and makes for a great niche idea. This subject matter evokes deep feelings and helps forge strong connections with customers on a personal level. At the same time, it opens up a range of sub-niches, including those geared towards celebrating all different types of families.
Single parents, same-sex marriages, and families without children are just a few examples of the beautiful variations that exist. By recognizing and embracing these diverse families, your print-on-demand business can help represent an important segment.
Source: TheDoodleBoxShop on Etsy
The rise of streaming music platforms has transformed how people consume and discover tunes, amplifying the impact of music merch. This shift has opened up a world of possibilities for artists and fans alike, offering a vast playground to explore a variety of print-on-demand niche ideas on this topic.
Imagine designing custom t-shirts featuring sheet music for classical music lovers, creating posters showcasing famous album artwork from the disco era, or crafting accessories that pay homage to legendary rock bands. The possibilities are as diverse as the music itself.
Just to give you an idea of how lucrative this market is, in August 2022 the rapper Travis Scott sold $1 million of merch at his two concerts in London, breaking the record that had, until then, belonged to BTS.
Source: Travis Scott's official store
With low revenues coming from streaming services, some experts believe merch could save the music industry, and not only for stars at Scott’s level. Just take a look at our customer RAIGN and her lucrative merch journey.
Faith and mysticism are part of pop culture these days and young people use them as powerful means of self-expression through social media and the products they choose to purchase. That’s the reason why this is a growing market and an exceptional POD niche.
By offering products that align with this spiritually-inclined audience, you can connect with this niche’s expanding potential. Create custom-designed items that feature symbols related to astrology, craft spiritual artwork, or produce merchandise that conveys messages of hope and enlightenment.
Source: Nirvana Threads
Social media has brought social movements to the forefront and provided a platform for people to express their support for different causes like global warming, human rights, animal welfare, a vegan lifestyle, etc.
This is particularly evident among younger audiences. Global data from public relations and research firm Edelman shows that 70% of Gen Zers are involved in social or political movements.
To authentically convey their support, consumers are actively seeking products that align with their values. By exploring this niche, you’ll not only have the support of believers in your chosen cause, but you’ll establish a deep connection that will cultivate long-term customer loyalty and foster meaningful engagement with your brand.
Plus, selling products that advocate for specific social and political movements is a way of positioning your brand as a conduit for individuals to showcase their commitment to the causes they believe in. Do it through thought-provoking designs, impactful slogans, or symbols of unity and use your print-on-demand business to amplify the voices of consumers who want to make a positive difference in the world.
Source: RadicalButtons1 Etsy
Pro tip: research and understand the causes you plan to support, making sure that your messaging is always respectful and accurate.
Whether we’re immersed in playing games, indulging in romantic novels, or binge-watching our favorite reality shows, hobbies create connections and bring a sense of lightness to our lives. They can also serve as the perfect inspiration for discovering the ideal niche for your print-on-demand business.
Not convinced? Think about the fact that a growing number of ecommerce platforms are dedicated to arts and crafts. Or, that regardless of geographical location, music, cooking, and creative endeavors consistently rank among the most popular interests.
Not even the pandemic could derail the global ecommerce market for toys, hobbies, and DIY supplies—it remained resilient. While numerous other industries experienced downturns, this particular market not only weathered the storm but held its own, and is poised to continue its upward trajectory with sustained growth in the years to come. That surely makes hobbies a particularly interesting POD niche to consider.
Traveling is a hobby that deserves a section of its own. Most of us love the rush of visiting another place, and discovering new destinations around the globe has never been easier—or more popular. In fact, according to Mastercard Data & Services, traveler spending on experiences is up 65% as of March 2023, as compared to 2019.
What does this mean for print-on-demand businesses? That individuals are ready to invest in items that make their trips unforgettable. When you think about creating custom designs for this niche, remember that there are different types of travel. For example: luxury, adventure, low-cost, etc. all won’t be attracted to the same kinds of products.
The massive buzz surrounding the highly anticipated 2023 Barbie movie serves as undeniable proof of the immense profitability of the vintage and retro niche. Products that transport people back in time hold a special allure, particularly for Millennials who yearn for nostalgic experiences.
The marketing campaign surrounding the pinkest production of all time provides us with so many compelling examples, from scrunchies and skates to themed apparel and fits, all with a gloriously retro ’90s vibe.
Source: The Pink News
The pop culture market is a thriving industry that attracts a diverse audience with a vast array of products, merchandise, and experiences. From the universe of movies, TV shows, and music to the immersive worlds of video games, comics, and anime, this dynamic market brings so many of us together through shared interests and passions.
This expansive industry has the potential of transcending boundaries and creating a sense of community among individuals who are united by their love of varied iconic content. If this niche is the one for you, don’t forget to use social media trends in your favor.
Source: EutingAssociates on Etsy
Pro tip: if you decide to follow a trend related to TV shows, movies, or books, be careful not to violate intellectual property rights. Don’t use photos or branding without previous authorization. Fan art is usually a good solution to that problem. Read more about this in our article Can I Print That? Copyright and Trademark 101.
The home & living market has witnessed remarkable growth in the past decade. Driven by factors like the increased time spent at home during pandemic, we’ve all been more inclined to take a page out of interior design magazines and spruce up our living spaces of late. And this is great news for the print-on-demand market.
Choosing this niche means offering unique, personalized items that help people reflect their style and personality in their home decor. This makes it even more relevant to remember who you’re selling to, rather than just thinking about the products themselves.
Source: @robinlinerart on Instagram
No matter which niche you choose, venturing into the world of seasonal print-on-demand products can prove to be a lucrative business endeavor. And you can easily experiment with different ideas and designs without having to worry about unloading excess inventory when the season is over.
It’s crucial to remember, though, that strategic planning is key to fully capitalizing on these opportunities. By preparing in advance, you can conduct comprehensive market research, create original, compelling products, and promote them effectively with a sound marketing strategy.
Source: RoseGoldRebel on Etsy
Here are some events and occasions that you should explore:
Back to school
Be prepared for holiday and seasonal opportunities. Download The Ultimate Ecommerce Holiday Calendar for free.
Engaging with people you already know well is unquestionably easier than approaching an unfamiliar audience. With that in mind, create a list of your own interests and the communities or groups you actively participate in.
Google Trends, for instance, enables you to explore the search intent for your niche in recent years. This will help you determine whether or not the subject matter you’re interested in has demonstrated consistent or growing interest. Additionally, platforms like Trend Hunter can provide valuable insights into emerging trends and consumer preferences.
Example of Google Trends research for the term “mental health.” Source: Google Trends
The best niche will be one that not only aligns with your interests but also has a large enough audience to ensure the long-term sustainability of your business.
A good example of this was the impact of Netflix’s series, The Queen’s Gambit, which ignited a surge of interest in chess throughout 2020 and beyond. Notably, chessboard sales skyrocketed by an impressive 87% in the United States following the show’s release.
Also, the monthly searches for “Chess” spiked by a remarkable 189% as compared to the average for the 11 months prior to the show’s launch. This was an extraordinary opportunity for chess enthusiasts and brands focused on the niche to showcase their expertise and profit from it.
Source: erinsdrawings on Etsy
When it comes to seeking out low-competition niches, don’t hesitate to dive into highly specific segments. To illustrate this point further, take the previous example. Rather than targeting a broad audience of “people who play chess,” you could try a more specific demographic, like “young female chess players.”
By narrowing your focus, you position yourself uniquely within the market, allowing your business to connect more intimately with your target audience and cater to their specific needs and interests.
Determining your niche is the first step towards your print-on-demand journey. Here is some final advice to help you navigate the road ahead:
Conduct thorough market research to learn about the different interests, needs, and preferences for potential niches and choose what makes the most sense for your business.
Analyze your competitors and learn from their rights and wrongs. Discover 10 Successful Print-on-Demand Store Examples and What You Can Learn From Them.
Make a list of the products that resonate with your audience.
Find a reliable print-on-demand supplier that prioritizes quality products and services.
Create designs that express your niche’s identity and aesthetic.
Come up with a winning brand name that will help you establish your business within your niche.
Set up your online store to offer a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
Write it all down in a complete business plan that outlines your goals, target market, marketing strategies, and financial projections.
Work on your digital marketing strategy to attract and engage customers using social media, content marketing, SEO, influencers, etc.
Are you ready to embark on your print-on-demand journey and become a reference in your chosen niche? If so, be patient and stay flexible. Building a successful print-on-demand business takes time, dedication, and adaptability. As you progress, be open to adjusting your plans whenever necessary. Each step you take will bring you closer to achieving your ultimate goal.
Gabriela is a creative copywriter, professional blogger, and passionate content marketer with experience in publicity agencies and international companies. She loves sharing her ideas and new trends to bring inspiration to everyone around her.