Looking at current print on demand statistics is an excellent way to ascertain the current trajectory and potential of this growing business model. At present, demand for print on demand (POD) solutions is growing rapidly throughout the globe, driven by a host of factors.
Since the pandemic in particular, print on demand selling has exploded, offering retailers, merchants, and members of the creator economy an opportunity to access new sources of revenue. At the same time, consumers are searching for more sustainable, personalized products, boosting demand for the print on demand approach.
In the last decade alone, POD opportunities have transformed from a relatively unknown concept into a worldwide phenomenon. Today, we’re going to take a look at just some of the most valuable statistics you should know if you’re interested in joining the POD market.
General Print on Demand Statistics for 2023
Promising minimal risk, excellent sustainability, and low start-up costs, print on demand has grown to be an extremely popular choice for creators around the world. Print on Demand is growing almost as quickly as the ecommerce market overall, which is projected to reach a value of $7.4 trillion by 2025. Here are some statistics highlighting the evolution of the POD industry.
The digital printing industry grew by nearly $190 billion in 25 years
Officially, the digital printing industry, responsible for driving much of the print on demand market, launched for the first time in 1993. Between then and 2018, the market had already grown in value by around $187.7 billion, demonstrating exceptional demand.
However, in recent years, the interest in digital printing has grown even faster. Between 2017 and 2020, for instance, the POD apparel industry grew at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 12%.
Search interest in Print-on-demand rose significantly at the start of the pandemic
While numerous factors have contributed to the meteoric rise of print on demand popularity, the pandemic played a huge role in the evolution of the business model. In 2020, search interest increased significantly, alongside the start of the pandemic. In 2023, search volumes for “Print on Demand” and “POD” remain high above the pre-pandemic level.
The continued strength of the search volume for these terms indicates that print on demand continues to sustain its popularity, even after the initial surge of the pandemic.
Demand for personalized products has grown drastically in recent years
A growing interest in personalized products also seems to be pushing the print on demand market forward. According to one report, 48% of today’s customers say they’re willing to wait longer to receive their item, if it means they can access a personalized product.
The Print on Demand software market is growing at a CAGR of 31.5%
According to Global Newswire, the global print on demand software market has been growing at an exponential rate for the last couple of years. By 2029, the industry is expected to be growing at a CAGR of approximately 31.5%, reaching a potential value of around $28 billion.
According to the report, retailers are drawn to POD software thanks to its ability to reduce the time involved in inventory management, and the opportunity to create more unique customized products. Additionally, the reduction of costs involved in maintaining stock and inventory are big factors.
The global commercial printing market will reach $574.12 billion by 2030
The commercial printing market, also connected to the POD landscape, is also on the rise. According to one research report from Polaris. The industry is expanding at a rate of 2.4% CAGR, accelerating towards a value of $574.12 billion by 2030.
The POD market will reach a value of $43.07 billion by 2032
In April 2023, Market.US released a report predicting that the global print on demand market would exceed a value of $43.07 billion in 2032. This is a rise of almost $40 billion, from a projected value of only around $3.94 billion in 2022. The prediction also represents a significant CAGR, of 27.8% between 2023 and 2032.
20% is the average profit margin for POD sellers
According to Printify, one of the top POD companies, the average profit margin for a print on demand seller currently stands at around 20%, while some companies can achieve margins of around 30%. As in most industries, a retailer’s profit margin will vary based on numerous factors, from the cost of their initial core products, to the price of shipping.
Print on Demand Market Statistics
Looking at the overall growth in the print on demand industry, we can see interest in the landscape is growing exponentially worldwide. However, it’s worth noting that some regions and markets are growing faster than others. Additionally, some key drivers have played a major role in the continued expansion of the industry.
North America is the largest market for print-on-demand
A report examining the rapid growth of the POD market around the world found that North America is currently the largest market for the industry. This could have something to do with the United States being home to a number of profitable print on demand companies, including Printful and Zazzle. Even global companies like Redbubble have fulfillment centers within North America.
However, while the North American market remains strong today, the Asia-Pacific region is experiencing the fastest growth in the industry, growing at a CAGR of 27.9%. Experts anticipate the presence of significant numbers of market participants in this region will support this growth.
36% of customers expect personalized products by default
As mentioned above, a major driver of the print on demand market is a growing interest in personalized products. A report from Com Cap found that around 36% of consumers already expect to be able to access personalization on their products by default. Since print on demand products allow companies to create items with no order minimums, this supports companies in creating a wider range of unique solutions for customers.
The interest in ecommerce is also driving POD growth
Another factor influencing the expanded interest in print on demand is the overall growth of ecommerce as an alternative to traditional retail. In 2021, retail ecommerce sales generated a value of around $5.2 trillion worldwide. However, in the next few years, this number is expected to grow by at least 56%, representing a value of $8.1 trillion by 2026.
Demand for sustainability supports the shift to print on demand business models
Research also indicates that a growing desire for eco-friendly and sustainable products may contribute to the continued rise of the print on demand industry. In one 2021 survey, 27% of respondents said they have purchased a new product specifically for sustainability reasons. Additionally, 25% of participants in the study said they had spent more on sustainable fashion.
Print on demand is quickly becoming the more sustainable alternative to fast fashion in the clothing industry, as it wastes fewer materials by ensuring products are only made after being ordered.
During the pandemic people turned to POD as a side hustle
As noted above, the pandemic influenced the evolution of the print on demand market in a number of ways. As well as prompting more customers to shop online, rather than in-store, the pandemic also pushed a number of individuals to pursue additional income by starting up a side hustle, using low-cost and low-risk business models like dropshipping and print on demand.
In 2020, new business creation in the United States alone rose by 42%. Additionally, 56% of Americans said they felt safer when working for themselves than pursuing a traditional job, thanks to the large number of layoffs during the pandemic.
Automation increased the interest in POD business models
For customers investing in side hustles to manage the issues of the pandemic, POD presented a powerful option for a number of reasons. Alongside lower set up costs and risk, print on demand software also gave consumers the opportunity to automate various aspects of their business.
Around 65% of Americans with a side hustle said they use automation in their business in one report. Additionally, about 48% said they rely on automation for at least 50% of their operations.
Print on Demand Product Statistics
In recent years, as the print on demand industry has continued to grow, it has introduced new product options for vendors to customize. While clothing-based products such as shirts remain extremely popular, new sectors are also growing at a phenomenal pace.
Custom stickers are among the most searched-for POD items
Though they may not offer the highest profit margins to creators, custom stickers are some of the most searched-for items related to print on demand, according to Ahrefs. This particular product was extremely popular during July 2020, during the early stages of the pandemic. Although interest in POD stickers has since dropped slightly, it still remains above pre-pandemic levels.
Hoodies, sportswear, and premium t-shirts are most popular in 2023
According to Printful, a leader in the print on demand software market, the top trending products for the start of 2023 were hoodies, sportswear, and premium t-shirts. However, interest in eco-friendly products, hats, and stationery also grew this year. Printful also noted a growing interest in phone cases, bags, and drinkware made with print on demand technology.
The home décor segment is expected to see the highest growth rate
Interestingly, customers are also becoming more interested in print on demand solutions for their home décor and accessories. A report by Market Decipher found that the home décor segment is expected to achieve the highest growth rate in the POD industry. Between 2022 and 2032, this space is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27.7%.
The US is the biggest market for products personalized with photographs
Print on Demand solutions provide users with an opportunity to customize their items in a variety of different ways. One option includes being able to add photos to various items, from t-shirts to mugs. These products are commonly used as personalized gifts. In the global market, Americans are the biggest consumers of products personalized with photographs, holding a market share of 39%. Europe also follows close behind with a share of 28%.
By 2030, the custom t-shirt printing market will grow at a CAGR of 11.1%
Custom t-shirts still account for a significant part of the print-on-demand market. According to Grandview research, this market was worth around $4.31 billion in 2022, and is expected to grow at a rate of 11.1% through 2030. The “artwork” segment of the custom t-shirt printing industry is expected to demonstrate the highest CAGR (11.6%), thanks to the increasing customer demand for unique messages and content on their clothing.
Additionally, Grandview Research also found the screen-printing segment of the t-shirt industry represented the highest revenue share, earning over 56% revenue. What’s more, graphic design t-shirts were the most popular in the custom t-shirt printing market in 2022, with a market share of 57%.
The European and Asia-Pacific markets will drive the most growth in custom t-shirts
Experts from Credence Research believe the European and Asia Pacific markets will drive the highest increase in demand for custom shirts in the years ahead. However, at present, the five biggest countries in the industry are the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and Spain.
Regional market share for custom t-shirt printing varies based on imports and exports. For exports, China, Bangladesh, Germany, Vietnam, and Turkey come out on top. However, for imports, the top countries are the US, the UK, Japan, France, and Spain.
The home décor industry will reach a value of $898.3 billion by 2027
In 2021, the global home décor market reached a value of $682 billion, representing a powerful landscape for print on demand sellers. In the years ahead, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 4.8%, reaching a total value of $898.3 billion by 2027.
North America is the biggest market for wall décor at present
Within the home décor market, wall art represents a fantastic revenue opportunity for print on demand manufacturers, particularly in North America. The North American region accounts for 40% of the total market share for wall decorations globally. Additionally, textile-based décor makes up around 25% of the market.
Wall stickers also hold quite a strong market share in terms of product type, with a current CAGR of 2.5%, thanks to their affordability compared to other home décor solutions.
Digital Textile Printing Statistics
While the print on demand landscape provides companies with ways to customize a host of products, the personalization of garments and textile products is still extremely popular. Looking at the digital textile printing industry, we can see how its growth is influencing the evolution of the POD space.
Digital printing is gaining popularity over screen printing
Traditionally, many manufacturers of custom clothing and textiles relied heavily on screen printing to add designs to items. However, according to ComCap, the industry has been gradually shifting towards digital printing, thanks to the affordability of the process, and the ability to leverage lower minimum order quantity requirements.
This research is backed up by Fortune Business Insights reports, which found that digital printing offers unique advantages to companies, such as low operational costs, and high-quality pictures.
The digital textile printing market will be worth $7.9 billion by 2030
An Allied Market Research report found that in 2020, the global market for digital textile printing was valued at approximately $2 billion. However, by 2030, this landscape is expected to reach a value of $7.9 billion, representing a significant CAGR of 14.8%.
Interestingly, the research also found that Europe currently dominates the majority of the digital textile printing market, with Italy holding the highest market share. This could be a result of the strong fashion market within Italy.
There are numerous factors driving market growth for digital printing
Insights from Allied Market Research also revealed a number of key driving factors for the growth of the digital textile printing market. Increased demand for sustainable printing was high on the list of priorities for companies, as well as the ability to adapt to rapidly changing market trends.
Respondents also referenced the decreased per unit printing cost, the trend towards automation, and the growing shift in demand towards products with customized prints as driving factors.
Digital printing technology can reduce the consumption of water by 90%
As sustainability becomes more of a significant factor among fashion businesses, digital printing technology is offering an exceptional way to reduce waste. The technology can reduce the consumption of water in the garment environment by 90%, and lower electric consumption by around 30%, according to Fortune Business Insights.
Clothing and apparel account for 53% of the digital printing market share
At present, the main segments driving the success of the digital printing market are the clothing and apparel, home décor, soft signage, and industrial spaces. However, in 2022, the clothing and apparel segment accounted for more than 53% of the total market share.
China is the top exporter of textiles for the digital printing market
The Asia Pacific market still accounts for a significant portion of the digital printing landscape. In 2021, China was ranked as the number one textile exporter, with a total value of around $146 billion. According to Statista, China’s export figures made up around 41.1% of the export market worldwide. Additionally, by 2022, around 3.47 billion meters of clothing fabrics were produced in China.
The sublimation market held the highest market share in 2021
According to Globe Newswire, the global digital printing market is expected to reach a value of approximately $6.65 billion by 2030. At present, sublimation, a common method of digital printing, is still extremely popular among producers. This market held the largest share of the market in 2021, and is expected to represent around 53% of the digital printing market by 2030.
Globe Newswire also found cotton was the most common fabric used in the digital printing market, representing around 52% of the total market share. However, polyester is anticipated to experience the highest level of growth, with a CAGR of 12.9%.
Print on Demand Statistics in 2023
While the number of Print on Demand statistics available today is still somewhat limited, the data we do have seems promising. Based on the insights above, retailers can see that print on demand offers a host of opportunities for revenue growth. Larger market trends, such as an increase in digital printing technologies, the rise of ecommerce, and the demand for customization and sustainability are pushing the value of POD forward.
Additionally, the market itself is seeing fantastic growth, with new vendors and suppliers emerging all the time to assist vendors in creating their own brands and product collections.
It seems clear today that the POD market is on a trajectory for consistent growth and profitability. This could mean it’s the perfect time for vendors to start exploring their own POD strategies.
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