You know what's great? Shopify is. It's not just Shopify though. The thriving application support that's available in the Shopify App Store is a big part of it.
Last night we watched a fascinating webinar hosted by Corey Ferreira, a Shopify expert who ran through the process of setting up your shop and integrating a smart fulfilment application supplied by Printful.
We know many people who have set up t-shirt stores using Shopify, who have perhaps not understood the time-consuming nature of producing the final article ready to send to their customer. In fact, producing and fulfilling your creations can absorb you until you have no time left for marketing on tweaking your shop for SEO and all those other responsibilities that are critical to your success.
On one hand, Printful is a very comprehensive application. It integrates nicely with Shopify, and if you let it, it overrides the usual functionality for creating a product. We know that creating a product with multiple variants can be a troublesome thing, not just because it takes a while to do, but because you have to create all of the product images.
Imagine a simple slogan for a t-shirt. It's a white slogan, so can feasibly go on any dark colored t-shirt. Let's pick five colors (there are much more available).
Now let's figure this out:
That's ten images you have to create and upload. It's resource heavy.
So the Printful application lets you generated your images on the fly with a handy 'mockup' tool. It took us just under a minute to produce a t-shirt product with twenty variants. Pretty good so far.
Now Printful needs to have your artwork to print the final product and send it to the customer who just bought it. That's ok too because when you upload your artwork for the mockup, the design file is stored in the application for the print facility to use.
Paying For The Service
Let's take into account the cost implications.
You have to pay for Shopify (after a 14-day free trial). The prices range depending upon the amount of products you are going to list as well has gated functionality like reporting, offering gift cards, etc.
For now, we are going to use the basic plan which is $29 per month. That's enough to run a professional shop with a free theme.
Of course, you don't want to stay with a free theme, though! You can get a Premium Shopify Theme right here for around $140.
Finally, you have to pay Printful for their service. The price ranges between products, but it's fair considering that they are looking after a large part of your business for you. Plus, you don't get covered in ink.
Is it worth it? We think that it is. In fact, you could use that spare resource to open another shop with a different theme selling different designs. If that goes well, just open another. See where we are going here?