Alternatives to Merch by Amazon

It may be time to look at some alternatives to Merch by Amazon. Last week, Amazon published an updated about the recent “freeze” coming to an end, saying:

enabling accounts for publishing and restoring product search discoverability on a rolling basis through year end.

Thus far, we’ve yet to see any changes personally, and haven’t heard of many others seeing much progress either. Noticeably, most long-sleeve listings seem to be completely sold out. It’s likely that things won’t change much until the last week of December, when the shopping has calmed down considerably and Amazon can catch up with the order demand.

Time to Look at Alternatives to Merch by Amazon

As Amazon releases new products and more sellers gain access to the platform, there may be more growing pains along the way. If you haven’t already diversified by listing on other platforms, it may be time to consider looking at alternatives. There are a number of print-on-demand platforms similar to Merch by Amazon, where the seller is given little control and no following can be built.

There are other platforms, typically considered more “artist-friendly” that give many more options to build a following, as well as offering better commissions. A third option is to build your own shop, using a print-on-demand service through an ecommerce shop like WooCommerce or Shopify.

What to Consider with Print on Demand Platforms

The best option, of course, depends upon how that platform fits your needs. Generally speaking, when considering print-on-demand options, here are a few things to consider:

  • Commissions: Merch by Amazon charges a flat fee, others take a specific percentage.
  • Products available: many platforms offer a wide range of products, including towels, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, notebooks, and dozens of other products.
  • Audience: Amazon comes with a huge built-in audience. You won’t get that big of an opportunity anywhere else, but other platforms may offer an opportunity to target more specific niches. Look for the best fit.
  • Customer service: With Merch by Amazon, everything is take care of. That may not be the case on all platforms, especially if there’s an issue with the design. On the complete opposite site of Merch by Amazon is running your own site, where you need to provide customer service for any issues that arise.
  • Marketing: Merch by Amazon gives no marketing options on their site. What options are available on other sites? Would you use them if you had access?
  • Brand Building: This is somewhat vague, but it’s meant to look at much of a direct connection you’re able to build with your audience. Does the platform allow you to email your customers? Is there any connection outside of the shop (blog, common cause, social media)?

Comparing Print On Demand Platforms

We’re going to build a table to compare the various alternatives to Merch by Amazon in each of the categories above. There’s a real opportunity to build a print-on-demand shop with your own following or just find a simple alternative to Merch by Amazon.

If you can think of anything else to consider, or would like to help out with researching and compiling this info, leave a comment below.

 

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