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Adjusting Your Business Model for DTG

(April/May 2017) posted on Tue May 30, 2017

Overcoming the challenges of direct-to-garment printing.

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By Aaron Montgomery

The second thing to avoid is the “Cheap Shirt Sale,” “3 for 3 Special,” or any other variation of that plan. At their core, these promotions are just a way to get the easiest jobs into a screen printing shop. On the digital side of your business, you want to avoid those one-color, black-on-white jobs that often scream “generic and thoughtless.” Your cost to produce that shirt is the same as producing a 16 million-color masterpiece on a white shirt, but you cannot charge the same price because of perceived value. Instead, leverage the parts of DTG printing that add value, like the magic of watching a shirt get printed before your eyes or taking your personalized shirt with you five minutes after ordering it. 

Adding Value to Maximize Profit

How can you add value to your product so you can justify a higher price? Value is a perceived number; honestly, people have no idea what it costs to make most of the things we buy. Does a Mercedes-Benz really cost that much more to make than a comparable Volkswagen? Probably not, but people are willing to pay more for the Mercedes because of its perceived value. The same is true of a T-shirt. 

For the digital decorator, coming up with creative ways to add value is essential. One great way to do it is by selling the personalization capabilities of DTG. Instead of getting 1000 identical shirts with a single-color logo and carrying a large inventory, the customer can spend a little more for full-color shirts, bought in smaller quantities and with each one personalized. Maybe each of their top customers gets their own dark, collared shirt with their name on it. Or, each owner at a car show gets a white shirt with a picture of their car, plus their name and car make and model as a left-chest design. Big, boring orders don’t work to the strengths of DTG. Your goal should be to get lots of individual ones.


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