In this article, I will show you how to create a print on demand eCommerce store with Launch Cart and Printful. With these two platforms, you can easily create and manage your online store while utilizing Printul’s print on demand services.
I will cover the key Launch Cart settings you need to configure and how to add your first Printful print on demand product. So let’s get started!
What is print on demand?
Print on demand (POD) is a printing technology and business model in which a printable product is printed only after an order has been placed by a customer. This eliminates the need for inventory and reduces the risk of unsold products.
Print on demand has risen in popularity in recent times due to the low cost and low barriers to entry.
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What are Launch Cart and Prinful?
What is Launch Cart?
Launch Cart is a SaaS cloud-based eCommerce platform that allows entrepreneurs and influencers to create their online stores and sell both physical and digital products.
Launch Carts’ mission is to remove the barrier of entry to getting online for influences, entrepreneurs and small businesses. That is why they offer a highly functional eCommerce software with a free plan to sell custom merchandise.
What is Printful?
Printful is a print-on-demand company that prints and ships your custom-designed shirts, hats, tote bags, phone cases etc.
You simply upload your artwork and they take care of the rest – from printing to shipping. Printful has a wide range of products and prints in a variety of styles and colors.
Why you should use Launch Cart and Printful?
There are so many reasons to choose Launch Cart over other eCommerce platforms but two really stand out:
- Launch Cart offers a free plan that enables you to sell products without a monthly charge.
- Launch Cart has conversion boosting functionality built-in and is included in all their plans (including the Launch Cart Free Plan). Many other platforms charge you extra for key items like email capture pop-up, order bumps, upsell and downsell functionality but Launch Cart do not.
Check out my in-depth article on why I choose Launch Cart over Shopify every time to sell custom merchandise.
Printful is one of the largest print on demand companies there is making it a great choice if you are starting out. Here are some other reasons to choose them:
- One of the largest and most well-established POD companies out there. They were founded over 9 years ago, which is a long time in POD.
- Very easy to use platform
- They have fulfillment centers across the globe which helps reach your customers quicker
- Printful has a large catalog of products on offer.
How do they work together
Launch Cart has developed an integration to Printful’s print on demand software. In fact, Printful were the first print on demand provider that Launch Cart integrated with.
The integration is well tested and enables products to be pushed from Printful to Launch Cart and orders to go from Launch Cart to Printful automatically.
How to set up a Launch Cart Store
Sign Up to Launch Cart
Go to LaunchCart.com and enter your email address in the box shown below and click the “Create My Store Now” button.
Fill in your details
Enter your details and click the Create Store Now button and click Continue on the next page.
Populate Your Address
Add your address details (this is important as it sets the location of your Launch Cart store. This can be amended later). Or you can click the I’ll Do This Later Button.
That’s it! Your Launch Cart store has been created and now you can go to the dashboard and complete the following important steps to set your site up and you can proceed to the dashboard and set up your site.
Launch Cart General Settings
In the bottom left of your page is Settings. Click on that and a menu will be displayed with different settings used to set up and manage your store.
Go into General Settings and check and or populate your store name, support email address and phone number (if you want to display it on your site).
Down the page, you will see the Refund Policy and TOS Statement . These should be filled out for any online store. Helpfully Launch Cart has provided generic policies and TOS for you to use as a starter for ten (you should always read through and amend these to fit your need and what your are selling.
Simply click the Generate Sample… links highlighted in the image below and Launch Cart will populate each of the items.
Scroll down the page and you find the Home Page: Title and Description which should be populated as it will help with search engine optimisation.
Further down on the same page there is the Social Sharing Image. If you have one already made, upload it now, alternatively you can add it later. The Social Sharing image dimensions should be 1200 x 628 px. Uploading a social sharing image is really useful as it gives a professional look and feel when you share your Launch Cart store on social media.
Finally in this section is the splash screen which you can enable if you want to put your store in maintenance mode at any time, either now or when you are making major changes to your site.
Simply toggle the switch and enter the text you want to show on the splash page. When ready you simply go back to the setting and turn the Splash page off. You do not need to enable this now.
KEY TIP: Whenever you make a change to any setting always click the blue save button at the bottom of the page. THE SAVE BUTTON IS YOUR FRIEND!
On the left navigation menu is Custom Domain. Here you can change the subdomain that your free Launch Cart store is on if you do not like the current subdomain.
As this article is all about setting up a free Launch Cart eCommerce store, we will skip the set up of a custom domain as that is only available on the (very reasonable) paid plan
Next on the left navigation menu is Base Currency where you can set not only the base currency for your Launch Cart store but also the other currencies you accept on your site.
The Base Currency for you store is set as USD as default. If you want to change this, click on the cog under Settings, and change the currency in the drop down menu.
If you change your currency at any point, you can get Launch Cart to recalculate the price of your products if you click the check box.
To add a currency, click on the Add Currency button and select the currency or currencies that you want to add.
Once you have added all the currencies you want to add, I recommend clicking the Settings cog for the newly added currencies.
You will have a choice whether you want to Enable Price Rounding on or off and it shows you a preview of converted prices and the exchange rate Launch Cart used.
You can easily turn currencies on or off on the main currency settings screen and change your base currency if you need to.
Taxes section lets you set the tax rules for the locations you sell to and from. At a very simple level, you can set whether your products and your shipping include tax by clicking the toggle button.
If you set these settings to no, then you will need to set specific tax rules that are required for your business status and the locations you are selling to and from.
For more detail on the topic, check out Launch Cart’s knowledgebase article on the topic here: How To Set Up Taxes
Under the shipping section, you can set the shipping rates for products, but for now, we can leave this section as we will be letting the Print on Demand supplier Printful determine the charges for shipping your items.
This way you will not under or overcharge the customer for shipping as Launch Cart calculates the cost based on Printful’s current charges.
If you do want to set your own rates, you can set rates for specific products and the locations that you ship to which is great as you may want to limit where certain items ship to.
The Tracking settings are where you enter your Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics code, and Google Tag Manager details for tracking traffic to your Launch Cart store via these other platforms.
The final key setting for your store is choosing and setting up your payment provider/s to use on your Launch Cart store.
Launch Cart provides you a number of payment providers that you can use on your store. For each one, you need to set up an account on their website first. All of these are linked below:
- Paypal – One of the most popular payment providers that many customers like to use because of the high level of trust it brings.
- Fees: 2.9% +$0.30 per transaction
- Stripe – Used on many eCommerce platforms and well trusted
- Fees: 2.9% +$0.30 per transaction
- NMI – Enables you to take payments through one of over 200+ global processors which is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to, or can’t use one of the above providers.
- Fees: vary depending on the provider
- OpenNode – Is the most recent addition to the Launch Cart integrated payment providers. OpenNode enables sellers to accept Bitcoin as payment for goods and have the cryptocurrency converted into standard currencies straight away.
- Fees: 1% per transaction
Once you have chosen your payment providers (you can use more than one), simply click the Connect and Enable button and you will be taken to the chose providers login page where you enter the details for the account you have just created.
Once enabled, the payment provider box with have a green bar showing that the provider is enabled, as shown below.
For this article, we can leave the other Launch Cart settings shown below.
Abandoned Cart – Where you can set the timings of the 1st 2nd and 3rd abandoned cart emails.
Staff – Create staff accounts (paid plan only).
Store Plan – upgrade your store plan to a premium plan.
Emails – Where you can customize the abandoned cart emails as well as other system emails that Launch Cart platform sends out e.g. order confirmation and item dispatch.
Customising Your Store Appearance
Now that we have the main settings configured we need to customize the look and feel of your Launch Cart store, so go to Appearance which is below the settings menu that we have just been using.
Click Theme Editor to go to the page shown below where you can view the available themes.
There are seven themes to choose from within Launch Cart. If you hover of any of the monitor screens an Example link with show up enabling you to click through and see what each of the themes looks like on a demo site. I have also included the demo site links below:
Once you have chosen your online store click Make Active to make the theme the active theme on your site. Then click Customise to go in to the settings to customise the looks of your site.
On the page that you’re taken to you can add your store logo (325 x 85 pixels) and favicon (50 x 50 pixels).
Top Tip: I create my logo in 650×170 pixels, as it seems to display better.
Choose whether you want the header, which will show you the main menu, to be sticky i.e. always show at the top of the screen or static, stay at the top of the page and go out of sight when the user scrolls down.
Choose whether you want to show your phone number on your home page using the toggle buttons.
In the footer section you need to decide whether you want to show the following items in your footer by toggling on or off the buttons:
- Link to Contact Us page
- Stores phone number (builds trust so I recommend you do)
- Stores address (builds trust so I recommend you do)
- Subscription form to enable buyers to sign up to a newsletter for example
Much like the footer section, in the Social Icons section, you can enable or disable social icons being placed in your header or footer.
If you turn either of these on you will be greeted with a page where you can add the links to your social media profiles.
Before you do anything else, remember to click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
Click the Homepage link in the menu to go to the Homepage settings page. Launch Cart gives you the option of not having a homepage. This is great if you are using Launch Cart to add eCommerce functionality to an existing site.
Clicking the Enable Homepage button will bring up a number of settings and options as follows:
If you enable the Show Slider button, you will be greeted with the option to Add Slider Images. Click this and on the page that pops up:
- Add a slider image – Launch Cart recommends 963 x 700 but I prefer to use 687 x 500 so that the graphic isn’t too large
- Set the background color of your slider
- Set the color of the text that appears on your slider
- Enter the Slider Headline and Sub-headline
- Leave Show Button enabled
- Scroll down and enter the text to show on the button e.g. See More or Shop All Products
- Click the dropdown and select Shop which will take customers to your main shop page if they click the button.
You can have multiple Slide Images that will act as a carousel and slide in as the user clicks the arrow button.
Show Top Categories & Show Featured Products
Show Top Categories and Show Featured Products enable you to show selected categories and products on the homepage. As we don’t have either in the online store we will skip this for now, but it is worth coming back to and turning these items on as they populate the homepage really well
Show Benefit Icons
I love the benefit icons that Launch Cart enables you to show and I recommend you use them. They show in the footer of your homepage, here is an example.
To use them, turn the toggle on, and in the settings that appear, choose the icon you want to use by clicking the dropdown on the left, and enter the Title and a description. You don’t have to use three, you can use more or less, but I recommend limiting it to three so your footer doesn’t look overcrowded.
Once again, remember to hit save before moving on.
Colours – Branding Your Store
Go to the Colours menu option on the left-hand side. Here you can choose the colors for your site.
Choose your Primary Colour by either selecting the one that is shown or clicking on the checked circle on the right or clicking your cursor on the line of text under the Use a Custom Value Instead. You can then select any color you wish to use from color chart. Once done hit save.
In the top right of your page, there is a View Your Store option. Click that to see what your site looks like with the new color selected and play around until you are happy.
Advanced Colour Settings
Under the Advanced Colour Settings launch Cart gives you the option to set the colors for the following items but in this article, for speed, we will go with the defaults for now.
- Product Price
- Product Title
- Category Titles
- Add to Cart Button
- Checkout Button
- Complete Purchase button
I recommend using a site like Coolors.co to help choose a color scheme for your site.
The Code area enables you to add custom CSS and Script (code) to your site to personalize it further or add items like Facebook Chat integration. You do not need to do any of this to get your online store up and running and selling products.
How to set up a Printful account
Before you integrate your online store with Printful, you need to set up an account with them.
Click the link below and follow the signup details. Once complete come back to your Launch Cart store and follow the instructions in the next section of this article.
How to Integrate with Printful
On the left navigation menu go down to App Store then click Dropshipping. Move your cursor over the Printful logo and an Enable option will appear, as shown below. Click it.
On the next page that is shown, click Sign In, found at the bottom of the page and enter the details of your newly created Printful account.
You are now ready to add your first product.
Adding your first Printful product on Launch Cart
Following the creation of your online store, go to your Printful dashboard and click on Stores on the left menu. You should see something like this in the middle of the page, but with your store name.
Click the Add Product button.
You will be taken to the Printful product catalog where you can choose the product you want to add to your online store. For ease, we have chosen a Gildan 64000 tshirt, which is my go-to shirt for print on demand (soft, good quality, and cheap).
Drag and drop your design (PNG format, ideally 300dpi) onto where it says Drop Your Design Here. Position your design so it shows as you would like ensuring the design stays within the print area box.
If the product has color variations, click which one/s you want to use and then click Proceed to Mockups.
Scroll down the left-hand side of the page and select the mockups you want to use. These will be the pictures that show in your Launch Cart store once you have published the item.
To keep the file size down of the images, I recommend you choose JPG over PNG by ensuring the radio button is selected. Then click Proceed to Details
Here you enter your product title, which you can update in Launch Cart later, then click Proceed to Pricing.
On the pricing page, you see the Printful Price (cost to you), the Revenue (which is actually your profit), and the Retail Price you want to sell the item for.
The Printful Price may show a range as items may cost more or less depending on where it is fulfilled. Remember that the Printful Price does not include taxes like VAT.
Finally, click Submit to Store and allow some time for the product to be pushed to your online store.
Now, log back into your Launch Cart store and go to Products in the main navigation menu. On the products page, you will see all the products you have in your online store and their status, as shown below.
Click the Pencil symbol to edit your item to update and finalise the listing.
Finalize Your Product
On the Product Info page you can now:
- Update the Product Name, which is the title of the product
- Update the Product Description
- Set the Product Status to Draft , Inactive or Active
- Add your product to a Category (and create a category if you haven’t any)
- Set the Product Type by entering a name e.g. T-Shirt
- Select whether you want to enable Tax Calculation or not (I recommend you leave this checked).
- Add additional images in the Media section
- Set whether you want the inventory tracked (for Print on Demand items I recommend leaving this unchecked
- Set the Price of the product and enter a Compare At price which when set higher than the selling price shows that the item has been discounted.
- Add any Product Attributes (not required for POD items)
- Finally, you can add SEO related information by checking the Customise Your Products SEO Information box and then filling in the fields that are then displayed.
Click the Save button and on the page, you are taken to, click the Eye symbol, to see what your product looks like in your online store.
Your Online Store Is Ready To Go
In this article, we’ve gone through the main settings to get your online store set up and integrated it with Printful, and pushed your first product.
There is a key functionality that I recommend you check out to increase the probability of a sale and the conversion rate. These include MailChimp Integration, Email popup, Check Out Page customization, Upsells and Order Bumps ( bump offers ) and Contact us page and there are many others.
Where is the Launch Cart Login to manage my store?
The easiest way to log in to your online store is to go to put /admin at the end of your online stores URL and you will be taken to the Launch Cart Login page.
Is Launch Cart really Free?
From a monthly subscription charge perspective, Launch Cart Free Plan is free and enables you to make sales on that plan, with unlimited products on your site.
If you do make a sale, Launch Cart will charge you 3% of the transaction as a fee for using their platform. So if you are making more than $900 per month in sales it is worth upgrading to the Lift Off-plan ($27pm) as Launch Cart do not charge 3% transaction fee on that plan.
In this article, I’ve shown you how to set up the main settings to get your Launch Cart store up and running and add a Printful product.
Launch Cart is an extremely powerful platform with conversion boosting functionality such as Order Bumps, Upsells and Down Sells, Email Popups and Mailchimp Integrations that we will cover in a later article as these are must-haves for any serious eCommerce site.