Choosing the best platform for selling t-shirts is vital for your business to succeed. With the eCommerce platform that’s right for you, it’s easier to attract customers, increase sales, and make money.
In this article, we’ll look at the best platforms for online t-shirt businesses, carefully evaluating their advantages and disadvantages. With this information, you’ll be able to pick the one that fits your needs the best.
Choosing the Best Platform for Selling T-Shirts Online
The sea of options might seem overwhelming when picking the right eCommerce website.
Each of these platforms and marketplaces has its own rules, advantages, and disadvantages. Keep your business goals in mind to make the right decision.
All of these easily integrate with Printify’s print-on-demand (POD) service. Anyone can start selling t-shirts without inventory or logistical worries – we’ll print, package, and ship directly to your customer’s door.
If you’re looking for a website to sell t-shirts online, welcome – here’s an overview of the best.
As a trusted eCommerce marketplace, Etsy has stood the test of time. While Etsy is best known for its hand-made goods, print-on-demand products, such as t-shirts, are no strangers to its top-selling categories.
- Vast pre-existing traffic. Etsy is the go-to marketplace for anyone who wants to buy extraordinary products, including a wide range of apparel, wall art, prints, phone covers, and more.
With over 96.34 million active buyers, there are going to be tens of thousands of buyers who are interested in t-shirts.
- Easy to set up. Etsy is very beginner-friendly. If you’ve never had an online store, launching a t-shirt business on Etsy is a good place to start.
- Convenient marketing tools. For any small business to succeed, marketing is a must. With an Etsy Ads campaign, you can run ads inside the marketplace. Etsy will display your custom t-shirts in search results, categories, and market pages.
- Etsy fees. Etsy has no hosting fees, but it has listings, transactions, shipping, payment processing, and other fees. While small, they add up – it’s something to keep in mind.
Read our article for everything you need to know about Etsy fees.
- Intense competition. You won’t be the only one selling t-shirt designs online. There are many online shops, all competing for their share of customers.
If you choose Etsy as home to your business, make sure to do everything in your power to stand out: pick a niche, perfect your t-shirt design, and pay close attention to marketing.
- Limited branding. Apart from the store’s banner and listing images, pretty much everything else on Etsy is standardized. While it’s okay at the beginning, distinguishing yourself from others becomes a challenge as your online shop grows.
Etsy is a great platform for just starting out. If Etsy sounds like a good fit, here’s an in-depth guide on how to start an Etsy shop.
As a brick-and-mortar titan, Walmart is recognized worldwide. Today, Walmart is the second-largest online retailer in the United States. It’s a great marketplace that’s built on trust, transparency, and fairness, perfect for small and large businesses.
- Brand value. Gain greater visibility when you start to sell t-shirts on Walmart Marketplace, increasing the authority of your own store and brand.
- Vast customer base. When you’re approved to sell custom t-shirts on Walmart, you gain access to millions of potential customers.
- Affordable seller fees. You only pay for what you sell. Their commission or referral fees vary by category. For t-shirts – in the Apparel and Accessories category – it’s 15% per order.
- No up-front costs. Walmart Marketplace has no setup, monthly, or hidden fees, so you don’t need to pay anything to get started.
- Intricate registration. As a trustworthy company that treasures its name, Walmart vets sellers carefully. To start selling, you’ll need to join the Walmart Marketplace seller community. Typically, applications are reviewed within a few weeks.
- Strict pricing requirements. Walmart is committed to offering the lowest price possible. While you’re free to set your own price, it must not interfere with their pricing rules.
- Low profit margins. Due to Walmart’s pricing policy, you have to offer low prices, which means less profits for your online t-shirt business.
While the barrier to entry is steep, and there are a few – yet reasonable – hoops to jump through, joining the Walmart Marketplace of respected and professional sellers is well worth the effort.
Our step-by-step guide on Walmart integration has all the information you need to start on the right foot.
With Shopify, anyone can build an online t-shirt store. As an eCommerce platform, it has a wide variety of pre-built templates, allowing a business to customize their store in any way they like.
While the best platform for selling t-shirts solely depends on your business needs, Shopify is a platform you shouldn’t overlook, offering advantages few can match.
- Easy to use. If your goal is to get your online shop up and running quickly, Shopify is a great choice. You don’t need any coding or design skills to create an online store that perfectly represents your brand.
- A myriad of themes. Shopify has a wide variety of themes that you can easily apply with a few clicks of a button, giving you the freedom to create an inviting, eye-catching, and beautiful storefront.
- Apps and plug-ins. The Shopify App Store has thousands of apps and plug-ins to optimize your online t-shirt business by adding awesome features and functionality that will help you make more money.
- Pricing. Shopify has three main pricing plans. While they offer a 3-day free trial, with the first three months priced at $1/mo, afterward, you have to pay the full price.
- No pre-existing traffic. Unlike eCommerce marketplaces like Etsy, Walmart, or eBay, the amount of traffic you get solely depends on your marketing skills. It does offer social media integration, making it a lot easier.
- Transaction fees. If you choose a third-party payment solution instead of Shopify Payments, you’ll have to pay additional fees of 2%, 1%, or 0.5%, depending on the Shopify plan you’ve picked. Additional information is available on Shopify Pricing page in the Frequently Asked Questions section under “Payment questions.”
As always, theory is nice, but reality is what matters most – here are some of the best Shopify t-shirt stores for your inspiration to see why t-shirt designers love this platform. By and large, Shopify is great for selling t-shirts, especially if you use print on demand.
If this seems like the right platform for your online store, our step-by-step guide on how to sell on Shopify will come in handy.
eBay is one of the eCommerce giants – an international eCommerce marketplace. One of the oldest and largest of its kind, it’s favored by buyers and sellers alike.
- Easy to set up. To start selling, sign up for an eBay account and register as a seller. When done, you can integrate with Printify’s print-on-demand service to get an unlimited supply of t-shirts to sell.
- A popular marketplace with a large audience. With eBay, you get access to a global market. It enjoys great trust among its buyers. eBay had about 132 million active buyers worldwide in the second quarter of 2023.
- Fierce competition. As with any marketplace, you share the platform with your competition that sells products with similar characteristics.
You’ll need to create t-shirt designs that stand out from the rest and learn how to price a product, implementing the most common pricing strategies.
- eBay fees. As is usually the case, fees add up. When making a decision about whether eBay’s right for you, explore eBay’s Selling fees page to avoid any confusion.
- Rules and policy. You have a little less control over certain aspects of your business, such as the return policy. To successfully sell on eBay, you need to adhere to their rules.
If you want to sell t-shirts and make money online, eBay is definitely worth considering as a home for your online store.
To increase the likelihood of success, here are a few essential tips for selling on eBay, describing how to find your niche, list your t-shirts correctly, and build trust.
Wix is an intuitive online store builder, offering powerful features and solutions that let you manage every aspect of your t-shirt business.
- Easy to customize. You don’t need any technical skills and it’s perfect for beginners. Use the drag-and-drop editor to customize everything from the product page to the shopping cart.
- Powerful features. Wix has built-in email and social marketing tools to expand your reach.
- Built-in SEO. The platform provides a strong technical SEO infrastructure that helps optimize your online t-shirt store and grow organic traffic.
- Free sites carry Wix branding. While Wix offers a free plan, it has its drawbacks. First, your website domain will include “Wix” in it. Second, Wix ads appear on every page and favicon in the URL. To remove these, you’ll need to upgrade your plan.
- No free site analytics. A savvy t-shirt store owner will often check to see how their website is performing. The easiest way is by using Google Analytics or similar tools. Sadly, you won’t be able to use these unless you upgrade your plan.
- Templates can’t be changed easily. When you’ve chosen your initial Wix template, you can’t switch to a different one. You can only change the design within the template. Or, you can create a new Wix site with a new template.
Wix is an easy way to sell online. Carefully explore Wix’s Pricing information to pick a plan that’s right for you.
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WooCommerce is a plug-in for the free, open-source CMS – WordPress. It can turn your WordPress website into a fully-functional online t-shirt store.
- Highly customizable. The WooCommerce Theme Store has a variety of paid themes, also free ones in the WordPress Theme directory.
- A variety of free and paid plug-ins. You can find a great number of plug-ins in the official WordPress Plug-in directory and WooCommerce Extension store.
- Marketing solutions. WooCommerce offers marketing solutions with social media, email marketing, promotions, and more.
- Extension, hosting, and domain expenses. While it’s free to download and install WooCommerce itself, to run a full-fledged store you’ll need to buy extensions, pay transaction fees, and cover your site’s hosting costs.
- Not entirely beginner-friendly. It’s easy to use but requires some technical knowledge.
- Lack of support for plug-ins. WooCommerce only supports its own products sold on its site. Every theme, plug-in, and hosting comes with different support channels.
If you already have a WordPress website and need a cost-effective solution giving you complete control of your online store, WooCommerce is a great choice.
While all that is true, it comes with a much steeper learning curve, requiring more time and effort than other options.
Squarespace is a powerful and user-friendly website builder. Because of its visual editor, anyone can build a website with ease – regardless of their technical skills.
- User-friendly. Simplicity is a key part of its appeal – pick a template, make a few tweaks here and there, add content and you’re good to go.
- Industry-leading templates. With more than 100 beautiful templates, finding a near-perfect fit for your online store isn’t hard.
- 24/7 customer support. Squarespace offers 24/7 online support via email and chat.
- No multi-currency selling function. If you want to cater to a global audience, other platforms make it a little easier.
- Page speed. Squarespace sites can load faster, but it depends on how much information your store website has.
- Limited extensions. Squarespace has only 38 extensions, which may hinder your marketing efforts.
Whatever flaws Squarespace has, it’s still a great platform for small print-on-demand businesses just starting out.
If you don’t need a lot of features, it’s perfect. With Squarespace pricing plans, you only pay for what you need.
BigCommerce provides everything needed to start an online store, including web hosting, tools for designing a storefront, and marketing tools.
- A wide variety of features. BigCommerce has built-in blog, coupon, discount and gift card options, professional reporting tools, and more.
- No additional transaction fees. Whichever plan you choose, BigCommerce won’t charge you additional transaction fees.
- Helpful resources. When your online store kicks off, BigCommerce provides various resources to help your business grow.
- World-class marketing solutions. In addition to third-party apps, BigCommerce offers a wide variety of built-in marketing features that allow you to sell t-shirts online more effectively.
- Limits on annual online sales. If you exceed them, you’ll need to upgrade your plan.
- Lack of free themes. BigCommerce only offers 12 free themes, and they’re not as modern and sleek as some of their competitors.
- Expensive abandoned shopping cart recovery feature. The abandoned cart saving feature does not come with the Standard Plan. You’ll have to get the more expensive Plus Plan.
One of the most important marketing features you can add to your store, this feature helps identify people who have stopped their purchase halfway through and automatically sends them a reminder.
BigCommerce is a great choice, offering a myriad of built-in features you’d have to pay for elsewhere. When looking for the best platform for selling custom t-shirts, BigCommerce is worth your consideration.
BigCommerce offers four paid plans, but once your store reaches a certain threshold of yearly revenue, you’ll need to upgrade your plan.
PrestaShop is an open-source, self-hosted eCommerce solution that can help you create, manage, and design an online shop.
- Rich in features. The official PrestaShop Add-Ons Marketplace has modules and templates that you can use to customize your online store, increase traffic, and build customer loyalty.
- Useful marketing tools. Easily boost marketing efforts with SEO optimization, email marketing, and coupons.
- Various payment solutions. The platform offers more than 120 payment solutions, including its own module – PrestaShop Checkout – that manages all types of payments for a cost.
- Advanced statistics. With PrestaShop Metrics, bring a data-driven approach to your business, improving efficiency and profitability.
- More geared toward tech-savvy. PrestaShop is easy to use, but the installation process requires some technical skills. To truly maximize your site, technical know-how is a must.
- Expensive add-ons. PrestaShop has a wide variety of paid add-ons. In order to use the platform to its fullest potential, your costs can add up fast.
- Limited scalability. If you’re just starting, it’s not an issue, but to scale further, you might need a professional developer’s help.
While PrestaShop is free, the costs associated with running your own shop online, such as domain name, hosting provider, payment solutions, and any additional function a full-fledged store needs, must also be considered.
API stands for an application programming interface. It enables an application’s data and functionality to be opened to external third-party developers. In our case, developers can create custom functions and automation.
The Printify API allows you to develop custom functions, automate your workflow, and save time on repetitive tasks. It’s great for both individual merchants and businesses with coding experience who want to sell shirts online.
- Seamless integration. The Printify API can be integrated into your own custom-built website or app, or become a part of other third-party solutions. In addition, you can keep developing on top of it.
- Highly customizable. You can enhance the power of your website or platform by developing custom functions that don’t currently exist.
- Time-saving automation. If you need to add a large volume of products to your store, the Printify API can help you automate previously labor-intensive processes.
- Scalable and scale-ready. If you’re an existing business, you can employ automated processes to manage multiple orders faster and more efficiently.
While the Printify API is for everyone, software developer skills are a must to use it successfully. That said, you can always hire a professional to do the work for you.
Sell T-Shirts Online With Printify
These industry-leading eCommerce platforms seamlessly integrate Printify, providing you with an endless supply of t-shirts that you can sell to customers worldwide.
In our never-ending quest to bring you the very best, we’ve stocked the Printify catalog with a wide variety of high-quality t-shirts to customize.
With our beginner-friendly Mockup Generator, you can design t-shirts without professional artistic skills. Start creating your own custom designs. When they’re ready, it provides realistic mockups you can post on social media or anywhere else.
Make Your Own Custom T-Shirts With Printify Today!
Closing Thoughts About the Best Websites to Sell T-Shirts Online
While choosing the best platform for selling t-shirts may seem challenging, after reading our article, you should have a pretty good idea of the wide variety of options available.
All of these platforms and marketplaces are front-runners in eCommerce, but each has its own advantages, disadvantages, and features.
There is no best place to sell shirts online because it solely depends on your individual needs, technical know-how, and the type of audience you want to reach.
When picking a platform for your online store, the more you know, the better, and the more sales you’ll make. In addition to features already explored, don’t forget to deep-dive into additional details to make sure it’s a good fit for your online t-shirt store.
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