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Connecting Your Shopify Store to Printful in 4 Simple Steps

Connecting Your Shopify Store to Printful in 4 Simple Steps

Starting an ecommerce store has never been easier. Not only are people buying things online more than ever before, but there are also countless tools to help you grow your online business.  

If you’re looking to sell printed merchandise, one of the best ways to get started is by using print-on-demand dropshipping. That’s what Printful does – we take care of all of the production, packaging, and shipping (with no order minimums). And you’re free to focus on making your business the best it can be!

To use Printful, you’ll need to connect your store to an ecommerce platform. Printful integrates with a bunch of platforms, and Shopify is one of the best, most intuitive options. In fact, thousands of merchants use Shopify every day to power their businesses.

By connecting your Shopify store to Printful, here’s just some of what you’ll get:

  • No upfront costs – you won’t have to worry about investing in costly inventory
  • Automatic order fulfillment – you never have to process an order manually again!
  • Customized branding – we make it look like you sent it out

This blog will take you through the steps of connecting your Shopify store to Printful. Let’s get to it!

How to set up your Shopify store

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How to connect your Shopify store to Printful

Step 1. Create your Printful account (it’s free!)

This is super easy and only takes a few minutes. Just click Sign Up from Printful’s homepage and you’ll be taken here:printful_signup_page

All you need is your name, email, and a password and you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2. Install the Printful app on Shopify

Log in to your Shopify account and go to the Apps menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard. Then click Visit the Shopify App Store.

shopify app store dashboard

Source: Shopify

When you’re here, search for Printful. You’ll find our app listed first under Orders and shipping.

shopify printful app search

Source: Shopify

Click on the Printful app.

shopify add printful app

Source: Shopify

Next click Add app and confirm the installation.

shopify install printful app

Source: Shopify

Click Install app and you’re ready for the next part!

Step 3. Connect your store

After you install the app, you’ll be asked to log into both your Shopify and Printful accounts. Just follow the steps and connect the two together.

connect printful and shopify stores

Step 4. Add your products

Go to Printful and under Stores in your Dashboard, go to your store that you just connected. Click Add product; this will take you to Printful’s push generator where you can choose what products to sell.

printful dashboard store

A variant is a certain type of product that can be sold. For example, if you have a t-shirt that’s available in different sizes, each size will be a different variant.

You’re free to use the clipart and default text generator Printful offers, but if you want to get more creative, you can use your own designs for creating merchandise. While the most popular tool for this is Photoshop, there are plenty of free graphic design alternatives, too.

Once you have an image you want to place on a product, you can just import it by clicking upload file and it’ll appear on the mockup where you can adjust it further, if necessary.

printful mockup generator image upload

Finally, you’ll want to add a product description. Printful products come with a standard product description, but you’re free to change it however you wish.

Use this opportunity to showcase your brand voice and let customers know what kind of experience they’ll have if they purchase your product

Printful also lets you set your own retail price, so you can change your margins depending on what works best for your ecommerce store.

Once you’ve finished adding your products, they’ll be visible in your Shopify store. You can click View in Shopify to see the product.

printful shirt in shopify

Source: Shopify

If you go back to (or just refresh) your store page within Printful dashboard, the product will appear synced.

printful synced shirt

For every order that’s made in your store, that is also configured in Printful, an automatic order will be made. You don’t have to worry about it!

Sit back and enjoy

So give it a try, and set up your Shopify store! You’re free to play around and experiment with products as much as you want. One thing you’ll need to do before you can actually start selling is adding a billing method. After you’ve done that, you’re ready to make your first sale!

Do you have any more questions we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments section, and we’ll be sure to address them!

This article was originally published in April 2014; it has since been updated.

eBay SEO: How to Optimize Your Listing and Boost Your Cassini Rankings

eBay SEO: How to Optimize Your Listing and Boost Your Cassini Rankings

With more than 167 million monthly visitors, eBay has the power to put your products in front of a vast number of users. That said, eBay’s size can also work against you—it’s easy to get lost in a sea of listings. Getting in front of your target customers requires savvy eBay SEO practices that ensure your products show up on relevant search results.

Whether you’re just thinking of setting up your eBay store with Printful or already have one, you’ll have to figure out how to get more traffic to your product listings. To help you get started, we’ll look into the ins and outs of eBay search engine optimization and here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • How  eBay Cassini, the eBay search engine, works
  • How to find the best keywords for your listing
  • eBay listing optimization best practices to increase eBay traffic
  • What to avoid when implementing your eBay search engine optimization strategy
  • The eBay SEO tools you can use to boost your listings

Let’s dive in!

SEO Basics: What You Need to Know

Before we discuss specific eBay SEO strategies and tactics, let’s brush up on a few basic principles. SEO or search engine optimization refers to the process of getting a website or webpage to rank well on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

SEO involves a number of tasks like keyword research, content creation, link building, site speed improvements, and others. The purpose of SEO is to improve a website’s rankings, ultimately driving more traffic to it.

Understanding the eBay Cassini Search Engine

Cassini is eBay’s search engine. It works similarly to Google—it uses algorithms to determine how to rank product listings on its search results. eBay hasn’t revealed how its search engine really works, but here’s what we know:

  • It factors in your keywords: eBay Cassini’s goal is to serve up search results that are relevant to the user’s query. One of the ways it determines relevance is through keywords in the listing title and product description.
  • It’s driven by buyer behavior: eBay’s search engine uses buyer behavior to determine the ranking of a listing. If many customers click a listing and end up buying the item, that could signal Cassini to rank that product (or similar ones) higher.
  • It looks at the seller’s track record: eBay Cassini also factors in a seller’s previous performance—successful sales, ratings, and customer service.

How to find the best keywords for your eBay listing

Wondering how to get more traffic on eBay? The first step to getting your listings to rank—and increasing your eBay traffic—is to find the best terms to incorporate into your product pages. Keyword research is a critical component of any SEO strategy, be it for Google, Bing, or eBay’s Cassini search engine. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

1. Start with eBay’s search function

If you’re racking your brain on how to optimize eBay listings, kickstart your keyword research by entering your product into eBay’s search function to see what comes up. Put yourself in the shoes of an eBay customer and think of the words and phrases they would type in.  

You’ll want to look at the query suggestions in the eBay search bar. Doing so will give you a better idea of what terms to include in your listing. For example, when you type “headphones for kids,” the search bar will suggest more specific phrases—“noise canceling headphones for kids,” “kids headphones boys” etc.

eBay-suggested-search

In addition to looking at the search box’s suggestions, examine the search results themselves. Identify what the top results have in common to figure out what the sellers are doing to get to the top page. How do they format their titles and descriptions? How are they using their target keywords? The answers to these questions will give clues into what works for others in your niche, and you can then incorporate those practices into your own listings.

2. Consider other keyword tools

If you want to take your keyword research to the next level, look into SEO tools such as Keywords Everywhere or KeywordTool.io that identify keyword search volume, competition level, and other important information you should consider when trying to discover the right terms to use in your listings.

3. Get cues from top eBay searches

This step is particularly useful if you’re still deciding what to sell on eBay. Looking at top eBay searches will let you see what’s trending on the site, so you can figure out what to put up for sale.

trending-on-ebay-page

If you already have items for sale, it’s still worth looking at top searches because they can give you ideas on upcoming trends and what search terms go together.

WatchCount is a popular eBay app that surfaces the top products that are being “watched” (bookmarked) by eBay users. It also has a feature that uncovers related product searches and keywords in various categories—enter your product or category into the keywords bar and the site provides related search terms and alternative keywords.

eBay-top-searches

You’ve done your keyword research, now it’s time to learn about eBay listing optimization and boost your presence on the site.

eBay Search Engine Optimization: 9 Steps for Success

As mentioned above, eBay’s search engine factors in relevance, buyer behavior, and the seller’s track record, which means that optimizing your listing isn’t just about adding the right keywords. It’s also important to boost your seller profile and provide the best buying experience possible.

Below, you’ll learn the 9 steps in which to do just that. We’ll start by talking about ways to level up your seller profile (steps 1 to 4), then move on to optimizing your listings (steps 5 to 9).

1. Choose a seller name that tells people what your store is about

While it’s unclear whether or not eBay Cassini factors in a seller’s username in its rankings, it’s a good idea to choose an eBay handle related to what you’re selling. It builds trust and sends the message that you’re an expert in that product category.

2. Incorporate a few keywords into your profile description

Keep your bio short and easy to read. eBay sets a 250-character limit, so you need to tell customers what sets you apart and why they should do business with you in as few words as possible.

3. Use a profile photo that represents the brand  

Upload a profile image that accurately reflects yourself or your brand. If you’re using a personal eBay account, you can keep your profile image casual and go for a photo or illustration. However, if you’re using an eBay business account, you’ll want to go with a branded logo.

As for sizing, eBay recommends that your picture dimensions be 300×300 pixels with a minimum resolution of 72 DPI.

4. Build a strong seller reputation and track record

Your track record and eBay rankings can make or break your profile. Cassini looks into seller performance and considers ratings and reviews, customer disputes, and responsiveness.

That’s why it’s important to keep your customers satisfied. Sell your products at fair prices and describe the items as accurately as possible in your listings, so customers always know what they’re getting. Be responsive and polite to buyers and make it a point to respond quickly.

Doing the actions above will help you gain higher ratings and positive reviews, which will lead to higher eBay rankings and more customers.

A great example of an eBay seller following these best practices is thrift.books, an eBay store that sells used books at low prices.

ebay-store-front-example

In addition to having a targeted and straightforward eBay handle, thrift.books has a profile image that reflects the store’s purpose and a bio that tells people exactly what to expect. thrift.books also has a product-related keyword (i.e., “used books”) in its profile description. The seller has an excellent reputation, with over 800,000 positive ratings and several glowing reviews.

5. Put your most important keyword in your title

After you’ve done your keyword research, decide on the most important keywords on your list and use them in your listing title.  

Resist the temptation to include too many keywords, as this will make your titles long and difficult to read. Remember that you can always include additional keywords in your description.

eBay-listing-example-product-title

6. Use related keywords in the description

Having your main keyword in your product description is great, but overusing it will lead to a wordy description that doesn’t read well. Instead, look for synonyms of your keyword and use them throughout the text.

Another way to make your content easier to read is by using headers to break up the text.

7. Keywords should make up 5% to 7% of your description  

eBay recommends having a keyword density of 5% to 7% in your descriptions. So, if you’re describing a product in 200 words, you should use your keywords and synonyms 10 to 14 times.

eBay-listing-example-description

8. Have unique identifiers in your listing

If applicable, include unique identifiers such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), and Manufacturer’s Part Number (MPN) in your listings.

According to eBay, unique identifiers help its search engine direct buyers to the right items, ensuring that shoppers find what they’re looking for.

eBay-listing-example-item-specific

9. Use images to give buyers different views of your products

Upload clear images of your products and make sure they showcase your items from multiple angles. You want your product photos to show off the various features of your products, so shoppers know exactly what they’re getting. The goal is to drive sales by giving people more confidence in their purchase decision.  

eBay-listing-example-pictures

If you’re Printful customer, use our mockup generator to create different types of mockups that showcase your product.

eBay SEO: What to Avoid

So far we’ve discussed what you should do to improve your rankings. Now let’s move on to what you shouldn’t do when trying to get your listings to rank on eBay.

1. Stuffing your titles and descriptions with keywords

Keyword stuffing is a big no-no in any SEO strategy. It creates a poor user experience, as it makes the text difficult to read and raises red flags with search engines, which can lead to penalties and poor eBay rankings.

What should you do instead? Don’t overuse your keywords; follow eBay’s recommended keyword density of 5-7%. And remember to write for human beings, not search engines.  

2. Clickbait in your titles

You may think that using attention-grabbing or click-baity terms like “wow!” or “must-see!!!” would help your listings, but these words do nothing for SEO. Buyers don’t search for these terms so you’re only cramming your titles with unnecessary words and characters.

3. Using hidden text

Trying to hide text by making it invisible or by changing the color so it disappears into the background is unacceptable and violates eBay’s search engine guidelines, which can lead to poorly-ranked listings — or worse — your account getting penalized by eBay.  

Tools for eBay Listing Optimization

While you can get plenty of SEO and keyword ideas using eBay’s native search bar, consider using third-party tools that offer deeper insights into keyword search volume and competition. Having that data helps you identify the best keywords, so can make sure you’re using terms that your customers are searching for.

Here are a handful of eBay listing tools that can help your SEO strategy.

1. Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is an app built specifically for eBay for surfacing terms relevant to your products. It pulls the data from real search queries that buyers enter when using the eBay website or mobile app.

The free version generates a limited list of keywords that you can copy and export. The paid version delivers more keywords and includes data around search volume and popularity.

eBay-SEO-tool-keywordtool

2. Keywords Everywhere

This is a free browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox that displays metrics like search volume, competition, and CPC whenever you search for keywords on engines like Google, Bing, and eBay.

What’s cool about Keywords Everywhere is that you don’t have to leave eBay to get the info you need. Unlike other SEO tools, which require you to open a new tab, this plugin displays keyword data right on eBay’s website, so you don’t have to switch to a different tab or window to view the SEO metrics.

eBay-SEO-tool-keywordseverywhere

3. Terapeak

Terapeak is a comprehensive eBay tool for advanced sellers. It lets you do everything from surfacing top eBay keywords to analyzing market trends. Terapeak analyzes millions of transactions to provide figures such as average prices, sales totals, and average shipping costs.

Boost your presence on eBay

Increasing your eBay traffic and visibility through SEO boils down to providing the most relevant information to your customers at the right time and place. You can do this by:

  • Identifying the keywords that your customers are searching for
  • Incorporating those search terms into your product titles and descriptions
  • Building a strong seller profile by optimizing your page and, more importantly, being a great and trustworthy seller who keeps customers happy

Just like with everything in life, SEO takes time, so be patient. The best thing you can dois start optimizng your store today to see the results sooner rather than later.

PrestaShop + Printful: What It Is and How to Start

PrestaShop + Printful: What It Is and How to Start

For those of you who don’t know, Printful integrates with PrestaShop!

This pairing is fantastic for people who want to use a free platform specifically designed for ecommerce. It’s also great for those who want to sell in different languages, as PrestaShop works in over 75 different ones. Or maybe you already have a PrestaShop store and want to expand your offering with a huge variety of products. Whatever the reason, it’s possible to make it happen with Printful.

Whether this is the first time you’ve heard of PrestaShop, or you’re a PrestaPro, we’re here to help you. This blog explains what PrestaShop is, if it’s right for you, how to set up the Printful + PrestaShop integration, and tips on making your first sale.

What is PrestaShop

Let’s start with the basics for those who have never even heard of PrestaShop before. PrestaShop is a powerful, free, open-source ecommerce platform. It’s comparable to WordPress, but focused solely on ecommerce, rather than blogs.

PrestaShop currently hosts around 250,000 active stores, with most of these in Europe. In fact, it’s the #1 ecommerce platform in Spain, France, and Poland.

Why?

PrestaShop_Poland

Source: Bultwith.com

PrestaShop_France

Source: Bultwith.com

PrestaShop_Spain

Source: Bultwith.com

PrestaShop has one major advantage in the European market: their abundance of languages. A merchant can sell to anyone in any language, which is a great perk when selling in Europe.

Additionally, PrestaShop offers two different options when creating your online store:

  1. PrestaShop Ready – their paid, hosted, ready to use version
  2. PrestaShop Download – their open source, self-hosted, free option

Currently, Printful only integrates with PrestaShop Download, so we’ll focus on this one for the purposes of this blog.

Why use PrestaShop?

Now that we’ve gone over what PrestaShop is, let’s look at why to use it, and why it may be right for you.

It has a strong community

PrestaShop has a strong, thriving following who all look out for each other. Not only are there 250,000 active stores, but there’s also a community of over one million users, such as add-on developers, who all love PrestaShop. You can find answers to all your PrestaShop questions in their forums, or join their events.

It’s customizable

As PrestaShop is an open-source platform, community members can create add-ons and themes. PrestaShop has more than 3,000 apps you can use to enhance your store, from SEO to cart abandonment to email marketing, and over 2,000 themes to customize your store however you want.

With all the customizability, PrestaShop can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. However, with the proper drive and help from the community, this can be overcome easily.

It’s available in over 75 languages

PrestaShop prides itself in the number of languages available, and 75 is no small feat. If you’re planning to sell in multiple languages, like in an emerging European market, this is a huge plus.

It’s free

For many first-time store owners, this is the biggest selling point. The one caveat here is that you will have to pay for your own hosting, which starts at $3.95 per month, using a service like SiteGround.

So, if you want a free, customizable ecommerce platform and don’t mind the complexity, then PrestaShop might just be the choice for you.

How to connect and create products with Printful + PrestaShop

We’ve made a handy video tutorial to run you through this, so we’ll only go over the basic steps here.

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1. Create your Printful and PrestaShop accounts

To sign up to Printful, go to our homepage and click Start selling. Printful is free to start, and has no monthly fees either, meaning you only pay when you make a sale!

To download PrestaShop, go to their sign-up page. Make sure you select the “custom made” store option.

2. Connect your accounts

Now that you have a Printful account and PrestaShop store, it’s time to connect them. To do this create and copy the API key from PrestaShop and submit it to Printful. To do that, you need to follow the steps on our integration page.

PrestaShop_Connect

3. Add your shipping options

Printful has flat shipping rates that we charge you depending on the product. For example, we charge $5 per t-shirt, so that’s what you charge on your store. Then when the order comes to Printful, we will charge you no more than $5 for shipping the shirt.

We suggest you use a similar pricing model for your own shipping, labeling each “carrier” as a different product. I would recommend watching the video tutorial to understand how to do this.

PrestaShop_Shipping

4. Design and add your products

Once your accounts are connected, you need to create some products to sell. To start, you need to create a design.

Head over the Printful Mockup Generator, and either create or upload your design there, on one of our 160+ products. When you finish creating your design, click “generate files,” and pick the mockups you want for your store as well as the print files (we’ll use them later) and save them.

Printful_Mockups

Looking for design ideas? Check out our guide to creating a design!

Then, head to your PrestaShop store and go to Catalogs → Products → New Product. Here you can add all the details of your product, create a product description, and add the mockups you created as product photos. You can also take your own photos and upload them as well if you want. Then, choose a price, set up taxes, and save.

PrestaShop_Products

Check out this blog post on how to write awesome product descriptions to make your listing as enticing as possible.

Once you’ve added a product to PrestaShop, you need to sync with Printful so we know what to print. Go back to your Printful Dashboard → Stores and choose your PrestaShop store. There you can sync your product by adding the print files you saved earlier.

Printful_Sync

And that’s it! Your store is connected and you have a product ready to sell.

How to make your first sale on PrestaShop

Now that you have a store ready to go, it’s time to get traffic and make sales. To help you make your first sales, here some tricks out there to jumpstart your store.

Ask friends and family

People you know are a great resource when starting your online store because they want to see you succeed and they’re willing to help you.

The first and most obvious way they can help is by buying one of your products. However, to get the most of this, you should ask them for a review. 90% of customers are influenced by reviews before they make a purchase, so finding ways to get more product reviews is important.

By getting your friends and family to rate your product, make you look much more credible and make your store more appealing to other customers.

Friends and family can also use their network to get you sales. Having customers recommend your site through word of mouth is another fantastic way to drive traffic.

Join niche interest groups

There are tons of different Subreddits and Facebook groups that you can target, like RunningWithDogs or WeRoastCoffee. People in these groups have already shown that they are interested in the topic that your store is about, so it is the perfect group of people to get your products in front of. However, make sure you always check the rules of any group that you join and follow them.

Work with influencer marketing

Influencers, especially on Instagram, are becoming increasingly popular. To put your brand in front of your target audience, find influencers within your niche. Similar to the other niche interest groups, the influencer’s followers are also interested in your product.

There is also a level of trust between an influencer and their followers, meaning that followers are more likely to buy what the influencer recommends, adding credibility o your store.

Once you have found an influencer that interests you, there are many ways you can encourage them to promote your product. You can:

  1. Send them free samples of your products
  2. Give their followers a discount or promo code
  3. Give them a cut of the sales from this promo

What are you waiting for?

So those are the basics of selling on PrestaShop. Of course, there is much more you can do, from adding modules to changing themes to marketing, there is a world of possibility ahead of you. Try things out, experiment and have fun!

If you are keen on learning more right now, here are a few other blog posts that you might be interested in.

So what do you think about PrestaShop? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!