A Complete Guide to Start Promotional Products Business

A Complete Guide to Start Promotional Products Business


Hey there!

Remember 2020?

A year full of surprises, bad news, and isolation?

However, amidst all the chaos, the e-commerce market stood out and even thrived!

As per Forbes, e-commerce sales grew by a staggering 50% to reach $870 billion during the pandemic.

This surge in online shopping has been nothing short of extraordinary, and it shows just how important e-commerce has become in our lives.

And the growth of e-commerce is not slowing down anytime soon.

According to research done by Statista, it is estimated that the ecommerce market will grow by 8.15 trillion US dollars by 2026.

However, with increasing demand comes increased competition in the e-commerce market.

This, coupled with the shorter attention spans of customers, has made it even more challenging for companies to stay afloat.

But it’s not all bad news.

The increase in e-commerce has also led to a surge in demand for promotional products businesses and their web-to-print services.

So, if you’re considering starting a promotional products business and want to stay ahead of the game, this guide is for you.

What are promotional products?

Promotional products are branded items used in marketing to promote a business. They include pens, T-shirts, mugs, key chains, and more. They are given out free of charge to consumers, employees, or even potential clients.

Promotional products’ main objective is to increase brand awareness and create goodwill. They act as a gentle reminder of the existence of a business and what it deals with.

Promotional products are also used as a business ‘thank you’ and to encourage customers to purchase.

Promotional Product Business Online/Offline

Now, this is the primary question you must be asking yourself.The answer is clear; you need to start promotional products business online.


The above research showed us how much ecommerce is booming. Today people prefer ordering almost everything online from the comfort of their homes.

One of the significant benefits it brings to online promotional business products is you can enter into global markets. Yes, you heard it right. Initially, it might be difficult, but it helps you have a better return on investment, increase sales, have a global customer base, and more.

Another major benefit is getting to know your customers’ needs in more detail. Your own eStore will allow you to make all business decisions, provide support around the clock, and have full autonomy of business processes.

PrintXpand offers a customizable platform that makes setting up and managing an online store easy.

With features like product personalization, real-time quotes, and automated print-ready files, you can streamline your workflow and provide a better customer experience.

Plus, with PrintXpand, you’ll have access to a team of experts who can help you every step of the way.

From designing your storefront to integrating with your existing systems, they’ll work with you to create a solution that meets your unique needs.


How to Start Promotional Products Business

Starting a promotional business involves multiple complexities. But to help you and reduce your burden, there are certain steps you need to follow. Implementing these strategies will give you more clarity and help you lead your business better.

Decide Budget

When you plan to sell promotional products online, the first step is to decide your budget. Clear and concise planning is necessary. It will help you strategize and plan your next year or quarter. A clear budget will also help you attract more investors and reduce unnecessary investments and spending.

It also helps you improve decision-making, manage resources, and monitor business performance.

Decide Business Plan

Running promotional products requires you to plan your next steps precisely and define your plans very accurately. Include plans for the next quarter or year, get and retain clients, define marketing strategies, etc.

Making business plans will help you at every phase and clarify different segments of your business. It will also help you have a broader understanding of your market, focus on bringing more investors, and keep an eye on the budget.

Business Plan

Decide Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is crucial. It gives insights into your customers’ requirements and allows you to create products accordingly. You can sell promotional products online in two ways: B2B and B2C. You can decide who you want to target depending on your business model and requirements.

In the promotional products business, it’s better to start B2B. You will have a fair chance of getting bulk orders. Reach out to companies, NGOs, sports academies, etc., and talk about your company and how you can help them.

Once you sign a contract with any company, you can help them promote their business using products such as pens, mugs, T-shirts, and pen drives.

Consider using an online product design tool to make designing and creating custom promotional products easier.

With the easy-to-use software, your customers can create their own designs, and you can easily fulfill those orders.

This way, you can create a strong online presence, reach a wider customer base, and provide a more personalized experience for your customers.


Legal Procedures

Going through all legal procedures to register your company is essential to start a promotional products business. Reach out to the business registration office in your area and fill in the required forms. Each district has different formalities, so make sure to read the procedures to register your business. Once needed formalities are completed, and you get a green signal from this office, you are all set to start your business.

Pro-tip: Be ready for lots of paperwork.



Once your business is registered, your next step is to reach out to a logistics company as your store is online. Contact multiple logistics companies in your area and places where you plan to ship your product. Make sure that they are experienced and have good services. One of the unique selling points of eStores is timely delivery. Of Course, we don’t have to aim for fast delivery like Amazon, i.e., the next day. But, ensure your product gets delivered in 3 to 4 business days. Alternatively, consider outsourcing your registration and compliance legwork. According to this Incfile alternatives post by SmallBusinessHQ, some business formation firms even offer free LLC formation services.

Good and timely delivery will help you leave a long-lasting impression on your customers. It will also make you their first choice when they plan to purchase or order some promotional products.

Steps to Launch Promotional Products Business Online

Tie-up with IT Companies

When you plan to sell promotional products online and are confused about where to start or what to do. Then, reaching out to IT Companies like us should be your priority. They will help you at every step from scratch.

Why IT companies over freelancers?

There are many complexities involved in creating a website. It starts with researching, designing, development, security, deployment, and maintenance. Each of these phases requires a dedicated team to handle all the complexities. If you are planning freelancers, getting your entire eStore up and running might become difficult and hinder quality.

tie up with business

Whereas, with IT companies like us you can easily depend due to large experienced team members. Each phase has a dedicated team assigned, which makes the process faster without affecting the quality. Hence tying with IT companies like us is a wiser choice to develop your eStore.

Features That Matter

After signing a deal, your next step will be deciding on features. Start with market research, study your competitors, understand your customers’ requirements, and decide the features of your eStore. Following are some of the standard features needed to sell products online:

  • Multiple payment modules like UPI, Stripe, Credit/Debit cards, Net banking, etc.
  • Social media sign in options
  • Add to cart
  • Add to wish lists
  • Personalized recommendations of purchased history
  • Good UI/UX and easy navigation
  • Multi-language support

And more……

These are some of the basic features when developing an e-store. You can decide on features according to your business and customers’ needs.

Choose the right technology platform

There are multiple technology platforms available in the market for developing ecommerce platforms. It can often create confusion while selecting, as each platform is good on its own. Thus, to overcome this confusion, let’s have a quick brief about them,

When discussing ecommerce technology then Magento, Shopify and wooCommerce are leading options. Other technologies like Php, Dot.Net, OpenCart, etc., are not used much.

Magento Design Tool

It is a go-to solution when dealing with businesses. The timely security updates, SEO friendly, and scalability to handle complex processes make it stand out. Apart from this, the admin can handle multiple stores and easily; make any changes needed in the code during configuration. It’s an open-source platform, and so it has large support of developers and resources like blogs, videos, articles, etc.

Additionally, Magento has over 900 themes and is a leader in B2B and international websites. Majorly because of its open-source, enterprise-focused, and cloud-edition PaaS.

Shopify Design Tool

Talking about Shopify, they are leading when it comes to SMB solutions. Mainly designed to keep the ecommerce audience first. Widely known for its easy navigation, appealing UI/UX, and more than a thousand themes. If you are a beginner in the ecommerce industry, Shopify makes it easy for you to set up a store in a few hours. Additionally, it is very easy to install apps, manage catalogs, and a complete SaaS-based solution.

Moreover, its hosting and security services are included, which benefits beginners. No more struggles of handling servers or learning the complexity of SSLs. The Shopify Product Designer Tool lets you create custom products like shirts or mugs easily. You can add text, images, and designs to make unique items for your store.

WooCommerce Design Tool

Many people prefer having their ecommerce website in wooCommerce because of the strong CMS support. wooCommerce has 1000+ themes and its large community support makes it easy to develop websites. Developers can easily plugin third-party tools without worrying about extra charges and can customize their code as needed.

The combination of wooCommerce and WordPress has made it a go-to solution for many developers due to the great demand for robust CMS. It is a perfect solution for companies that depend more on CMS. The major weakness of this platform is the constant need for a developer for maintenance. WooCommerce Product Designer Tool is a plugin that lets customers personalize products like t-shirts or mugs on your WooCommerce store. It enables them to add text, images, and designs, creating custom items. This tool enhances user experience and boosts sales by offering unique, customizable products.

The below table shows some quick comparisons between each of them:





Leading Brands

Tesla, Penguin House, Budweiser

Coca-Cola, Nike, Ford

Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, Charge Case


40 Billion +

101 Billion +





Payment Gateway options

70+ built-in option

Limited options

Requires plugins

Customization Options


Multiple options

Multiple options


It is seen that Magento and Shopify are leading in the ecommerce sector. They are a go-to solution for many eStore developers because of their scalability.

Pro-tip: Experienced IT companies can help you selecting the right platform.

Each platform is best suited to your needs. If you still need further guidance on setting up your e-store with a promotional product designer tool, check out the designer tool below to learn more!


Your Unique Selling Point

There are already many promotional companies in the market, which means a lot of competition. In such a competitive market, it can become difficult to sell promotional products online. Hence, this is when you need to define your USP, i.e., one thing that makes you stand out from the crowd.

If you haven’t thought about it yet, don’t worry, we have an answer for you.

Your USP can be Customization.

Yes! You heard (read, I mean) it right. There is a huge demand for customized products in the market, and people are ready to pay anything for them.

Gone are the days when you created designs on your customer’s behalf. In the era of everything going online, you can provide your customers with third-party tools to create custom designs.

While you plan to start a promotional products business, you can integrate our Product Designer Tool on your website. When you reach out to your customers, you can discuss customization and how they can create custom designs.

Our design tool for promotional products makes it easy for your customers to create custom designs using an extensive library of fonts, images, and other resources. Once the design is ready, customers can place orders directly from the website. This entire process is easy and avoids unnecessary back-and-forth.

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Below are some of the significant benefits of the PrintXpand Product Designer Tool:

  • Supports all technology platforms like Magento, Shopify, wooCommerce, Php, Opencart, API integration
  • Feature-rich library with font types, images, clip-arts, object handling, and more
  • Mobile-first approach to creating designs on the go
  • Design a wide range of products like mugs, t-shirts, hats, pin buttons, etc.
  • Easy integration and configuration on the admin side

There are also many more features. Try our tool and see how useful it is for your business and customers and how it can add value to your organization.


Different Marketing Tactics

Once your website is launched, the next step is marketing. Marketing is vital to make your business reach more people. There are multiple ways you can market your website and business. Let’s see them in brief:

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is important for your website to rank on search engines. There are two ways to do it, i.e., PPC and SEO. PPC is the best option if you want immediate results and quickly rank your website. Whereas SEO takes time to rank your website and get organic traffic. Both of them are best in their way, so depending on your needs, you can decide.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the best way to reach out to more customers. Today, almost every person uses social media, and marketing products on it has become essential for businesses. Create your business’s social media account and post your products. Further, using the right tools, you can know your customers in detail and understand their needs. This data helps you improve your product and serve your customers better.

Influencer Marketing

Social media has given birth to influencers, resulting in an entirely new vertical known as influencer marketing. You can contact social media influencers, explain your services, sign a deal, and market your products. This new marketing method has a lot of potential, especially when your target is GenZ and millennials.

Creating and executing a proper marketing strategy is essential. The correct marketing approach will significantly benefit your business.

Vendors for Getting Promotional Products

When you plan to start a promotional products business, your major concern will be reaching out to vendors. You must be selling multiple products online, like; t-shirts, business hoodies, mugs, pin buttons, hats, pens, caps, and a lot of other products. For each of these products, you will require a vendor to supply them.

To do so, reach out to experienced vendors who can help you supply all these products and ensure their quality. You can order them in bulk and stock them in inventory or according to customers’ demands.

Things you can Sell as Promotional Products

You can sell multiple promotional products. But as you will be dealing with B2B, your product needs will be based on your customers’ needs. That can be company-special t-shirts, bottles, mugs, etc.

Here are the top ten things that you can sell as promotional products:

  • T-shirt/Hoodies
  • ID Cards
  • Stickers
  • Caps/Beanies
  • Bottles
  • Mugs
  • Keychains
  • Notepads
  • Pens
  • Bags

Many companies are leading the way in providing such promotional products to their employees and meet-up attendees for free. It is an important part of their business branding and marketing.

A Complete Guide to Start Promotional Products Business Detail page

Over to you

Selling promotional products online initially can be challenging. But if you start in the right direction, this market has a huge scope. Follow these steps to set up your eStore and see how your business shines in the competitive market.

It’s time to bring your business online and find new ways to reach more customers. If you are looking for expert advice and need guidance on how to start a promotional products business online, you can reach out to us. Our experts are industry leaders and have helped many clients set up their entire businesses from scratch.

All product and company names are trademarks™, registered® or copyright© trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

Hiral Thaker

Hiral Thaker

Hiral is an Art of Living volunteer, IamRemarkable Facilitator, tech community enthusiast and loves talking about Google. Coming from an engineering background, she took up writing because she wants to contribute to making “Technology an Equalizer”. Hiral likes reading self-help books to know about other people’s stories and this gives her insight into creating stories about tech. You can often find her grooving to Taylor Swift or Kpop music. Her best writing is done on waffle energy! 

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