GEARLAUNCH Selling Guides

Back to School Print-On-Demand Product Guide 2021

It’s that time of year again, Back to School! Though in 2021, everything is different. Depending on where people are, there’s in-person schooling, online schooling, or a mix of the two. That means spending and shopping needs have changed too. Don’t worry, we got your back with our back-to-school print-on-demand product guide!

How the Pandemic has Affected Online Sales

Online shopping was already a popular choice for people before the pandemic hit, but now online shopping has soared. An additional $105 billion in the U.S. was spent on e-commerce in 2020.

E-commerce sales hit $791.70 billion in 2020, up 32.4% from $598.02 billion in 2019.

It’s predicted that there will be 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021. This is a huge opportunity to grow your customer base this year.

The Power of Promo Codes

According to the Pew Research Center, out of 13,200 U.S. adults, 25% said they or someone they know lost their job during the Coronavirus outbreak. While a third of these people are back to work, the time off really put a strain on their finances.

The top two reasons that people shop online are free shipping (53%) and coupons/ discounts (41%). Even a $5 off coupon can entice someone to press buy.

Luckily, it’s easy to create and add promo codes with the GearLaunch platform. In fact, we have a whole academy lesson about it. Just remember to create codes that are easy to remember and type.

Focus on Fun

The last year and a half have been tough for everyone. So, focus on fun while designing and selling products right now. People may be more likely to buy your product if it makes them smile. It might just give you the edge when someone is deciding what to buy on a budget.

Back-to-School Print on Demand Product Ideas

Who would have thought that a face mask would be the next big thing in fashion? If people have to wear them, they may as well look good. Students will want to show off to their friends and classmates. You can choose between the traditional face mask or a neck gaiter.

Light blue background with a yellow face mask with different sciences like beakers, rulers, and magnifying glasses

The Classics

Phone Cases

People are already on their phones all the time. Make the most out of your design with a Samsung or iPhone case. Think up designs that students of all ages would want, even younger phone users need cases, and parents may consider a phone case a back-to-school need.


Students will need something to write in while in class. A custom journal is both practical and whimsical, which can make it an easy purchase. The design doesn’t necessarily have to be school-related, feel free to highlight your niche with your design and then use advertising to connect it to school.


Coffee and tea are most people’s go-to drinks. Help customers perk up with pleasant drinkware they can show to their class from home or use while traveling to and from school. We have mugs, travel tumblers, and even wine glasses for tired teachers when the day is done.

Person holding a white mug with a cartoon red apple

Getting Cozy at Home

Many students have struggled with doing school from home. They can feel alone because they don’t get to go outside. Make things easier for them by letting them get cozy in their computer chairs.

A Pillow

Computer chairs aren’t known for comfort. Sometimes all that’s needed is a pillow to make sitting in them for hours bearable. Think about designs that can be used all year round. Consider what your customers like the most and use that as a design inspiration.


Let potential customers wrap themselves up in your design with a blanket. With options like fleece, mink, and sherpa, you can keep customers cozy no matter what climate they’re in.

Person laying on a gray couch with a blue cheetah print blanket on them


Who doesn’t love to snuggle into a hoodie? Hoodies are perfect because they work for all occasions. Hanging out with friends, sitting in class, running after school, all can be done in a well-designed hoodie.

How to Market for Back-to-School

As always, marketing is going to be key for getting sales, especially with back-to-school. Remember, there will be a lot of different stores trying to grab your customers’ attention. Make sure you stand out.

Use Email

Many people think that email campaigns don’t work as well with the rise of social media, but that isn’t the case. People still access their emails all the time for different reasons. What you need to do is create eye-catching subject lines that will make them click on your email.

Open to get Promo Code for Back-to-School Shopping!

You Haven’t Forgotten Anything on Your Back-to-School List Have You?

We Have # New Designs, Just in Time for School!

Social Media

Social media is also important with marketing for this time of year. You can use how visual social media is by showing off your products. Make sure you have well-lit and clear photos that will grab customers’ attention.

Showing people wearing or using your products will make it easier for customers to picture what it looks like in real life and makes them more likely to buy. Make sure to put a link to the product you’re showing so they can buy it right away!

Woman wearing a dark blue off the shoulder sweatshirt with a yellow outline of a hand with an eye in its palm

Keep Shipping in Mind

People will start to shop in August to make sure everything arrives on time when school starts in September. College students start shopping even earlier because their move-in dates are earlier than when school actually starts.

Be sure to encourage your customers to use our shipping warranty, now available for domestic AND international orders. Your customers will love knowing their purchases are protected! Remember, you earn 10% of every warranty!