The Ideal Customer Profile for Online Stores

As screen printers and print shops build the future of the custom apparel industry, it’s evident that online stores are our industry’s blue ocean. Online stores are the most exciting and challenging frontier for print shops.

Whether due to their scale, reach in the community, or time constraints—some select businesses and customers make great candidates for online stores. Here’s a simple test for determining if an online store could have a broader reach.

It goes like this: Does grandma probably want one too? If she does, that’s a great candidate for an online store.


The best online store clients have significant credibility, a consistent following, and the ability to sell the merchandise (either by necessity or because of popularity). Think big!

Many of these ideal customers face consistent demand for custom merchandise and have organizational restraints so that collecting sizes, customizations, and payments is a significant hurdle. That means a simple online store meets their needs.

Look for customers that have creative fundraising opportunities, the ability to seize on viral memes or hot market events, or broaden reach within your community as your “whale” clients for online stores.


Here are some great examples:

Athletic leagues

  • Recurrent need for custom jerseys, uniforms, practice gear
  • Large scale
  • Huge logistics burden for league
  • Necessary for participation

Professional events, outings, and sponsored appearances

  • Large scale
  • Often B2B
  • Less price sensitive

Company and corporate stores

  • Necessary, so it simplifies the ordering process
  • Scales extremely well
  • Simplifies production


  • Easy interface
  • Extremely clear


  • Outings, events, clubs within churches
  • Reduce complex needs to a few simple stores

School systems

  • Offer a store per school and streamline distribution
  • Easily craft dozens of stores and manage them as well
  • Simple and effective


  • Uniforms and merchandise
  • For employees or their customers
  • Explore custom condiments, coupon packages, and more

Local government organizations

  • Put everything in one place
  • Customizations collected easily
  • Easy coupon usage


  • Offer seasonal gear
  • Safety gear, work gear

Hot market trends

  • A/B test your ideas with unlimited stores
  • See how new designs perform
  • Seize on controversy or timely events/topics


  • Offer before or after stores
  • Easy discounts for VIPs
  • Simple to segment for different bands

Events with 100+ attendees

  • Souvenirs
  • Autographs
  • Anytime purchasing
Luke Gardner Printavo

Luke Gardner

Luke is the content specialist at Printavo. He's been with the company since October 2018 and specializes in "compelling content, clear thinking, expert research, data-driven decisions, and long-term focus."

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Charlie Fox

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