Looking to order custom gear? You’re likely overwhelmed by the number of options out there since the online custom apparel market is saturated with companies big and small.
So here’s the big question: how can you differentiate one custom printing brand from another? With RushOrderTees.com being one of the best screen printing companies in the space, we’ve fleshed out the five main factors to consider as you scope the scene for your custom apparel needs.
How long have they been making custom apparel?
It takes years to master the art of printing. Speaking from personal experience (RushOrderTees.com has been in business for over 16 years), it took us six-to-seven years to perfect our craft, plus another three-to-four years to master it at scale (i.e., orders of all different quantities and deadlines).
The number of years a company has been in business is an important factor to consider—it speaks to their quality and expertise. Most custom apparel companies are one-to-10 person shops–and every part of business in that range varies, from their speed, to their quality, service, processes, and systems. At RushOrderTees.com, we’ve worked very hard to maintain state-of-the-art equipment in every production method (DTG, screen printing, embroidery, vinyl) to make sure output quality is correct every time. This ensures that delivery times are never compromised and quality is always exceptional.
Is customer service their top priority?
The concept of online custom apparel has been around for almost 18 years, but it’s still new in the grand scheme of ecommerce. Thus, many shoppers are still learning the processes; you want to ensure your order is printed on your deadline, with the right colors on the right garments, but don’t know the next steps. Sometimes, the best way to guarantee a perfect order is by working with (and speaking to) a real, live expert.
Some custom apparel companies employ in-house Product & Design Specialists who are only a phone call away. They help keep things simple for the customer every step of the way—from offering design support to answering questions, completing your order, and solving any problems that may arise. Their main goal is, on behalf of the brand, to instill trust and put the customer first.
Should the company be located near me?
For some custom apparel shoppers, it may be peace of mind to watch your favorite printer in town print your shirts for you. For other shoppers, choosing a trusted ecommerce brand works well for them, especially since the online space has become standard for custom gear shopping.
Choosing a printer is really a matter of preference that comes down to this question: who do you trust most to create a top-tier product using your desired production method while delivering it when you want it?
At the end of the day, customers want quality products delivered on their deadlines. In fact, our business focus became delivering on appointed deadlines because other companies couldn’t get it there on time, even after committing to customers. So whether your printer is local or web-based, be mindful of your trust and order from—you can’t make someone pull a squeegee for you if they don’t have time, or simply don’t want to.
Does their online reputation read positive?
Verified customer reviews don’t lie—in fact, they’re the best existing source of truth if you want to learn what a certain brand values. Search a company’s name online and read their customer reviews; see what previous buyers are voicing about the brand’s quality, service, and products, then compare it to others in the industry.
How easy is their online user experience?
A custom apparel company’s online user flow goes back to whether they put the customer first. Consider the experience from start to finish:
- Is their design studio off-the-shelf or designed around the user?
- Is their contact info easily found in case you have questions?
- Is their platform responsive on all devices?
- Are there tons of font, clipart, and template selections available for easy ordering?
- Does their checkout process let you choose your deadline?
Choose a company that realized that most custom apparel orders are driven by upcoming events. Deadlines of all timeframes and outstanding product quality must be met every time—and the value the brand puts on user experience is a good indicator of whether they’ll surpass or fall short of your expectations.