Fulfilled By Voodoo: Plug-n-Play Manufacturing & Fulfillment for Online Product Stores
Ever since we started Voodoo Manufacturing, we’ve been excited to build a service that allows anyone to manufacture products and start businesses. Our goal has always been to empower people to invent, design, and deliver products without the tall barriers that manufacturing typically creates. That’s why today we’re incredibly excited to announce a new service that marks a major step in this direction: Fulfilled by Voodoo.
Fulfilled by Voodoo, or “FBV” for short, is a full-stack manufacturing and fulfillment service that makes it easier than ever to start and scale any business selling 3D printed products online. With FBV, you can link your e-commerce storefronts directly to our factory and outsource the 3D printing, quality control, assembly, packaging, and shipping of your products. Every time you receive an order from a customer it’s automatically routed to our factory, where it’s manufactured on-demand and then drop-shipped directly back to your customer.
Overcoming Modern Manufacturing’s Biggest Obstacles
For anyone who’s ever designed and sold a physical product, they’ve learned how difficult it can be to set up a reliable, scalable, and affordable manufacturing pipeline. For many people this is an insurmountable hurdle that they fail to overcome. At Voodoo, we believe manufacturing isn’t the essence of a product – it’s a means to an end. Just as technology isn’t important for its own sake, but rather because of what it does for you, manufacturing is important because of the product it enables you to make. For how amazing modern manufacturing is, there are still so many examples of people failing to successfully manufacture a product. Or, even worse, people who never even start on their journey to bring a product to market. This happens for many reasons – from high upfront costs, to long lead times, to complicated design-for-manufacturing requirements – but at the core of this lies the fact that manufacturing is still a largely difficult, painful, and treacherous process.
When it comes to the non-manufacturing aspects of running a consumer product business, the barrier to entry is typically much lower. Today, you can easily build e-commerce websites with services like Shopify and Squarespace. You can reach customers around the world on marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. You can accept payments with Square and Stripe, and you can promote your products through Facebook and Instagram. These platforms and services have enabled people to create massively successful products and brands; and at Voodoo, we think it’s time for manufacturing and fulfillment to be just as accessible.
Our hope is that by using FBV you’ll have more time to focus on the parts of your business that matter most – like product development, growth, and talking to customers. We know firsthand that when you’re able to focus on a fewer number of tasks, you perform better; so our goal is to erase “print this,” “package that,” and “ship these” from your to-do lists, and instead make manufacturing feel intuitive, scalable, and reliable. After all, 3D printing, packaging, and shipping are not why you started your business, but it’s exactly why we started ours.
React Even Faster with Just-in-Time Manufacturing
With FBV, you’ll be able to route orders to us for production right as they are placed. This is known as just-in-time manufacturing. Rather than having to predict your sales numbers ahead of time and commit to ordering a specific number of units (which exposes you to the danger of having predicted wrong, whether over or under), just-in-time manufacturing lets your order exactly what you need, when you need it. No more, no less. This means that you’ll be able to react much faster and much more easily to changes in demand, or to other factors which might affect your sales. It also means you can continuously iterate on your product, rather than releasing few and far between product updates. React to current events and trends. React to customer feedback. React to competition. This is what building a software product is like today, and this is what manufacturing will be like tomorrow.
FBV also has a variety of new features and capabilities that make it easy for you to get started, from plug-and-play shopfront integrations to a fully-functional API. FBV is designed to be simple and scalable, so that you can start using us during the early days of your business, and count on us when you need to scale quickly. And, in staying consistent with Voodoo’s other service offerings, FBV is a truly affordable 3D printing service — allowing you to hit your target price points with enough money leftover to reinvest in your business (or splurge on an exotic vacation).
Unleashing Zooheads, Our Proof of Concept for FBV
BUT, sometimes just telling people something exists isn’t enough to motivate them to act. A lot of us need to see it to believe it. So, that’s why we’re also thrilled to announce the launch of the first ever Voodoo-built and FBV-powered business, Zooheads.com.
Ever since I uploaded the T-Rex Skull Showerhead to Thingiverse in 2014, I’ve been fascinated by just how much it’s captured the attention and admiration of the Internet. Hundreds of people around the world now sell the T-Rex Skull Showerhead, and thousands of people take showers with one daily. We’ve always been curious to see what other showerheads people would get excited about, and so we decided to launch Zooheads, where we’re now selling 11 new animal-themed showerheads.
Zooheads is about showing what’s possible. Since Zooheads is powered by FBV, every time a customer submits an order for a Zoohead through one of our storefronts (e.g. our website, Amazon, or Etsy), the order is instantly sent to the Voodoo factory where it’s 3D printed, inspected, packaged, and shipped directly back to the customer. Zooheads carries no inventory. The only investment we made in starting the business was the time it took to create the 3D models and build the online store using Shopify. Zooheads is exceptionally agile: for instance, if people love Zooheads like they loved the T-Rex Skull showerhead, we can start designing and listing more products week by week. We can launch new collections beyond just animals, and start choosing new designs based on popular trends and cultural icons without ever worrying about hitting a minimum sales number. This is what the future of manufacturing looks like.
What’s Next for Fulfilled by Voodoo
In the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out even more FBV capabilities and publishing examples of how new businesses are leveraging the service. We’re really excited to see what kinds of new and amazing 3D printed products people create, so feel free to get in touch if you have an idea.