Tag Archives: print on demand

outsourcing ecommerce skills

Building an E-Commerce Empire by Outsourcing… Everything

August 9th, 2018 by

outsourcing everything

We recently published an interview with Ten Talents Trading Co., a game-loving ecommerce brand that sells custom 3D-printed Settlers of Catan pieces. Since starting their business, Ten Talents has tripled their product line and boosted revenue 10x thanks to outsourcing some key ecommerce tasks with 3D printing on demand.

What’s the secret to their success? It all started when Ten Talents optimized their business with Fulfilled by Voodoo, Voodoo’s flagship service that takes care of the printing, packaging, and shipping of physical products.

Outsourcing these processes to Voodoo helped Ten Talents in two ways: it quickly scaled up production and gave them more time to focus on marketing, developing products, and increasing profits.

If you want to build a thriving ecommerce business, outsourcing is the fast-track to producing high-quality products and increasing production (and profits) as demand grows.

In this article, we’ll outline step-by-step how to outsource the three main parts of an ecommerce business: design, printing, and shipping.

And to make it fun, let’s pretend you’re starting a new business that sells products for dog lovers: stickers that say “I ❤︎ My Schnauzer” and “Puppy on Board” and little 3D figurines of Chihuahuas and Great Danes.

The first step is designing your products. If you don’t have the time or skills to do it yourself, you can easily outsource the work to a professional designer.

Outsourcing design

Freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and 99designs are home to thousands of professional designers who specialize in illustration, web design, 2D and 3D graphics, and other types of design.

Feel free to shop around to find designers with the right skills and rates that fit into your budget. You can even try out a few designers with small test projects to find out who’s right for you.

For example, you might hire a handful of designers to make an “I ❤︎ My Schnauzer” sticker or produce a one-off illustration of a Chihuahua. Once you find the designer who matches your style (and who you enjoy working with), you can hire them for bigger projects.

When working with designers, you’ll need to communicate with them clearly in order to make your ideas into a reality. You’ll want to discuss your expectations, the type of design you’re looking for, and any other guidelines you may have.

For that Schnauzer sticker, you’ll want to tell them important details like the size of the sticker, the file format for printing, and the colors and fonts you want to use. It’s also helpful to bring examples of other dog stickers you like so they know what you’re expecting.

For 3D products like figurines, iPhone cases, and plastic parts, you can outsource everything to Voodoo’s in-house design team. Our team can take a simple sketch or digital rendering and transform it into a 3D file ready for printing.

To make your custom 3D Great Danes, you might create a quick sketch of the dog on paper and gather some reference images of similar products to send to Voodoo for the final 3D design.

Once the design is finished, it’s ready to print!

Outsourcing printing

The reason why Ten Talents struggled to expand was because they were making every product on a single printer in founder David Hendren’s closet. It might be possible to print your own products in the beginning, but things will get very difficult once demand picks up.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution. You can outsource everything to a factory that prints your products for you, as little or as many as you need. This is called printing on demand, or printing a product automatically after an order is made.

Printing on demand is recommended for new businesses because it eliminates the upfront cost of producing  inventory. Plus, it allows you to test ideas or tweak products for a very low cost.

For example, you could design stickers for 10 different dog breeds and list them in your online store at the same time. If everyone buys the Chihuahua sticker but ignores the Schnauzer sticker, you’re not losing money because you haven’t printed the Schnauzer sticker yet. You’re free to add, remove, and change products at any time.

It’s the same for your 3D dog figurines. Once you’ve created a 3D rendering of each dog breed and chosen materials for printing, it’s ready to be listed on your store. If someone buys the Great Dane, it gets printed. If not, it doesn’t. Either way, no inventory is required to run this kind of business.

Ready to connect your designs to a print on demand service? Printful offers 2D printing on demand for products like t-shirts, stickers, and beach towels, while Fulfilled by Voodoo handles 3D printing on demand (think bottle openers, cookie cutters, iPhone cases and more) in a Brooklyn factory with over 200 printers.

After creating designs and submitting them to a printing service, there’s only one step left: getting your products to customers.

Outsourcing shipping

Founders of big ecommerce brands often talk about the “early days” when they stayed up all night stuffing packaging their products and printing shipping labels. It may sound romantic, but in reality, this process is not only exhausting but also takes away precious time you need to build your business.

Luckily, your ecommerce business can skip this stage altogether. By outsourcing fulfillment from the beginning, you can rest well knowing that your products are being packaged and shipped with care.

Both Printful and Fulfilled by Voodoo include automatic drop-shipping with their print on demand services. Once an order is printed, it’s also packaged, labeled and sent to the customer automatically. You can also choose to ship your items in your custom branded packaging.

What does this mean for your dog breed goods store? It means that once you’ve designed your products, listed them on your store, and connected them with a print on demand service, the rest is taken care of for you. Instead of worrying about fulfilling orders, you can create a blog for dog owners or write funny ads to market your new business. Or you can come up with new product ideas and start the cycle again.

Get started

Outsourcing is a smart choice for anyone who wants to start or grow an ecommerce business.

If you don’t have products yet, finding a designer is a good place to start. And if you already have a store, Printful and Voodoo make it easy to connect with your current storefront and begin printing products on demand.

So why not take the first step? Drop us a line about 3D design here, or email us at sales@voodoomfg.com.

Your empire awaits.


Print on Demand, in 3D

Print On Demand, in 3D: the E-Commerce Hack for More Conversions

July 26th, 2018 by

Print on Demand, in 3D


We’re in the era of growth hacking and life hacking. Every day, moonlight entrepreneurs are leaving their 9 to 5 to pursue their print on demand side hustle full time. And why is that?

The combination of user friendly e-commerce and print on demand platforms has made it ridiculously easy to launch and scale an online store, and that comes with many positives: democratizing product development by removing the need to hold inventory, and giving smaller merchants and microbrands some market share, to name a few.

However, there are two sides to that coin. Making e-commerce ridiculously easy has attracted masses of fledgling entrepreneurs, saturating even the most niche markets with print on demand and dropshipping businesses.

These shops are easy to set up, yes — but they can be difficult to sustain. Ubiquitous products like t-shirts, mugs, and beach towels eventually lose their charm. Translation: lead to way fewer conversions.

What if you could print any product on demand?

Have you ever wondered what your business would be like if you could manufacture top performing e-commerce products on demand? Have you dared to dream of the conversion spike you’d see with customizable or functional products from entirely new categories? Have you ever wondered what products (already in existence, or not) might be more compelling to your audience than simple slogan merch?

With the help of a new kind of print on demand service, you can recapture your customers’ attention with a wider range of products — and original products that they can’t find anywhere else.

Print on Demand… in 3D

With so many 3D printing and design resources available these days (CadCrowd, TurboSquid, and of course our in house design service), 3D print on demand (3D POD) services are the logical evolution (dare we say upgrade) for your business.

That’s right — product possibilities are truly endless if you’re willing to deviate from your POD platform’s range of sample products.

Here are some reasons you might want to consider breaking ground in new product categories for your POD or dropshipping business with a service like Fulfilled By Voodoo.

1. Traditional e-commerce products really aren’t that novel anymore.

Customers today have seen it all when it comes to e-commerce products, and it’s taking a toll on conversions.

Let’s put ourselves in your audience’s shoes. Imagine that your target customer is in the market for a the perfect gift for her Harry Potter-obsessed best friend. She’s already scrolled through pages of t-shirts and mugs with quotes and characters from the books, yet somehow wasn’t able to make a decision.

With 3D printing on demand, you can reinvent slogan products altogether by featuring your cleverest sayings in entirely new categories.

With all those options at her fingertips, she’s unlikely to make a purchase until she comes across something that breaks the mold.

In contrast to all of those Muggles t-shirts, a unique gift like this drink holder might cause her not only to convert, but to return to your site time after time to check out your differentiated product offering.

With 3D printing on demand, you can reinvent slogan products altogether by featuring your cleverest sayings in entirely new categories.

2. Variety = Differentiation, Differentiation = Retention

To kick it back to Marketing 101, consider the fact that product differentiation is a major driver of customer retention. If your conversions have been on the decline lately, you’re not alone. It may be due to offering the kind of undifferentiated products that your customers only buy once.

Keep in mind that the cost of acquiring a new customer through ads and other digital marketing techniques far exceeds the cost of keeping a loyal one, so it’s a great idea for any entrepreneur to focus on retention. Offering your customers the unique products they want — and truly can’t find elsewhere — creates a long term customer that will return time and time again.

With a 3D POD service, these kinds of simple, effective, and functional products are just as easy to launch as t-shirts, mugs, and totes.

What does this look like in action?

If you run a super general dropshipping store, but notice that your wine and beer products have been converting like crazy, you might consider launching some 3D print on demand products to better serve that segment of your customer base.

This could take the form of products like wine stoppers, coasters, or customizable wine tag sets — to name just a few.

With a 3D POD service, these kinds of simple, effective, and functional products are just as easy to launch as t-shirts, mugs, and totes.

3. You already have exactly what you need to get started

Think back to when you were researching how to launch your first store. Chances are you were a little overwhelmed by all the design assets you needed to go live: a logo, graphics for your printed products, product shots of the items themselves, and maybe even some visual assets for social media and Facebook ads.

Developing a new product for 3D printing on demand isn’t too different from what you’ve already mastered…

Perhaps you did some tutorials and created your own graphics. Perhaps you decided to outsource the task to a helper from Fiverr or Upwork. Perhaps, regardless of the pathway you chose, this once unfamiliar process is now pretty second nature to you.

Developing a new product for 3D printing on demand isn’t too different from what you’ve already mastered within your chosen print on demand platform. Said differently, there’s no need to be an expert to get started.

You can easily source and customize 3D printable-files from sites like Turbosquid, CadCrowd, MyMiniFactory, and Thingiverse, or you can use original 2D design assets as the basis for your 3D models. You can also find experienced 3D designers to help you out on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

Usually, you can also look to your 3D POD platform for a printable file, which does tend to be the best way to guarantee that your file is production-ready. Our in house design team is always standing by to help bring your killer product idea to life.

Have an idea you’re thinking about producing? Fulfilled by Voodoo (or FBV) is full-stack manufacturing and fulfillment service that makes it easier than ever to start and scale a business selling original custom products online.

And if you’re still looking for inspiration on what kinds of products can be #MadeWithVoodoo, contact sales@voodoomfg.com for a copy of our Fulfilled By Voodoo Idea Catalog.

Fulfilled By Voodoo Products

5 Easy Steps to Selling Never-Before-Seen Print On Demand Products

July 11th, 2018 by

Fulfilled By Voodoo Products

In our introductory post about Fulfilled by Voodoo, we talked about why we started it — to empower people to launch physical products without the tall barriers that manufacturing typically creates — and the huge implications this has for anyone running an online store, or powering a print on demand business with platforms like Printful.

Why is Fulfilled By Voodoo particularly relevant to this cohort of ecommerce entrepreneurs? Like the standard print on demand services you’re already familiar with, Fulfilled By Voodoo offers the benefits of:

  • Dropshipping directly to customers
  • E-commerce integrations (Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, Squarespace and many more)
  • Just-in-Time — or on-demand — manufacturing
  • Flexible shipping options
  • Branded packaging

The major difference between the two is that with standard print on demand platforms, entrepreneurs are limited to selling whatever assortment of base products is available on their platform of choice.

By comparison, Fulfilled By Voodoo gives online sellers the ability to sell any object that can be 3D printed, whether it’s countless SKUs of novelty cookie cutters, a collection of niche-specific showerheads, or playful twists on branded e-commerce classics like bottle openers, drink holders, wine stoppers, and so forth.  

FBV Comparison Matrix

In this post, we’ll take a look at five easy steps to selling never-before-seen print on demand products with Fulfilled By Voodoo, starting with…

1. Submitting the Get Started Form

Great! You’re interested in learning more about outsourcing the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of your products by connecting your online store directly to our factory. It’s time to fill out the Get Started Form.

If you have a 3D printable file already, this is the perfect place to tell us about it, or even upload it for our reference. No 3D file? Not to worry. Read on to learn all about our 3D design service.

Once you submit the form, a member of our Fulfillment team will follow up to schedule a phone call during your listed availability. What comes next is the…

2. Product Conversation

Once we get you on the phone, it’s time to talk about the fun stuff. We’ll discuss your current suite of products, and how we can use marketing insights to expand your offering with custom, personalized, or just plain novel on-demand products.

Whether or not you already have a 3D-printable file of your product, this convo is paramount in determining what comes next on your path to launch.

If you need a hand bringing your killer product idea to life, you can use freelance service marketplaces like CadCrowd or Fiverr to source affordable digital assets.

You can also browse sites like Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, and TurboSquid, to find accessible 3D models that can easily be customized and tweaked by you or your 3D designer.

But if you’d like a little more assistance throughout the product development process, you might want to move on to…

3. 3D Design

3D Design Team

In the interest of getting things right the first time, it’s a great idea to sit back and let our world-class team of 3D designers turn your idea into a production-ready 3D file

Our team can start with as little as a napkin sketch or as much as an engineering drawing, but it turns out that existing 2D brand assets (think logos, business cards, or even found images you like) are an excellent starting point for a 3D design.

Whether you’re looking for a hard-edged functional object or an organic character model, our team of designers can present you with a whole gamut of options that align to your target cost.

And yes, you can expect production samples all the way up until…

4. Storefront Integration for Product Launch

Ecommerce Integrations

Integrating your storefront with our factory sounds like a headache, but make no mistake: this part requires just one step (and no technical experience).

All you have to do is create a ShipStation account or share your existing account details with us. We take care of the rest!

Why do you need to create a ShipStation account?

ShipStation is an advanced e-commerce service provider with one of the longest lists of available storefront integrations. That’s exactly why we chose it as the foundation for our API.

ShipStation Partners


This means that you can sell your products on any number of ShipStation’s Platform Partners and have them automatically manufactured, packaged, and shipped with Fulfilled By Voodoo.

With the integration all taken care of, it’s time to publish your listings and make your brand new never-before-seen print on demand products available to your customers.

The majority of our clients sell on Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy, but our service is also compatible with platforms like Magento, eBay, Wix, CrateJoy, among many others.

5. Rinse and Repeat

Launching a product from start to finish is bound to yield invaluable insights for your brand. Whether your goal is to boost customer retention, brand differentiation, or niche segmentation, you can propel your brand to a whole new level when you branch into different product categories.

Ready to get inspired? Contact sales@voodoomfg.com for a copy of our FBV Product Catalog, and check out our success story on FBV customer Ten Talents Trading here.

Voodoo Full Stack Supply Chain

A Lean Supply Chain: How Online Sellers Reduce Risk and Save Time

June 27th, 2018 by

For most entrepreneurs selling products online, supply chains are tall and complex. They’re an unwieldy stack of manufacturing, quality control, storage, picking and packing, packaging, and shipping. As consumers, it’s easy to take for granted the amount of logistics it takes to move a product from concept all the way to our hands, but the reality is that the physical supply of a product is just one part of building a sustainable e-commerce business.

traditional supply chain

The New Supply Chain

At Voodoo, we set out to make this part of the process simpler by reimagining the way products get manufactured. By integrating software and machine intelligence at every step, we’re able to offer a service that compresses supply chain logistics into a single “Buy Now” button.  

That game-changing service is called Fulfilled By Voodoo, or FBV. With FBV, companies can consider supply chain taken care of. With this new e-commerce model, the pages of spreadsheets for managing suppliers and pre-processing timelines, and the headaches of juggling out-of-stock materials for your product mix, are a thing of the past.

Voodoo Full Stack Supply Chain

Focus on Demand

Rather than sourcing and inventorying thousands of products, and scrambling to market and sell them, companies using FBV can focus on creating demand for their products. In the background, our factory is always standing by to fulfill orders as soon as the customer converts. This monumental shift repositions businesses at any stage of growth from a supply driven operation to one that is demand driven.

“Our customers don’t hold inventory of their products.”

FBV comic strip

Consolidate Sales Channels and Gain Clarity on the Bigger Picture

Thriving e-commerce businesses tend to have an abundance of sales channels, and gaining insight into product performance through all of those channels can be incredibly challenging to not only manage in the day to day, but analyze for larger insights. This can lead to issues in two critical areas: product development and planning.  

Cookie Cutter Kingdom

Cookie Cutter Kingdom is built on variety. With more than 3,000 custom and personalized cookie cutters for every holiday, theme, and category, they integrated with Fulfilled By Voodoo to outsource the production, fulfillment, and shipping of their massive suite of products.

On the product development side, understanding what items perform well is critical information for identifying new products to sell, and filling any gaps in the product landscape with a killer idea of your own.

From a planning perspective, imperfect demand predictions can leave companies with piles of overstocked waste, or shortages during peak demand. Ultimately, these issues lead to expensive operational inefficiencies and revenue losses.

Fulfilled By Voodoo solves these two issues by funneling orders from multiple sales channels into a single place. That funnel means we’re able to pull back the curtain on valuable insights about which products are selling at the highest volume. And because we manufacture everything on-demand for each order, we’re also able to eliminate the risk of overstocked goods.

Get In Touch

Whether you’re ready to connect your booming business to our fulfillment services, or you’re simply curious about where to begin with 3D-printable files, go ahead and email sales@voodoomfg.com. We can help you conceptualize, design, manufacture, and sell  just about anything.

For the full low down on Fulfilled By Voodoo, check out our website and introductory blog post.