How to Manufacture a Product for eCommerce
Find out everything you need to know about product manufacturing for e-commerce brands. How to design a product for manufacturing, find a supplier, and more.
Dropshipping and e-commerce have become quite popular in recent years. This business model is appealing to many people because of dropshipping profit margin and its simplicity. You never even have to touch the products you’re selling. All you have to do is create a good flow with the help of marketing and multichannel selling; your suppliers will take care of the rest.
However, not all eCommerce is dropshipping. If you’d like to adopt a more personalized approach to selling, you can start manufacturing your own products. This way you can have full control over the quality and design of your products. You can be sure that there is no one out there doing it quite like you.
There are several things that go into product manufacturing. It starts with designing the product, finding a manufacturer to make your product, calculating the profit margins, and so much more. If you’re thinking about how to get your product manufactured, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to get some valuable insight on the subject of product manufacturing.
Steps to Manufacture a Product for Your Startup
The success of your product will largely depend on the initial research that was put into it. Let’s say you already have a product that you’re sure is going to do well on all the selling platforms you’re willing to occupy. Now, how do you sell it? Multichannel retailing is a great solution for many eCommerce brands. This way you can work with a wider audience without breaking your back. If you’d like to find out more about the way multichannel selling works, try the Sellbery product and learn about our services.
Research will help you identify your pain points and find solutions. Unless you’re presenting a completely unique idea that has never been heard of before, you will face some competition. What makes your product unique? Why should people choose it over the myriad of similar products from established brands?
How much will your product cost? Product manufacturing is a big expense. How much money can you afford to invest? Think about the materials you’re going to use. What are your competitors using? How can you lower the cost of production without compromising the quality? How big will your profit margins be? There is a lot to think about, so don’t skip this part!
Once you have a better idea of what your product should be in all senses of the word, you can begin to work on its design. Design does not only mean the way the product looks, but also its functionality. When you get to this stage, it’s best to hire a professional designer. If you are serious about manufacturing a product, you shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to important business decisions.
The right design can make or break your product. If you’ve chosen this path over the dropshipping model, it is safe to assume that quality is important to you. In that case, you need to ensure that your product is functional and appealing to your target audience. If you don’t know how to design a product for manufacturing, a professional designer will offer exactly the help you need.
This is the part we’ve all been waiting for – finding a product manufacturing company. When you’re thinking about how to get a product manufactured, you’re probably jumping to this step in your head. If you look online, you will find a list of products to manufacture at home. However, if you are interested in bulk manufacturing, you will have to outsource the production.
Usually, when you find a factory that works with startups and sole traders like yourself, they can offer you a package deal. That means that instead of running around and finding individual suppliers for each part of the product, you can just put the product manufacturing in the hands of this one entity. Ideally, your manufacturer should be able to produce, assemble, and package the product for you.
Your manufacturer can make or break your brand. If quality is important to you and you want to stick to your deadlines, you need to find a reliable manufacturer. To find manufacturers for your product you also need to know exactly what you want. The materials you’re going to use, the quantity you’re looking to make, the deadlines you want to meet… All of that should be very clear to you before you figure out how to approach a manufacturer with your product idea.
Let’s say you have your product and you have your manufacturer. Now you need to figure out how to manufacture a product and sell it. One step that helps on this journey is creating a prototype. There is no better way to find out what’s wrong with your product than using it. Now you can finally manufacture your own product, but just one.
When the prototype is ready, use it! Give it to your friends, test all of its capabilities, do everything you can think of with it. That’s the only way to find out how good (or bad) the product actually is. At this stage you can also suggest alterations to the product. Don’t disregard the feedback you receive from the people you’re working with. Your designers, suppliers, and manufacturers might have something to say about the product. Take their feedback seriously and use it to create a real best-seller.
Finally, this is when you get to know how to manufacture a product. Manufacturing products is not as easy or difficult as you might think it is. It simply is what it is; no more no less. Before you get to this step, you need to have a pretty good idea of how many items you’d like to manufacture, how quickly you’re planning on selling them all, what channels you’re going to use for marketing and sales, and how much it’s going to cost you.
Don’t be afraid to discuss the cost with the manufacturer. In fact, this is one of the first things that you should talk about before you get to the production. When you’re manufacturing new products, everything is trial and error up until the manufacturing process. In the interest of cutting costs, you want to make sure that the first batch you end up with is the winner.
Finding a Manufacturer
When you’re thinking about how to get an idea manufactured, one of the biggest problems is finding a good manufacturer. Though product manufacturing is by no means a new field of business, finding a reliable manufacturer that’s easy to work with is still quite difficult. Here are some tips that will help you weed out the bad ones and attract the good ones.
Decide if you’d rather work with a domestic or overseas manufacturer
Regardless of where you live, you have a choice of domestic or overseas suppliers. There are more domestic manufacturers in some countries, such as China and North America. If you’re really keen on working with a domestic supplier, you’ll find one almost anywhere. The benefits of that include being able to communicate in the same language and supporting your local economy.
Working with an overseas manufacturer may be more difficult, but it can ultimately save you lots of money. One of the drawbacks of that is that you might not be able to communicate as well. That happens because of the language barrier with some countries and time zones. You might also not be able to work as closely together if you are unable to take frequent trips to the country where your manufacturer is located.
Hire a production manager
If you’ve chosen to go with a manufacturing company that is located overseas, you are probably saving lots of money. However, you may also face barriers when it comes to communication. For that reason, we recommend hiring a person “on the inside”. If the manufacturing facility you’re working with is located in China, you can find a production manager there. They will serve as the middleman between you and the manufacturer. Because they speak the language and understand the culture, they can communicate with the manufacturer more effectively. At the same time, if you find yourself unable to reach the manufacturer and there is an issue with your order, you can task the production manager with solving the issue directly with the manufacturer.
Do your research
The best way how to find a manufacturer to make your product is through your connections. If a friend or business partner can refer you to a manufacturer they’ve worked with, you can probably be sure they are reliable. Of course, not everyone has this luxury.
If that’s your case and you still don’t know how to find manufacturers to make your product, you can do your own research on the internet. Shopify has a number of resources for startups and individuals who are looking to start manufacturing products. The most important advice is – don’t settle right away! Get quotes from different manufacturers and compare them. Read reviews and know that you always have options. If you’re not happy with the manufacturer you found, don’t feel as though you have to go with them just because they’ve provided their quotes.
Product manufacturing is no easy task, but it is certainly something you can do. When you don’t know how to start manufacturing a product, refer to this guide for some tips and tricks, as well as specific steps in manufacturing. The best advice we can give you is – do your research. And, keep in mind that you’re not only looking for a product you can make, but also one you can sell. If you need a little help with the selling aspect, check out Sellbery and start multi-channel selling!
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