Launching and Selling a Unique Product Made with 3D Printing

53 min listen

Today the Ecwid E-commerce Show hosts Jesse and Richie are joined by Tony Virelli of 3D Locksport and Emagine.

Having found success in specialty niches, Tony shares his experience launching and selling a unique product created with the help of 3D-printing.

He is a locksport enthusiast (locksport is the sport of opening locks and beating complex systems) and enjoys 3D design and printing. So he decided to connect his two loves to bring custom tools and accessories to the locksport community.

A 3D printer allowed Tony to meet an untapped demand for locksmith stands and holders. That’s why he encourages merchants to embrace the opportunities provided by new technology. He is an advocate for 3D printing, which has benefits such as:

  • creating unique solutions to share with the world
  • cheap experimentation and customization
  • eliminating unsold inventory by allowing for on demand production.

On today’s show, Tony also touches upon:

  • Why he chose Ecwid for selling online: for him it was a no-risk way to explore e-commerce, simple to develop and scale his store and concept, and easy to manage products and order processing.
  • Using tools like Mailchimp and Facebook Messenger for automating customer order notifications, getting the word out, and promoting your business with virtually no budget.
  • Tips for promoting a niche product without paid ads: reaching out to targeted communities, finding the right Facebook group(s), using Reddit to target niche groups.
  • And more tips for writing newsletters, managing outbound communication, using YouTube videos for social proof, creating great product pictures on a budget.

Highlights:

  • “I have spent a total of $1 and 47 cents on online marketing as far as pay-per-click ads. And that was on Facebook only. I ran like a week’s worth for it, but I targeted it down to specific groups that I’m in such a niche that it makes it very easy to do so. But I would say that 95% of all my sales (at the beginning at least) were all social media.”
  • “Love Mailchimp! I also love that Ecwid now inherently integrates with Mailchimp without a plugin, which is great. So Mailchimp is fantastic for emailing your past customers or new customers. When there’s a new product launch, I can email everyone who’s bought from me before to let them know there’s a new product out. I got a ton of sales, plus MailChimp lets you see how successful that campaign you sent was.”
  • “The big one that a lot of people overlook is YouTube. You’d be amazed at what a video showing your product in use can do for social proof. ‘This is a product, it’s real, I’m using it. This is how it works. Consider getting one for yourself.’ You can get into really fine detail about what makes your product so great, why they should choose yours over somebody else’s. The comment sections can also help drive questions.”
  • “If you have a phone that is three years old or less, you have a high-definition camera sitting there. What’s important is lighting, background, and focus. I bought this little white photo lightbox. Every product photo on my website is off my iPhone, every single one. I bought a cheap little tripod that holds my phone. All in all, I spent maybe $40 on photo-taking equipment.”

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