Even though the technology is thirty years in the running, 3D printing is only now being distributed on a wider, more affordable scale. As they are being developed across the world, cheaper constructions using different materials are being created. The Peachy Printer is boasting a $100 price tag, more affordable than the average smartphone. And although the quality of the $100 printer is sketchy, it will likely improve soon.
For those who want their designs realized immediately, there are already online services that offer more industrial printers with a wide array of materials for use. Sites like Shapeways, Cubify, and Ponoko allow you to submit your design, choose a material, and sell your creations immediately.
Evolution of c-commerce
The expanded use of 3D printers will bring about an even stronger era of creative-commerce, or c-commerce. Where regular marketplaces consist of buying and selling, there is a trend towards creating and selling, or at least taking a more active role in the creation process. Whether it is personalizing a product or building from pre-bought parts, customers and sellers want to feel the item they’ve chosen is reflective of them. This then leads increased sharing on social networks. And what business owner doesn’t want free marketing?
And with the sharing of ideas, will come the sharing of designs. 3D printing designs are already for sale and can easily be modified or tweaked based on personal preference.
Effect on ecommerce
With a printer in potentially every household (or at least public access to one), c-commerce sites like Etsy could soon be over-saturated with products. The question will be whether the competition is quality or price-based. Either way online marketplaces will thrive taking a percentage of each transaction and creators/sellers can profit by avoiding a huge stock of inventory before selling.
Although variety is good for competitive pricing and quality, a standardization of 3D printers will eventually need to occur. The day may soon arrive when you can buy online and print your purchase at home instantly, however this would require a printer with certain capabilities. But printing at home brings removed shipping costs, instant delivery time and no more large piles of inventory that need to be moved. C-commerce will be quicker, less wasteful and more budget friendly while still having customization abilities.
How can you get a bite of c-commerce? Examine your product/service and find methods of personalization via our Ruby Slipper Approach. Customization abilities are good places to start.
Get a jump start on c-commerce with custom ecommerce services at Ripen. Whether you are in the initial steps of product creation or are looking for fresh web development, we are ready to take your business to the next level.