A Low-risk, High-reward Approach
Home Business Magazine|Spring 2021
6 Key Ways Print on Demand Can Help eCommerce Businesses Scale in 2021
Brian Rainey

As a home business owner, you understand the importance of having multiple income streams. Online sales are a great way to create them. If you haven’t jumped on the eCommerce bandwagon, now is the time to do so. The eCommerce industry grew tremendously last year and shows no signs of slowing down. Global retail eCommerce sales totalled $4.2 trillion in 2020, according to eMarketer.

That’s good news for both new and established eCommerce store owners, but it can also seem a bit intimidating. While it is true there are plenty of potential customers waiting to buy your product, you’ll also see more competitors popping up to get in on the booming market. You’ll need a sound strategy to ensure your business can continue to grow along with the eCommerce industry.

A low-risk, high-reward approach to tap into this ever-growing marketing is using on-demand manufacturing for your online store. On-demand is a process by which goods are produced only when they are needed and in the quantities required. The method has made headway among small-to-medium sizes brands, with major retailers only slowly starting to adopt the relatively new process.

Whether you’re an experienced eCommerce entrepreneur or you’re just getting started, now is an ideal time to capitalize on this new and revolutionary method of making and selling products.

On-Demand vs. Traditional Wholesale Manufacturing

Traditional manufacturing requires products to be made and then warehoused until they are ready to be shipped, whereas on-demand makes it possible to manufacture goods only when needed and in the quantities required.

By eliminating the cost and effort of storing and managing inventory, more and more companies are turning to on-demand manufacturing. The recent eCommerce boom and shifting consumer preferences have largely driven the growth of the on-demand market. On-demand, also called cloud manufacturing, is expected to reach about $112 billion by 2024, growing at almost 20% annually, according to MarketWatch.

For the everyday home business owner, there are many reasons why on-demand manufacturing is an appealing alternative or supplement to traditional wholesale.

1) No Inventory, No Problem

On-demand production virtually eliminates the need to store materials and the goods made from them. Instead of guessing what consumer demand will be every season and stockpiling inventory, businesses can now meet the demand directly because orders are made when requested. Because on-demand minimizes the need to forecast new product volumes or meet minimum order requirements, it allows companies to skip the costs of warehousing and direct staffing resources to other tasks and removes the worry of offloading unsold inventory.

2) Test New Ideas & Products with Zero Risk

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