3D Universe is a different kind of company. Like every company, we need to make a profit, but unlike most companies, profit is not our primary goal or focus. 3D Universe founding partner, Jeremy Simon, devotes more than half of his time to doing charitable work with the e-NABLE volunteer community, producing 3D-printed prosthetic devices for people in underserved communities around the world, especially children, free of charge. You can see examples of that work on our blog (3duniverse.org), in the Prosthetic Devices section.
Technologies like 3D printing are quite empowering. We adults grew up in a world where companies make the products and the rest of us are just consumers. Our children are going to grow up in a world where we are all co-creators. They seem to recognize this potential intuitively and they get genuinely excited about it.
Introducing 3D printing into education, especially where younger children are concerned, is something else we're passionate about here at 3D Universe. We welcome opportunities to speak to students and classrooms via Skype or Google Hangouts to help introduce them to 3D printing and what can be done with it. We can work with educators and schools to develop special projects, or even entire curricula, around 3D printing.
At 3D Universe, we see the transformational effects 3D printing is having on the world and want to do everything we can to make that technology available to more people. You'll find our prices to be very competitive, but when you buy from 3D Universe, you'll also be helping to support our charitable initiatives.
3D Universe offers discounts for students and educators, as well as active members of the e-NABLE volunteer community. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We have been actively involved in the 3D printing community as well as volunteer groups like e-NABLE (enablingthefuture.org). Our first sales came from people in these communities who were already familiar with our reputation.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
We utilize Shopify Payments for credit card processing, and we leverage the Custom Automated Fulfillment mechanism to send email notifications to our distributor as orders are placed. This allows us to offer same-day shipping for most orders.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
We found that it was very useful to work on building our audience and reputation in our chosen field prior to launching our online store. We were then able to leverage those community sources to drive traffic to the new site.
Remember that your store may do better than expected, so it's a good idea to leverage Shopify's features to automate processes wherever possible. There's nothing better than knowing that orders are coming in and being handled, even while you're sleeping!