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At times, producing products for an e-commerce store can feel like a no-win scenario. Do you craft highly customizable and individualized products that are high quality, but take a long time to produce and can only be sold in limited quantities? Or do you mass produce a product in an attempt to get more sales, but lose out on some of the quality that will help you get returning customers?

In reality, you don’t have to skimp on quality when you mass produce a product for your e-commerce business. With the right practices, you can ensure consistent quality that pleases your buyers and helps you build your e-commerce brand.

Carefully Research and Vet Suppliers

If you want to ensure that your mass produced products live up to your quality expectations, then you need to do your research. Even when you narrow your focus to manufacturers with a background in your industry or product line, there can still be an overwhelming number of potential partners to sort through.

To help narrow your search, verify the manufacturer’s business license and background and ask for references from their current and former clients. Look to online reviews and other third-party evaluation sources to get a better understanding of their work.

Pay especially close attention to a potential partner’s quality control processes. Asking about what processes they use to meet clients’ quality standards can give you a better idea of what to expect when you work with them. This is especially important if your product is subject to regulations (such as how cosmetics are regulated in the United States).

Of course, you’ll need to do all of this while paying attention to your manufacturing budget. As the saying goes, however, you often “get what you pay for.” A manufacturer that is significantly cheaper than its competitors should raise some red flags. Those unusually low quotes are often an indicator of low-quality materials or insufficient quality control measures. A quality manufacturer will have clear policies and standards in place regarding materials, defective products and other issues that affect overall results.

Fine-Tune Your Product Details and Communicate Effectively

Ensuring high-quality results even when using mass production isn’t exclusively the responsibility of your manufacturing partner. It also requires that you have fine-tuned and clearly outlined the manufacturing requirements for your product.

This covers a wide range of details, including materials, quantities and specific production techniques. Depending on the scope and uniqueness of your product, this could even entail developing a 3D CAD model that undergoes a series of prototyping tests to fine-tune the actual design.

Even when your e-commerce product doesn’t require CAD modeling, you should still have detailed design documents that clearly demonstrate how the finished product should look and function. Even when using a white-label or private-label product, you must be specific about things like product sizes and quantities.

With clearly defined parameters for manufacturing, you ensure that potential manufacturing partners will have all the necessary details to create a finished product that lives up to expectations. On the other hand, if you don’t properly communicate what you need for your product, even the best manufacturer will struggle to produce satisfactory results.

By taking time to perfect your product design and then giving your partners all the information they need to begin production, you greatly increase the likelihood of a finished product that lives up to expectations.

Request a Sample Before Committing to Mass Production

Even after you’ve done your due diligence in researching potential manufacturing partners, request a product sample. This is especially important when working with an overseas partner who you won’t be able to visit in person. After all, as anyone who has ever ordered a product online can attest, colors and textures (particularly with clothing) can appear much different in-person than they did on your phone or computer screen.

It’s easiest to get product samples of white-label products, as the only difference in the final product will be the labeling you put on it. On the other hand, custom products may require a longer lead time (and potentially a small payment) to get a sample, since they are more reliant on your designs and product specifications.

With a sample, you can feel and examine the finished product to get an idea of the manufacturer’s overall quality and whether their offerings match your specifications and needs. If a sample doesn’t match what you’re looking for, then it’s time to move on to a different manufacturer.

Another option after getting a product sample is to begin manufacturing with a pilot run. With a smaller run, you’ll be able to catch any production issues before going into mass production, while making a smaller manufacturing investment. This can help you confirm that your manufacturing partner understands and adheres to your design specifications.

Successful Mass Production Is a Partnership

At the end of the day, your ability to mass produce e-commerce products without sacrificing quality largely comes down to being able to select the right manufacturing partners. By doing your due diligence to find someone who can transform your designs and specifications into a consistently high-quality product, you can have confidence each time you add a product to your digital storefront.

At Sourcify, our goal is to make this process easy by helping you match with vetted factory partners from around the globe. Accountability and full support through the sourcing process will help you improve your profit margins while achieving the level of quality you need.

Talk to us to get started.

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