Crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others can be a great way to launch a new type of product offering. But since crowdfunding is less like ecommerce and more like users investing in your idea, issues in manufacturing and order fulfillment can arise and hinder product launch. Below, we’ll outline some common fulfillment problems that crowdfunded campaigns face – and how you can overcome them.
There are usually one or two sources for production delays: underestimating the number of backers and prototype difficulties. If more people back your crowdfunded idea than you anticipate, then the order you need to deliver is that much bigger – which could cause delays. Similarly, your prototype may run into issues when making the transition from prototype to mass-produced product. You can mitigate both of these issues by staying away from aggressive timeframes and making sure to account for anticipated delays.
Many crowdfunded campaigns have backers from all over the world, so it’s important to do your homework and get accurate shipping estimates – otherwise most of the project’s pledge money will go toward shipping costs. Be sure to account for the final weight of the product (including extra rewards, if any, for backers), shipping options (delivery confirmation, tracking, etc.) and any other international shipping considerations. Remember, a separate charge for order fulfillment is always an option.
If there’s one thing crowdfunded campaigns often forget, it’s that backers are most interested in your core product – not the keychains, shirts, stickers, and other trinkets that are commonly offered as reward tiers. Try to keep your rewards simple so that your fulfillment process stay simple as well. If there is one takeaway lesson we can give you on crowdfunding campaign shipping, it’s that a lot of preparation is required. You’ll need to anticipate delays, order volume, shipping costs, and more as outlined above. Make sure to work closely with your manufactures, and keep your backers updated on any developments.