3D printing eCommerce at Amazon, eBay and Marketplaces
Another outstanding indication of the 3d printing industry growth is the eCommerce platforms rising competition to offer 3d printing services, printers and apps. It began months ago when Amazon announced they launched their dedicated 3d printing section selling printers and 3d printing accessories. As expected Amazon’s competitor, eBay retaliated with their 3d printing development. eBay just launched their “eBay Exact 3D printing app” this new itunes app by eBay allows users to select, customize and buy their products via eBay. Both Amazon and eBay are now offering 3d printers, 3d printing filaments, materials, accessories and the ability to purchase 3d printed products that will be drop shipped to buyers address.
Add these two online eCommerce giants to the other monster retailers such as Staples, Maplins, Tesco that invested funds and efforts in penetrating to the 3d printing industry and you get competitive big frenzy. The trend is clear – 3d printing is already considered as a key factor that influences consumers worldwide.
To manage and fulfill customer’s demands, eBay is using other 3d printing companies & services such as Sculpeto, Makerbot as partners. Other big players in the industry like Ponoko, Shapeways, iMaterialise, Stratasys and other will most likely get into the game too, Its only matter of time. “eBay exact” is relatively new and is still in beta version, its friendly but still lack of customization, options and limited in the variety of 3d printing materials it offers. There are negative reviews from “eBay exact” app users but a company as eBay will easily launch modifications and upgrades.
Amazon took the 3d printing trends and eCommerce patterns one step further. Amazon recently launched an online shop allowing worldwide customers to buy and design 3d models, designs and printable objects such as toys, animals, figurines, Jewellery and accessories. One of the greatest trends in the additive manufacturing industry is the growing demand for 3d printed figurines (Super heroes, Pets, Animals, Human figurines, robots, etc.) At the moment Amazon is not printing & manufacturing the objects itself, Amazon partnered with Mixee Labs, which specialize in 3d printed figurines by 3d print designs in sandstone, plastic, metal and other 3d printing materials. Taking advantage of these trends will most likely help Amazon in increasing their foothold in the ever growing 3d printing market.
These changes and trends in the 3d printing eCommerce niche created increasing competition between 3d printing marketplaces. There are already few giant 3d printing marketplaces offering users to buy, sell, and design their own creations from variety of materials, colors and shapes. All services are offered in one market place, which creates higher competition on companies like eBay & Amazon.