We’ve all been there. The moment it hits us that we must own a t-shirt with a mustache on it. Or a Sharknado item. Or something British for the closet anglophile in you. Or a unique article of clothing that turns heads and places us in the center of the conversation. Or a random combination of the above, maybe a flying shark being taken down by Prince William, decked out with a kitty shirt and a mustache.
Well, good news for techies who dig customized swag! The folks at CafePress.com, the retail site that pioneered crowdsourced commerce back in 1999, has enhanced its user platform to allow top-notch designers to create hundreds of products — shirts, bags, mugs, shoes and more — and allow you to buy them, instantaneously.
The designers are happy, because they can now offer their designs on hundreds of products. But in this case, it’s the right products. They’ve added a state of the art image analysis system that analyzes graphics, photography and other images for dozens of attributes and configures them in real-time onto CafePress’ extensive portfolio of over 500 base goods.
Consumers and hipsters alike are happy because their wardrobe options just expanded exponentially, and, since CafePress adds more new products in 3 minutes than GAP does in a year and has more than 300 million customizable products on every subject imaginable — you are guaranteed to find unique items that make you stand out from the crowd.
“It’s been 14 years during which we’ve played a key role in democratizing e-commerce, with over 3 million shopkeepers that have been actively involved in selling merchandise utilizing our unique print-on-demand capabilities,” said Sumant Sridharan, President of CafePress.com and the chief architect behind the new platform. “We’ve made it even easier for anyone to create amazing products using our world class tools, utilize the latest in social media to advertise their creation, and earn money by connecting directly with millions of our customers.”
The new CafePress retail platform features a smart product engine, allowing designs to appear on products in real time; a first of its kind e-commerce activity stream, keeping designers up to date on how their products are doing; public profiles, so you can follow your favorite designers and be notified when they release new designs; and a new designer-centric homepage, that dynamically promotes the latest designs and the hottest designers.
“In 2013, we’ve seen the number of products added to our marketplace increase by over 150 percent year over year, and we currently offer our customers over half a billion products to choose from,” Sridharan continued. “Our goal with the new launch is to make it even easier for our designers to get their creative vision into the hands of their communities, and to further our vision of having the broadest, highest quality catalog of custom products in our industry.”
Here’s a walk through of the new site from Peter Panda, the inventor of Social Media. Yeah, that’s right.