How To Develop A T-Shirt Website Like TeeSpring, RedBubble and Threadless

Find out how to develop a t-shirt website like TeeSpring, RedBubble and Threadless without going broke on actual custom web development costs.

How To Develop A T-Shirt Website


So, you want to know how to develop a t-shirt website like TeeSpring, RedBubble and Threadless? You’re not the first person to have this idea. Custom t-shirt printing, on-demand printing this is a super tough niche to get into. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful at it, but you’re going to have to know how to get into this business without spending all your money on development costs.

When you look at some of the best of the best in the industry ie: CustomInk, Spreadshirt — you’re looking at a custom proprietary online shop upwards of $100,000 easy.

If you look at all the recent trends of the world, the sense of exclusivity is one of the driving factors of these trends. Whether we talk about virtual NFTs or we talk about customized and personalized products in the offline market, the internet generation is not only looking for such exclusive products but is also spending millions on them.

You can still take advantage of this market by carving out your own niche and integrating 3rd party fulfillment services to start your business. As your business grows, so does your ability to build bigger and better systems of your own.

Please keep in mind, these business don’t become successful overnight.

Platforms appealing to Gen Z:

How To Develop A T-Shirt Website Like TeeSpring, RedBubble and Threadless

Image Source: Threadless

Talking about Gen Z and customized products, there are a few platforms that are revolutionizing the apparel market with their unique and personalized custom products platforms. 

For instance, TeeSpring (now known as Spring) is a unique platform where content creators and users can create their own customized product range and sell it to their fans. On the other hand, there is a platform called RedBubble that sells exclusive products that are designed by independent artists. 

Apart from these 2, one other platform that is been appreciated by the netizens is threadless. The platform invites graphic designers to create exclusive merchandise for the platform via various challenges and provides a wide range of products to their customers using those graphic designs on various products. 

If you look into the basics of these platforms, they are all concept-driven eCommerce printing websites that are empowered with product designer tools and a print-on-demand business approach.

Apart from that, these platforms are creating a unique business model where they design products based on the recent internet trends and societal causes to grab the attention of their customers. When 3 such successful platforms are dealing in product customization, print-on-demand and eCommerce printing marketplace, the concept is truly successful.

So, how to develop t-shirt website Teespring and RedBubble and can you actually do it?

The answer to that is yes! To help you understand how to develop t-shirt website like Spring and RedBubble, below are the business requirements, technical requirements and marketing requirements.

Business, Technical and Marketing Requirements to create a website like Spring, Redbubble and Threadless:

Technical Requirements:

Since we need a platform first, it is essential to understand the technical requirements. To create an eCommerce printing website, you would require the following things:

  • Personalized Multivendor website platform:

To make sure that you have a flexible, scalable and futuristic platform that can help you execute your vision and to create a website that can help you grab all the market opportunities, it is essential to have a personalized eCommerce platform. 

Apart from that, to ensure that you can either invite various content creators or graphic designers on your platform, you must have a multivendor platform. 

  • T-shirt design tool (Online product editor tool):

To ensure that your graphic designers and content creators can create their own merchandise on your platform, you must have a t-shirt design software for your eCommerce printing platform. Integrating this tool will allow your users to create their own customized products using various customization capabilities such as images, icons, logo, clip art, fonts, text and others. 

Having this tool on your platform is essential as it will not only empower your users to define their own products, the tool can also come with amazing other features such as order cycle optimization, real-time quotations, seamless UI and other such capabilities that ensure a delightful user experience on your platform.

  • Personalization and order optimization modules:

To ensure that your buyers or end-users have the best experience on your platform along with a unique collection to buy from, you must have various personalization and automation modules developed for your eCommerce Printing website. 

Right from account creation to activity history and personalized suggestions based on previous purchases, you must have all the possible personalization capabilities integrated into your platform. 

A great example of this would be using BigCommerce as your eCommerce platform and then using a 3rd party app like Printful to print-on-demand and dropship ready to support you every step of the way and take care of the boring stuff (you know, like fulfillment).

Apart from that, you must also have various payment gateways integrated along with email automation and cross-selling and up-selling modules on your platform to ensure that there is less shopping cart abandonment ratio.

Business Requirements:

  • Print-on-demand module:

To ensure that you don’t have to create a huge inventory to invite various creators and designers on your platform and to have optimum profitability with the least possible risk, having a print-on-demand business model is essential for your business. 

What are the best print-on-demand companies out there in 2021?

Here are our favorite print-on-demand sites to consider:

  1. Printful
  2. Printify
  3. CustomCat
  4. SPOD
  5. T-Pop
  6. Gelato
  7. Gooten
  8. Printy6
  9. JetPrint
  10. teelaunch

Let your creators create merchandise using the online designer tool and then upload them on your platform. Once your end customers place an order, you can send the print-ready file of the merchandise to your printer and get it shipped without creating any inventory.

  • Defined supply chain:

Whether you have your own printing facility or you have outsourced it to various printing associates, having a defined supply chain with a minimal delivery time is essential for a delightful user experience. Partner with delivery service providers that have a proven track record and value-driven offerings for your platform.

  • Constant market analysis:

To stay relevant for your users and to ensure that you can maintain a competitive edge in the market, it is essential to analyze your market constantly and update your platform based on the market requirements and customer expectations. 

The novel Coronavirus, increasing digital transformation trend and constantly evolving product customization market are driving the online printing industry currently and you must keep a vigilant watch over these factors.

Marketing Requirements:

We understand that you will either create a concept similar to Spring, RedBubble and threadless or you would create an eCommerce Printing website on similar lines with some unique improvisation (the latter is advisable for sustainable growth).

Based on that assumption, you must have the following marketing tactics employed:

  • Influencer marketing to market and invite creators on your platform
  • Content marketing to spread awareness about your platform
  • Digital search ads and display ads on various platforms for optimum reach
  • Promotions and events on your platform for an optimum lead conversion ratio
  • Social media marketing (both paid and organic)

One of the best things you can do is start local. Keep things tight and audience specific and build on that.

Parting words:

If you look at the core of all these platforms, two things that make them unique are their innovative approach and technical supremacy. If you want to know how to develop t-shirt website, you have to first start with a unique concept that is backed by a technically strong platform, defined business processes and extensive marketing efforts.