You know you've made it when you have a reasonably large fan blog that raves about how cool you are.
If that's the case then the t-shirt design site Threadless.com has more than made it - and "Loves Threadless - The Unofficial Threadless Fan Blog" has no qualms telling us all about it.
Threadless is an online community t-shirt store which has been around since 2000 and is run by a company called SkinnyCorp in the good old USA. I've bought t-shirts from there for about 2 years and seen it evolve into one of the best B2C E-Commerce sites around which epitomises Web 2.0.
The concept is fantastic - Basically it's a t-shirt store with an ongoing design competition. Two or three user-submitted designs are chosen each week to be printed and sold online based on the ranking given by Threadless members.
Here's a bullet point summation of why I think it's so successful and cool.
- The user's are continually involved in the making of the website - they upload designs (Approx. 60,000 to date), rate designs, send in photos of them wearing the shirts, etc Threadless don't pay designers big fees for the t-shirts they print (Approx. 400 to date).
- They have connected with their customers providing feedback on their products, and in part informing their strategy by introducing new product lines such as Threadless Select, Kids Tee's and Type Tees
- The t-shirts they print have already been pre-approved by the target customer - and therefore have a good chance of selling
- The execution of the site is excellent - it's design, ease of use and featureset are fantastic.
- The t-shirts are cool and inexpensive - I own several so they must be.
- Threadless Street Team - Affiliate type program where members get points ($1.50 discounts of their next purchase) for link referrals via websites or email which lead to purchases. Earn me a point by clicking on this link and buying a tee.
- When you're considering a purchase, the site shows photos of real people wearing the shirt, and the odd celebrity such as Michael J. Fox and Zach Braff (Scrubs).
I have some support - Threadless.com won 2nd prize in the Retail category of SEOMOZ's Web 2.0 awards.
What do you think?