Spreadshirt API Moves to Beta

As announced on our official german and uk blog a couple of days ago and in an e-mail that we sent out to registered developers today: Our API is officially beta now.

What does that mean?

That basically means, that from now on, you can count on the API being available almost 24×7 and that the API will be stable regarding the currently provided functionality. We will of course further improve the API and add new features during the next month (order interface, shop management, etc.) and improve current ones, but always in a downward compatible way.

What is the API good for?

The API is basically the core of our new platform strategy. It provides data and functionality required for writing all kinds of applications around creating, selling and promoting customized apparel in a reusable and easy to use way. The API allows us to build better and more main stream applications to improve our offerings to you. And it allows you to use the same functionality to write your own applications thereby realizing opportunities that you haven’t had before.

Where can I find more information?

We have set up a few things to help you get started: documentation in the Developer Wiki, this Developer Blog and a Support Forum (with login). We have also worked on and provided a couple of sample applications, such as the Simplomat, that shows you what opportunities you have with the new API at hand.

Spreadshirt API v1 Explained

In this blog post, I will give you a short overview on the features provided by API v1, the technology behind API v1, the different parts of API v1 and the relationship to existing APIs.

API v1 is one part of our strategy to provide Customized Apparel as a Service (CAaaS) that I described in my previous blog post “Customized Apparel as a Service (CAaaS) at Spreadshirt”. Please note, that API v1 is right now Alpha, that means URL structures and XML payload might still change during the next releases. However, API v1 should be stable enough to allow you to build your first applications based on it. We will also keep you up to date on possible changes and new releases on this blog.

API Features

Today, API v1 provides the following features:

  • Retrieve images for designs, products, product types, print types, etc.,
  • Retrieve data for designs, products, articles, product types, print types, etc.,
  • Create baskets and forward to Spreadshirt HTML checkout and
  • Store and retrieve widget configurations.

For the next releases, we plan to provide the following features:

  • Design upload and product creation,
  • Design and article search for marketplace and
  • Better basket integration.

Continue reading “Spreadshirt API v1 Explained”

Customized Apparel as a Service (CAaaS) at Spreadshirt

Since 2001, we at Spreadshirt are selling customized apparel over the internet to our customers. We started with allowing our partners to open shops on our platform and to sell their own merchandising articles to their customers. Later, we transformed this to offering shops for selling customized apparel in general.

For our partners, we not only hosted their shops but we also offer a lot of value-added services. We handled for example their orders, produced and delivered them on demand, provided our customer service to their customers, helped them with their legal issues, did their accounting and so on. In short, we handled pretty much everything for our partners besides designing an appealing shop and promoting the shop in the target customer group with the means that we provide to them.

Later, we further improved the customization part by allowing our customers to create their individual piece of customized apparel with our online designer, producing the piece of customized apparel on-demand within no time in our production facilities and delivering it to their home the next day. We of course also made the designer available to our partners.

We also allowed the creative ones among our customer, we call them designers, to create designs and place them on our marketplace with a price tag on it, in order to earn money in case one of our customers used this design on his piece of customized apparel. We also further improved this idea by starting design contests.

Current Challenges – Provide more Flexibility

Recently, more and more partners want to break out of the restricted means of presenting their shop with our means and hosting it. They want to present their shop with their means, promote it with their means and host it on their machines and only want to use our service for providing the required data, doing the on-demand production and delivery and doing the accounting and payment stuff. Other partners want to create their own advertisement banners, widgets (Facebook, etc.) or web application plugins (WordPress, etc.) and only need access to the required data.

Another group of partners wants to realize innovative business ideas around customized apparel like for example printing news headlines or photos on a t-shirt. These guys are basically looking for someone that provides the fulfillment as a service to them, which means everything from order processing, on-demand production, delivery, accounting and so on. They are looking for “a printer for apparel on the internet” with full service attached.

Just another group of partners wants to provide their own design marketplaces to their customers, be a shop reseller and hosting shops for their customers or copy our design contest and provide the same model to their designer community.

What they are all looking for is what we call Customized Apparel as a Service (CAaaS)
Continue reading “Customized Apparel as a Service (CAaaS) at Spreadshirt”