ABC Entertainment Group and CafePress, a market-leading online destination for user-designed T-shirts and gifts, today announced a groundbreaking new merchandising agreement that builds upon the success of their existing relationship. CafePress will power a new, cutting-edge ABC Online Store, located at www.abctvstore.com, where fans of ABC’s popular shows will be able to buy official merchandise alongside merchandise designed by fellow fans. The new online store will fully leverage CafePress’ proprietary Print-on-Demand technology and product customization tools that facilitate real-time retail planning and high-touch consumer engagement.
Starting today, the consumer will visit a redesigned ABC Online Store that truly puts the “fan” back into fan gear. CafePress’ technology will enable the fans themselves to express and share their passion for ABC shows by designing their own T-shirts, posters, SIGG water bottles and other custom products. These fan-designed products will live alongside official merchandise in the ABC Online Store, thereby providing a compelling one-stop-shop for fans of hit ABC shows like “Dancing with the Stars,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Castle.”
On the back end, CafePress’ Print-on-Demand technology will power fast and seamless fulfillment of these customized orders. Additionally, CafePress will manage a variety of unique third party fulfillment items for the ABC Online Store, such as the ever-popular Lost bobbleheads. When consumers place orders online, CafePress will print, package and ship all purchases. Not only will CafePress’ technology eliminate ABC’s need to accrue or house surplus inventory, but it will also afford ABC the ability to more agilely update its branded merchandise for real-time control of its retail strategy and real-time engagement with its core fan community.
“In keeping with ABC’s ongoing commitment to technological innovation, we sought a merchandising solution that would fully leverage the power of the internet to significantly enhance and deepen our relationship with the ABC viewer. Embracing the voices and enthusiasm of our fans is very important to us. Of equal importance to us was the ability to incorporate the latest in supply chain optimization technologies to enable us to more nimbly execute our retail strategy,” said Mia Rondinella, VP of Business Planning & Development at ABCEG. “We selected CafePress based on its proven experience engaging and monetizing mass consumer audiences online, as well as for its cutting-edge, seamless technology solutions.”
This new arrangement expands upon a licensing agreement announced earlier this year which enabled fans of selected hit ABC television shows to design and sell authorized show merchandise on CafePress.com. Fans of ABC shows will continue to utilize the same online tools to design their own merchandise according to official guidelines, and fan designers will continue to receive a commission on the sale of each of their items. Unlike the previous arrangement, popular fan designs will enjoy increased exposure to the larger ABC fan community through inclusion in the official ABC Online Store.
“Our exceptional Print-on-Demand service means that ABC can have literally thousands of goods available at any given time, because the goods are only printed when an order is placed,” comments CafePress Vice President of Marketing Amy Maniatis. “Our relationship with ABC is the perfect way to facilitate real-time retail planning while engaging fans with custom merchandise.”