A Bitpay enabled, ApeCoin-powered Custom Item Shop

ABSTRACT

This proposal presents the idea of creating an ecomm site where customers can customize items like mouse pads for gaming, wall art, t-shirts, and more - and checkout with crypto.

A customer will be able to create and purchase a custom item by uploading any .PNG, .JPG, or .PDF images. They will then check out with Bitpay, a checkout tool that accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, ApeCoin, and more cryptocurrencies in exchange for goods and services. To bring more exposure to $APE, a customer can choose to checkout with ApeCoin specifically at a significantly discounted rate (E.g. 20-30% off).

The website will be $APE-centric; heavily influenced by ApeCoin - and can, for example, provide info on and hyperlinks the DAO, Discourse, ThankApe. There will be a section of the site dedicated to educating users about ApeCoin, its benefits, and how to acquire it.

Additionally, there can be cross-collaboration with DAO-related projects, etc. For example, say the ThankApe team is down to collab: “Make your first purchase with ApeCoin and earn 5 $APE through ThankApe”.

With the growing popularity of customization in the ecommerce industry, this is an excellent opportunity to get ApeCoin in front of more individuals and communities.

Ultimately, apart from establishing a custom item shop, this ecomm platform will not only enhance the purchasing potential of cryptocurrencies, but also serve as a doorway to ApeCoin and the DAO.

TOP-OF-MIND NEEDS

  • Skilled CMS expert, developer for custom implementations and designs
  • Drop shipping providers, print on-demand services
  • Marketing & campaigns involving:
    • Content creation
    • Social media marketing
    • Email marketing
    • SEO
    • Influencer marketing
  • Ongoing maintenance & updates
  • A name
KICKSTART COST

$49,500

Rough allocation:

  • Web Development:
    • Design: $3K
    • Customization tool integration: $2K
    • Development and setup: $5K
  • Inventory and upfront COGS: $20K
  • Marketing:
    • Content creation: $2K
    • Strategic marketing channels: $5.5K
    • SEO: $2.5K
  • Operating costs:
    • Ongoing maintenance & updates: $2K
    • Domain name, hosting, SSL certification: $1K
  • Contingency (~10%): $4.5K
ROUGH TIMELINE

Weeks 1-2: Planning

Weeks 3-9: Design & Development

Weeks 5-8: Inventory Management / Fulfillment setup / Testing

Week 8-12: Marketing Content Creation / Campaign planning

Week 13: Website goes live

Week 14–: Post-Launch Marketing / SEO

Cool idea, Houdini! A few questions / things to highlight to maybe made this look even better:

  • Do you and, if so, what experience do you have with merch that would translate here?
  • Will there be options for quality/blanks vendors or you’re thinking of picking a blank for each type of product yourself and using it for all orders? If so, what level of quality are you aiming for?
  • What pricing for some example end products are you aiming for? T-shirts, hoodies, caps.
  • What sorts of products do you plan on supporting out of the gate and then maybe down the line? E.g., will socks be available or is this just t-shirts.
  • Will you be also providing some custom designs for people to select from or is this strictly upload-your-own-image type of shop?
  • For the budget, is this for 6 months of operation, 12, 24?

Thanks and best of luck!

6 Likes

I doubt SEO is required for this, NFT based buying and merch is already low, as in less than 100 people.
Also as someone who has used bitpay multiple times and have once used $ape to buy something from the wallet, its really good and easy. But its just that it still used main net gas prices which are a headache.
Every ecom site faces one issue, delivery cost. With this people might have to worry about gas fee as well.

4 Likes

Thanks for sharing the idea.

  • How do you plan to attract customers and promote the platform? I understand that marketing and content creation are mentioned in the timeline, but it would be beneficial to have a well-defined marketing plan or ideas already in place.
  • Have you already considered a name for the site?
2 Likes

the idea of ​​an official apecoin ecommerce is not bad, however, this proposal lacks too many elements that are fundamental. You should list all aspects of the marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion), the objectives you intend to achieve in the short and long term and how you evaluate them (objectives, strategies, tactics and KPIs) and above all the budget is missing.

2 Likes

not only the delivery costs but also the import duties and regulations in the various countries. The official ecommerce idea is good, but it requires a team of professionals in various fields and an adequate budget.

3 Likes

very interesting idea

1 Like

Hi mate,

Seen a couple similar ideas and I think that one or possibly more will eventually (and should) get approved. Two points I’d look for, top quality/high-end “blanks” and possibly trial and/or samples to say top 25-50 contributors perhaps as like a focus group before we commit long-term (I see you have R&D planned which is great).

I certainly see no reason why ‘we’ couldn’t corner this market or have a substantial share of it. GL. Look forward to the final draft.

2 Likes

Very interesting idea… I think some points have to be changed but I’m sure it could go far :fire:

5 Likes

Thanks @Sasha. I figured I could address others in my response to you:

Do you and, if so, what experience do you have with merch that would translate here?

When it comes to merch, I have experience of selling wall art online, targeting a particular, niche Philadelphia audience. Earlier than that, I rolled out a CPG bundle product online during the pandemic. In this last case especially, I personally managed every stage of the process, up until the final step of delivering packages to the courier. In many areas, I feel decently versed as I’ve spent four years in last-mile delivery, CPG fulfillment, delivery tech services, and the data & micro-transactions that follow - so I’m quite familiar with maintaining profitable & competitive pricing models. The difference here is acknowledging crypto dynamics (i.e. fluctuating prices, gas fees).

Great point @Evil regarding gas - definitely something to think through. This would most likely influence sales volume (High gas → Less customers, Low gas → More customers). Costs such as the delivery fee can be addressed case-by-case and for example, can be strategically absorbed in the price of the item.

Though I have light experience with marketing, one thing I am not is a marketing expert so I would definitely want to hear from more people that have a better understanding and approach @Mr.and89 . But generally, looking for some insight & guidance here from professionals in the community - would definitely love to work with those experienced individuals (Any recommendations are appreciated).

Will there be options for quality/blanks vendors or you’re thinking of picking a blank for each type of product yourself and using it for all orders? If so, what level of quality are you aiming for?

In the beginning, the service would leverage a couple of mid-high quality third-party vendors I have experience with that would provide print on-demand services with various options. My thought is to echo that same (or similar) level of optionality in the beginning at least. For example, for wall art: allowing users to select a gallery wrap of .75” vs 1.5”.
In general, the service should deliver more than satisfactory quality and as it expands, we could provide a spectrum of quality by throwing more vendors into the mix.

What pricing for some example end products are you aiming for? T-shirts, hoodies, caps.

Since we’re shooting for good-great quality, I’d aim to stay competitive in the initial stages especially; this means, to your example, staying in the $20-$30 range for shirts & caps and $40-$55 for hoodies.

What sorts of products do you plan on supporting out of the gate and then maybe down the line? E.g., will socks be available or is this just T-shirts.

Those products are dependent on the target customer segments. I have 2 targets in mind. The first are crypto enthusiasts that want to create and gift a custom item to another person. This could be for a birthday, Father’s Day, etc. With this segment, items that wrap around photos & moments such as canvas photo prints & photo pillows would work well.
The second segment wraps around NFT artists, collectors, owners. As we’ve seen, there are plenty of NFT owners that create prints in many forms of their NFT(s). With this platform, they’d get great quality custom NFT-based products where they could checkout with crypto.

Would love to hear what others think regarding target markets.

Will you be also providing some custom designs for people to select from or is this strictly upload-your-own-image type of shop?

I don’t see why we couldn’t have both. I’d imagine in the beginning if we were to incorporate some preset designs, we could start with a few then expand later. Initially, to prevent biting off more than it could chew, the website should at least deliver on its core value which wraps around customization, then as we move forward, we could incrementally incorporate more and more features (with feedback).

For the budget, is this for 6 months of operation, 12, 24?

The proposed budget covers the initial 6 months for the platform. I definitely feel the marketing plan and associated expenses warrants more elaboration, perhaps something @Mr.and89 , @Kuddo, or others could help provide insight on. Otherwise, this should provide enough runway to get things started. After launch, reviewing week-to-week and month-to-month financials, cash flow, and burn rate will give us an understanding on performance and how we could, for example, tweak marketing efforts to grow profitability. As @furiousanger mentioned, it’s a great opportunity to corner the market; we simply have to start the work with the proper foundation and learn.

I’d like to continue to hear everyone’s thoughts to then turn this rough idea into a solid draft.

3 Likes

Prime example of target market #1:

Gifting

2 Likes

Great Idea! Do you have experience with merch design x sales?

3 Likes

This is a market that is already heavily dominated by players like Printful. Besides the ability to pay in crypto how does this business/website stand out from the rest of the print on demand ones that are already integrated into ‘plug & play’ shops like shopify? (which also accept bitpay as well)

I’m still trying to see the vision. Would love to hear your thoughts, thanks!

3 Likes

Hi @houdinifr. Sorry if I answer only now but I was busy these days. I read your answer and I remain of the opinion that you would have better luck if instead of thinking about an ecommerce you would focus on a specific product to put on the market. As for the price, I advise you not to set it on the basis of your opinion but to follow one or more of the basic strategies for determining the price (cost, value and competition). Each of them in turn has different types and often when I had to fix the price of a product I used several strategies together. For the segment you are targeting, I would certainly also think of apecoin owners and crypto enthusiasts, however marketing strategies must be developed to ensure that they become aware of the product. Finally, I suggest you read the business model canvas book, it would help you a lot to have a clear picture of your initiative even before developing the business plan. I’d pass you my summaries about it, but they’re written in Italian

2 Likes

Hi @houdinifr,

Your topic will be moving to the AIP Draft phase in less than 24 hours. Are you content with the feedback received or do you wish to extend community discussion for another 7 days?

If we do not hear from you within 48 hours after your topic closes, your topic will be moved straight to the AIP Draft process.

We look forward to hearing from you.

@Lost.Admin

I would like to extend another 7 days.

Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

@houdinifr has requested to extend the community discussion period for this AIP idea. This topic will automatically close a further 7 days from now. We encourage the community to continue to engage in thoughtful discussions through constructive criticism, honest feedback, and helpful suggestions.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments.

-@Lost.Admin

1 Like

Hello @SeraStargirl ! It’s an honor to finally exchange some words with you! Grateful for everything you do in educating the DAO.

I would say that I don’t necessarily see all of these platforms as competitors or even websites that are doing “the same thing”. I’d imagine in the beginning stages especially that we could in fact leverage these platforms and tools. The real vision here is really putting ApeCoin at the center of it. If you go to coincodex.com, you’ll see heavy KuCoin affiliation - they maintain an exclusive partnership. And It appears that there is enough room in the market to, similarly, create specifically a custom item shop with heavy ApeCoin affiliation. This could bring a ton of value back to ApeCoin. I believe this is where the unique value proposition lies, and it’s how the platform could carve out its niche in the market. There’s opportunities for exclusive ApeCoin offers/discounts, even “ApeCoin-back” concepts, where we can really corner the market. Though Coincodex is obviously of a different market, the “heavy-affiliation” concept remains just as valid in an ApeCoin-powered ecommerce platform.


We all know Richclassdecor created the amazing circular ApeCoin rug. As a customer, perhaps I can’t purchase that EXACT rug elsewhere, but I know I’m able to create the same design and know where I can purchase a quality, circular rug of the same sizing for myself. But we’ve seen great success with Richclassdecor’s product. My thought process here is that we can deliver products that can be created elsewhere, but in a unique way that supports our DAO - and as a result would be part of the DAO’s motivation of purchasing from here versus anywhere else. Hopefully that makes sense.

In terms of a niche, I’ve mentioned two target markets in my response to @Sasha . I’m leaning more towards the customer segment that wants to create a custom item and gift it to someone else. In my Twitter and Discord research, I’ve seen many instances of individuals in DAOs and NFT communities receiving custom gifts from others. There’s also an opportunity to collaborate with ThankApe that will put ApeCoin back in the pockets of ThankApe participants / DAO members generally-speaking in exchange for being involved. I see this as one of many win-win situations where there is a unique customer benefit.

Overall, after developing a solid and effective plan that serves an outlined niche AND would support the DAO, I think it becomes more of a “Why not” situation.

Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts!

2 Likes

^Since I’m on the topic of segments above @Mr.and89, I am quite familiar with the business model canvas as I’ve been directly involved in startups, incubators, the VFA fellowship, and more all in the last 4 years. I have not conducted any formal interviews for this concept, but I have been doing research to understand the needs and trends of customer segments. Perhaps my initial proposal wasn’t detailed enough and misleading; my intent was to present a foundational idea and refine it with everyone’s input to develop a solid plan, resulting in a fine-tuned go-to-market strategy. I look forward to continue hearing from others.

It definitely makes sense to start with a single product. If running with the “create custom item as a gift” target market, I can see how, for example, we can couple the marketing with holidays, birthdays generally, etc. - and how that thought process can help ideate on the proper “first product”. Regardless, there is solidification needed around the target market, then the product, and then a clear marketing plan that follows.

I appreciate your thoughtful responses and hope to hear more! I’ve started reaching out to some people in the community - any recommendations on anyone in the community I should get in touch with?

1 Like

Hi @Ms_NFTy !

As I mentioned in my reply to @Sasha , I have experience with selling wall art online to a very specific niche, as well as rolling out and selling a CPG bundle product online.

1 Like