Clothing and stickers and wall art: oh my! Since 2006, Redbubble has been providing “independent artists with a meaningful way to sell their creations” via an online market that reaches a worldwide audience.
Whether shoppers are looking for pop culture references, geek gifts, or inspirational quotes, Redbubble offers “uncommon designs by over 700,000 independent artists” to suit the needs of a myriad of customers.
According to their Annual Report for 2020, Redbubble’s number of unique customers increased by 30% to 6.8 million, and repeat sales accounted for 40% of the total Marketplace Revenue of $349 million.
So what drew 6.8 million people to Redbubble rather than other online shops like Etsy or Amazon? Personalization.
Unlike brands that make a set amount of items in each design, product, and size, Redbubble is a print-on-demand service that creates the item only after it is ordered. This helps keep prices low since the company isn’t forced to maintain warehouses of pre-made stock that may never sell.
It also allows them to open their platform to an almost unlimited number of artists since, again, they aren’t constrained by having to maintain stock for each designer, and artists aren’t required to have the means to physically create every product themselves.
Artists upload their designs to Redbubble’s marketplace, customers choose the art and the product, the order is sent to a fulfillment facility where it is printed onto a premade “blank”, and the finished product is sent directly to the customer. The process is incredibly streamlined for convenience and speed, allowing customers to get orders faster, and artists to get paid faster.
This unique selling point (USP) allows Redbubble to market themselves as a “new kind of commerce” focusing on “self expression at affordable prices” with “personalized experience & professional service” according to their July 2019 Investor Presentation.
Having a USP is important because it distinguishes a company from its competitors and gives customers an additional reason to purchase. By marketing their USP of on-demand art, Redbubble can reach an audience that values individuality, personalization, and affordability.
It also entices artists who don’t have the means to maintain their own multi-product print studios, which creates another unique selling point: content on the marketplace stays relevant and exciting since artists are able to focus on design rather than logistics.
Redbubble’s target audience is young, fun, and creative, much like their products.
Their customer base is made up of people of all genders, especially those in the 18–35 age range, and those with a bit of disposable income, as well as those who are looking to be expressive on a budget.
Available in hundreds of countries, Redbubble is truly a global online marketplace. This makes it an ideal platform for independent artists and creatives who want to get their work in front of a worldwide audience.
Because so many artists are able to sell through Redbubble, there is a diverse range of products that appeal to all kinds of people. Diverse artists bring in diverse customers and vice versa in an ever-expanding creator/consumer cycle. Redbubble just has to capitalize on that cycle.
Their 2019 Investor Presentation gave a brief description of Redbubble’s marketing efforts which include social media, but I definitely think there is room to improve.
A 2021 survey found that 55.6% of Facebook users are between the ages of 18–35, but Redbubble’s Facebook account has only posted 3 times between January 1st and March 15th, 2021. Their Instagram account is faring even worse with only a single post in 2021, even though we are nearly a quarter of the way through the year and Instagram is the second most-used social media by millennials.
#RedBubble and variations of similar hashtags provide a wealth of user-generated content that could be shared with little to no difficulty and would be an excellent way for Redbubble to showcase numerous ways customers and artists alike have chosen to express themselves.
Marketing individuality, self-expression, confidence, passion, and interests would be relatively easy with literally thousands of amazing artists at Redbubble’s disposal. They have the art, and they have the interest, they just need to put in the work to connect the two.