Inkmonk, a custom merchandise creation, management and delivery startup, has adopted an API strategy that could change the custom T-shirt and "swag" industry in a major way. The Inkmonk API allows business and website owners to integrate a merchandise creation, management and delivery platform directly into their workflow. The full-stack marketing platform eliminates the need to engage local vendors that may not offer the quality or the full set of services a business needs to deliver the desired merchandise to the intended recipient.
"We are building a full-stack marketing platform where you can print and drop-ship. You may have a customer in Delhi or in New York; we take care of printing, packing and shipping cool swags to all customers everywhere in your name. Your customers will never know we exist," Inkmonk founder Isaac John Wesley said in an interview.
As Inkmonk continues to operate in private beta, its focus has been startups, specifically software-as-a-service vendors. SaaS startups rarely interact directly with end users, and free T-shirts and other swag introduce an opportunity for SaaS vendors to add a personal touch to their customer relationships. T-shirts remain popular tokens of appreciation in the startup community; however, startups should focus on building products and services, not haggling with swag vendors that may or may not provide quality and don't integrate with the startup's workflow. Inkmonk aims to eliminate the traditionally manual process needed to create, produce and deliver the merchandise around the globe. Inkmonk users can directly upload designs, manage swag production, and monitor delivery and follow-up without moving outside the startup's existing tools and workflows.
Inkmonk's minimal API provides a number of endpoints where users can integrate the API at various points in a workflow or app. API users can manage item SKUs, merchandise type (e.g., T-shirt, sticker, post card, etc.), recipient data, shipment details and grant forms. Calls are returned in a JSON data format. For access to the API, request an API key.
Startups these days seem to be fans of two seemingly disparate categories: APIs and T-shirts. Accordingly, Inkmonk's API strategy to a legacy industry seems like a no-brainer. Once a startup, or any user, uploads an image and decides how the merchandise will ship, Inkmonk handles the rest. From printing and quality control to monitoring and delivery, Inkmonk has added a streamlined approach to merchandise management that startups have become accustomed to with most Web and mobile services.