Kunai Partners With Zazzle To Create On-Demand Design Consultations With New Mobile Platforms

What is Zazzle?
Online Commerce
Real Time Payments


Zazzle is an online marketplace for custom-made items such as t-shirts, water bottles, stationary, mugs, phone cases, and more. Since their 2005 launch, Zazzle has grown rapidly thanks to their “design it yourself” products and partnerships with major brands that have allowed them to amass a trove of digital images.

The Challenge

In 2020, Zazzle noticed some friction in their customer engagement process that had led to the under-utilization of their designer community. At the time, their online customer experience was an asynchronous, linear process: a customer would design a product, hand it off to a Zazzle designer, get it edited, and have it sent back for approval before the product went to production. Zazzle determined that this detached experience was contributing to customers’ lack of interaction with their designers.

If Zazzle could instead make the experience more memorable and collaborative, they could reignite customer demand for 1-on-1 designer collaborations.

The Solution

Zazzle came up with the idea for a new service that offered seamless real-time design services. To that end, Zazzle reached out to Kunai and asked them to develop a flow where the customer could work alongside the designer throughout the process. The Zazzle team also wanted to enable real time payments for the designers so as to incentivize and grow that part of their community.

The Process

Kunai started by mapping out the customer flow as Zazzle requested. Designers would get matched with customers in real-time based on the unique needs of the customer. Such factors can include the item, budget, and art style. From there, customers can watch and work alongside designers to execute services via an app with real-time feedback.

With the flow established, Kunai’s developers went to work building out the systems for this new service. Development began on iOS, Android, and desktop browsers for a cross-platform app that could function seamlessly across multiple devices. Kunai built real-time analytics capabilities, payment systems, and video streaming functions across the end-user platforms.

Kunai also ensured that the real-time-payments infrastructure produced higher throughput and allowed for scalable growth for the designer community.

The Result

Kunai helped launch Zazzle LIVE on iOS, Android, and desktop computers. The mobile apps fully utilized the powerful capabilities of modern mobile devices to stream and communicate through cameras, chat, image sharing, and embedded payments.

Kunai’s developers transformed what had been an anachronistic process into a modern, on-demand service. Customers could save time, make informed decisions, and see how designers worked their magic, live.

To this day, Zazzle continues its rapid growth thanks to the Zazzle Live service, and has set the foundation for future product offerings that seek to deliver a customer and community experience like no other in the eCommerce space.