If you've ever supported a Patreon campaign with merch on offer, you know how painful delivering that merch can be for everyone involved. The creator may have to suffer through hours of mailing goods, and the shipping costs can be as much of a hassle if you aren't willing to pay a stiff premium. Patreon might just tackle that problem. It just acquired the community-building company Kit, and the two are promising a "simple" solution that lets creators sell merch without doing most of the hard work. In theory, they don't have to do much more than design the products.
Patreon didn't initially mention how this would affect pricing or shipping options for campaigns.
It's not shocking that Patreon would go this route. It's another potential source of revenue beyond the campaigns themselves. Moreover, many creators don't want to (or can't) subsist on pledges alone -- merch can provide an important secondary income stream. The easier it is for them to sell merch, the more likely they might be to continue their Patreon campaigns.