June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 5 J U N E P R I N T W E A R || 89 charge outright licensing fees to open-source groups whose revenue depends largely on paid services and extensions for their freely offered products. On the positive side, the initial costs can be low. Your existing Web hosting company may have an automatic installer for the free solutions, and you can likely host your store for a small increase in existing fees. The great benefit to a technically savvy decorator, or one willing to contract a Web designer, is that these solutions are customizable. Your technical knowledge is likely your greatest limit because these solutions rarely have continuing fees aside from large upgrades and never have item limitations. These sites give you full control. However, while the control is in your hands, so is the work. These sites are the most labor intensive to install, often require above-average technical knowledge to maintain, and lend themselves almost exclusively to single-customer, larger-volume stores supported by busi- nesses with a mix of multiple locations and a large or high-turnover workforce. SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE STORE These stores are provided by the host company on a contracted (usually monthly) basis. Sev- eral are offered specifically by garment decoration software firms and other companies that directly address the needs of decorators. Some even include native handling of embroidery and print file types and allow for on-the-fly design and person- alization by the customer. You don't need to install or maintain these types of software. Your primary technical duties include the creation of any art assets necessary for decorating the site and showing your products, followed by the setup of the back-end of your store. Think payment systems, shipping in- formation, and pricing matrices. Even so, most of these sites have some amount of automatic im- port for garment catalog infor- mation and sometimes include product images. With these sites, less technical knowledge is required, and they often offer multi-store solutions, This site features the ability to show categories based on logo offerings, garment type, or custom categories. Here, the logo gallery option allows different divisions and sister companies to easily order goods with their correct logo.

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