June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 99 of 122

2 0 1 5 J U N E P R I N T W E A R || 91 They allow different levels of separation and customization, which makes it possible to create uniquely addressed single-custom- er stores as well as multiple-customer, and custom decoration stores for general clien- tele. Moreover, the back-end management of orders and assets for the garment deco- ration-specific stores is robust, and offer not only the usual customer and order manage- ment tools but also specific tools that ad- dress the needs of production staff. Unfortunately, the recurring costs can be daunting if you don't have the customers to support the service. With monthly fees and some solutions that require per-transaction fees or fees for items over a stated cap, it can be expensive. Another con is the lack of direct control. If your provider decides to make a sweeping change to the way your sites work, you're along for the ride. Though this can happen with a self-hosted product, you have more control about how and when upgrades are applied. APPAREL DISTRIBUTOR SITES Many apparel distributors offer custom- ized catalog sites that include simple shop- ping carts and payment processing. They are increasingly feature rich, some with the ability to composite logos on blank gar- ments and even live-design functionality. On the plus side, they're free to use, sim- ple to set up, and automatically populated with high-quality garment images. They require almost no technical knowledge to operate and are well suited to low-volume customers and pilot programs because of their lack of upfront investment and recur- ring costs. Still, they're the least customizable option and may restrict your use of garments from other distributors to a small percentage of your overall offerings. They don't support custom Web addresses and are completely Top: Every site should have some sort of back-end for customer, order, and site management. Above: If using your own hosted site, you either have to invest time in photographing your deco- rated apparel or learn to create your own mockups.

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