July '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 J U LY P R I N T W E A R || 23 the relationship you build with customers rather than a legalistic interpretation of ownership. By exploring the pros and cons of the ways shops approach digitizing ownership, we'll expose the rami- fications each has on customer experience and business success. RETAINING OWNERSHIP Retaining ownership generally revolves around a desire to achieve 'lock-in.' If a customer doesn't want to pay the next shop for digitizing or prefers the quality of your rendering, retaining files adds a barrier for taking their business elsewhere. More positively, it means your customer knows you have their design and color- ways on file and any order they place with you won't incur the initial costs of moving to a new shop. Additionally, they will not have to work through the design and approval process, making it a less laborious experience than ordering from a new vendor. THE SETUP FEE The first step to establishing this ownership is often in redefining terms. Rather than itemize digitizing, a shop will charge a nonde- script setup fee, changing the digitized design from a product into a process. Though the customer may be paying for digitizing, the 'setup fee' reduces the expectation of ownership by obfuscating the direct correlation between the fee and the file. 'FREE' DIGITIZING Another method to establish ownership is by either offering legiti- mately free digitizing or by spreading digitizing costs over the num- ber of garments in an order to remove it from the invoice. This usu-

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