Thinking about startup costs, operations, and integration, what´s the best solutions to consider when launching an apparel business that´ll have:
- online shop, marketplaces, and social media
- sales reps/consultants
- retail stores
*I have been reading about POS, E-commerce, Omnichannel solutions. So far I have read and tested a bit the following: Shopify, LightSpeed, Quickbooks, Clover, and WordPress/Woocommerce.
With over 20 years of e-commerce experience I can honestly tell you if you are looking to play in this game for the long haul and are serious about your business then you need to look at this closely.
Most likely you’ve been told Shopify or WP with Woo-commerce. These are poor choices.
If you only have like 2 or 3 SKUs, then that’s fine for bootstrapping something, but realistically you’d want a more fleshed out platform like Opencart, or Prestashop. If you happen to have more than I’d say 800-1000 SKUs, then I’d use a enterprise solution like Magento.
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First, you need to get your products in the hands of customers as fast and cheaply as possible to get feedback and confidence that you're on the right track. I would set up a simple online shop and post pictures and articles on social media, and tell people you know and get some sales and feedback. Once you start making sales and are confident that there are people who like your products, try to expand your marketing by one vehicle at a time. Don't try to do everything at once. You can study your best buyers, develop a profile of them, and try to figure out good ways to reach them. In parallel, you should have started networking with other businesses that sell complementary products/services. Then, if you have relationships with them, they can help you try some of the other channels by introducing you to the right contacts, and they would be able to do joint promotions, etc. The main thing is don't think the business needs to explode out at one time. Start small, and iteratively grow the business over time.