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Diary of a Fashion Designer: Marketing

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Diary of a Fashion Designer: Marketing

Running a business in the fashion industry is no easy task. Smaller companies with limited staff and limited resources have to make strategic decisions about what can effectively be done in-house and what needs to be outsourced. It’s important to maintain control of product development, distribution, and the supply chain when possible. That leaves you to decide whether to delegate your marketing efforts to an agency or attempt to pursue all the promotions on your own. Based on your situation, there are Pros and Cons to in-house versus agency marketing for small fashion companies.

In House Marketing

Pros

  • Absolute control of content- you create and pick images, text, video, color scheme, theme, music, models, outlets, when it goes out, how it goes out, etc.
  • Real time social media management
  • You can plan and execute your strategy using a tool like Buffer– create, schedule and execute social media marketing campaigns
  • Cost effective- create a marketing team within your existing team that knows your brand identity and culture
  • Personal engagement with consumers- engage with the customers making them feel like they’re a part of the brand

Cons

  • Time consuming
  • Time is divided- can’t focus on what you do best
  • Can’t keep up the pace- customers have short attention spans, marketing efforts need to be updated or refreshed more frequently as methods and platforms change

Agency Marketing

Pros

  • Leave it to the experts- they already have proven processes that get results because that’s all they do
  • Monitored control- you supply the vision and get the final say
  • Leaves time for you to focus on product development, distribution, and the supply chain
  • They have access to tools you don’t have that will make the content better and process more efficient
  • Pays off in sales, customer engagement, and acquisition of new customers

Cons

  • Less control
  • Can get expensive
  • Engagement may not be as personal

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Doing Business in Dubai

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10363615_10152624444215819_4348159745429295326_n  Every professional is now operating in a full service global market place. The possibilities offered by the internet have expanded the landscape of business and entrepreneurship in all corners of the world. Markets you never imagined you’d have an opportunity to touch are now just a click away.

Although Europe currently has a stronghold on the luxury market, e-commerce increases the possibility for entry. Brazil, China, Japan, and The United Arab Emirates have concentrated areas of spending on luxury products. The UAE in particular has a higher than average concentration of wealth within the region, which makes it a prime candidate for expansion. A major obstacle, is that you have to basically license your product to a business or distributor in Dubai, because it’s against regulation to set up shop, and sell directly within the country.

Thanks to increased web usage and smart phones, e-commerce is exploding in the Middle East especially in an economic powerhouse like Dubai. As online shopping gains popularity in the region customers get more familiar with the process and begin to regulate their online purchase behaviors. Finding the products they love, and just have to have, is how the online customer operates. Whether it’s the convenience of front door service, free shipping, or special patterns and colors; it’s your job as the proprietor to fill the need of the customer, create an aspirational shopping experience, high quality product, and bring some value to their life. Nurturing and mastering an international, multi-cultural market is a must if you want your brand to survive and have longevity, because online shopping growth is projected to increase 95% by 2018.

In the UAE you face many challenges on a day to day basis. Aside from producing and distributing the best product possible; your greatest concern is how to collect your money at the time of sale. In the past online payment options were almost non-existent where cash on delivery is the norm. Fortunately, there are a few four online payment options you can trust to process transactions that are safe and efficient.

Banks

  1. go to the bank and set up a merchant account if you don’t have one already.
  1. Depending on your products they may charge a security deposit to open an account. Electronics items they may have a security deposit of AED 150,000 plus setup and annual fees. Each transaction they will cost 3.4% in fees too. The rates vary bank to bank. 

Paypal

  1. Paypal doesn’t require a set-up fee or deposit, and it already has over 1 million active users in the Middle East.
  1. They charge 2.7-3.4% plus 0.30 USD. However you can’t transfer the money directly to your bank account in the UAE, you have to transfer it to a loadable debit card. Which are readily available in the region.

Innovate

  1. Innovate has built long-term relationships with US, European and Middle Eastern banks. They accept payments in common Middle Eastern and international currencies..
  1. Their transaction fees are 3.5%, set up fees $1000 USD, annual fee of $492 USD, and a security deposit of $10,000 USD.

Cash-U

  1. Cashu has a head office in Dubai, an office “in house” ensures you can get your funds transferred to any local bank in the region.
  1. The transaction fees range from 2.9-3.3% + 2 AED, set up fees $100 USD, annual fee is $1-$3K USD, with a security deposit of $10,000 USD depending on number of products and volume.

As demand for online goods increases, consumers need to be reassured they can trust your brand. Your security seal (secured SSL) should be verified and in clear view. Create a shopping experience that’s simple, flexible, secure, and fast.

Transcend the Trends: Beyond new Style, Where Fashion is Art in 3d

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