An Unpopular Segment
My name is Michelle Ridge and I’m a fashion designer. I’ve had a joint business which has been in operational for over a decade, designing ladies clothes and other beauty accessories. However, in the recent years, business has not been on our side to an extent that me and my colleagues were about to give up; before we did that, something unexpected happened and things changed overnight in our favor.
Ironically, our unprecedented success gave rise to our technology problems. Being plus sized women, and I am proud of it, we had introduced a rather unpopular fashion mode in the women’s market. All our accessories such as panties and bras were plus size. As expected, our business was not thriving because we were targeting the plus size woman, a size that has largely remained shamed in the modern world where the waif-like model is worshipped. We decided to embrace our own and stuck with our theme.
Several years ago, I was invited by a major television network to discuss my business choice and how it was fairing. After venting my frustrations with the modern feminine beliefs, I swore on live TV that I would rather shut down than shift from my unpopular customer segment. I also challenged all plus size women to accept and be proud of their bodies as I have done and in so doing to promote my failing business.
I do not know whether it was my determination or it was mere sympathy, however, following my exposure in the show, our business changed overnight. Orders started streaming from both local customers and also from international merchants. Most of these customers complained that our website did not provide the tools necessary to purchase our products online. The customers demanded a web shop or an e-commerce site and as you know, customers are always right.
There was only one problem, money. Our cash reserves were so low and after struggling to pay for our website several years ago, we could not afford to pay for the design of a web shop. We consulted with my colleagues and decided to embrace the high road and create it on our own. After all we were designers albeit in a different professional genre.
I used my laptop to research in the internet for several minutes and then I landed on a site called Shopify. I registered with this site and what followed was simply amazing. Apparently, this site offers a platform where anyone can create an online store to sell their products. The site contains tutorials and the process is as simple as it is magical. We started by forwarding our website domain name for integration into the site’s servers.
We were given a fourteen day trial period after which we paid for the basic plan charged per month. The site’s web design platform is easy to use and you do not need to be a programmer or a web designer to create a web shop.
A friendly solution
The site provides over a hundred pre-designed templates and using the tutorials you can create an amazing e-commerce site. Additionally, the site supports secure online payments from all the major credit cards and you can receive payments from numerous gateways. The credit card rates are friendly and there are no hidden charges or network-related issues.
Anyway, after working on our web shop for about three months, we finally launched it to our clients and the reception was mind-boggling. We now sell our products all over the world using the Shopify POS and our web shop. As our proficiency increased with this platform, we managed to customize the new Shopify Reports feature and we can now track both our online and in-store sales separately and then combine them. In another ironical twist of fate, our lack became our luck.