Terratag is a graphics based clothing brand, with a direct influence from Japanese comics, modernism, graffiti, pop-art, sci-fi and music. Taking elements from East and West, it is very much a niche clothing brand.
By Paul Nicholson, Terratag founder
When I launched Terratag in 2002, the internet was nowhere, as far as our sales were concerned. Getting the product out there was about doing trade shows and taking orders from retailers. This would happen twice a year with design and production teams geared toward the shows. Selling direct to the consumer was out of the question.
Back in 2005, with 10 years experience in fashion retail, we decided to take the Terratag brand online and focus attention on generating direct sales through e-commerce.
For many years we ran our online store on the EROL platform, but unfortunately Brightscape went under in 2011. This forced me to seek an alternative e-commerce package and gave me the opportunity to re-assess what we wanted from the software and where we could make improvements.
With a keen eye on keeping costs down, we wanted a package that would allow us to build, manage and update our website but not cost a fortune. After weighing up the options we felt the best solution was Actinic Online, which we have been using since October 2011.
Selling online has allowed us to work in a completely different way, constantly making changes and additions to the range and, of course, dealing directly with our fan base. E-commerce allows us to be more flexible and to operate on a smaller scale than would have been possible 10 or 15 years ago. The high turnover of designs and products keeps things fresh and helps maintain interest in the brand.
This is a positive aspect to the internet and has allowed a huge number of brands to spring up. It has created massive diversification and the opportunity for specialised niche branding. For sure, it is an exciting time for designers and consumers.
The down side is this ease of getting to market has also allowed anyone from the hack with a PC in his bedroom to major labels to get more product out there. So much so, the really good stuff is being swamped by the mediocre.
People are overwhelmed with choice and, in my opinion, the future will be about consumers finding ways to make more considered choices. That is why I see quality, integrity and originality becoming watchwords in fashion retail online.