So it looks like I am having a frustrating run as an commerce consultant for a small brand come to an end. The client isn't happy - and I am not happy. The reasons are many, probably there are plenty of fingers to point, but the thing that phrase that keeps coming to mind is` "all in".
As in you have to be - you absolutely have to be all in if you are going to sell fashion (and many other things - everything eventually) online. There is no "let's try this", "let's try that" - you want to advertise online, you go to the top, Google. You want to use the Google system, you have to get past AdWords text ads and go all in for the Google Product Listing Ads. And then you have to go all in there - better photos, better descriptions, better prices! You can't sleep in online retail, because the competition isn't. You have to retarget - Criteo, Google, others - you don't like it? You think its creepy? So what - the other guys are doing it and they are killing you.
Don't post to all your social media channels everyday? May as well give up. Don't stay on top of new trends? Don't have all the latest market research? Etc. etc. etc. It never ends online. You can't use the bricks and mortar model at all - and you can't have a real physical store and just want to have a small presence online, unless you are prepared to only ever sell a little bit of whatever it is you sell and spend a lot of money doing it (there are some industry/business type exceptions of course but this post is really about global fashion).
There are lessons here for small brands and labels - don't compete against yourself is the number one take away for me. If you are small, and you already have wholesalers and retailers carrying your stuff, let them do the selling. You concentrate on making the best products you can make and building your brand - not stealing sales from your partners.
Anyway - an end of year rant... on to bigger and better things!