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Quilting and Technology


Quilting has come a long way since it’s origins thanks to advances in technology and society. Like most other industries, quilting has made even more progress in the past three decades than the rest of it’s history combined.

Quilts can now now be much more elaborate and patterns much more varied thanks to the artistic freedom technology provides. Fabrics come in all colors and designs, and the number of tools available to quilters continues to grow.

On the flip side, dedicated quilters are also spending more time online. The amount of time they spend researching the quilting industry increased from 2.5 hours to nearly 8 hours a week since 2014. Further, “68% of dedicated quilters were buying fabric, batting, and thread online,” as of 2017.

Technology is disrupting the traditional business model that brick-and-mortar stores follow. In order to compete now you have to learn how to establish an online presence as well as make your product as easy as possible to get into the hands of the consumer.

Industry professionals feel like they’re behind in more ways than one. Common areas they want education include:

  • Product photography
  • Video workshops with best practices for Instagram and YouTube
  • Best ways to sell fabric on Shopify
  • The ins and outs of selling through Amazon
  • Copywriting for social media posts and online content in general
  • Shipping logistics
  • Email marketing with details on specifics like list segmentation and more

What’s Next?

The times are always changing and it’s up to us to keep up with them so our businesses stay relevant to our consumers. How is technology helping your business and how is technology making things more difficult? What tech-related skills do you want to learn?

American Quilt Retailer is dedicated to connecting you with like-minded professionals to help out with problems like these and many more. Share your tips about what technological advances have been the best moves for your business.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Become a Social Media Success Story

The internet has changed the way business is done. Today, McCall’s patterns can be found in books and on their blog.

Social media can be fun, confusing, rewarding, and frustrating.  In today’s business world, consumers expect an attractive social presence, but determining which platforms are worth your time can be a long process.

The top social platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, and each offer different opportunities for your business.

Facebook is the powerhouse of the social media sites, with 70% of active online adults a member of the tech giant. Despite the amount of users, Facebook also has the most engagement, but is the least appealing social site for younger adults. Other features include advertisement options for businesses, with filters to reach certain geographic regions.

The image-driven social sites include Pinterest and Instagram. Think of Pinterest and Instagram as a way to visually represent your company. They are both extremely popular among women, and can be used to express your company’s brand through images. If done correctly, these platforms can drive serious engagement.

A great networking tool for your company would be LinkedIn. Outside of connecting with other quilt retailers, it could also be beneficial in starting conversations on how to perfect your company’s brand (or social personality in other words).

Other platforms to explore include Snapchat and YouTube. If your business has tutorials, classes, or a variety of video options, a YouTube account might be beneficial. If your business has events, you might want to create a Snapchat account to showcase the fun time your customers are having.

Other options include Twitter and email campaign systems. If your business is focused on driving information, then Twitter is the platform for you. However, check into email campaign systems like MailChimp and Constant Contact to send newsletters and other information to customers who subscribe to your company’s email. Whatever you feel important enough to send in an email blast could definitely overlap in your social media.

It takes time, experimenting, and practice to find out what works best with your audience. Keep track of impressions and other social media data to see what works and what doesn’t, and be sure to tailor your social media schedule around that. Use polls on all your platforms to find out what your audience wants to see. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and remember that if you’re going to make an account, use it!

Social media is a great way to create conversations, offer giveaways, or grant discounts. With work and time, your social media can be optimized to drive more traffic and increase your business revenues.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.