Small Business Retailer Uses Technology to Run Efficiently, Promote His Brand

Trend Up, a boutique men’s fashion store in Buffalo, NY, faces many of the same problems as other small businesses. With online retailers grabbing more and more market share, efficiency is critical to the survival of shops like Trend Up, started by Giovanni Centurione in March, 2016.

One of the things Centurione noticed about clothing shoppers is that while many like to order apparel online, many also, “like to touch and try on clothes before purchasing.”

Having a physical location with clothing hanging on hangers or folded on racks makes sense so people can see, touch and even try on merchandise before deciding whether to buy it.

Maintaining a website is paramount though, and Centurione used Squarespace to build a website to promote his clothing lines. Still, he finds getting online sales to be a bit of a challenge. He also maintains an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp and Pinterest.

Within his brick and mortar location, Centurione relies on the Clover brand “cash/credit card machine” for sales. The service keeps track of taxes, sales and inventory, which is especially important for small business owners who cannot staff an accounting team. He also uses the app Square, mainly for outside events and in case of internet failure.

Trend Up started as an idea in Centurione’s head. Then he conducted, “a lot of research,” followed by asking other store owners the simple question, “How do I start a business?” They helped him develop a plan and open Trend Up.

“I could never find anything I liked to wear at the local stores in Buffalo,” Centurione said. “I used to live in New York City and wanted to bring that style to Buffalo.”

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