If you have an ecommerce company, you probably know the importance of offering quality visuals for your site. Online Product Photography knows that more than most. The company actually started as a retailer and switched over to photography after they couldn’t find a quality solution for their own needs. Read more about the team’s journey below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Offers a variety of product photography options for ecommerce businesses.
Co-founder Peter Geerts told Small Business Trends, “When consumers buy online or via a catalogue they only have a picture or a video to rely on, hence you want to make sure you showcase your great products in the best possible way. Whether you are a small eCommerce start-up or a multinational company, we can offer the right solution tailored to your needs. From simple eCommerce product pack shots to 360 degrees product presentations or video & 3D modelling, we offer it all.”
Covering all aspects of the process.
Geerts says, “At Online Product Photography we provide free account management for all our clients. It’s a deliberate choice as many of our competitors just try to offer the lowest possible price per picture. We don’t believe this could ever be a sustainable business model, as professional product photography is very complex and believe you pay for quality. Therefore, we help all our customers in finding the perfect solution within their budget constraints. Contracting a product photographer can be very stressful and customers might wonder if they are missing out on important details or opportunities. Therefore, we have a dedicated account manager for every client that assist them from start to finish.”
How the Business Got Started
As a furniture company.
Geerts explains, “Our business started when our company started a furniture project. We realized quickly that a good photographer for our products was vital. When we searched online, we found a lot of small businesses that offered product photography services, but most of them have poor websites, no price indication or a difficult order process. We realized quickly that we could make more money in the photography business than with our furniture project if we could have a certain scale and a professional framework.”
Opening product photography studios all over Europe.
Geerts says, “This gave us a lot of flexibility. By opening multiple studios, we could lower the waiting time for our our customers and at the same time improve our product service. Furthermore, every studio is specialized in different services and they have a different cost structure. The latter allows us to maximize profits.”
Opening a Product Photography studio in Bucharest, Romania.
Geerts adds, “We were very skeptical in the beginning as had no experience of working in Eastern Europe and we had no idea about the quality they could offer. All our studios till then were in Western Europe (London, Paris, Madrid). The risk was enormous, as one unhappy client can destroy your reputation. We traveled several times to Romania in order to prepare the opening of our photo studio there. After all, it turned out that Romanian photographers are just as motivated (or maybe even more) than Spanish, French or British ones. We never regretted opening the studio there, but it could have a very negative impact on our business.”
Control as much of the process as possible.
Geerts says, “In the beginning, we subcontracted special services, like 360 degree photography or ghost mannequin photography. But in the service world, it’s very annoying when you depend on third parties. There is nothing more frustrating when you promise a client they will receive their photos by a certain date and your subcontractor does not deliver on time.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Purchasing more equipment and studio space.
Geerts says, “We would definitely further invest in state of the art equipment (360 degree and model robots) and secondly open more studios in other European countries like Germany and The Netherlands as eCommerce is also booming in those countries.”
Rotating annual events.
Geerts explains, “As we have offices all over Europe and the UK, we gather every year in a different country for a team building event. One team is hosting the event and invites all colleagues from the other countries. We saw it’s a fun and engaging way to share the best practices from one studio to another. Despite the high travel costs, we never regretted organizing a single event as we always saw an immediate positive impact. (Better quality, reduced costs, standardization,…)”