Friday, February 27, 2009
Money While You Sleep: E-Commerce For Professional Photographers
Web 2.0 means every kind of photo business can and should be online
The crucial difference between photographic success online in 2005 and success online in 2009 is revenue. Four years ago, most sites were passive display ads with contact information—a glorified business card. Today, the e-commerce aspect allows literally every type of professional photographer to put vital business services online, and to do so without added time commitments or additional busywork. In fact, it’s the reduction in time involved that makes being online so valuable.
For example, photojournalists and stock photographers now can use their sites not only as digital archives, but as storefronts that allow image-licensing searches for their existing clients—as well as to a broader client base who finds the photographer thanks to search engine optimization incorporated into sites. Wedding photographers and family portrait specialists can utilize a robust customer interface for ordering prints, albums, novelties and more. The lab-direct connection means the customer’s order goes directly to the pro lab for fulfillment and shipping, and the online storefront means interested friends and family can place their own orders easily, further increasing the photographer’s revenue stream. In all cases, the photographer’s obligation beyond uploading can be as much or as little as he or she likes.
No matter the type of work a photographer does or the type of sales he or she makes, the ability to seamlessly blend a third-party e-commerce solution into a personal website is crucial. In all cases, photographers are able to seamlessly blend online vendors into their own branded offerings if they so choose. A clickbooq-powered website, for example, has no clickbooq branding visible to the customer. A print order form from Kubota’s site may go directly to Bay Photo’s lab, but by all appearances the customer is dealing directly with Kubota’s company. In fact, they’re receiving the exact same services from the exact same vendors as they always have; Kubota’s company has simply changed the interface, but maintained the relationship with the same qualified vendor they’ve always relied on.
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