Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Your Home On The Web, Part 2
If you're interested in getting into e-commerce through your website, there are some good services to check out
dotPhotoPro is a service designed for pro photographers. Unlike the previous options, dotPhotoPro handles all order fulfillment and charges a commission. Also, unlike the other options, storage and web design are free. dotPhotoPro charges 15% to 20% commission per sale, and a flat 3% fee for processing credit card sales. Payments are sent to the photographer twice a month rather than the daily transaction processing when using your own payment service. dotPhotoPro allows you to set up public or private galleries known as Albums and Events, which can also be set to expire after a set period of time and is ideal for the wedding or event photographer.
I covered liveBooks in part one as an excellent option for showcasing images—liveBooks also offers shopping cart services, which add a buy button to your image page with a shopping cart to process sales through any online service you choose to use. Adding online sales to an existing liveBooks site is possible and runs $250. Images can be added to a virtual lightbox for review or saving for future purchase. Orders are routed directly to the photographer for printing and shipping. Once the shopping cart is set up, there are no additional fees from liveBooks.
Moments4Ever takes an interesting approach, with two different options available to the pro photographer. If you select its hosting package, you can be online with your own domain name for as little as $14.95 a month, which includes web design templates, online proofing services for customers, shopping carts with credit-card processing and order fulfillment for photographers who don't want to do their own printing. A separate online proofing package is available for event photographers, which integrates with your own website while handling order fulfillment and credit-card processing, along with excellent utilities to track sales, set pricing and create new events. Moments4Ever gives the photographer a great deal of freedom in setting up and maintaining a website with online sales.
Similar to dotPhotoPro, Photo
Reflect is run by ExpressDigital, a company with a highly regarded workflow program for pros that's especially suited to the wedding or portrait photographer. There are no fees to set up or store your images online. You pay a maximum 15% commission fee for sales (dropping to as low as 10% with enough sales volume), and a flat 3% fee for credit-card processing. The site uses a free Web Edition of ExpressDigital Darkroom software to manage uploads and create photo packages. You can protect images to prevent unauthorized access and set your own pricing for images. Unlike dotPhotoPro, PhotoReflect offers the option to do print fulfillment through its Labtricity photo labs or you can print and ship your own.
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