Howard Butterfield of theimagefile...
offers some more good advice
I heard yesterday that Fabergé, the extreme luxury brand steeped in Russian heritage and famous for its exquisite jewelled eggs has launched its first new jewellery collection in 90 years. The interesting thing is however, that it has chosen to sell the whole collection exclusively online, with prices ranging from, a relatively, affordable $40,000 to a cool 7 million. It now appears the entire spectrum of sales possibilities...from ending out thousands of bulk texts just costing a fraction of a penny...
to multi-million dollar sales of mansions and luxurious jewellery...is that everything is being sold online.
Successful websites for photographic businesses are pretty simple in the roles they need to fulfil.
Websites should create the right first impression and they have, in this world of instant gratification, perhaps 20 seconds - at the outside, to achieve this. This should follow through from your vision, mission and values and reflect your chosen aims and objectives of the business. For example, if you were selling high value portrait work, perhaps it would be unwise to use a zingy orange as your predominate colour, now and forever linked with Easy and cheap deals.
They should acquire additional business and customers; enticing them in, quickly answering their questions and efficiently taking their contact information. The web site should also make it easy for people to pass your details to others, offer 'special' deals as well as facilitating printing important documents like price lists or contracts. Even wedding fairs are online now, leaving your web site as the only way in this instance of attracting new bookings.
Your web site should handle sales transactions for you. Take deposits or full funds, issue order acknowledgements and invoices, supply the goods via download if applicable and forward the orders for physical items to wherever they are despatched from; with all the details supplied for direct shipment to the customer, under your branding - saving time and double postage.
Lastly, your website should help you manage one of your greatest assets, your database of past customers; encouraging and handling repeat orders,
commissions, testimonials and referrals.
If your website is fulfilling all of the above functions, then you are leading the way and really reaping the rewards. Benefiting from reduced costs both in terms of time and money and the increased productivity the internet can offer.
If not, then perhaps a call to theimagefile for straightforward advice on websites and ecommerce...you'll realise how simple and easy it could all be.
Howard Butterfield is Managing Director of theimagefile - providing internet sales and marketing solutions for serious photographers.
www.theimagefile.com 0870 2242454.
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