Quality E-Commerce Photography at Affordable PricesWritten by Sukla Chinnappa
With the dominance of major e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart and the ease at which brands can go online with their own website and start selling online there is serious competition for brick & mortar stores in terms of scalability os sales by reaching out to a larger base of potential customers.
The biggest challenge that is seen in this route of building a Brand / Sales through the online route is the "Cost". Many expect e-commerce to work magic but the truth of the matter is "E-commerce does have its costs which match up to/be higher than the cost of a physical store". while the previous statement is true what one needs to realise that at the same price it also allows one to reach out to a larger client base which in turn can be converted to a higher sales volume & better margins.
As you might already know there is little you can do about managing your fixed costs, but there is a huge potential in increasing "Conversions" i.e. the actual number of people who make a purchase out of all the visitors to your online store.
A very important aspect of the online presence of your product is Product Image(s) of your Product / Apparel Product Photography. They form the first impression and makes the maximum impact in making a sale / breaking it.
With the emergence of this new market, there are many who have capitalised on this and e-commerce photography/photographers are available at rock bottom pricing. But the question is when you have got your "Best Price" are your sales as expected?
Before we get to this question, let us have a look at the operational costs of a typical shoot.
- Cost of equipment (A full-frame sensor camera, with a sharp lens & good studio lights & modifiers)
- Adequate space to unpack, prep, shoot and repack your products - 700 -1000 sqft
- Assistants to take care of this.
- Is an experienced photographer shooting / a junior continuing the shoot once the initial setup is complete?
- Colour Accuracy in the delivered images.
- Calibrated Monitor, Licensed Software and the correct workflow to manage accuracy.
- For Apparels, are Professional Models are part of the shoot or are amateurs representing your brand (This is important to have some consistency in the quality of posing)
- As you can see there is a fixed cost and that is the primary reason for prices for photographing a single product is on the higher side.
- Breakup of costs
- Cost of a sale v.i.z time spent in understanding your requirements, planning of shoot (Creating Moodboards where required), organising resources & logistics.
- A common request we get is to find a model / MUAH at rock-bottom prices.
- Consider the difference between a well-rested model and one who tried to save a few ₹₹₹ on a cab which looks obvious in the eyes.
- A win-win situation is where a model can do his/her own makeup which is perfectly ok for most e-commerce shoots, especially for low volume shoots.
- Everyone involved needs to travel, have a meal and hopefully save a bit at the end of the day.
- Reality Check
- Any / every product has design, production & marketing costs.
- If you do not have a budget for an e-commerce shoot, you seriously need to reconsider your business model.
- For example, your product costs ₹700/- & you spend even ₹500/- on a photography
- If you are selling 30 pieces, it adds around ₹17 to your overall cost.
- Similarly, if you are selling around 100 pieces it adds just ₹5/-
- Though this can form a few percentage numbers at small volumes, another way to look at these numbers is to have a simple comparison with the CPC (cost per click) or the Conversion Rates.
Some typical price-points achievable (with minimal compromise on quality)
- Half-day (4-5 hrs) for apparel ₹ 12,000 - 15,000
- 1 model, with self-done makeup, approx 30 products, up to 5 views (~₹400/product )
- 2 models, with self-done makeup, approx 50 products, up to 5 views (~₹500/product )
- 1 Model, 1 MUAH, approx 25-30 Products, up to 5 views (~₹500/product )
- Half-Day (Non-Apparel Products) ₹ 10,000
- Simple, White background, up to 50 products & 2 views (~₹200/product)
- Full day (8-9 hrs) for apparel ₹ 38,000
- 2 experienced models, 1 MUAH, approx 100 products, up to 5 views (~₹400/product)
- 3 models, 1 MUAH, approx 130 products, up to 5 views (~₹300/product)
- Full-Day (Non-Apparel Products) ₹ 18,000
- Simple, White background, up to 150 products & 2 views (~₹120/product)
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