Billabong revolutionize digital commerce setup

See what's inside their new photo studio


Billabong is one of the preeminent beach lifestyle brands in the world. Recently, they invested into creating a brand new photography studio to ensure that their digital content matches up to the high quality, surf-styled inspiration their loyal customers have come to know and love. What gear did they decide to fill it with - and why? Read on or watch the video to find out (Hint: there may just be a StyleShoots machine in there). 


Creating an environment where 'consumer can shop anywhere, any time', at Billabong's HQ, their commerce team handles everything to do with online sales - from planning to execution. Like all well-oiled ecommerce efforts, that includes product imagery. And, as a brand that seeks to inspire customers with the beach lifestyle, consistency and quality of their photo content is crucial. They looked to achieve this by getting hold of some pretty special equipment. 


"One of the key things that we looked at is that if we were going to set up a studio, we wanted to set one up that would allow us to differentiate ourselves in terms of product imagery"

- Lynna Barrett, Head of Digital Commerce, Billabong Group


One way Billabong have revolutionized the creation of their photo content was creating a unique kind of photo studio. Inside, they have implemented a 'continuous lighting' style setup for shooting live models. This allows them to save time setting the day's shots up and ensures a consistent style of image as Barrett explains:

"Having our constant light setup is really gonna' optimize the way we shoot quickly and get the products to the market as fast as possible to the highest quality and consistency as possible - to really support the brand image we want to portray"

The other unique part about it? Implementing the latest version of StyleShoots Horizontal. StyleShoots Horizontal is designed to help stylists and photographers create stunning flat lay product shots with ease. This makes it a lot easier for Billabong to create photo content consistent with their surf-inspired brand image. 

"The combination of this StyleShoots system with a constant light setup that we've implemented here is my understanding worldwide" says Andy Mackie, Director at Lookdepot. 

Screen Shot 2016-09-16 at 15.00.15.png

Consistency plays a huge role in all product photography, and creating a digital studio that can empower that is essential. For example, making sure that the colour - on a Billabong shirt, for example - a shopper sees online is exactly the same as they'd see in-store. This has a lot to do with both lighting, and the quality of the equipment used.

StyleShoots uses a Canon EOS 5D Mk III in both the Horizontal and Vertical models. This camera is hailed as the industry standard for professional photographers. The system's embedded image processing system also ensures not only alpha transparency, but true colour rendering. The Horizontal model makes it faster and easier than ever before to take professional quality flat lay product shots, with award winning lighting, settings and a real time preview all accessed by an iPad.

"I've worked with the StyleShoots system before in the past and it became an obvious selection from day one that we would need that to really optimize the studio production and output for flat lay imagery" adds Barrett.


"Because we had a blank slate, it was the perfect catalyst for us to do something from the beginning. Utilizing the best technology, the most sophisticated operations, and the approach: which is to produce high volumes of imagery to the highest amount of quality at the lowest cost possible" 

- Lynna Barrett, Head of Digital Commerce, Billabong Group


By having a continuous lighting setup, as well as using StyleShoots' high end equipment for their flat lay product photography, Billabong are not only able to produce photo content that creates a consistently inspirational and beautiful brand image, but content that makes sure what their shoppers are seeing reflects exactly what they're getting. 

The investment in their studio ensures that, over time, Billabong's imagery will retain a consistently high quality and a one hundred percent accurate representation of their products. Like many other eCommerce players such as Zalando and Zulily, investment into this kind of technology pays off; lower product photography costs are just one benefit. A less considered benefit is that when product photography is improved, it's easier for consumers to shop and compare their favourite brands, clothes and styles. 

After all, in the words of Paul Burdekin, General Manager - Asia Pacific, its about "meeting the consumer where the consumer wants us to meet them".


Want to learn more about how Billabong Group and other leading brands have started using StyleShoots technology?

Stephen Warr