Why you should choose one vendor for your content
An essential part of the process for fashion e-commerce
By Maurits Teunissen, CEO of StyleShoots
The online fashion e-commerce business is gaining traction and growing at a rapid speed. In fact, online sales are growing so fast that online retail will drive 25% of organized sales by 2020.
In correlation, so is the demand for high-quality content that converts. Your brand, your heritage, your look and feel - it’s what will make you stand out from the crowd. A huge part of that equation is the visual content you put out.
The potential shoppers that land on your website will experience your designed customer journey. And what will determine whether or not they convert into paying customers, will depend, to a large extent, on the visual presentation, your lifestyle videos and your brand as a whole.
So how can you make sure you are telling them the right visual story of your brand and product offering? By presenting them with great content that represents your brand in the smallest detail.
Don't let your brand down
Philip Boehm, who used to be a Senior Project Manager at Zalando ‘s Content Creation division, wisely put it: “If you don’t have imagery of your products on your website, no one will see them and no one will buy them.”
What he’s trying to get across with this message is: your content production facility should be up and running at all times. If you don’t get enough high-quality content on time to your followers and potential clients, you are letting your brand down. You are exposing your company to failure.
Look at it this way: Just like when you’re running a logistics company - your trucks must be in operation at all times.
Build the right type of content production workflow
In a highly competitive market, like fashion e-commerce is nowadays, you simply can’t afford to lose a day or two of content production just because you’re dealing with broken equipment and need to chase ten or more different vendors to make sure you’re up and running again.
Such hiccups may not seem fatal in the short term, but they sure are if you look at the big picture. Brands like Nike don’t allow for such mishaps and that is one of the reasons why they’re on top of the food chain.
Their content production strategy and process is truly what makes Nike, Nike. If you ask the majority of people: “why do you buy Nike and not X brand?”, you will get a similar response from a lot of people: “Because it’s Nike”. And that’s enough of an argument for them, right there. This is the power of BRAND.
And guess what? Nike, like many other successful fashion e-commerce companies, is completely in charge of their content production strategies and processes. They’re not reliant or dependent on anyone else.
This gives them a solid competitive advantage. Brands that adopt the same approach to content production understand the importance, value and impact it can have on their brands. Secondly, they make no compromises and own their brand - they’re in complete control.
A brand's recipe for success with content production looks something like this:
They take advantage of one central location they are operating from; usually where their merchandise is.
They have a defined style guide that represents the brand’s values and mission and they stick to it. They protect what their brand stands for.
They have a few, very skilled, talented and dedicated photographers, studio managers and stylists onboard that provide their expertise and put everything together. Even with developed technology like StyleShoots machines that optimize, speed up and simplify the studio’s workflow, brands still need the “skilled, trained eye” of the photographer to get the right visual message across. The rest can be easily done with a machine because it will only help the project managers to create more output and quicker while maintaining high quality for their visuals.
They standardize their creative process and achieve consistency with their videos and imagery. It will not matter if all the images look good, if they are not all consistent from a visual point of view. It is proven that inconsistency in visual content is a real conversion-killer.
They’re on top of their data management. Adding metadata to your imagery at the moment of capturing your imagery is the most efficient way to store your data. That’s why we have implemented a barcode and data scanner system in every StyleShoots machine - making the workflow for studio managers and photographers as simple as possible is our top priority.
And most often than not - they select ONE vendor. When you are considering to buy a car your select one brand and one dealer for your car. No sensible person would purchase a car with loose components and expect it to run smoothly. The same goes for your content production source or vendor.
These are just a few elements to bear in mind when you’re thinking of taking control over your own brand and imagery online. And that’s why we at StyleShoots strongly believe in the all-in-one concept of our content production machines.
They’re robust, up for the job and extremely reliable. But in the rare occasion that something breaks there’s just one number to dial and it will be fixed immediately. Because we understand your requirements. We have been in the fashion e-commerce industry for a decade and we work with people who have been in it for twice as long. We breathe fashion e-commerce. It’s in our DNA. All you need - under one roof.
One vendor, one phone call away.
Maurits has decades of experience in the fashion retail e-commerce industry. In the early 90's, he founded RunTime BV - a successful software company operating in the apparel market. He later founded Visual Retailing, a company that focuses on visual planning and merchandising technology to fashion brands and retailers. In 2012, Maurits co-founded StyleShoots and has attracted customers like Zalando, Marks & Spencer, Nike.