February 4, 2011: Ted’s Cameras has launched into March with an all-new website and a new outlet in Greensborough, formerly owned by respected veteran photo specialists Peter and Carmen De Janko.
‘The new website has been designed to bring the online department into line with our multi-channel strategy,’ explained Jason Robertson, sales and marketing manager for Ted’s Online. ‘We’ve built a platform that can cope with the level of sales and traffic expected over the next 3-5 years.’
He explained that from a consumers’ perspective, the new site is much cleaner and easier to navigate around, particularly for finding and purchasing products.
For example, it features DSLR kits better, with multiple product images and more detail.
‘From a technical perspective many of the features that have been difficult to manage on the old site are much easier to manage now. Ratings and reviews are built in to the new platform; there’s an easy one-page checkout for customers; integration with third party applications and API’s has been made very simple.’
‘The marketing objective of the site is to have a world class solution for buying online,’ said Jason Robertson.
He added that consumer reviews, articles and social media content are all part of engagement with consumers and result in higher conversion on any website.
‘So it’s a two pronged attack, and there are lots of things on the drawing board for down the track.’
He was guarded about pricing strategy on the website, so it’s unclear whether prices online will be the same as prices in-store:
‘Pricing strategy for online is always interesting when you have brick and mortar stores but want to be competitive online – this is always under review,’ he said.
Cost of the new website was not revealed, but Ted’s managing director, Richard Robertson has noted that the cost or building and running an effective e-tailing website is roughly equivalent to establishing and operating a physical store.
The Greensborough outlet, which has been run as a photo store for around 30 years by Peter De Janko, is located in the Greensborough Plaza shopping mall.
‘We are very happy we could take on the site and give the staff an opportunity for continued employment,’ said Richard Robertson.
He added that, with Ted’s owning stores around Australia, the new Ted’s staff in Greensborough had broader opportunities to ‘do other things and work in other places.’
If comments posted on consumer information website Truelocal are anything to go by, Ted’s has scored a coup in ‘acquiring’ Peter De Janko’s former staff. Here is just one of 18 reviews from store visitors, all of them giving the store a five-star rating:
‘It’s not often you find a shop where you don’t have to just single out 1 or 2 of your favourite staff members, but are happy to talk to everyone because they all know their stuff and are all so pleasant. You walk in and these guys actually greet you…and wait for it…smile. Sounds trivial, but some places you walk into and it looks like their smile muscles have atrophied. It’s great to find a place where you’re also greeted by name – even if you’ve only been there once before.’
Richard Robertson noted that when they had news of Mr De Janko’s retirement, ‘customers came in droves to wish him well.’
‘It’s a testament to Peter and his staff.
‘He is one of the last of a breed of specialist store retailers whose heart and soul is in their business,’ he said.
Mr Robertson expressed concern that there were few if any young entrepreneurs entering photo retailing these days to replace the likes of Mr De Janko, largely because of the market behaviour of mass merchants, who have commoditised the category.
Asked about any further acquisitions, Mr Robertson said: ‘We are always looking, and always answer any enquiry that comes our way.’