Ted’s Cameras CEO Nick Peasley participated in a panel discussion, ‘Innovative Ways of Capturing Retail Photo Business’, at the DScoop Asia conference held in Bali back in June, along with another Australian, Rob Tolmie, who acted as moderator, and HP and HP Snapfish executives, Hanny Gan and Benjamin Lamparter.
The oddly-named DScoop is an ‘independent community of graphic arts business owners and technical professionals who use HP Indigo equipment and related solutions.’
Photo Imaging News International (see Photo Imaging News) reported on the session, with Mr Peasley beginning by offering some insights into Ted’s Camera’s business. He said that the 44-year old Ted’s Cameras now has 20 locations in Australia with 260 employees, with a combination of hardware and print sales totalling $80 million.
Accoding to the report, ‘the Australian market data indicates revenues are made up of 13 percent DSLR, 10 percent DSC, and 15 percent CSC, and printing services accounting for 15 percent of gross profits.’
Ted’s website brings in 6 percent of all sales, and the Club Ted loyalty program has more than 140,000 members.
Mr Lamparter then outlined the scope of the Snapfish business: the world’s largest online photo services business has over 125 million registered network users and more than 55 billion images, and ranks in the Top 10 worldwide e-commerce platforms, handling over 42 million transactions a year.
When the discussion moved on to major challenges, HP’s Hanny Gan observed that there is no big retail channel in the region, as most photo shops have 1-2 stores with limited space with high rentals, and are unable to create an online store. He said they generally only make significant profits from ID/passport photos.
Mr Lamparter (Snapfish) said massive discounting is reducing the prices that online companies can charge in the region, and Mr Peasley added that retailers are using 6×4-inch prints as a loss leader service, and the sheer cost of having a store is a challenge.
In the future, he said, Ted’s Cameras will concentrate on mid- to high-end hardware, selling fewer cameras but obtaining more money to help the stores maintain their revenues.
When asked about instore verses online, he said that online sales are a natural fit with stores. He said Ted’s avoided outsourcing, although some products such as stretch canvas and wide-format made need to be made by specialists.
The Snapfish executive said that stores needed to decide which products should be produced instore and which ones ‘outlabbed’ for delivery to the store. For some products, such as metals and canvas, he said, there is no substitute for instore display where customers can see and touch samples. For prints and photobooks, which most people understand, he felt this was not so critical. (It should be noted that HP Indigos make photo books and prints, but not metal prints and canvas. KS)
He said that Amazon has driven consumer expectations to ‘next day delivery – no charge’ and in the future there will be fewer online players in the market, but those remaining will have more significant revenue. He said layflat books are gaining popularity, and that these might be difficult to produce instore, especially as the number of pages has been increasing to more than 150.
Mr Gan flagged a new product under development -‘stationery’ prints, which can be printed 25-50 to a sheet on Indigo presses for the stationery market. Text and other content can be added on the back of the prints.