August 28, 2008, 12:00 AM

Calumet Photo goes international with online product tours

With a multi-channel presence in several countries, Calumet Photographic is helping to drive up web sales in Europe as well as the U.S. by 20% with online product tours in multiple languages, chief technology officer Joe Henson says.

With a multi-channel presence in several countries, Calumet Photographic Inc. is helping to drive up web sales in Europe as well as the U.S. by 20% with online product tours in multiple languages, chief technology officer Joe Henson says.

Calumet Photographic, No. 353 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, operates four web sites in the U.S., the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. It also has catalogs and about 30 stores in the U.S., Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The retailer sells cameras and related equipment for photographic studios to professional as well as amateur photographers, with a strong focus on providing material for educating customers. “Calumet doesn’t just sell boxes of products, we sell knowledge,” Henson says.

The company is reporting sales up 15% across all selling channels this year over last year, while web sales are up about 20%, he says.

An important part of its educational material are online product tours for branded products from manufacturers including Canon and Sony. The tours are funded by the manufacturers and provided by product video companies SellPoint Inc. and Easy2 Technologies for CalumetPhoto.com, and by UK-based iSite TV for the retailer’s UK site CalumetPhoto.co.uk.

Calumet Photographic also works with UK-based Flixmedia Ltd. to provide product tours in multiple languages including German and Dutch as well as English. Calumet is also beginning to work with Web Collage for additional multilingual product tours, Henson says.

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