The office supplies retailer say it sacrificed some sales to improve online profitability. It also redesigned its business-facing e-commerce site, StaplesAdvantage.com.
An online photo management system lets resellers quickly get the information they need.
Alps Mountaineering, a camping and mountaineering equipment manufacturer, doesn’t sell directly to consumers. Rather, it relies on its network of bricks-and-mortar and online-only retailers to sell its products.
Many, if not most, of those retailers twice a year ask the company to provide photos and product data to help them sell Alps Mountaineering’s merchandise. Until earlier this year that required Alps Mountaineering to either e-mail photos one by one, burn disks with the images or send a massive file downloaded from its content management system that contained high-resolution images of all the product photos available for the season.
And, because many of the retailers sell only a portion of Alps’ products, Sarah Beth Brune, the company’s marketing manager, had to sort through hundreds of images to find the ones each retailer needed. That took hours of her time. “It was a cumbersome process,” she says.
But earlier this year Alps began using Shotfarm, a photo management system that acts as a photo repository for manufacturers. Using Shotfarm, manufacturers like Alps Mountaineering can upload their product photos, as well as product information like descriptions, to Shotfarm’s system and deliver retailers invites that grant them access to the files so they can browse and download the ones they want.
Since uploading its images and descriptions into Shotfarm, Brune has been pleased with how efficient it’s made image sharing. “Once we upload the images, we’re done,” she says. “And it’s much easier for the retailers to log on and download what they need.”
A few dozen of Alps’ resellers now gather product photos from the Shotfarm system, and Brune says she expects the rest of its resellers to begin using it soon.