Archive for July 2016

5 Retail Predictions for 2016-17 for Creative Businesses

5 Retail Predictions for 2016-17 for Creative Businesses

Businesses are always growing and adapting to the latest trends. But for creative businesses like photographers, graphic designers and printing studios — who are often almost always small businesses — following the big trends is tough with a small staff and small budget. So what current trends do small creative businesses need to know in order to adapt and grow? We took a look at some of the biggest retail predictions from Vend and sorted out the biggest things that small creative businesses need to know.

Payment options are becoming much more varied

Paying for a service or product is no longer a “cash or credit” question. Magnetic stripe cards are slowly being replaced by cards with embedded computer chips that require special readers to use. Paying without a card at all and with a smartphone instead is also being an increasingly popular option with the rise of Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which uses NFC to send payment info quickly. Creative business owners need to be aware of these changes — and consider whether to add them to their payment options.

The shopping experience is becoming easier for the customer

Technology is helping smooth out the wrinkles in the customer’s experience — even in-person. Retail stores are using buttons — like Amazon Dash — for instant reorders and apps with a single barcode to put all offers in one spot. So what about photographers and other creative businesses? Look for small ways to help simplify the process, whether that’s enhancing an online ordering gallery or even adding a mobile ordering app.

“Omnichannel” will continue to grow

Omnichannel, or shopping both in-person and online, is continuing to grow. Merging both experiences is a key step in following this trend. Allowing customers to order prints online but pick them up in store, for example, is an omnichannel option that photographers and printers will likely want to adopt.

Social media continues to influence sales

Social media has long played a role in marketing, but now several channels are popping up to sell directly from social media. Soldsie is one option that allows Instagram users to purchase an item by commenting “sold” with their email — while it has worked well for fashion companies like TopShelf Style, it could also be a way for popular Instagrammers to sell photo display products and canvases of their top photos.

More products doesn’t necessarily mean more sales

At some point, variety quits being a customer perk and begins to get overwhelming. Subscription box services — that essentially eliminate the choice — are growing in popularity. Sometimes, offering the best print sizes and products that work with that particular photo or style is a better choice than listing a hundred different sizes and leaving customers dizzy with the potential options. That same concept could even be applied to the number of proofs photographers present to their clients, to some extent.

Mixing the online and in-person experience are the biggest trends coming to retail in the next year. Creative businesses should look for ways to merge both in-person meets as well as online platforms, from leveraging social media for sales to offering a variety of payment options.

DNP DS80 from Photo Direct

Lab Solution for as little as $89* per week

Still using a wetlab?

Want to have no downtime when changing print surface or size?
Want to be able to increase print capacity quickly and easily as customer demand changes?
Want to offer single sided and double sided prints, as well as gifts and canvas products?
Want to have software for your customers that is so simple for them to use they don’t need to tie up staff time?
Want to have software that allows you to add products at will, instantly?
Want to use your kiosks as silent salespeople for your other products in store?
Want to be portable to maximise opportunities for event and Santa photos?
Want to have software that offers event photos through the kiosk at different prices to your standard?
Want to have software that offers your own library of images for customers to access as well as their own?
Want a solution that you can simply plug and play, without having to create more time in an already busy day?
Want to produce high quality prints, quickly and cost-effectively?
Want to reduce the cost of biometric passports?
Want to be able to pause large jobs while they are happening, so that you can print rush orders?

Want to find out more about how all this is possible??

Simply email or phone us on 1300 364 817. We’d be delighted to answer your questions on how you can have all this for as little as $89* per week.

*$89 per week depends on finance terms and conditions and the final equipment and software configuration selected.

3 Canvas Options that Are Friendly to Both the Earth and The Budget

3 Canvas Options that Are Friendly to Both the Earth and The Budget

Eco-friendly and wallet-friendly are often opposites, but there are some canvas options that can take on both descriptions with ease. Eco-solvent canvases are designed specifically for eco-solvent inks, together creating colorful artwork without the chemicals and fumes associated with traditional canvas products. Still not convinced? Here’s why you should consider eco-sol, along with our top three budget-friendly and eco-friendly canvases.

Why Eco-Sol?

But first, why choose eco-sol over a traditional canvas? While many eco-sol canvases can be used with a variety of different inks, they’re designed to be used with eco-sol ink. Traditional inks give off fumes that mean ventilation is often a necessity for printing indoors. Besides just being environmentally friendly, eco-sol eliminates the cost of installing a proper ventilation system.

Eco-sol inks are also a bit friendlier on printers, which means nozzles don’t have to be cleaned as often as with traditional inks. The benefits of eco-sol extend to the client too, since some inks can leave canvas with strong odors long after the initial printing.

Eco-sol is often the right way to go, especially for indoor photos and graphics — here are our top eco-sol canvas options.

Eco-Sol Latex Lightweight 190gsm

This canvas is made from 100 percent polyester, making it one of our most affordable canvas options. While affordable enough for printing multiple canvases, the Eco-Sol Latex Lightweight doesn’t slouch too much on quality. The bright white and matte coatings help bring out a brilliant color and quality to the image. Designed with high-quality materials, this canvas is also resistant to cracks, so mounting is no problem. The price and quality mix of this canvas makes it perfect for campaigns with lots of prints or simply printing affordable canvases.

Eco-Sol Latex Semi-Glossy Poly-cotton Canvas 380 gsm

This poly-cotton blend creates a seedless, moderate weave perfect for capturing that authentic canvas look without authentic canvas chemicals. The thick 380g weight makes it the perfect option for high quality prints. With a waterproof surface, this canvas won’t crack while framing and can be used with regular solvent, eco-solvent, latex and UV inks. The semi-gloss surface and bright white material work together to give the finished piece a polished look. A special satin coating not only helps the ink to dry quickly, but also allows for maximum saturation.

Eco-Sol Latex Premium Poly-cotton Canvas 380gsm

Not a fan of the glossed over look? This canvas is identical for the 380gsm Eco-Sol Latex, but comes with a matte finish. While still offering an authentic canvas with a seedless weave, this option won’t reflect light, so it’s perfect for photos that shine on their own. Keeping the poly-cotton blend, this canvas is great for using with eco-sol inks yet still sits at an affordable price point. With anti-curl and tear-resistant properties, this canvas is perfect for projects that need to stand the test of time.

Eco-sol canvases are affordable and come without the stench of traditional inks. Our line of Eco-sol canvas comes in 100 foot rolls or customizable lengths, with widths varying from 24 to 60 inches. And while they look wonderful on the walls, they’re also not so bad on the bottom line either.

DNP RX1 photo printer from Photo Direct

Lab Solution for as little as $89* per week

Still using a wetlab?

Want to experiment with a drylab without having to throw out your wetlab first?
Want to have the security of back up equipment for when your ageing wetlab fails?
Want a drylab now but don’t have many dollars to spare?
Want to use your existing PC or kiosk hardware for as long as possible?
Want a print and software solution that works with your existing IT operating systems to save you more $$?
Want to save on service costs?
Want to never be out of production?
Want to never have to wait for a tech or spare parts to arrive in store?
Want a photolab simple enough that any staff member can operate it?
Want to streamline your production operations to free up staff to spend more time selling?
Want to reduce your stock holding of lab supplies so they are easier to manage and store?
Want to free up floor space in the lab area?
Want a lab system with a flexible layout so you can rearrange your store without worrying if the lab will fit?

Want to find out more about how all this is possible??

Simply email or phone us on 1300 364 817. We’d be delighted to answer your questions on how you can have all this for as little as $89* per week.

*$89 per week depends on finance terms and conditions and the final equipment and software configuration selected.

Tracy Lints to retire to improve golf handicap

Tracy Lints will retire at the end of July to focus on her golf handicap amongst other things.

Tracy is a founding partner,  Director and driving force of Photo Direct  which has been operating for almost 11 years , Tracy joined the photographic industry with Agfa in 2002 and was heavily involved Golf for retirementwith the independent retail channel including as a member of the Victorian PMA committee for many years.

When asked about her retirement Tracy said  “It’s been a fun (nearly) 11 years but now I want to spend more time on my golf game and less time on the photo and printing games. Whilst I say it has been fun, it has also been challenging – just as it has been for most people in the industry – but I still believe there are significant areas of upside for the print and photo industry if we keep reinventing ourselves to match the changing demands of the customer.”

Tracy will continue her role with Photo Direct NZ and will remain a Director there.

Tracy has made a significant contribution to Photo Direct and to the industry at large and we wish Tracy well for the future.