SAN JOSE, Calif. – To create a more efficient product photography process, independent retailers nationwide have adopted the Aperture Platform by Outward, Inc., an independent Williams-Sonoma, Inc. company and pioneer in visual technology solutions for the home furnishings industry. Both Old Brick Furniture Company and Retreat Home Furniture are reporting early success in utilizing the platform to improve their online presence.
“The images we’re able to obtain with [the Aperture Platform] have changed the way we approach our marketing and online presence in just one month,” said Stephanie Geary, marketing manager for Old Brick Furniture Company, an independent retailer with eight locations in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. “Our small team can now create content for social media, marketing, and the design studio, with a very quick turnaround. Our design studio team is already using the better assets in their client presentations,” Geary added.
“We recognize that the time for quality assets is now. Rather than waiting on our manufacturing partners to provide assets or outsourcing photography services which can be costly, we’re bringing the technology in-house. We see Aperture as part of our strategic plan for growth. Additionally, this is an opportunity to expand the skillset and contributions of our in-house digital team and create deeper cross-functional partnerships with our merchandising team,” Geary continued. “We are able to take photos of our products in consistent lighting, with consistent angles, and we can change the background and lighting to convey a specific tone or mood of a collection, which is a differentiator for us in the market.”
“There are so many benefits for independent retailers who use our platform, in particular. At a time when retailers are watching expenses more closely than ever, the Aperture Platform is both highly efficient and effective,” said Gaurav Sethi, vice president of business development and co-founder of Outward Inc.
Indeed, Retreat Home Furniture a Wisconsin-based destination stop for lodge and cabin owners in search of timeless collections and one-of-a-kind pieces, began working with Outward two months ago. The goal was to provide its customers with an online shopping experience equal to the one inside its store.
“We’re not a large organization and do not have experienced product photographers on staff, so one of the hardest parts of building our online store was getting quality photographs shot with consistent angles, heights, size and clarity,” said Bill Milbauer, partner. Now, the retailer is producing and loading more photos per week to its website than ever before.
“It was amazing to see how quickly and smoothly the Outward field service team got us up and running,” Milbauer said, “part of their on-site set-up with their team of experts. The system and its templates allow us to produce beautiful, vivid photos quickly and easily, and now even our team members with no photography experience are able to easily edit and upload. The entire experience so far has been outstanding.”