E-commerce shipping applies to both B2C and B2B services. Today, we want to focus on B2B e-commerce shipping and how important it can be. Did you know that the majority of businesses will cooperate with other companies that are located out-of-state? This means that, when a company is looking for a particular service, they tend to choose remote vendors.
Why do most companies choose remote vendors?
When a business is selecting a vendor, it takes many things into account. However, the most significant factor is the quality of the service. A business will always benefit the most when it works with vendors that can provide the highest level of service there is.
Unfortunately, it’s found that the majority of high-quality vendors aren’t always local. Therefore, if you wanted to choose a company that suits your business the best, and provides an exceptional service, you usually have to collaborate with one overseas or in a different state.
The problem with shipping and outsourcing
The consequence of using a remote vendor is this; you need a way of shipping your product across to them for the services to be completed. There are loads of vendors your company might choose to use, but we want to focus on product photography vendors. For most businesses, they see these shipping costs as a barrier stopping them from outsourcing this particular service.
In theory, it would be more convenient to work with local product photography vendors. There would be no shipping costs to contend with, so your business should save money, right? However, if you want what’s best for your business, then you may find remote vendors offer a far better service than any of the ones near your current location.
If you’re still worried about the costs, then you need to start looking at things from a different perspective. When you use the right shipping strategy, you’ll soon figure out that these shipping costs are only a small part of the total expenses that come with product photography services. The best way to understand this is by looking at the options you have when you want to take a photo of one of your products to publish online.
Here, you’re faced with three options:
Take the photo yourself
The first option is to take the product photos by yourself. In theory, this is cost-effective and shouldn’t be too much of a problem. However, you fail to realize how time-consuming it is to take proper product photos. There are loads of things to consider, such as the lighting, setting the scene in the background, using different props, setting up all the equipment, buying the right equipment, and so on.
On average, a professional photographer takes 30 minutes to produce a great product photo. If you’re not an expert, it can take much longer - and that’s just for one product. Then, take into account editing the photos and making sure they’re the right size, and it almost becomes a full-time job! Imagine how long it would take to produce all the images you require. As a business owner, your time is best spent elsewhere.
Build an in-house product photography team
The second option is to put together an in-house photography team. Again, this sounds good as you now have professional photographers working together to ensure everything is taken care of while you focus on other areas of your business. It alleviates the time-consuming issues, but it presents another critical problem; high overhead costs.
There are so many ongoing costs to consider, like equipment, hiring multiple employees, renting out studio space, and so on. We’ve already written an article on in-house product photography where we explain how you put a team together and all the costs involved. So, we won’t go into that in too much detail here.
Outsource product photography service
The final option is simple; outsource your product photography to a vendor that provides the right services. Outsourcing product photography brings many advantages to your business that are clear for everyone to see.
To begin, you will have high-quality product photos that are captured by professionals. They will present images from all different angles, properly showcasing your product for everyone to see. The quality of these images makes a massive difference when you advertise the products for consumers to purchase. Someone is more likely to buy a product when the photo is very detailed, and they can clearly see what they’re buying. What’s more, because you’ve outsourced this service to a team of professionals, the quality should remain consistent with every photo.
Less Time-Consuming for Your Business
Secondly, you benefit from having a whole team of professionals working on the photos for you. Not only that, but they’re a team that’s worked together countless times before. They know how to do everything, how to work with one another, and how to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. This could potentially mean they get things done a lot quicker than if you took them yourself or built an in-house team.
To add to this, if you wanted to create your own team, you’d need to spend months trying to interview and find the right candidates. Here, you can pick the best vendor around and place an order within minutes. All you have to do is ship your products and wait for them to come back.
Not only that, but it’s so much easier if your business has a high volume of products that need photos taken. When you try and do this in-house (either on your own or with your team), then it becomes almost impossible to do. It’s simply more convenient to send them to a photography vendor.
The Shipping Barriers
However, as we’ve already mentioned, the main reason people are afraid of outsourcing their product photography is the costs. Or, more accurately, they’re worried about the high shipping costs. You need to pay for your products to be shipped to the vendor and cover the costs of them on their way back to you.
So, if you didn’t outsource, you wouldn’t have to worry about these costs, and it would be far more affordable for your business, right?
Now, there are two things we say to this.
- Firstly, there are ways you can decrease shipping costs, so they don’t become much of an issue.
- Secondly, you have to take into account all the additional things that make up the final cost of outsourcing
Decreasing Shipping Costs
To address the first point, shipping doesn’t need to be as expensive as you think. In fact, many fulfillment agencies provide great discounts for shipping. They’ll pack everything up, and ship it to the vendor for a discounted price. So, you really don’t have to pay that much to send your products away ready for their photo shoots.
Fulfillment Website Reference:
The easiest way to explain this point is to rewind back to all the things we spoke about when discussing taking photos yourself or hiring your own team. Here, we established that there were loads of things you had to pay to get professional photos taken. When you outsource, all of these costs still exist but they're much less expensive for your business.
You see, the vendors you pay will have all those costs to contend with themselves. Therefore, they price their services with that in mind. So, when you pay for professional product photography, you’re really paying for:
- The equipment they use
- The studio they rent
- Any props and additional things used for scenery
- The wages of everyone in the team
- Pretty much everything that goes into producing a professional product photo!
Of course, you can add the shipping costs to this, and that’s the total payment you’ll be asked to hand over.
When you consider all of these things, you begin to realize that the shipping costs are actually a small part of the overall costs.
Obviously, you can’t control all these costs as they’re put in place by the vendor. But, this is where the big difference comes in comparison to doing things in-house. When you try and take your photos in-house, all of the costs are ongoing for you and your business. Team members demand annual wages, equipment needs to be upgraded, studio rent is a monthly thing, etc. However, when you outsource, you’ll only charged a fraction of what you pay in a year for all those ongoing costs.
The Benefits Of An Effective Shipping Strategy
Funnily enough, out of all the total costs, there is one you can control; shipping! That’s right, if you use a smart and effective shipping strategy, you can bring down the cost of outsourcing your product photos quite substantially.
Save Money In The Long Run
What this shows is that the right shipping strategy will end up saving your business a lot of money. If you’re smart, and you keep the shipping costs low, then the price of outsourcing becomes way more affordable. You have to remember that you’re getting the ideal service here. You have fewer overhead costs for your business, you get to work with a company that provides professional photos that are designed to intrigue online customers, and you don’t have to waste time taking the pictures yourself.
Boost Online Sales
Remember, it’s common sense that the right photos help encourage sales for e-commerce businesses. Therefore, it’s only logical to do everything you can to create the best product photos out there. If you and a rival are advertising the same item online, for the same price, what will tempt a consumer to choose yours? More often or not, it’ll be down to how good the product photo is.
When you think about it like this, you can make a link between product photos and online sales. The better the photo, the more chance there is of a sale. You can test this out for yourself by selling the same product but changing the photo people can see. It will amaze you to see how different the sales figures are based on this tiny little change.
As a consequence, you should start thinking about outsourcing as an investment in your business more than anything else. Don’t be afraid of paying for shipping, come up with a cost-effective strategy and invest in it. You get the benefit of having a professional company produce high-quality images for you in a fraction of the time you could do it in. This improves the way your whole business is presented and gives you a massive reputation boost too!
In conclusion, you should stop looking at shipping as the barrier to outsourcing your product photography. Too many businesses assume that it’s this massive wall standing in the way of your business getting great photos. As a result, many organizations try in-house photography or outsource to local vendors instead. The problem with this is it may cost far too much and be too time-consuming when done in-house. Furthermore, local vendors might provide a substandard service compare to ones out-of-state.
The reality is, all you have to do is implement an effective shipping strategy. Find ways of shipping your products for as little money as possible, to bring down the overall cost of outsourcing. The end result is that you optimize your business. You can now cooperate with photography vendors that provide the highest level of service possible. In turn, this means you’ll receive the best product photos money can buy. It’s a strategic investment that will benefit your business almost immediately. If you’re struggling to make online sales, all it could take is a professional product photo to encourage more purchases. So, stop viewing the shipping costs as an issue, and start focusing on how you can lower them to get the services your business deserves.