In conversation with Kent Fleming & Doug Wallstrom
Last week, Kent Fleming (Director of Media Services at PureRED) & Doug Wallstrom (Director of Photography at Vera Bradley) joined us on an online conversation on the way forward for eCommerce studios. While Kent shared with us the perspective of a marketing agency, servicing some of the largest retailers in the USA, Doug brought the perspective & innovations adopted by Vera Bradley.
The complete recording of the conversation can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3dvYiAX
A summary of our discussion
I would personally recommend listening to the entire conversation. However, for the benefit of folks who are unable to invest an hour, here is a quick summary on some of the crucial points we discussed:
Impact of COVID-19 on eCommerce studios
The pandemic shook the entire world by rapidly spreading & creating havoc. For eCommerce companies, it affected both the demand & supply side of the business. The new social distancing norms & the safety directives made it next to impossible for studios to operate.
While Kent’s team had to halt operations in most of their studios, Doug & team met the photography requirements by shooting from home. The comparatively smaller size of Vera Bradley’s products helped Doug execute – however it was very taxing & affected productivity immensely.
Kent Fleming & Doug Wallstrom share the impact of COVID-19 on their studio operations.
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Creative Standards post COVID-19
While exploring the future of studio operations, maintaining creative standards & productivity levels of pre-pandemic times where identified as the key challenge. We discussed at length on how leniency on creative standards is a key factor to ensure a smooth transition of studios into the new processes. Also, usage of User Generated Content (UGC) could play a critical role!
Kent Fleming & Doug Wallstrom on creative standards post COVID -19.
Social Distancing in Studios
One of the key benefits of this conversation (which was indeed our goal), was to share our learnings & ideas on how to effectively create a safe studio atmosphere when we recover from COVID-19.
We explored the effectiveness of concepts & technology, from ‘remote’ styling to regular sanitization of studio. Technologies like FlixStock could replace the requirement of model photo-shoot & increase productivity to meet the sudden surge in image requirements.
A short session from our discussion:
Adoption of technology in photo studios – a need, not an option!
The pandemic has pushed photo-studios to explore and adopt technologies. With restrictions on human interactions affecting productivity & creative standards, it’s imperative that studios adopt new technologies & up-skill their team.
Kent & Doug shared some interesting examples like the recent use of technology & CGI to create images of masks by Vera Bradley. They also shared their observations on technology to watch out for!
It was a great conversation, and from our interaction with 50 odd folks who viewed it – it was educative & informative. We are organizing more such interactions with industry veterans, experts & analysts in the near future. The topics will cover various facets of eCommerce – from technology to evolution of merchandising, photography, business strategy, supply chain management & so on.
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