As dawn broke into 2020, e-commerce was already storming the markets. But the global lockdown on business and trade stamped on that trajectory's accelerator. In three short months, the pivot from brick-and-mortar into the e-commerce universe has been dramatic.
In response, South Africans launched mad scrambles to mark out their online territory.
Now cutting-edge digital imagery systems are radically accelerating the route to digital real estate. Businesses can now show audiences their stock and wares at speeds and low costs never before imagined.
“Let me show you inside an OrbitVu suite - nothing shoots like this in Africa,” said Craig Bellingham, founder and CEO of Studio[K]irmack, an innovative high-tech production studio that enables e-commerce brands to produce world-class photography and digital content faster, easier and more cost-effectively than before.
Smart technology set to fast forward e-commerce imagery and digital design
Studio[K]irmack, a unique visual studio that embraces automated photographic technology, smart machines and intelligent software to enable retailers and brands to shoot high-end productions without the sometimes and potentially expensive traditional photographic setup and post production...
STUDIO[K]IRMACK 13 JUL 2020
OrbitVu is imported from Poland, and Studio[K]irmack is now the sole agent in South Africa.
The full suite of machines in the OrbitVu family includes the Alpha Shot 360, Alpha Shot Micro, Alpha Shot XL V2, Alpha Studio Compact V2, Alpha Studio XXL and Alpha Table. A new addition, soon, will be the company’s ‘Fashion Studio’ machine.
“Each machine is quite unique in their abilities – depending on whether one is shooting fashion accessories, hardware, or wine, for example,” Bellingham explained.
A revolution in speed, quality and cost for online retailers
“Every single company selling something online needs a photograph of what they’re selling. And that process usually involves photography, videography, digital editing and further post-production to produce high-quality, compelling images, which sell the product,” Bellingham explains.
“This technology completes these in one, integrated fell swoop – at previously-unheard-of speed. For consumers, the greatest influence on purchasing decisions is the quality of the images they see only. As a consumer, if you see something you love, and the quality of the imagery jumps out and grabs you, you will be far more likely to click-and-buy.
“Scientific research proves the more consistent your photography and imagery, for all your brands, the more consumers will trust you. The quality of the imagery defines the quality of the shopping experience, in the heart and minds of the shopper.
“Online customers interact with both the product and the brand. It’s essential they’re seen in the best possible light. Their imagery has to absolutely ‘sing’ – to translate views into purchases.
“The online market is so vast,” Bellingham said. “And 65% of the population comprises visual learners. According to Simply Measured, there is 46% increase in content engagement for brands as well as 65% increase in photo engagement. If your content has images, you have an average of 94% more views than your counterparts.”
Bellingham illustrates the pure speed of the state-of-the-art operation: “An example of our recent work was a major footwear brand. We were tasked with photographing 120 pairs of shoes, with five angles each, on to white backgrounds. Normally, using conventional photography and post-production, a job comprising 600 individual photographs would take approximately 200 hours in post-production, approximately three weeks.
“With the machines we have at Studio[K]irmack, this entire task took one day,” Bellingham explains.
“To anyone with an online market, one has to ask: ‘If they are not automating this process – why not?’ Any business wanting to get large volumes of products online need to be automating their photographic processes.
“This technology delivers that five times faster than before – and saves money – while retaining the highest quality.”
Studio[K]irmack has further equipment from the Dutch technology company Style Shoots – a horizontal machine, for flat-lay photography, and a vertical machine, for ‘ghost mannequin’ or live model photography and ready to publish video.
Brands readily embracing this faster approach to automating content production at Studio[K]irmack include Adidas, Ackermans, Dunns, Hi-Tec, Studio88, Pick n Pay, Frankees, Leatt, Freedom of Moment, Puma, Falke, Watch Republic, New Balance and some production-based agencies.