Achieving accurate product colour consistency for one of the UK's most well respected e-commerce businesses and ensuring that all products look the same across their storefronts, e-comm platforms and in their company's catalogue print collateral.
To consumers, colour is a key driver of sales for e-commerce retail businesses.
Accurate colour reproduction of products across a retailer's sales channels is essential in driving consumer purchasing decisions and reducing product return rates.
By understanding the importance of consistent colour reproduction across all marketing and sales channels, businesses can improve the customer's purchasing experience and ultimately drive sales and implementing colour management technology and processes, retailers can ensure that the colours of their products are accurately represented and that the customer receives what they expect.
WHEN COLOUR IS KEY, HOUSE OF BRUAR CHOSE EC2I TO CAPTURE THE DETAIL AND NUANCES OF THE BRAND.
Known as the ‘Harrods of the north’, The House of Bruar is a family-owned department store nestled at the foot of the stunning heather-strewn Cairngorms National Park.
Such is its unique position and diverse product range - quality contemporary country clothing, a 600 seater restaurant, glorious food hall, art gallery, country gifts, fish and chip shop and whisky hall – it welcomes over 2.5 million visitors per year and is the largest employer in the region with a staff of near on 300 people.
All of this is managed through an on-site warehouse and three more on a separate site with planning permission for a further two.
As well as the huge store, the company also mails out a coffee table catalogue to its 3 million + subscribers every autumn, a separate gift catalogue and, from 2023, a Spring catalogue too.
Colour is critical to the brand. Tom Birkbeck, Creative Director, inherited ec2i for page production over 10 years ago and could easily have switched to an alternative supplier. But, as he says
“We like to build long-term working relationships and ec2i has developed with us over the 10 years to become one of our most trusted suppliers’
“Indeed, I can honestly say they are the most professional, organised and decent company we’ve ever outsourced to. I have high standards which all my suppliers must also have. They deliver on price, quality and communication, all of which are so important.”
House of Bruar has four in-house, full-time photographers plus a creative specialist who shoot all their own products, either on location on the glorious Scottish isles or in their own studio.
It's at this stage that the colour plays its critical role. Tom and his team choose to shoot on home ground and the Scottish isles.
This brings its own unique challenges: if the light is too bright, it will ‘blow’ the shots, too dark and the detail is lost. “Ideally”, explains Tom, “we hope for a slightly overcast day with a gentle breeze to create movement in the garments. But I can count on one hand the number of perfect days we’ve had over my 12 years of being involved in the photography. That’s where ec2i come into the production.”
“Although our photographers can retouch too, we don’t have the expertise, dedicated, calibrated equipment or production protocols that a specialist company like ec2i has. They can take my InDesign files and, by working with a dedicated team of retouchers who understand the brand, I’m confident I’ll get the required result within pretty tight timeframes.”
There might be images where the colour is too ‘hot’ and needs to be cooled down a degree or two. And vice-versa. It’s a very personal matter and everyone has a view but years working on the brand gives Tom the eye and experience to know when the colour is right. He’s a stickler for detail and, rightly, passionate about the family brand.
Working with an external supplier also provides scope to add extra retouchers should the job require it and, by running the whole project through our Renaissance Media Production Management system, Tom can share the images with his team remotely.
Once the retouching has been completed, Tom will sign-off these off, ready for multi-channel deployment across their sales & marketing routes and platforms.
Ec2i has built up a solid relationship with The House of Bruar over a decade of working with them. As Tom concludes, “We work with many suppliers and aim to build long-term relationships and stay for the long haul. But the relationship has to work.
With ec2i I get expertise and first class communication on a daily basis. Many company’s profess to be good at this but don’t deliver. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.”
To read the full case study of how ec2i manages colour consistency and accuracy across a range of differing media formats and deployment channels for House of Bruar and how these benefits have helped increase sales, click on the link below;
HOW ACCURATE COLOUR REPRESENTATION OF YOUR PRODUCTS DRIVES THE customer DECISION PROCESS AT POINT OF PURCHASE
When it comes to e-commerce, customers rely heavily on product images to make purchasing decisions. If the colour of a product is not accurately represented online, it can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction when the product is received.
This can result in a high rate of returns and negative reviews, ultimately hurting the retailer's bottom line. On the other hand, businesses that understand the importance of colour accuracy in their marketing and sales channels have seen significant benefits.
For example, fashion retailer's that ensure the colours of their clothing are accurately represented across all their sales channels have seen a significant decrease in returns and an increase in customer satisfaction.
This can make a huge difference to your business if you offer a FREE returns process.
Or a Homeware's retailer that uses advanced colour management technology to ensure consistent colour reproduction across all channels, from website images to in-store displays.
This not only improves the customer's purchasing experience but also reduces the risk of returns due to colour discrepancies.
IMAGE ENHANCEMENT TO MAKE YOUR PRODUCT RANGE MORE VISUALLY APPEALING TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Professional retouchers can enhance the quality of images, even if shot in poor lighting conditions, by using advanced editing techniques and tools. They can adjust the exposure, brightness, contrast, and color balance of the image to make it appear more visually appealing.
This is especially useful for outdoor location shoots, where the weather and lighting can be unpredictable and challenging;
If an outdoor shoot is done on a cloudy day, the images may appear dull and flat. A professional retoucher can enhance the colours and make the image appear more vibrant and lifelike.
They can also creatively retouch unwanted elements from the image, such as power lines, or change the background to create a more desirable composition and colour management plays a vital role in the complete image process.
Colour management can also play a crucial role in maintaining consistency across a photography shoot, even when images are shot in varying degrees of light shade.
A colour management workflow can ensure that the images are captured in a way that maintains the colour integrity of the subjects and that the final images are consistent across all channels.
This is achieved by using colour calibration tools and techniques, such as colour charts and colour checkers, to ensure that the colour of the images is accurate and consistent.
Furthermore, professional retouchers can use colour management software to ensure that the final images are consistent across all channels, whether it be web, print or in-store displays.
This helps to avoid any discrepancies in colour reproduction, which can be a major issue when it comes to e-commerce and online sales.
To understand how colour plays a huge driving force for consumers when at the purchasing decision point, and how best to implement accurate colour reproduction in your product sales channels, then please contact us to discover the benefits to your business.
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