Friday, May 09, 2008

Any Web Stores For European Photographers?

photographyMaybe you can help me. I am looking for a website (or software that can integrate with a website) suitable for a European photography storefront. This should allow integration with my own domain name and complete self-branding, as well as all the usual features one might expect (eg: organisation into albums and collections, access control, integrated shopping cart). As far as merchandise goes, I am happy with a simple high-quality print service, though everyone seems to do key chains and mugs these days. The goal is simple: I want my clients to be able to see my work and order prints easily off a website.

In other words, something like Flickr but with order placement and fulfillment. The catch is the European proviso. This means that the service needs to be usable by my clients in Europe without too many barriers. Specifically, the vendor must have:

* shipping to EU (essential)

* fulfillment in EU (far preferable in terms of time and cost)

* payments accepted in multiple currencies

Also it would be great to have photographer payments via PayPal or other electronic service. For some reason these services seem to be all stuck in the stone age, dealing only in cheques.

I have looked at three strong possibilities, all with great features and strong support. But all fall far short when dealing with photographers from outside the USA.

Zenfolio has fulfillment and shipping only in the USA. Shutterbug and Smugmug will at least ship internationally. But none of these have multiple currency support. It seems that some firms just don't realise that the internet is global!

In a previous article I looked at Photo Printing Services for Ireland from a consumer perspective. It could be that one or more of those services are suitable as a back-end to a web store. The folks at Zenfolio at least seem to be very interested in the possibility. The first company to take this step would have a wide-open market.

Are there any options I have missed?



robin said...

I should note here that I am not interested in commission services, those which create goods for a set fee and give the photographer a certain (small) commission. In this category are MOO, RedBubble, imagekind, Zazzle, Blurb, QOOP and others.

robin said...

PhotoBox have professional galleries, but payment from these is limited to deposits directly into UK bank accounts. This despite the fact they have separate sites for countries like Ireland, and accept payment in euros. They seem in transition, with their new software not supporting their old Pro features. Perhaps they will sort this out and become a contender?

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