PhotoShelter: What Buyers Want from Photographer Web Sites

Posted on 2/19/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

PhotoShelter has asked photo buyers to share what they love and hate about image Web sites. The survey generated 581 responses from working creatives who license stock, hire photographers and work at publications, advertising agencies, design firms, corporate marketing departments, book publishing companies and non-profits—such as Business Week, Gourmet, McCann Erickson, McGraw Hill, Ogilvy, Penguin, Scholastic, Time, Travel & Leisure and others.

Though buyers do not care whether you use Flash or HTML to build your Web site, 96% of respondents said they absolutely hated having to sit through a Flash intro before being able to access the rest of the site. Textured or graphical backgrounds, which detract from the work, also generated an overwhelmingly negative response.

Loading time is critical. If a photo Web site takes more than 15 seconds to load, it will lose over 70% of incoming buyer traffic.

Other buyer dislikes include contact complications—such as the lack of a phone number or online contact forms instead of email addresses—music, advertising and slide shows as the default display method for images.

Buyer likes include the ability to search by keyword and sign up for updates, large image previews, persistent navigation, lightboxes and image captions. Close to half (48%) of the respondents expect to be able to price each image instantly, and 82% prefer to be able to download directly from the photo Web site.

PhotoShelter also sheds light on 2009 buying trends. The survey found that the sky is not necessarily falling: 60% of respondents said their budgets would stay the same or increase this year.

Buyers also expect rights-managed licensing to remain the same or increase. Suprising in light of seemingly unabated budget-image growth, 58% 22% of professional buyers expect to decrease their use of microstock in 2009. (See full correction.)

Full survey results are available at the PhotoShelter Web site upon request and free of charge. The New York-based company has also tuned up its photographer Web site templates to better suit client needs and is offering discounts to new customers that sign up before the end of February.

Copyright © 2009 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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