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E-commerce Hack: This Start-up Offers a Quick Fix for Product Photography Needs

Pruto Imaging accelerates product photography for e-commerce players in Southeast Asia

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BY Ezra Ferraz - 26 Sep 2017

product photography

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Of the many pain points in Southeast Asia’s e-commerce, one of the least addressed is product photography. Vincent Chow, the founder and director of Pruto Imaging, chose to tackle this problem after experiencing it first-hand.

“We used to do product photography for customers in my design company and found it a rather tedious process to shoot, adjust lighting, and edit the images after each shoot,” Chow says.
He searched for possible solutions and came across Alphashot Automated Photography Studio systems by Polish-based Orbitvu, which creates machines that streamline the photography of products, particularly for e-commerce. Chow loved the solution so much that he partnered with Orbitvu to become its exclusive distributor in Singapore, Malaysia, and Shanghai.

“I founded Pruto Imaging with the objective of providing imaging solutions that will help companies that want to take their business and products online but are facing difficulties in getting their product images done professionally. We do it for them at high speed and efficiency, but at a much lower running cost,” he says.

A new product category

Pruto Imaging’s main markets are segmented into two categories: online retailers and businesses selling products online, and product manufacturers like fast moving consumer goods companies that need product shots for inventory keeping.

Since this is a new product category for most businesses in Southeast Asia, Chow enlists potential clients through a face-time with the equipment. “We invite clients over to our showroom for a demo. They can try the system out on their own to see how easy and efficient it is to use compared to the logistics involved in a traditional photoshoot,” he says.

During the sales process, Chow reveals that the most common objection companies have is the one-time start-up cost they have to pay. Companies, after all, are used to photography being a recurring cost, so they may not have an allocated budget for a system that can expedite their photography. Chow addresses this simply through education. “We just need to help customers put into perspective the savings they can make after a few months — whether it’s in the reduced manpower required in-house or lesser cost of outsourcing,” he says.

One of Pruto Imaging’s clients, a department store, saw the value that the system offered. This client had to outsource their product photoshoots to professional photographers once a month — a process that took weeks for final photographs to be uploaded. After introducing the equipment of Pruto Imaging, the client was able to recoup the cost of the machine within six months as the company no longer had to hire professional photographers. Anybody in the team could operate it.

“Now, they can even get photos of their products done immediately and upload these onto their online store within a few days. This ensures the products published on their site reflect their latest inventory,” he says.

While Pruto Imaging serves Malaysia and Shanghai from its headquarters in Singapore, Chow says they are getting ready to set up offices in those countries, not only to better serve their clients but to educate their market.

“The product is really new in Asia, and when people are new to things, they take time to adapt and accept them. As such, we are also taking time to educate people on what these systems can do and how they are used in Europe. They need to see how this eventually will become a norm in their market,” Chow concludes.

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