Advance Apparels blends craftsmanship with innovation | Profoto (KR)

Advance Apparels blends craftsmanship with innovation

09 7월, 2024

작성자: Annabelle Plueckthun

As a family-owned business launched in 2001, Advance Apparels brings rich traditional dyeing techniques from India to the United States. Located in New Jersey with a dedicated team of nine employees, the company prides itself on its craftsmanship and creating trending styles for the American market. 

We talked to Akash Bajaj, Owner of Advance Apparels, about how the company's unique blend of skilled artisanship and Profoto StyleShoots innovation helps it stay ahead in the US market. 

 

From strictly B2B to a flourishing e-commerce business

Initially, the company’s business model was exclusively focused on B2B. However, with the economic changes brought by 2020, Advance Apparels expanded into the D2C market. This transition heightened the need for high-quality product content, essential for a successful e-commerce business.

To streamline operations, all content was created in the Indian factory. However, inconsistencies in lighting and model representation posed significant challenges. Eventually, the team around Akash moved the content creation to the US office with little knowledge and a relatively simple setup. “We quickly recognized a need for consistency in our visual content, that’s when Profoto StyleShoots became interesting for us,” states Akash. 

Embracing Profoto StyleShoots for consistent content creation

Akash began exploring automated product photography and decided to visit the Profoto Brooklyn office, but only made the switch to shooting with automated solutions in December 2022. “Looking back, we should have gotten the Live system earlier. Then we would definitely be further along in our content creation process,” states Akash. 

The entire collection is shot on model without using additional packshots. As of now, Akash shoots around five times per month, capturing each color and size of dresses, blouses, pants, and more. “I’m confident that we could easily bring new product groups online thanks to the exceptional pictures that Live is taking,” explains Akash, thinking about expanding to new product categories soon.

 

Boosting user experience and online sales

The impact of high-quality visual content on user experience and shopping behavior is evident. “Our B2B conversion rates have increased by 12%, with B2C seeing a 17% rise,” states Akash. This boost in conversion rates translates to valuable revenue increases, with “B2B sales up by 3.7% and B2C sales by 26%.” 

The average engagement time is up 12% since the Profoto StyleShoots content went online while the bounce rate is down 30.5%. “I think both of these numbers attribute to the idea that customers are spending more quality time browsing our website and are likely interacting with the content on our website like the photos of various colors per product and videos,” explains Akash.

The consistent lighting in Live emphasizes details and unique colors, ensuring customers have comprehensive options. Including detailed photos and videos of older products has notably improved performance, showing that reshooting makes a significant difference. According to Akash, the accuracy of product images has led to a higher sell-through rate and a higher repeat customer rate, while return rates have declined. 

Enhancing wholesale engagement and performance

Since switching to automated content creation with Live, Akash has gotten plenty of positive feedback from wholesalers: “We’ve gotten many new wholesale accounts, and people spend more time on our site. At a trade show in Las Vegas, a customer came to me and said, ‘I love shopping at Advance Apparels because I love the amazing videos of the clothes on model and how it allows me to explore your collection from the comfort of my home.’” 

The business’ turnaround time lies between 48 and 72 hours for both direct and wholesale. “We’re seeing an increase in both B2B and B2C sell-through rates due to image accuracy. We know things are trending in the right direction, and we’re in a solid position to continue to grow,” says Akash. 

Efficiency and quality content: The keys to e-commerce success

With the transition to in-house content production, the Advance Apparels team quickly simplified operations and accelerated turnaround time. Automated file naming and product matching, previously time-consuming tasks, now save crucial time, especially during peak sales periods. “SKU file-naming used to take an extra day after shooting. As we sell mostly summer clothing, our busiest sales period lasts from May til September, so every day matters.”

Using Profoto StyleShoots Live, Advance Apparels achieved remarkable efficiency and consistency in their visual content. Without needing a stylist, one team member and a model can handle 85 garments in about six hours. This setup drastically reduces the need for manual intervention, ensuring high-quality content creation. “Live captures the images so well that we rarely post-produce. Before, capturing around 85 products with a traditional set-up would mean half a week of editing.” 

Efficiency was a primary driver for in-house content production. Control over the process and the ability to export images in various sizes have streamlined operations remarkably. Previously, resizing images took a lot of time, but “with Live, we shave hours off our turnaround time.” 

 

Looking ahead: Creativity and expansion

“With focusing on wholesale, branding hasn’t been top of mind, but we want to branch out into more creative content creation,” states Akash. Advance Apparels envisions a future where Live is used more creatively, blending its branding efforts with innovative shoots using backdrops, props, and lighting. “Right now, we’re focusing strictly on e-com but Live has so much potential and the stage leaves so much room for creativity,” says Akash. The versatility of Profoto StyleShoots gear allows for creative freedom, paving the way for a potential content creation studio utilizing automated systems. “I have already secured a domain and am thinking about leveraging the machines to support smaller brands,” explains Akash finally. 

Advance Apparels' journey from a family business to a leader in women's fashion is a testament to the team’s dedication to quality and innovation. By embracing modern technology with Profoto StyleShoots, the team has significantly enhanced the brand’s wholesale and e-commerce presence, setting the stage for continued growth and success in the years to come.

 

작성자: Annabelle Plueckthun

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