What are you seeing as a trend in sales?
I see a trend in customers purchasing more DSLR and Point & Shoot cameras with long zoom lenses. The small pocket cameras are now taking a back seat to Smart Phones. The DSLR customers see the value in the high-level performance of their equipment and will spend more money on quality accessories like fast portrait lenses and external flashes.
What do you think is the most overlooked resource for customers to utilize when shopping for equipment?
The most overlooked resource for customers is a quality salesperson. So many customers look everything up on the internet and believe whatever they read. They come into a store with a preconceived idea of what they want, and they only ask if the product is in stock and how much it costs. Many times they buy the wrong item that will not suit their needs. A good salesperson will listen and advise several options for the type of pictures the customer is taking.
What are your customers excited about these days? What inspires them and drives their purchase of new equipment?
Customers are excited about being able to get great pictures of their kids - especially those in sports. Digital photography has come so far with high speed ISO’s and so many creative features built right in the cameras. Customers love to use the Wifi features so they can send those great shots to other family members. Unfortunately for the camera store, printing has been in decline, so we have found new revenue sources such as canvas wraps, metal prints, and photo classes to keep our customers engaged.
What do you see as the most valuable way to educate your customers and help them make purchase decisions?
We like to educate our customers by taking a variety of example pictures to display the benefits of using certain gadgets or accessories - whether it’s an Expodisc for white balance or a Lensbaby Velvet 56. We show the result, not just the product!
Camera Casino is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They offer rentals, classes, and you can even order prints online! Check out their website here, and if you live in the area be sure to stop by and check out their Lensbaby collection!