PhotoMerchant offers an easy way for photographers to create a custom website for portfolio display and online sales. Customers may pay using the integrated shopping cart with major credit cards or PayPal. Order management and financial tools are available to assist with business management. Users have unlimited space for hosting content. Galleries may be password protected.Show more screenshots »
PhotoMerchant was founded in September 2007 and is based in Sydney, Australia. The company was founded by Derek Clapham, Elmar Platzer, and Kain Tietzel. The company is privately held. Unique visitors to the website are steadily rising to recent high of over 13,500 visitors.
This application is specifically targeted towards creating websites for photographers to use for sales. The tools and features are geared towards professional photographers who make their living with their photo sales.
Step One of the Account Setup Wizard is choosing a color theme, portfolio layout, and gallery layout. There are three choices for each and a preview of what the site will look like with each option.
Next, the user creates a new Gallery by choosing a title and indicating whether they wish to use watermark or password protection for this gallery. Photos may then be uploaded to the gallery. The file uploader is very basic and fast. Multiple files may be chosen for simultaneous upload.
Business and contact information includes style of photography, statement about the user's business model, reasons for trying PhotoMerchant (not required), name, address, and business details (name and website name).
The next step is to set up order processing defaults. This is the choice between manually controlling orders to arrange printing and shipping through local providers or direct fulfillment through automated processing through PhotoMerchant.
Payment options allow the user to choose whether to set up an e-commerce "cart system" to the site, using PayPal. This may be done at startup or at a later date.
At this point, the website is ready for viewing. Any element may be edited or changed through the PhotoMerchant Admin Interface. During testing, the site appeared to be professional; however users must go to the admin area to remove sample galleries and edit some of the items that do not appear as desired. For example, color palettes, layouts, and more in depth options are offered within the admin section. It would have been helpful to simply view and edit this information during the wizard process. The website requires more attention to be customer-ready, but this is not conveyed during the setup process.
Registration for any of the plans begins with a 14 day free trial. Users must provide full name, email address, password, country, state, phone, and desired domain. No credit information is required for the free account. Once information is entered, the user is taken to the account setup wizard.
Three plans are offered, all with free 14 day trials. The Standard Plan, at $9.00 per month, includes a 20% fee for transactions (free during trial), unlimited hosting and bandwidth, unlimited images and galleries, a photographers' SEO ebook, shopping cart storefront, set your own retail prices, digital watermarking, and self-fulfillment of orders. The Plus plan, at $19.00 per month, includes a 10% transaction fee, all of the above features plus animated sliders, social sharing, direct fulfillment of orders, digital downloads, packages, and use of user's own existing website domain. The Premium Plan at $49.00 per month includes a 7.5% transaction fee, all of the above features plus a free .com website domain.
This application is aimed at photographers who are looking for an easy way to display their portfolios and conduct transactions online. Plan decisions would have to be based on the needs of the photographer, projected sales, and estimated income - incorporating the transaction fees.