Selling iPhoneography: Adorama’s iPhone Toolshed Is Based on a Simple Marketing Strategy:...

Selling iPhoneography: Adorama’s iPhone Toolshed Is Based on a Simple Marketing Strategy: If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join ’Em!


Many photo retailers perceive the iPhone and its Android-based smartphone cousins as the arch-villains of the imaging wars, largely responsible for decimating the once flourishing point-and-shoot camera category. Not so says Ahron Schachter, Adorama’s ebullient director of Product Placement and self-proclaimed “product matchmaker” who came up with the concept of iPhoneography as an identifiable marketing niche.

Working with Russell Hart, editorial director, he spearheaded the development of the iPhone Toolshed, a new high-energy Internet “boutique” on the Adorama website that’s squarely aimed at photographers who want to do more and better imaging with those amazing multitasking devices ensconced in their belt clips.

“What’s the best camera in the world?” asks Schachter with a knowing wink. “It’s the camera or imaging device that you have with you, because it will take the best images that preserve your most memorable moments in real time. That’s the end game—one device that will do everything, the nexus of total connectivity and still and video imaging. In other words, I look at the iPhone as an imaging device that can lead to incremental accessory sales, and as a new, self-perpetuating entry point for today’s imageologists, a word I coined to describe the vibrant target audience.”

“Basically the iPhone Toolshed is a separate mini-store that can be easily accessed via an active link on the Adorama website,” notes Russell Hart. “Like it features cool, sometimes oddball devices that are funky and fun, but we’re a little less over the top and generally stick to items that are not only ingenious but also really useful for serious iPhoneographers. I think our tagline says it all: ‘Our special selection of photographic inventions for the world’s most ubiquitous camera.’ Hot products on the site include: the Glif ($20), a simple gizmo that cradles your iPhone and adds a horizontally centered 1/4×20 tripod socket; the Olloclip ($67.99) that adds a wide-angle, fisheye or macro lens via supplementary optics built into the unit; the Belkin LiveAction remote ($41.99), a clever wireless remote that eliminates the ‘self-timer dash’; the Kogeto Dot ($79.95) that sits atop the iPhone lens and lets you shoot full 360º stills and movies; and the Steadicam Smoothee ($179.95), an ingenious and effective compact version of the camera stabilization device used by Hollywood cinematographers to achieve smooth handheld movies.”

Just how successful is Adorama’s iPhone Toolshed, we asked? “It’s been live for about five weeks and the initial response has been very powerful and encouraging,” says Hart. “Some products are selling five to 10 times as well as they did before, and that clearly demonstrates the advantage of having all these products in one place instead of having to search the site for them. The fact that savvy iPhone shooters now have their own place to go also gives the iPhone Toolshed a kind of in-group cachet, and that certainly creates a buzz, adds eyeballs and spurs sales.”