Announcing the Hasselblad Online Store

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Today, the Hasselblad Online Store goes live for the USA, UK, Germany, France and China, with a 5% discount on the X1D, 45 and 90mm lenses for the first week. This initiative is something we’ve been working on for some time now – it isn’t as easy as you might think to have multiple distribution and warehousing points, logistics, invoicing etc. across multiple territories, but now that things have started we plan to roll out to more countries in the near future. Why? The aim is simply to allow more photographers access to the cameras – something in conjunction with the rental program. A Hasselblad isn’t exactly mainstream, and even within our largest markets there aren’t that many dealers, which in turn limits purchasing options somewhat. We want to remove these barriers and increase accessibility and consistency of customer experience in the long run.

Beyond that, it allows us to develop a direct relationship with our customers to better understand their needs. There is often seemingly a large disconnect in feedback between what’s reaching the dealers, the distributors and the principals – the more layers, the more disconnected the products. This is obviously something that needs to be addressed to avoid the brand’s product offerings becoming irrelevant, especially since all brands will need to move into markets outside their historical core to survive and grow in future. And – without directly promising anything – also has positive impact on our cost structure, from which the end customer should benefit. All in all: if our products have been sold online already, why not go direct to source? MT

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More info on Hasselblad cameras and lenses can be found here.

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Probably the future of distribution for speciality articles. Due to the increasing number of products available (even though not at Hasselblad, of course), there is a high probability of ending up at a normal dealer with the statement “we can order that for you”. Well,thanks, I can do that myself, and without leaving home.

    • I think it has to be – if only for the simple reason that retail distribution is increasingly expensive to do right (location, trained expert staff etc) and damaging to do wrong (stock stuck in the wrong locations, staff with incorrect information not incentivised to sell your product due to low incentive margins etc…)

  2. Steve Gombosi says:

    ” A Hasselblad isn’t exactly mainstream, and even within our largest markets there aren’t that many dealers.”

    That’s certainly true now, and it’s been pretty hard to get used to (speaking as a *cough* older photographer). Pre-digital, Hasselblad had a really extensive dealer network (at least here in the States). Every town I ever lived in (and we’re talking mid-sized cities of around 80,000 population) had a Hasselblad dealer who catered to local pros (mainly wedding and portrait photographers).

    For a few years there, it felt like Hasselblad wasn’t really interested in doing business with anyone who didn’t happen to live in New York or LA. That seems to have changed for the better the last few years (I only have to drive a couple of hours to find a dealer – not as good as someone local who knows me, but definitely better than before).

    I’m glad to see you guys working to expand availability of the product, but I still mourn the loss of the dealer network.

  3. Great to see this, I have always maintained that camera manufacturers should build a closer relationship with the customer and cut out the middleman. Looks like since you have gone with tmall for China, this will also work for HK and Macao too – although not 100% sure about this.
    If the dealers grumble, maybe offer an online service package via the local dealer network – that basically what most customers want anyway, cheap purchase prices but the option to go to a physical store if there’s an issue….

  4. PM me when you’re having a BOGO! 😉

  5. Ming

    I logged in from the US (Seattle). The website looks nice, though there are still a few wrinkles to iron out. All the text is in english as expected, but prices are in Euros.

    PaulB

    • Thanks – looks like the same bug that redirects to the wrong place…will have them look into it. Impossible to check all IP configurations beforehand, but we do what we can 🙂

  6. I assume that a lot of Hasselblad sellers will not be so happy with this news.
    I have a Hasselblad dealer only 30km away from where I live, so I prefer to do local business.
    And a few percent discount are always possible if one pays in cash.

    • Actually, the aim is to force retailers to up their game. We’re not replacing them, but we want to give customers another option to vote with their wallets if they aren’t getting the service they expect. If they are, great – the dealer (face to face) network remains very important.

      • What about pricing? are dealers going to be able to sell at the same price as the website? If the website is cheaper then the dealers will lose business regardless of the service they provide. People are lazy!

  7. Great idea. However, when logging in from the United States, it directs me to the store in Germany. I have to click on the United States link on the right, which takes me to the Bron US website which is completely different and doesn’t include the discount or availability of products.

    And, talking about availability, I’m in line since March for the 120mm XCD macro lens, which has been delayed several times. Any idea on ETA fulfillment of back-orders? Why is the estimation of availability so grossly wrong? For the XCD camera, we accept that demand was miscalculated; did the same thing happen again for the 120mm macro?

    All in all, I love my XD1 and am practicing my patience skills.

    René

    • First guess – could be your IP/ VPN (if you’re using one)? Regardless – I have our IT guys looking at it now.

      As for 120 macro delivery: lots of orders, and limited production speed given the tolerances we have imposed on the design. Thank you for your patience 🙂

      • No problem. Will keep waiting.
        As for the connection, not using VPN, but logging from WiFi in a Marriott hotel in NYC, in case it helps. Connected through VPN and same behavior observed.

  8. Wow! That looks like a beauty of a camera!

  9. Danish Mishra says:

    I can’t access the page (based in UK). I get the following message,

    “www.store.hasselblad.com’s server DNS address could not be found.”

  10. Romeo Ninov says:

    Ming, maybe the URL of the store should be http://store.hasselblad.com/

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