Retail Digital Photography Experts Imagetech Expand Digital Reach

Story by Nancy Saunders

Imagetech has been serving photography customers in Thunder Bay since 1989. Owner and operator Gregg Johns and employee Kay Lee supply photographers of all levels with digital photography equipment. Imagetech carries cameras, lenses, accessories and a wide range of popular photographic equipment, and is always looking to enhance its service offer to meet the needs of Thunder Bay and regional photographers.

Before COVID-19, Imagetech’s customer base consisted mainly of walk-in traffic. Like many businesses, in adapting to COVID-19 Imagetech completely switched its system to online orders and curbside pickup. Lee describes a silver lining to the experience. “Without COVID-19, we probably would not have realized the importance of having an online presence, and we would not have updated our system to adapt to the current situation and customer needs. Now, we get orders from some customers who have never shopped at Imagetech before. I think it is a super positive change,” says Lee. “For a retail store like us, digital initiatives are everything. If you don't have an online presence, you won't be able to make sales. If you mainly have all walk-in traffic, you won't be able to serve them because they can't come to your store.”

Imagetech will be using the Digital Main Street grant to upgrade its point of sale (POS) system and to update its website. It is important to have a website that is current and that allows customers to easily view what Imagetech offers. “So far it's been really hard to keep up with stock levels and all the sale prices, as our systems are not synced together—the older invoicing/POS system isn't compatible for our current website,” says Lee. An updated website will allow for greater customer reach, as “e-commerce has no limit in distance or cities. We would love to support customers from other northwestern Ontario cities like Dryden and Fort Frances. We have many customers from those cities, but they have quite limited access at the moment. Once we update our website and POS system, it will increase store efficiency, which directly leads to better customer experience.”

Another area that Imagetech plans to expand is its social media presence and social media marketing. Lee explains that through the DMS training, he and Johns have been able to appreciate the importance of social media marketing and of planning ahead. They look forward to posting more consistently on Imagetech’s social media platforms by using content plans and strategies, and leveraging analytics to determine how best to target advertising initiatives.