This month Fotoviva Art Prints are celebrating 5 years in business as one of the UK’s leading online wall art retailers. Seeing as I offer a selection of my photographic work on their website I thought it was a great opportunity to sit down with the owner, Jason Wickens, and see how business has been going…
5 years as an online business is quite impressive, how have you found it?
Hi Doug, yes we are very happy at how things have worked out, considering interior wall art is such a competitive market, especially the canvas print side of things. Despite the current economic downturn we continue to see a steady flow of orders and we’re expecting a solid growth over the next few years as we add new features to the gallery and more images.
How has Fotoviva evolved over the years?
The online gallery has been improved many times, and right now we are working on a funky new design which will give the site a classier look with a modern feel. When you are selling online you have to keep up to date with new technologies and styles to ensure you look the best and can offer a good online service. We constantly tweak elements here and there to improve the customer experience. Of course the image collection is always growing too, with over 600 art prints now available – from an initial 20 images on launch! That’s thanks to our great team of photographers who provide us with such inspirational imagery.
What style of images sell the most?
As you can see, the artwork we offer leans towards the creative side of photography. These kind of images are what home owners want on their walls. We hand pick the pictures from our team of photographers to ensure the right ones are offered to our customers. There are many technically brilliant photographs but that doesn’t mean they will sell. We believe people look for wall art that has an artistic touch that touches their emotions. This is especially true with landscape and seascape prints. It’s a way to bring nature into your home.
What is the most popular type of wall art?
Interesting question! When we launched Fotoviva we only sold poster art and canvas prints, but now we also offer the images as acrylic prints. Customers tend to choose the print finish based on their own interior designs – acrylic art is more suited to homes with a modern decor, whereas canvases work anywhere. I think canvas art is probably still the biggest seller but acrylic prints are becoming quite popular and I think one day it may overtake canvas prints.
I see you also offer a print service now – how is that going?
It’s going very well. The acrylic photo blocks are big movers right now – very popular with wedding and portrait photographers as well as the general public. They are freestanding blocks and look very modern and glossy. Customers can upload their photos and choose their print style on the site. We see a lot of wedding pictures and family shots, such as newborn babies and holiday photos. We also offer a photo on canvas and photo to acrylic service in the same vein. We’re pleased with how it is turning out. There are quite a few companies doing this on the internet but I think many customers use us because of our association with high quality photography and prints – it helps to reassure them they will be getting a very good quality print for their money.
Do you get much time to take photographs yourself?
Not as much as I would like! Fotoviva keeps me busy, as does family life, especially with a toddler! There is a selection of my photography on Fotoviva but I tend to spend any spare time improving the site or adding images from the contributors. I have a Nikon D7000 and try to get out in the countryside whenever I can. Next year I’m planning to book a couple of days off and finally go on one of your workshop days. I really like your style of photography and I’m looking forward to learning a great deal.
What are your plans for the next 5 years?
Looking ahead we will continue to add new pictures to our image collections to increase the selection available. Currently we are not adding any new photographic contributors but we hope to change that in the future so we can expand the style of art prints. Our marketing will also continue online to reach out to new customers whilst retaining the current ones. As for the site itself, we have some ideas for improving this and we’ll add things here and there, including the new visual update we will be launching shortly.
Speaking for myself as a photographer who supplies Fotoviva with images, I recommend their canvas and acrylic printing service which I use myself. The quality is very good,and the prices are competitive. All products come well packaged and Jason & Carly are very easy to deal with. Obviously it is a great place to buy my images too! http://www.fotoviva.co.uk/