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Color Management

Controlling catalog returns: online and in print

In Opinion Research Corp’s April 2009 online shopping “Ouch point” survey, receiving an item that “doesn’t look like it did on the Internet” is the third most common source of frustration when making purchases online.

Not only is this frustrating for consumers, it is expensive for companies who are saddled with returns.

There are several ways companies can work proactively to improve the match between the online or printed catalog and the actual product. These include:

    – Implementing ICC-based color management in the photography, prepress and web production departments.
    – Ensure all production monitors are calibrated weekly.
    – Create reference color swatches for use in Photoshop, page layout and web design applications. These are used as a visual reference for color correcting digital photos to match the established reference. This ensures all products using “Royal Blue” match across the site or the catalog.
    – Encourage your customers to use a color managed Internet browser like Safari, or Firefox 3 (with a minor adjustment) and embed ICC profiles in digital photos. This increases the size of the files marginally, but improves color accuracy considerably.
    – Convert all web-based images to the sRGB colorspace. Even if your customer does not have a color managed browser the appearance onscreen will be a reasonable match to the actual product.

Survey statistics via the Adobe Scene7 blog

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