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Phoenix Trading Company - success story

Phoenix Trading Company Cut Photo Processing Time and Cost by 20% with remove.bg.

Established in 2002, Phoenix Trading Company (PTC) is a direct-to-consumer online retailer of off-price merchandise.  

PTC sells a wide variety of branded merchandise, but specializes in plus size women’s apparel, as well as health & beauty products. 

The company’s primary sales channels are online marketplaces such as Walmart, eBay and Sears - and its own website phoenixtradingcompany.com.


At a glance

Direct-to-consumer plus-sized women’s clothing seller, Phoenix Trading Company (PTC) has a tight turnaround for image creation.

Online marketplaces need each item to be documented and set on a plain background. 

PTC’s process is totally automatic so substandard images need to be done again.

remove.bg replaced a previous supplier that went bust.

PTC founder, Marc Cohen, says remove.bg is “a thousand times better”. 

"We shaved up to 20% of the time and cost and reduced manual intervention (retaking photos) by 80%."

PTC and remove.bg worked together to train the AI to auto-remove non-clothes pixels for an 80% improvement.

Marc praises customer service: “great and really supportive”.

Established in 2002, Phoenix Trading Company (PTC) is a direct-to-consumer online retailer of off-price merchandise.

PTC sells a wide variety of branded merchandise but specializes in plus-size women’s apparel, as well as health & beauty products.

The company’s primary sales channels are online marketplaces such as Walmart, eBay, and Sears - and its own website phoenixtradingcompany.com.


The Challenge

As a reseller of off-price clothing direct to the consumer, it is vital that PTC’s photos accurately reflect the merchandise. That means no stock images and each item needs to be photographed manually. Also, many marketplaces require a plain background for images.  That’s where we come in.

To create images, the company’s workflow comprises:

  • taking the photo, wirelessly sending the photo from the camera to the server

  • autocropping the photo

  • image resizing

  • background removal and replacing with pure white 

  • file renaming

Each garment takes between 60-90 secs to create; background removal is just one part of the process. It needs to be automated, super-efficient, and very cheap because every second counts! A manual batch-review process takes place at the end of each day before items go up for sale.

In fact, Marc was happy with a previous supplier but Covid 19 forced it out of business. He was worried that he wouldn’t find a suitable replacement. 

"In fact, I had done my research before. I thought they were the best in the business." 

In the meantime, remove.bg came along.


The Work

From the moment Marc found remove.bg online, he was impressed. 

"I tested some items through the user interface and it was awesome", he says. 

He found he could get this incredible improvement for the same price. Working with our developer, the API was integrated into his workflow within a couple of days. Marc also saw the opportunity to correct an issue that had dogged PTC for a while: parts of the display mannequin getting into the pictures forcing a reshoot. 

He worked with our developer team training the AI to understand mannequin =/= clothes.  And the customer service team sorted out any glitches with no hassle.

"Michal, from remove.bg’s customer service team, is such a nice guy and followed up to see how things were going," says Marc. "He has been great and really supportive. We had a small payment issue and he fixed it really quickly."


The Result

"remove.bg is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition", Marc adds. "It’s a thousand times better. It simplified the whole process."

In fact, the numbers could speak for themselves. For the same cost, remove.bg shaved 15-20% of the process. It cut manual interventions (photo-retaking) by 80%. 

Sometimes a part of a hanger or mannequin might end up in the picture. As no photo correction is done, the picture has to be retaken, adding crucial time to the process. PTC worked with our development team to retrain the AI. This cut mannequin appearance by 80%.

"Before, we had parts of the dummy in every single picture." Marc says "now 4 out of 5 are perfect."

There was also another process improvement with remove.bg: with the previous solution, white items needed a dark background because the AI couldn’t find the edge. With remove,bg, there is no such problem. 

Marc at PTC and the remove.bg team continue to work together to further improve the customer experience.


"remove.bg is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. A thousand times better. It simplified the whole process."
Marc Cohen
CEO

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