ARsignupThere’s a new action camera on the block with its sights set on becoming a serious rival to market leader GoPro.

Product and brand manager Duane Cubbage told Appliance Retailer that ShotBox is targeting a niche in the action camera market place, aiming “to be the best, at a better price point.”

“We are filling a gap in the market by offering products that are serious contenders to the market leaders yet ensuring that it is still affordable for consumers,” he said. The value proposition is not just for the consumer, but also ShotBox’s trade partners. “Our retailers make money selling ShotBox cameras.”

ShotBox S71, RRP $439

ShotBox is part of Force Technology, the WA-based supplier of mobile phone accessories and peripherals to resellers. Force Technology represents 35 different brands including Samsung, Jawbone and Otterbox, as well as having its own stable of licensed brands and private label products.

The focus for Force Technology for the next two years is on cameras and through an existing affiliation with Chinese camera manufacturer AEE, the two businesses decided to partner to move into the action camera space in Australia.

AEE is headquartered in the city of Shenzhen, Guandong Province, China and is a leading manufacturer of action cameras, drones and body cameras.

Cubbage said that AEE is the number two brand in the global action camera market according to GfK figures. He said it was difficult to get accurate action camera data in Australia because not all retailers reported the data to GfK, however globally, GoPro accounts for 70 to 75 per cent share of the action camera space and AEE is the next biggest brand with a 15 per cent share, based on units sold.

The partnership resulted in the creation of the brand ShotBox, which launched its first products Australian products in December 2014, the S71 with 4K recording (RRP $439) and S60 which records in Full HD (RRP $299).

ShotBox, S71 without case
ShotBox, S71 without case

With a similar form factor to GoPro, the ShotBox cameras are waterproof up to 100 metres, have a 16 megapixel still camera and Wi-Fi. It also comes with $200 worth of accessories in-box, including a waterproof case, 2-inch removable touchscreen, lithium battery, various mounts, USB cable, humonitor anti-fog kit and a storage pouch and handstrap.

A unique feature of the camera is the G Sensor mode, which begins recording automatically when you start moving.

On the software side, via the ShotBox AEE App you can watch, review and download recorded content to your device, whilst enabling you to edit and play footage.

“All those combined makes ShotBox a best value proposition for consumer and our trade customer,” Cubbage said.

Currently, ShotBox is sold directly to customers online and there was also an exclusive first to market agreement with Dick Smith in place from December 2014 which has now expired. Dick Smith is still ranging ShotBox but the brand is looking to widen its distribution strategy and its products are ranged in smaller retailers and specialty surf, skate and dive shops.

In the next six to eight weeks ShotBox will deliver its point of sale stands to retailers, which include a 22-inch HD display with a space to mount the cameras and all accessories.

Cubbage said the POS does a lot to sell the benefits of the product and raise brand recognition, a commodity that rival GoPro has in spades.

GoPro Hero 4 Silver
GoPro Hero 4 Silver RRP $549

“You’ve got what is the absolute market leader by a country mile in GoPro, who has very good penetration and they pretty much own the category – when you say you’re going to go out and by an action camera you invariably say ‘I’m going to go out and buy a GoPro’ – it’s a matter of changing that mentality.

“The thing that we have is a great quality product at a great price point. The things we don’t have over GoPro is brand recognition and brand appeal.”

ShotBox is also beginning the marketing push with reviews, signing up brand ambassadors and social media campaigns to drive brand awareness and pull customers into retailers’ stores saying: ‘I want ShotBox, not I want a GoPro.’

Also on the horizon for ShotBox is the launch of its consumer drones in Australia. Again they will be manufactured by AEE, which has serious credibility in the space thanks to winning contracts to supply commercial drones for the Chinese military. Australia will receive the consumer version in the next four weeks, the AP10, a drone with a 1080p camera retailing for $999.

ShotBox views drones with cameras as a perfect companion product to the action camera, to capture quality footage from above.

“They go hand-in-hand effectively,” Cubbage said.