Rochester, NY—Kodak entered a partnership with Boulder, Colorado-based LifePics, a leader in web-based fulfillment of photo merchandizing products, to jointly develop and market a suite of pre-integrated retail photo merchandizing services.
The new services were developed to permit photo retailers to leverage their existing fleets of Kodak photofinishing equipment to cost effectively enter the net-to-retail fulfillment business, and offer consumers the convenience of ordering photos online and picking them up the same day in-store. The first two services, private-labeled net-to-retail photo order fulfillment and in-store photo specialty gift catalog ordering, are available now to U.S. retailers.
The net-to-retail order fulfillment path for photo merchandise is growing steadily in the U.S. According to InfoTrends, more than 21% of printed photo merchandise products (photo books, cards, calendars, specialty prints) ordered online in 2011 will be fulfilled in a retail store. That percentage is expected to approach 28% by 2015. The Kodak and LifePics partnership is designed to allow retailers who have made an investment in Kodak in-store equipment to participate in this market, adding value to their existing Kodak fleet and enhancing their portfolios of premium photo products that can be fulfilled in-store or offsite.
Retailers seeking to implement online photo services can take advantage of a pre-integrated net-to-retail order fulfillment solution. The service uses LifePics-enabled private-label photo merchandizing websites and Kodak’s net-to-retail connectivity installed on a Kodak Picture Kiosk or Adaptive Picture Exchange (APEX) minilab (V5.0 or higher) to fulfill online orders in-store for products such as photo books, greeting cards, calendars, collages and prints.
“Consumers want the ability to place orders online and pick them up in-store,” said Larry Trevarthen, vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Retail Systems Solutions, Eastman Kodak. “LifePics’ market-leading web-based photo services running on Kodak’s retail systems is an efficient, cost effective way for retailers to deliver the value and convenience of net-to-retail photo ordering for consumers.”
The Kodak/LifePics net-to-retail photo order fulfillment service is an alternative to web-based photo services that fulfill orders offsite and ship to home. “The ability to fulfill same-day orders is especially important during holiday seasons when retailers can offer online order service up to the holiday, providing retailers with an opportunity to increase photo revenue,” added Trevarthen.
Seattle-based Bartell Drugs, a drugstore chain with 58 stores, implemented the Kodak and LifePics service and has seen results. According to Howie Cohen, general merchandise buyer at Bartell Drugs, “We saw significant uptake in orders after we implemented the net-to-retail service. Sales of premium products like photo books have been particularly strong since we established a web presence.”
Kodak and LifePics are also offering a new photo gift ordering service. The pre-integrated service leverages LifePics’ specialty photo gift catalog to enable retailers to offer their customers a range of specialty photo gifts that can be ordered from a Kodak Picture Kiosk in-store and fulfilled by a LifePics central lab partner. Gift items include mouse pads, mugs, sweatshirts, T-shirts, photo buttons, playing cards, puzzles, pillowcases, blankets and ornaments. Consumers can also order canvas prints and have their photos restored and colorized.
“One of the best ways to increase traffic to the in-store photo center is to offer new, compelling photo products that can be ordered and fulfilled quickly and easily,” said Vahe Christianian, vice president, Sales and Business Development, LifePics. “Offering our one-of-a-kind specialty gift catalog through the Kodak Picture Kiosk is a smart way for retailers to add dozens of unique, delightful and highly-sellable products to their portfolios without a major capital investment.” lifepics.com and kodak.com