Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) has entered a partnership with Boulder, Colo.-based LifePics, a market 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 allow photo retailers to leverage their existing fleets of Kodak photofinishing equipment to quickly and 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 at the retail location. The first two services, private-labeled net-to-retail photo order fulfillment and in-store photo specialty gift catalog ordering, are available now to all 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, and specialty prints) that are 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 allows retailers who have made an investment in Kodak in-store equipment to participate in this market, adding value to their existing KODAK Product 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 new service uses LifePics-enabled private label photo merchandizing web sites and Kodak's net-to-retail connectivity installed on a KODAK Picture Kiosk or KODAK Adaptive Picture Exchange (APEX) minilab (running V5.0 software or higher) to fulfill online orders in-store for products such as photo books, greeting cards, calendars collages, and photos.
"Consumers want the ability to place orders online and pick them up in-store," said Larry Trevarthen, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Retail Systems Solutions, Eastman Kodak Company. "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 and LifePics joint net-to-retail photo order fulfillment service is an alternative to web-based photo services that fulfill orders offsite and ship to home, often taking several days. "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," said Trevarthen.
Seattle-based Bartell Drugs, a drug store chain with 58 stores, implemented the Kodak and LifePics service and has seen rapid 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' comprehensive specialty photo gift catalog to allow retailers to offer their customers a variety 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, pillow cases, 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 of Sales and Business Development at 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 is the market leader in turning images into transactions by connecting
billions of consumers' digital images to more fulfillment options than any other
service on the Internet. Using LifePics' technology, photofinishers and
professional photographers are able to accept online photo orders from
consumers, and route orders to any fulfillment lab. LifePics drives orders to
retailers and professional photographers through a variety of partners and
sources, and gives consumers an enjoyable, easy-to-use ordering interface. In
addition, LifePics is the most open solution on the web; the service integrates
with almost every photo printer and photo lab, and connects to specialized
wholesalers to complement in-house offerings. LifePics works as your partner by
providing services and industry expertise that go above and beyond what any
other online imaging company offers.
LifePics drives more orders through more sources than any other online photo service. In 2010, LifePics launched its OPEN program, allowing third party app developers and affiliate web sites to link into the LifePics Retail Network, sending users, images, and orders to LifePics retailers from all over the Internet. LifePics also provides customers with a fun, user-friendly online experience to drive orders. Consumers can order thousands of products, including prints, photo books, personalized greeting cards, photo calendars, enlargements, gifts like photo mugs and mouse pads, and much more, all through a retail-branded, customizable web site.
The LifePics technology platform is an open solution that connects to virtually every printer, lab, and internal system, allowing retailers to customize their online order workflow into the format that works best for each retailer. Orders can be sent directly to stores for 1-hour service, or routed to major wholesalers, gift providers, photo book manufacturers, and an assortment of other service providers. The technology revolves around LifePics' custom client-based software tool, LabCenter, which operates at retail stores and offers superior integration between retail online ordering sites and photofinishing labs of all sizes and quantities.
As your partner, LifePics provide a new revenue stream in the fastest growing segment of the photo industry -- online-to-retail -- and offering expert services that no other solution provides: Live Help, 364 days a year; free, unlimited photo storage for consumers; custom email marketing campaigns; a commission-based revenue structure; and much more.
LifePics' customers include some of the industry's best brands in each of the following categories: mass merchants, large photo retail chains, food and drug chains, local camera shops, and independent photofinishers. The LifePics service is available at more than 20,000 retail stores across North America, Australia, and Africa.
For more information, visit LifePics at www.LifePics.com.
As the world's foremost imaging innovator, Kodak helps consumers, businesses, and creative professionals unleash the power of pictures and printing to enrich their lives.
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