September 1, 2010: Lifepics has released a new version of its iPhone app that allows customers to place print orders from their iPhone direct to store.
According to Photo Direct’s Steuart Meers of Photo Direct (Lifepics partner for Australia and New Zealand), this new app (screenshot right) will provide Lifepics retailers with a genuine competitive advantage.
‘The app opens up a new ordering and revenue stream for retailers offering Lifepics,’ said Meers. ‘Customers can order 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, and 11×14 prints from their iPhone. The app only allows users to order those print sizes that retailers offer on their site. Orders must be picked up and paid for in the store as no payments are taken through the phone.’
This approach was adopted based on consumer feedback indicating that most consumers did not feel comfortable paying for items on their phones, and preferred to complete the transaction in the store with a real person. Consumers select a pick-up location based on their postcode or GPS location. Lifepics retailers show up on that list when they offer the ‘pick up and pay’ service in store orders.
Meers adds that Lifepics has already seen retailers increase order volume by 15 percent after enabling the ‘pick up and pay’ in store capability.
Lifepics currently has 21 Ted’s stores fully operational in Australia, with around the same number of independents either live or with Lifepics-partnered sites under construction.
‘We are pleased with what we’ve achieved to date, but still feel there’s a lack or awareness from independent specialists when considering what they can achieve online,’ Meers told Photo Counter. ‘They are not seeing the urgency of it.’
He noted that apart from the new revenue stream an online channel can deliver, the creation of a solid customer database makes a business more attractive if it is put on the market.
‘The goodwill component is far more tangible when you can point to 10 or 20,000 customers on a customer database, he said. ‘Lifepics has very good customer acquisition tools.’
He added that once a retailer established an online channel they need to work it, ‘but there’s a whole lot of ways to work it’.