March 3, 2011: Online photo retailing software specialist Dakis has rolled out a ‘Facebook Connect’ feature for its Photo Factory customers.
Dakis offers photo retailers a range of online printing, gifting, in-store photo-kiosk and e-commerce ‘WebStore’ software . Photo Factory is the photo gifting module in the Dakis suite.
‘We’ve made the process as simple as possible for the end users,’ explained Dakis customer relationship manager, Patrice Hugron. ‘When you go to add photos to your order, you simply choose to add them from your computer or Facebook account.
‘This allows photo retailers to tap into the billions of images stored on Facebook’s servers to produce prints, gifts, calendars, books and more. As per our policies, this upgrade is included for all of our customers worldwide without any installation required from the retailer, and no extra fees are incurred for this feature.’
Dakis’ Facebook Connect “Print from Facebook” initiative, is the mechanism that will finally get Gen Y printing,’ said Independent Photographic Supplies (IPS) national sales and marketing manager, Bruno Polito.
‘Gen Y capture the defining and spontaneous moments of their lives on their iPhone,s then (almost instantaneously) upload them to their social network of choice– specifically Facebook.
‘These pictures may never actually make it to a computer hard drive or a USB – but that is no longer important. Thanks to Facebook ‘albums’ are now cloud-based and Dakis’ Facebook Connect lets anyone access their albums and print from them, wherever there is a Dakis kiosk.
‘No more “Oops, I forgot my camera card USB or CDROM “ – photos are now available instantly and anywhere.
‘Dakis is all about promoting your brand and your business online and in store, with Dakis products being fully customisable with your name, look and feel,’ he added.
New Zealand consumers have been quick to pick up on the new Facebook ordering features. Photo Plus, a busy minilab based in central Wellington, has been using Dakis’ full e-commerce solution now for just over two years.
Growth to date has been steady, but the ability to access Facebook has driven sales significantly from ‘day one’, according to Photo Plus..
‘Our first orders came in just hours after our site was updated,’ said Lorraine Nicolson, from First Retail Group (owners of the Photo Plus brand). ‘We were stunned to see just how fast it took off – and continues to climb. ‘
Many of Photo Plus’ customers come from the creative sector, including Wellington’s booming film industry. According to Ms Nicholson, it didn’t take long for online users to discover the ease of ordering, then word spread quickly throughout the design and production studios.
‘We’ve seen print, gift and creative orders from Facebook already,” she says. ‘One of our customers told us it was great to be able to “unlock the worlds biggest photo album”. Even our own staff have been wowed and have been busy printing their pictures since the new service launched.’
The release coincided with Photo Plus’ fundraising initiative for victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
‘All of New Zealand has been deeply moved by events in Canterbury,’ said Ms Nicholson. ‘We have many customers from the region, our staff have family there and we have a number of suppliers based in Christchurch. Seeing the devastation and heartbreak made us want to do something tangible that could assist their recovery.’
In conjunction with Dakis the company rapidly rolled out an online campaign called ‘Collages for Canterbury’; 100 percent of sales are going to the earthquake fund.
Australia’s first Dakis customer, Phil Gresham (FotoFast, Brisbane) had yet to see a measurable increase in orders following introduction of the Facebook Connect feature, but was nonetheless pleased with the innovation.
‘How much more business will we get from it? We’ve yet to see. It’s certainly got a ‘Cool Factor’ and it will hopefully get the Gen Y kids in,’ he said.
Mr Gresham was happy with his Dakis software and the relationship with his head office contacts in Montreal.
‘I don’t believe there is an alternative suitable for the photo specialist.’ he said, adding that he wondered how independents without Dakis could survive as online ordering became more popular.
After around 6 months in the Australian and New Zealand market, Dakis itself is pleased with its progress to date.
‘IPS [Dakis’ ANZ partner] has got a great program in place to give control back to independent photo retailers and Dakis’ solutions help round out this offering by providing completely customisable contact points with the customers,’ said Mr Hugron.
‘We’re committed to helping independent retailers not only compete but stand out from their Big Box competition by providing tools that allow them to put their best face forward. Up to now our customer feedback has been very positive, and now that Australasian retailers are refreshed and restocked after their holiday season, we’re looking forward to helping them retool.’
Dakis executives will travel to Australia to attend the PMA trade show in Sydney in June.