According to the company, the solution opens up new business opportunities and revenue streams for local print providers.
Speaking at the official unveiling of the product, Leon Minnie, Konica Minolta SA product manager for production systems, said photo-Press allows print providers to enter the untapped market of photo books.
The solution comprises three components: designer, Web and production. The company explains that the designer tool allows end-users to create photo books and other products, while the Web component enables online ordering and processing. The production component simplifies the management and processing of orders. This component also generates job tickets and prepares the dispatch.
Minnie says the local market for photo books is untapped. According to market research company Info Trends, 90% of consumers have never ordered a photo book. Moreover, 71% of consumers who order a photo book will return within the same year for another photo product.Minnie added that, according to Future Source Consulting, 17.4 million photo books were sold in 2010, which was a 25% growth compared to 2009. Furthermore, Future Source Consulting predicts that 23.3 million units will be sold by 2013.
According to Minnie, aside from consumers, print providers can also use the photo-PRESS solution to create products for travel companies, retail stores, schools, universities and sports clubs, among others. He explained that these products include brochures and catalogues in addition to photo books.
Konica Minolta says the solution also allows for social media sharing. This lets end-users upload photo books or other products to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The company says this feature gives a print provider the ability to produce multiple books, such as wedding and holiday photo albums. Friends and family members can order the photo book, or other uploaded product, from the social media site.
Minnie said the solution includes Web hosting, online payment, backup support and integration with current management information systems, as well as the customisation of customer-specific designer applications. Photo-PRESS uses Konica Minolta's cloud technology, providing around-the-clock access, according to the company.
Minnie adds that print providers can customise the solution from either a business-to-business or business-to-customer perspective. For example, he says, the design component can be limited if the print provider prefers, while the look and feel of the designer application can be tailored.
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