In a brief e-mail discussion with me, Ankit Khanna, Director itasveer, revealed itasveer’s new features, why it is different from other online photo printing services in India and its future plans. Packed with cool features and top partners itasveer appears to be doing better than other online photo printing services like picsquare, fobaz. Gradually consumers appear to be moving away from the traditional methods of photo printing.
Itasveer’s new features 1. Itasveer introduced the themes for photo sharing to give better user experience check out powered photo sharing
2. 10 free prints on sign up
3. Referral program: refer 10 friends and earn a customized mug
Typically, I’d like to apply a different thought and would instead like to focus on key differentiations of itasveer from Picsquare which are user-centric. Over time, itasveer has established itself as one of its kind product in the online photo printing segment in India and outside India (presently our focus is India only). Our approach is led by innovative thinking – whether its UI, new product, or any new feature.
How is it different from other players:
1. Doodlepad is definitely the biggest differentiators. When we thought of introducing the merchandise, we thought why not develop a tool which empowers our users to come up with their designs. This led to the development of online design tool called Doodlepad ( http://www.itasveer.com/godoodle.do) It gives us the edge in technology and better user experience. Users can mix up designs, add clipart, background, frames, and get designs printed on t-shirts and mugs.
2. Users can download back their high resolution images for FREE. We are the first one in India to offer this service.
3. Our partnership with Microsoft Vista. Now you can use online Print Wizard in Vista to order photo prints right from your desktop ( http://www.itasveer.com/faqOPW.do)
4. By next week, we would be integrating with Picasa to allow ordering of Picasa photos from itasveer.com
5. Theme based photo sharing
Essentially, what marketing strategy is being applied by service like itasveer.
Till date, we havent done any kind of marketing. We have grown by word of mouth. We believe in building a strong product/service enough to bring more customers in a viral manner. Nothing could be more compelling than this.
Also, we are in the process of tying up with web services which compliment our services and we see a direct fit with them. You will see the results in next couple of months.
Recently, we have introduced 10 free prints on sign up and referral program to acquire more customers and increase the conversion rate.
A lot of online photo sharing services have been providing free prints to tap more registered users. How well, this tactic has worked?
Till date, we refrained from this kinda of strategy to attract new users. I believe this cant work unless you have a compelling offering. Now once we are the best in the market (PC world adjudged us the ‘Best Photo Printing Website’ in their May issue), i think time is here to make people use the service on trail and increase the conversion rate.
Caution: Implementation is really critical here. You need to take care of bogus users. Still i am little sceptical about this strategy. I might answer this question after couple of months. BUT ‘a compelling product’ is a necessity for the success of any free/referral program
Could the portal be more Web2.0 Centric
Hmm…this is definitely a twister. Web 2.0 is HOT property. But a service like ours really need it? May be or may be not. With confidence i can say, we aren’t going to be another social networking site. Yes, we are thinking on these lines. Themes and commenting on shared pages is a first step.
You can expect certainly something innovation in next 4-6 months. I know its a long time. But we need that.
To summarise. itasveer is a useful service. What it brings:
1. Convenience: order anytime, anywhere
2. A high utility service for someone in India and outside India, willing to send pictures to their family and loved ones back home. More than 35% of our users are Indians located outside India
3. One stop place to upload, share and order photo prints
4. More control over printing, can use the cropping tools on the site
5. Pricing (as i would still consider the average price offered by retail studios is Rs. 6)
6. Most importantly, our integration with flickr allows users to order their flickr photos. In next couple of weeks, we would be integrating with Picasa.
7. Users can download back their high resolution images for FREE. We are the first one in India to offer this service.
I have to define three key drivers at itasveer, they are:
INNOVATION , COMPELLING PRODUCT, USABILITY
PS: (One has to wait and see see how other online photo printing services like picsquare, fobaz are gearing up to face competition from itasveer. )
Welcoming reader comments on this 🙂