By DPS Magazine Staff
Photo printing is one area for consumer-faced businesses. For those with ecommerce sites—some of which produce output on their own and others that outsource to a network of print partners, this special breed of print provider must produce consistent, high-quality output and work with imagery and artwork that may be less than ideal. Workflow and software tools utilized are extremely important as well as an easy-to-use ordering system.
MailPix, Inc. is headquartered in Huntington Beach, CA. Established in 2012, the company expanded from a staff of two—its founders—to ten employees.
Originally offering photo prints, photos on canvas, photobooks, and photo merchandise, it has since added hundreds of products as well as a complete portfolio of business to business products like vinyl banners, roll-up banners, and a variety of signage. Its latest offerings include acrylic photo panels, photo slates, note cubes, camp mugs, photo compact mirrors, baseball caps, wine and spirits boxes, stadium seat cushions, wine bottle totes, photo watches, and even yoga mats.
The company’s business model is primarily business to consumer, which makes up about 90 percent of its work.
The company offers premium quality products with the help of a series of partners through five branded websites. It ships nationwide. With this setup, it remains nimble. “With stringent service level agreements in place, we can continue to grow with our partners without the need to expand our square footage,” comment Fred H. Lerner, founder/CEO and Peter Tahmin, co-founder/COO, MailPix.
Approximately 40 percent of the company’s work is photo-based printing. Digital, dye-sublimation, inkjet, silver halide, and offset printing are all used to create its array of applications.
Software tools are essential for the photo work produced. “We use a third-party application from PhotoFinale that allows us to deploy online imaging websites so consumers can upload, store, and create memories in photobooks, prints, posters, greeting cards, as well as hundreds of different photo gift products,” they share.
When orders are placed through one of Mailpix’s websites, files are automatically routed to wholesale labs through the PhotoFinale software platform.
MailPix is lucky in that it continued operations remotely without much interruption during the stay-at-home orders and advisories throughout the U.S. this Spring during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company temporarily closed down its headquarters in Huntington Beach in mid-March when social isolation and distancing recommendations started to go into place. “We equipped our staff with anything they needed to work comfortably from their homes,” note Lerner and Tahmin.
To stay connected, the company adopted Zoom video conferenceing software to help bring staff together regularly to see and hear what everyone is working on.
While it wasn’t necessarily business as usual, some items were extra popular for consumers that wanted to stay busy at home. In order to promote the items most likely to sell, MailPix shifted its promotional and marketing messaging towards more family-oriented activity products like coloring wallpaper, puzzles, and photobooks.
“We sold out of our 500- and 1,000-piece personalized photo puzzles after the first two weeks of families staying at home. There were also fantastic increases in sales of our coloring peel-and-stick wallpaper and photobooks,” share Lerner and Tahmin. “The puzzles and wallpaper are great family activities that can occupy children and parents alike.”
Staying on top of trends, MailPix announced an expansion of photo puzzles at the end of April. It now offers a total of five puzzle options—two versions of 8×10-inch, a 30- or 110-piece set in a white box; a 252-piece 11×14-inch puzzle in a white tin; or a 14×20-inch, 500-piece puzzle with a white tin.
Puzzles are created using MailPix’s creation software, the finished product then ships directly to a family member’s home.
Printed photographs and custom designs continue to allure consumers. Particularly in times where physical contact isn’t advised, gifts decorated in cherished memories are in demand. MailPix offers this service for the masses through an easy-to-use interface with the help of trusted print partners. dps
Jul2020, DPS Magazine