Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What is common with all online photo sites of most reatilers

I've been writing about my experiences using online photo sites for pickup at retail shops.

And guess what? I found that this company PNI Digital Media is providing the Digital Media Platform, as a private label hosted solution for CVS, walmart, Hannaford and EchardRx and a lot many companies.

First, I appreciate them as any early provider of technology, especially hosted solutions.. I wish them success as I love all change agents and PNI has brought the into these retailers.

Wish they would improve their UI to keep up with times.

I stopped by at my local CVS and checked out that the local photo center guy knows about the kodakgallery deal with cvs for pickup at the store. He just thinks its in the works and I should wait for the operational details to be worked out.

Wonder is its a big company DNA, one arm not knowing what the other is doing? Why would CVS host at PNI and start another hosted deal partnership? Expecting better marketing through Kodak?

I spent another $20 at cvs for the prints and found that the local prints are much faster than I had originally calculated. I got 90 prints in 15 minutes, not bad!

PNI will lose if CVS and other strike deals with Kodak and others. They need to focus on two key things most needed for any hosted business - building brand so the end user knows them, and customer lockin of their retailers who host their private label sites.

Its good for me as the consumer to get more choice, but its not good for the retailers to keep switching unless the newer offer is much much stickier than the previous one, which is not the case with the Kodakgallery deal. I am likely to forget CVS altogether to move to someone else.

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