We’ve noticed changes in behavior of some of the photo product buyers, our findings were reinforced by reports coming from our customers. That’s why here at Printbox we’ve decided to speed up the photobook creation process radically. This is how Smart Creation was born.
Meet Smart Creation
Smart Creation generates photo books in a very short time. It removes two of the biggest challenges photo book buyers face: photo selection and photo book creation. No effort is required on the part of the customer. In a matter of minutes they are presented with a photo product closely resembling the photo book quality they would have come up with themselves during a match longer creation period. All they need to do is concentrate on the final touches (if that’s necessary, it might not be, the decision is on them), add the project into the cart… and just wait for the delivery and start enjoying again all the emotions from the past events.
Two biggest photo book challenges overcome
Photo selection is possibly the dreariest photo product task out there. During a holiday or an event hundreds or thousands of photos are being made. Usually only one or two takes from every sequence of similar photos are good. Users have to manually pick them before they start creating a book and decide what events should find their way into the book. This is a time-consuming process that may prevent them from starting the project. They might be also forced to abandon it sometime after the photo product project was initiated because of all the emotional and physical fatigue that photo selection causes.
Photo book creation may or may not be a pleasurable action. There are hundreds of options to choose from, and it’s a well-known fact (confirmed by Barry Schwartz’s research that later became “the paradox of choice” theory) that human decision-making ability is deteriorating rapidly with the increase of the number of possibilities. The time constraints always remain an issue as well, there are many customers out there which expect to buy a photo book like a sweater. Suddenly they are forced to compose a photo book, something they are not interested in doing. They just want an easy way out and Smart Creation is the best possible option for this. It actually leads members of this type of consumer group to conversion. Moreover, some people are not computer-savvy enough and they’d love someone to design a photo book for them.
Smart Creation is a result of a thorough customer research and it provides an answer to all those needs.
The inner workings of Smart Creation
This is how Smart Creation does all the boring stuff so your customer doesn’t have to.
First, the best possible photos out of the customer’s uploaded collection must be chosen. This is the photo selection part. Printbox detects similar photos, usually these are multiple takes of the same scene . We trained advanced algorithms to rate photos with our own ranking system which is based on both subjective (‘nice framing!’) and objective (‘this is too dark, this one is out of focus’) properties. Smart Creation also classifies photos into the most popular categories (landscapes, people, food, architecture etc.) to reduce appearance of unwanted photos (like photos of a book made for listing on Ebay which could have been uploaded by accident).
When the results of the data analysis are received, Printbox editor goes into photo book creation mode. The parameters selected earlier by the customer (like the number of pages or picture density) are being processed right now together with the photos to build a great final product. All the adjustments, alignments and cropping are done without any input from the customer.
When the project is finished, the customer is still in the editor and decides whether the product is buyable straight away or some changes should be applied.
Why is Smart Creation important for your business
Smart Creation opens up the market for a completely different customer type – the one that wasn’t interested in a lengthy photo book creation process in the past but wants to buy a photo product nevertheless. We may also see a spike in orders placed from people who create photo books in a traditional way. Now that they see that the most boring tasks are no longer there they may end up buying more photo books.
There are people who love to manually pick photos and then drag & drop them to their positions on the pages. But many people want to save time. If they realize that Smart Creation comes up with a product which doesn’t differ much from their creative output, they may be inclined to buy more which means more business for you. Smart Creation is also aimed at people who enjoy the creative process. With all the tiresome tasks removed, they can concentrate on what they like most and buy more.
The secret sauce
Most automatic photo book applications produce bland, boring photo books. Printbox uses themes to make the final product very attractive even before the final personalization phase happens. The style from the theme chosen by the buyer is transferred with all the cliparts, frames, backgrounds etc. to the dynamically created photo book. This produces more inventive results reflecting the style the user opted for.
A few final words
Our clients reported that the longer it takes to create a photo book, the lesser the chance the project will be added to the cart. That’s why we added Smart Creation to our roadmap and have now delivered it to the market – we wanted to satisfy current photo product business needs. It is very easy to launch in your Printbox store as part of your photo book offer, no need to separate standard photo books from the smart ones. Now with Printbox you can boost your conversion rates with quick purchases and tap into a slightly different customer group – the one that enjoys a lovely photo book, and not necessarily the creation process.
Smart Creation was developed in-house and this has its advantages. It is our trusted technology and you can forget about troublesome integration with external software providers. The new feature paves the way for our heavy investments in smart capabilities in the upcoming years.
Click HERE to book a presentation and see how our new feature works in practice.