Canon have launched the Print Fulfilment Service, which enables Canon (UK) digital
camera customers to order prints online via the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY (CiG) portal.
Canon has appointed A-One-M, a specialist photo-print laboratory and distribution
house to print and distribute the photographs. The service will be extended
to other European countries in the near future.
The Service is exclusive to CiG members who gain site membership, and 100MB
of free storage space, by purchasing any of the latest Canon compact digital
still cameras or digital SLRs. Photos are held in intuitive member-defined albums,
which can be shared online at the member's discretion. The Print Fulfilment
Service allows users to select either whole albums or individual photographs
for printing, and define variables such as number of copies, print size, cropping/image
centering and media type before submitting their order. If the image resolution
of a selected photograph is too low for the enlargement size requested, the
CiG image gateway generates a warning before submitting the order. Payment is
by credit card and prints are delivered by post within two working days.
"Whilst sales of our photo printers and photo paper show that many people
with digital cameras are now creating their own prints at home, not everybody
has the time, inclination or equipment to do so," explains Malcolm Hills,
Head of Canon Consumer Imaging in the UK and Ireland. "Adding this practical
e-commerce service to the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is an important step in the continuing
process of helping customers get more out of their products".
Canon is currently considering the addition of several extra print options to
the Print Fulfilment Service. Possible options include express shipping, printing
onto different media, such as T-Shirts, jigsaw puzzles or mouse mats, and the
option to order several prints arranged in a high-quality photo album.
When a member shares images or albums with friends, family or colleagues, a
copy of the original image is taken and duplicated onto a shared server. A link
to the shared server is sent to the recipient who can then view the duplicate
images. This process ensures that the member's account remains secure and private.
Statistics and usage uptake
Since its launch on 27th January 2003, the CiG site has attracted and registered
over 31,000 members. Statistics collected so far show that the U.K. boasts the
largest number of members. At present, statistics show that Canon Digital IXUS
V3 owners are the most likely customers to visit and use the site.