August 12, 2010: IPS managing director, Stuart Holmes, says the great response to the launch of Dakis website software has encouraged the company to extend its special introductory offer through August.
‘I wouldn’t have expected this level of response, to be frank,’ he told Photo Counter. ‘There’s clearly been a pent up demand.’
IPS and Dakis are offering to create a trial working website for retailers to their specifications, brand and choice of templates free of set-up and design costs until the end of this month.
‘There’s a real hunger to get on line,’ he said. ‘We thought the interest would be predominantly in online prints and photo books and the like, but there’s also been a big response to Dakis as a online hardware sales solution.
‘Dakis has a lovely building block process to it.’
Holmes observed that while various industry executives have been making dire warnings about the consequences for independent retailers who don’t develop an online presence, there hasn’t been much in the way of a helping hand.
‘People were looking for an enabler,’ he said. ‘There’s been a lot of warm words spoken but not a lot of runs on the board.’
He likened the position the industry faces today with online services to the advent of digital imaging in the late ’90s, in that a ‘vacuum of knowledge means that people are reluctant to jump in’.
He advised retailers looking for an online solution to ‘check the pre-nups’ – that is, make sure that if the relationship ends, there aren’t unforeseen consequences.
He said that retailers should avoid systems where third parties or the software supplier had access to, or some form of shared ownership of, the customer database.
‘Data mining is not on. The customer database is yours.’
He said that using the Dakis system, the customer database ‘totally lives with our customers, not with us or Dakis, which was the reason US buying group IPI opted for Dakis as its preferred option.
‘Other contenders would not guarantee database integrity or security,’ he explained.
One of many retailers who have taken up the IPS/Dakis trial offer is Paul Boniface, Scone Digital Imaging. He said that he felt compelled to establish an online channel to his business but was looking for something which was easy to use and easy for customers. He had been considering Dakis before the Australian launch offer from IPS, and noted that their was an excellent choice of design templates to choose from.