Back when our company was very new we started by making a name for ourselves as the team that can use statistics to solve the tricky problems. Our first example (Over 10 years ago now!!) of this was helping an events photography company break into a new digital market. This company had won a contract to work with Cheltenham races to do all of the ‘boots on the ground’ photography and deliver snapshots of these experiences to the people that attended the races.
Our mission was to help the company test some new approaches to their technology and sales and provide data so they could make better decisions in the future.
This was a technical and business strategy oriented task so we approached it in four phases.
- The Diagnosis
- The Test
- The Execution
- The Analysis
They had three problems
1/ They were not selling online
Their service was almost entirely offline. They were making sales of physical pictures, framed and more, but they weren’t able to sell digital photos online or able to let a customer buy later if they had not converted on the day.
2/ They were not getting their images online at a speed they were happy with.
Their images were being uploaded to the servers later on in the day and overnight and buying them was very complicated. This meant people could not buy later on in the day and had to wait. Event photos are bought during the excitement of the event so waiting to get their content online was costing them dearly.
3/ They were curious about QR codes on images
They wanted to answer questions like: Would using QR codes help them convert third party customers or customers on the day? Would using QR codes help people to find their own images again.
To test all of this we needed a cleverly coordinated strategy. We first collaborated with Adobe and we built a simple AWS platform and REST API to get the images online as fast as possible, meanwhile a senior Adobe engineer created a plugin for Adobe Lightroom that would plug into our cloud. Adobe also added QR codes to these images and we saved the data for the QR codes in our system.
Next we built a mobile web application in jQuery Mobile and Zend Framework to deliver a hybrid platform experience which would allow users to follow their QR codes and get to their images. From there a user could share their image on facebook and buy their image on a cup or canvas.
We also threw in some advertising banners as requested by the client.
The app was very simple barebones MVP style app. It was designed to test a problem and thrown away soon after. For that reason we were monitoring the app and every error was logged in real time during the weekend of the event. It went rather smoothly with zero downtime and we even hacked in a sponsor switch for day two last minute seeing as there were no problems.
The app it’s self was flooded with analytics, everything from user statistics and detailed information about every click and scroll was measured.
All in all we found out many years ago what everyone knows instinctually now, and that’s QR codes were not be best feature of this app and speed to access the photo was correlated with sales. QR codes were used by males 5x more than females. Also many people loved the free share on facebook option and there was potential to market this further in the future.
Overall everyone was happy with the outcome of this project, it was exciting and rapid and the insights gained were valuable.