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How and why I set up a panoramic print e-commerce business
With the iOS6 update Apple iPhone 5 and 4s owners as well as iPod touch can now take fantastic panorama photos. The camera stitches together 4x 8MP photos to result in a single 18MB 10,800 pixel wide photo. This works out to 150″ wide at the native 72ppi resolution! The problem (or ‘pain point’ in terms of startup speak) in terms of appreciating these photos on your devices is that the aspect ratio is over 4:1. Looking at them on my 27″ display only results in a narrow filmstrip even at full screen. And on a laptop, even the new retina MacBook Pro, you’re going to have to stick your head into the device to attempt to appreciate it! So you’re really going to want to print your iphone panorama photos.
I did some research online and found out that there was no (easy) way of getting these printed at a decent size in the aspect ratio of the photo. So I decided to start up my own business iPanorama Prints offering this service! I started off testing the idea using Google Adwords, Tim Ferriss The 4-Hour Work Week style and found an acceptable click through rate and built the site using Shopify making use of their excellent Build a Business competition. I’ve been experimenting with pricing and also currency and it seems that changing from GBP to USD has done the trick with orders now coming in from right across the States! I’m also using the Gary Vaynerchuk Thank You Economy approach of engaging with customers using social media in an authentic way and making sure that customer service is genuinely excellent.
This is a classic entrepreneurial case of loving a product or feature, personally feeling a pain point and then coming up with a simple and attractive value proposition solution.
How to print your iPhone panorama photos in 3 simple steps
1) Connect your phone to your Mac or PC using the cable – if you email the photos off the iPhone automatically reduces the size to just 8MB which can affect the printing quality.
2) Go to iPanorama Prints and place your order – the business offers three different sizes, 18″ 36″, 72″.
3) Send the photo using wetransfer.com.
I hope you enjoy taking your panorama photos as much as myself and the team enjoy printing and fulfilling them 🙂[Update March 2015 – we now have US distribution so orders from the US (our biggest market) are being fulfilled a lot faster now]