Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

Case Study: Shutterfly

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Its as easy as a snap shot. Shutterfly has made great marketing decisions through-out the years. No matter the year they were always moving ahead of the technology of their time. With not many digital cameras flouting around and internet at slow dial-up connections, Shutterfly were allowing the upload of “digital images to order prints from a web-based company. ” This was new to people even with rabbit speed broadband. Always looking forward, Shutterfly now have become a “major force in the online photo-printing industry. ”

Shutterfly has put considerable effort into keeping quality in focus. Investing in certain business aids, the photo processing company has created a name for themselves and improved service quality. To showcase their quality they “invested in special printing equipment” so they could control the “clear, crisp and colorful” picture quality instead of relaying on orders from an outside photo processing firm that may not perform to Shutterfly’s standard. This maintained Shutterfly’s quality as reliable with very little to no variation of quality.

The new special printing equipment also included “photo enhancement functions” to provide customers with helpful photo improvements, like red-eye effect, to ensure their satisfaction. Furthermore, they distinguished themselves from other photo companies by giving costumers the option to upload and store their photos on Shutterfly’s website. They even “promised never to delete any photos” which provideds great customer contact and is highly valued by their costumer base. In all, Shutterfly has managed the challenges of heterogeneity very well and have created a reliable, quality photo processing company.

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Going through ups and downs throughout the years, Shutterfly has used marketing to draw customers to their product. Early on, they encouraged adoption through offering free photo printing. They gave away more than 80 percent of the prints in the first six months. Although after intense competition in 2003, Shutterfly needed to try something different. In 2005, CEO, Jeff Housenbold, launched “a next generation personal publishing platform” that would let costumers “take, use, and share photos” at their own home. But before the launch of this new platform they surveyed customers to gain better knowledge of customers needs and preferences.

This platform provided customers with company search qualities where they could experience Shutterfly prior to purchase. In addition the company “negotiated to license well known characters” such as Clifford and SpongeBob Squarepants for “personalized photo greeting cards, photo albums, and other products. ” To introduce these new offerings Shutterfly used “print ads in various parenting magazines and woman’s magazines and commercials on the Home Shopping Network. ” Shutterfly has shown their dedication to customers satisfaction by adding supplemental features as well as symbolic and experiential benefits to their offerings.

The CEO notes that “people have an intrinsic desire for social expression” and that prints are a great way to tell a story, however, he believes in telling the story through other ways. Widening their product mix, Shutterfly has provided T-shirts, jewelry boxes and tote bags that help satisfy that desire for social expression. “You will see a lot more of that” says a senior vice president. Additionally, licensing well-known Nickelodeon characters on greeting cards provides excellent symbolic benefits of playfulness and even fulfills peoples creativity.

In other words, “it tells a story. They even offer online interaction so that customers can share their stories quick and hassle free. Through considerable effort and strong customer contact, Shutterfly has provided offerings and major benefits to those offerings. Their are multiple reasons why Shutterfly would license Nickelodeon characters for personalized photo products. One reason is that the well-known characters create a popular product line that customers can utilize to share their “stories. ” It gives the customers a networking platform to start from and it is playful and fun. Also it provides wider options for customized photos.

For example, if a customer wanted to provide a frame on the picture then they could use one of these characters to do so. Lastly and most crucially, these characters are geared more towards children and as a photo company many of the processed photos tend to be memories of peoples children or past childhood. Providing these Nickelodeon characters is a great way to draw in customers and maybe even make a larger profit. They have sold 400 million prints, storing at least 1 billion images for its customers and have increased sales by a impressive 670 percent in the “last five years to nearly $100 million.

It is without question that Shutterfly is closely associated with quality and responsive service. They have maintained a excellent customer retention rate and are still expanding to this very day. Through ups and downs and hard competition they enable people to convey the strong emotion in their photos with ease. People want “to capture and share their experiences, to relive special moments, to communicate their memories,” and Shutterfly provides the best service to do so; the best service to tell a story.

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