The answer we almost always hear is “Now!”
Well, we can’t do instantaneous retouching. But we recognize how absolutely critical time to market is for e-commerce, so we’ve been relentlessly focused on efficiency.
And the good news is that speed is inextricably connected to consistency and quality. Doing it right the first time, having predictable results, and leveraging automation is the fastest route to delivery.
That’s how we’ve managed to get to today’s announcement: for select Enterprise and Professional clients, we can deliver retouched product images on a granular timeline, in some cases as fast as 10 minutes.
Let’s back up real quick.
Every Pixelz subscriber has a default turnaround time in their SLA. Enterprise customers negotiate it per account or specification, but it’s generally something like 3 hours for Enterprise running Flow, Next Morning for Pro, and 48 hours for Solo.
We’re now able to make deadlines granular based on time of day, on a specification basis. This is most relevant for high volume studios running Flow production.
What do we mean by “granular based on time of day?”
The idea is to match real life operating deadlines and objectives in order to help customers hit KPIs like throughput, time to market, and budget numbers.
We want to deliver as many assets as possible during the same day, which is why we have a standard aggressive deadline like 3 hours for a Flow client. But if it’s late afternoon and you won’t be around to act on the delivery, the benefit for those particular images is limited.
So we could have a 3 hour deadline on images uploaded from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and then “next morning” from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. again.
That’s pretty cool! But why not get even more ambitious?
For the right client and retouching requirements, we can turn images around in as few as 10 minutes.
Woah! How can that happen, and what are some example schedules?
Let’s say you’re selling apparel, and your website uses on-model images for men’s and women’s and laydowns for kids.
You’ve got different workflows that both end with your images pushed into a central DAM where they’re then pushed to your website and your many, many other channels.
Maybe internally you require art director approval of retouched on-model images before publishing them. So you build deadlines around your art director’s schedule. Let’s say they review images 3 times a day, at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.
Model retouching is relatively time-intensive, so we won’t have wild turnaround times. Let’s say no less than one hour. You could have the following schedule:
On-Model Retouching Turnaround Schedule
Built for Art Director Approval at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.
On this schedule, every on-model image you shot before 3:00 p.m. is published the same day, and your first images are published by 11:00 a.m.
So now you have your men’s and women’s on-model images published. What about your kids flat lays?
Let’s say your flats have relatively simple retouching requirements. You’re hitting the fundamentals: background removal, consistent cropping, alignment, resizing, compression, and the like.
You’ve been using the specification and know that it’s consistently on quality. You don’t require art director approval.
These images will be used across sales channels and you want them in your system as fast as possible. Speed to market is the name of the game.
You can set extremely aggressive deadlines in this instance. Same-day shot to site? How about same hour shot-to-site!
Flat Lay Retouching Turnaround Schedule
Built for direct to site workflows
With a 10 minute retouching turnaround, it’s entirely possible the product you just photographed is published while you’re shooting the next product.
It’s up on your website, on your partner marketplaces, available for inside and outside sales. You can be generating sales within the hour you photographed a product!
In 2020, there’s just no reason retouching should be a bottleneck.
How are we able to accomplish such incredible turnaround times?
Two words that can be reduced to two letters: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
We’ve invested heavily in our digital lean production system that blends specialist editors and automated processes, and it’s yielding tremendous benefits for our customers.
You can read about how we’re leveraging AI in retouching, or watch our lead Computer Vision Scientist go into detail below.
If you’re an existing Pixelz Enterprise or Professional customer, contact your Customer Success Manager to investigate granular scheduling for your specifications.