It turns out it’s actually a really difficult thing to achieve, and the folks at Imagely are the first players in the WordPress ecosystem to do on samasitu. And to do it really well actually.
What is automatic print fulfillment anyway?
Maybe a few definitions are in order here.
eCommerce, in the context of a photographer selling prints, is the ability to charge money online for those prints, on a website or app
fulfillment is the process of getting the order from the website, physically printing the images, then shipping them to the buyer
self-fulfillment is when the photographer (= the site owner) is responsible for printing the images (either at home, or at a print lab of their choice) and then personally shipping the package out to the buyer
auto-fulfillment is what makes life easier for photographers, a process that goes something like this:
a new print order comes through on the website. While the money gets forwarded to your account, the site automatically forwards the order details – including the high-res image files – to a print lab
the print lab then… well… prints the image(s) and then ships them to the buyer directly, in a package that has the photographer’s branding on it (aka a “white-label” package)
during all this time, the photographer is asleep at home. When they wake up, they’ll see they made a profit (for the markup they decided to set above the base print prices of the lab).
NextGen Gallery now brings auto-fulfillment to WordPress (US & Canada only, for now)
If you’re a WordPress user, you’re likely already familiar with the popular NextGen Gallery plugin.
Their Pro extension brings powerful photography eCommerce capabilities to WordPress sites, allowing you to sell (via Stripe or PayPal):
custom self-fulfilled prints and photo-based products
and now also auto-fulfilled prints via the White House Custom Colour lab in Minnesota, US
plus it’s all with zero commissions (you just pay the early NextGen Pro subscription), you can use coupons for special offers, and sales tax gets calculated automatically