Nowadays, we collectively take more photos than ever before. Most of us have a smartphone in our pocket or bag, making it easy to capture each important moment and even some of the less important ones.
Rather than taking a physical camera roll to a photography shop to be developed, as in the old days, we have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of images on our “virtual” camera rolls instead. Mixtiles, an Israel-based startup, has created a mobile app to transform those images into stunning wall art.
I’ll be the first to admit the idea of hanging photos on my wall fills me with dread. On one too many occasions, I’ve ended up pulling the paint off – but the great thing about Mixtiles is that you can stick and restick the tiles wherever you want, all without causing any damage.
The size of the photography industry in 2022 is $10.1 billion, and the mobile application market size is even more significant, amounting to $187.85 billion in 2021, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 13.4%.
Mixtiles has identified a potentially lucrative business area, but several other companies offer a similar service. In this Mixtiles competitors analysis, I will compare the top photo printing companies to determine which ones are in the strongest position.
The Bottom Line Up Front
One of my good friends develops mobile applications, and he’s always telling me how hard it is for companies to stand out – especially in a crowded space such as the photo printing market. However, if any company manages to do it, it’s Mixtiles.
The company has excellent financials with annual revenue of $18 million, and its marketing strategies give a high return on investment (ROI), putting it in a powerful position, even against B2B rivals like VistaPrint. Some competitors operate in the same industry, but Mixtiles’s offering is unique, which is what allows it to thrive.
List of Mixtiles Main Competitors
Mixtiles Business Strategy
Mixtiles is a software company that turns photographs into wall art. It was founded in 2015, and its headquarters are in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Many other businesses are operating in this industry and providing a similar service to Mixtiles. Consequently, the company’s unique selling point – that you can stick its products to walls without causing damage – is crucial to its overall business strategy.
Mixtiles’s mission is to “make the most beautiful, affordable and simple wall photos in the world.” It serves customers in more than thirty countries, with key markets in the UK, Europe, and the US using a production revenue model.
In 2022, an Israel-based investment firm named Greenfield Partners closed $350 million in new funds, part of which – the Greenfield Partners Fund II – is intended to invest across fifteen early-stage startups, including Mixtiles. Mixtiles has been through two rounds of funding so far and has two main investors.
The company opts for a direct-to-consumer (D2C) business model. Consequently, email marketing plays a vital role in moving customers down the funnel. According to Mixtiles’s co-founder, Eytan Levit, the company aims to collect email addresses early in the funnel to monitor each customer’s journey and apply what it learns to future marketing campaigns.
In 2020, Mixtiles announced a partnership with MyHeritage, a global genealogy platform for discovering your past. The partnership involves a new product integration for turning family photos into wall art. MyHeritage users will receive exclusive discounts of up to 50% and free global shipping.
Crucially, Mixtiles has eight patents protecting its products from being blatantly copied, which is particularly important since the industry is so competitive.
In addition to allowing customers to frame their photographs, Mixtiles Art offers framed artwork. You can purchase pictures, minimalist prints, travel designs, and everything in between. By expanding its product portfolio, Mixtiles can reach a wider audience and command a more significant market share.
Furthermore, Mixtiles Art also collaborates with independent artists such as Cat Coquillette. These partnerships are mutually beneficial because the artist usually promotes Mixtiles while promoting their products.
Because Mixtiles still has relatively low brand awareness, its website strongly emphasizes trust, including the company’s Trustpilot and App Store ratings, which are included to make new customers feel more comfortable placing an order. The offer of a full refund if you are unsatisfied with your order is also highly compelling.
Mixtiles’s estimated annual revenue is $18 million.
Mixtiles Competitors Analysis
Mixtiles competes against companies like Photobox and MeshCanvas in the online photo printing industry.
Photobox is a digital photo printing company founded in 2000 with headquarters in London, United Kindom, and another office in Paris, France. It operates in over ten countries, most of which are in Europe, and it has served over six million customers.
The company’s business strategy focuses on selling customizable products like calendars and photo books, which are also highly personal. Hence, much of Photobox’s brand messaging emphasizes storytelling and “togetherness.”
Photobox uses a production revenue model: customers choose an item (such as a wall print), select the photos they want on the product, and Photobox finally creates that customized product to the customer’s specifications. It offers a 110% satisfaction guarantee and fast delivery.
Additionally, Photobox has a successful mobile app available for iOS and Android. The company offers fifty free photos per month with a specific discount code to encourage people to download and use the app. Unsurprisingly, the app has almost five stars on the Apple app store; it gives customers a great deal and is also easy to use and visually pleasing.
To counter the highly competitive nature of the photo printing industry, Photobox focuses on boosting customer retention through compelling discounts and special offers.
In 2006, Photobox merged with its French counterpart, Photoways, and Stan Laurent became its head. Then, in 2011, it acquired personalized card company Moonpig, creating the Photobox Group. The group owns five brands: Hofmann, Photobox, Greetz, PosterXXL, and Moonpig.
Following the appointment of Jo Lavender, who used to work at Pinterest as Head of Brand, the company underwent a “hard reset” of its marketing plans. Lavender wanted to reappraise what the brand stood for so it could compete effectively with giants like Etsy and Notonthehighstreet in the “thoughtful gifting” sector.
Introducing a new logo and an app resulted in a 12% year-on-year increase in brand consideration and a 44% year-on-year growth in brand awareness.
Photobox’s estimated annual revenue is $221 million.
VistaPrint is a Dutch e-commerce company that began producing digital and physical marketing materials for small businesses in 1995. It is wholly owned by a publicly-traded Irish company called Cimpress plc, and today, it has a much broader product offering, including photo gifts and calendars, clothing, and stationary.
The company didn’t adopt the VistaPrint name until 1999 when it adopted an internet-based business model. In 2005, it filed its initial public offering (IPO) and started trading on the Nasdaq. VistaPrint sold 5.5 million shares at $12 each, while company management and investors sold another 4.5 million for a yield of $54 million.
VistaPrint has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through low-price value propositions and automation.
Naturally, the photo gifts make VistaPrint a competitor of Mixtiles. You can buy mugs, cushions, blankets, books, posters, tiles, and keyrings, to name just a few items, customized with photos of your choice.
VistaPrint uses a production revenue model. Orders are processed online, and products are created using a formula based on print run quantity, paper stock type, ship by dates, and type of job. Customers unsatisfied with the final product can either request a free reprint or receive an account credit.
In 2006, VistaPrint opened a European office in Barcelona, Spain, and three years later, the company relocated to Venlo, Netherlands.
VistaPrint has a range of Eco Products for environmentally conscious consumers, featuring recycled and responsibly sourced materials. Introducing this range is smart since so many individuals and businesses are increasingly trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
Another excellent component of VistaPrint’s business strategy is its collaborations. For example, VistaPrint and Pharrell Williams teamed up in 2021 to make “i am OTHER,” a creative collective that was featured in a Billboard article.
Founded in 2016 with headquarters in Owing Mills, Maryland, PhotoSquared LLC offers an easy-to-use mobile app allowing users to print photos from their camera roll and create photo squares. These squares are lightweight with a matte finish and can stick to almost any flat surface, and they are water and UV-resistant and made in the USA.
People have downloaded the PhotoSquares app over 200,000 times, which is unsurprising since it is one of the fastest ways to turn digital images into physical prints.
PhotoSquared is owned by Strategic Factory, a Maryland-based company specializing in marketing, signage, branding, and printing. Several relationship managers coordinate Strategic Factory’s brands, including Graphic Tango, Master Signs, Chesapeake Sign Co., and PhotoSquared.
In 2020, PhotoSquared exposed the private information of thousands of customers – including their photos, order details, and addresses – by storing them in a public Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage bucket with no password.
The data dates back to 2016 and was updated daily, so this severe breach will undoubtedly have knocked consumer confidence in the brand.
PhotoSquared’s estimated annual revenue is between $1 million and $5 million.
Keepsake is a startup app company that offers photo printing and framing at an affordable price. It was founded in 2015 by Adam Weiss, and its headquarters are in New York, New York. In addition to using the mobile app, Keepsake also has a website that allows people to place orders.
There are several different frames to choose from, with prices starting at just $29 for a 9”x9” bond frame and going up to $119 for a 23”x23” wyoming frame. The company uses a production revenue model: customers choose a photo and preview it in various frames before selecting one, then Keepsake makes the frame by hand in the USA and ships the order in ten days.
The main costs Keepsake faces are from the professional framers it hires and premium materials such as solid wood. However, this is part of the company’s business strategy; its products are intended to be of much higher quality than its competitors.
In a recent article, the New York Times wrote that it uses Keepsake, and BusinessInsider has also written an extremely positive review. This kind of press coverage will likely have significantly impacted business for the app company.
To boost brand awareness, Keepsake operates a blogger program that allows social media users with a large following to gain free products in exchange for promotions or reviews.
Limited information about Keepsake’s financial position is available online, but the company’s estimated annual revenue is less than $5 million.
Cheerz is a French photo printing company that offers live photo printing from your phone, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and DropBox. It was founded in Paris in 2012 and has a broad range of products, including photo books, fridge magnets, wall decor, photo calendars, boxes, puzzles, and cards.
Out of all the companies I’ve discussed in this article, Cheerz is the most environmentally friendly. It has been a climate-neutral company since 2020, thanks to its carbon-offsetting actions, including reforestation.
Cheerz, like its competitors, uses a production revenue model. The company also allows customers to choose the materials their products are produced with; for example, you could opt for an FSC 70% mix certified photo album, which is more sustainable.
Cheerz’s target demographic is young people likelier to make ethical shopping choices since much of the company’s marketing is geared toward responsible business.
Unsurprisingly, one of Cheerz’s most successful marketing channels has been TikTok. The company partnered with Addict Mobile to create an in-feed auction ad using TikTok’s ad manager. The campaign resulted in a 7% reduction in cost per acquisition (CPA) and doubled the install per mile (IPM) for Cheerz across the year.
In 2022, Cheerz announced a new partnership with Make-A-Wish France, an association helping sick children for over 50 years. As part of the partnership, Cheerz has launched a Solidarity photo album which will result in a five-euro donation to the charity each time it is purchased before the end of the year.
Cheerz’s estimated annual revenue was over $10 million in 2021.
Mixtiles SWOT Analysis
This SWOT analysis covers Mixtiles’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Bold, easy-to-use website
- Highly effective email marketing strategies
- Compelling deals help attract new customers and boost retention
- Effective partnerships with other companies
- The majority of products and designs are patented
- Good financial performance
- Strong funding rounds
- High rating on TrustPilot
- User-friendly app
- Low brand recognition
- Limited product portfolio
- Printing can be slow when there is high demand
- Low barriers to entry in the industry
- Mobile apps are an increasingly popular way to order products
- Mixtiles could expand its product portfolio
- Branch into B2B sales, rather than just B2C
- Use new marketing techniques to reach more customers
- Develop more of a brand identity
- Highly competitive market
- Physical stores may be able to offer the same service faster
- Competitors could steal customers by charging less money
- A security breach could result in people’s private photos being acquired against their permission
FAQs – Mixtiles Competitors Analysis
Question: What material is used by Mixtiles?
Answer: Mixtiles use a plastic frame with a photograph printed on a foam board.
Question: What is similar to Mixtiles?
Answer: Several companies offer a similar photo printing service to Mixtiles, including Photobox, Photosquared, VistaPrint, MeshCanvas, and Keepsake.
Question: Is Mixtiles good quality?
Answer: Mixtiles products are of high quality, as is reflected by the company’s excellent TrustPilot and Appstore reviews.
Question: Who is Mixtiles’s biggest competitor?
Answer: Mixtiles faces serious competition from all the brands in this article, but VistaPrint is the biggest threat based on revenue.
Question: Which is the best photo printing company?
Answer: The answer entirely depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re a business and you need a professional company with design skills, VistaPrint is the best option. If you prefer to shop at environmentally friendly companies, Cheerz is the one for you. Mixtiles is an excellent option to put your photos on the wall without damage, while Keepsake is ideal for professionally framed pictures.
In 2020, the size of the photo printing market decreased by approximately 25%. However, it is beginning to show signs of recovery, with a predicted CAGR of 3% until 2025, which is good news for Mixtiles and other companies like it.
Mixtiles offers a great solution to a common problem, which is the most important thing a company should do, especially in this industry. Combined with its excellent marketing strategies, this puts Mixtiles in a strong position overall. It faces fierce competition, especially from companies like Cheerz and Photobox, but there is no reason to think it will lose ground to either of them.