If you’re in the printing business, you must’ve come across the paradox of digitization. That it solves problems that didn’t need solving. Photography is largely affected by this phenomenon.
With the advent of camera phones, photography is accessible to everyone. And apps like Instagram and Snapchat have made it easier than ever to share these photographs. Yet somehow, their emotional value has diminished. The younger generation is preoccupied with social acceptance in the forms of “likes” and “shares”.
The elder millennials must be able to imagine sitting in a blanket on a cold night, sipping hot chocolate and smiling at old photographs. What a beautiful experience it is to relive those special moments. And that experience is what you’re offering to your clients, not just a bound volume of prints.
However, this isn’t the experience the coming generation is familiar with. Therefore, it may not appeal to them in the same way. But they will, as well, accept this product if it’s adapted to suit their preferences. So there may be a way to address the situation. And that is, paradoxically, through technology.
You can let them digitally edit and order prints for their photographs by using an online photo album design tool. This gives them the flexibility and control that they’re accustomed to while maintaining the design and form of a photo album.
You are already printing photo albums for wedding photographs. Some of you may also be printing portfolios and catalogs. Millennials, however, form a large market that is still untapped. And it is important that you inculcate, in them, the practice of having their photographs printed.
It’s important because your competitors still haven’t figured out how to cater to this particular market segment. And, as mentioned earlier, there is a vast scope for expansion here.
That being said, we must identify the key elements that go into building a successful album print shop. It will help us define the roadmap and milestones for this particular industry. Get the first mover advantage by starting now. There are several steps to bank on this opportunity, as discussed below:
Step 1: Define the Use Cases
The first thing you need to figure out is the number of ways the customers can use the product. This understanding is necessary to be able to draft an effective marketing plan. Several common examples are gift items, memorabilia, and yearbooks.
You must be aware of these use cases in order to choose a Photo Album Design Software that suits your needs. For example, you’ll need to have a quote manager feature if you’re planning to print yearbooks that’ll require text overlays.
Step 2: Highlight the Value
You must highlight the sentimental value that photo albums have, along with other aspects that have a deeper thought and meaning behind them. These are the pillars that all your marketing material is going to be based on.
They may or may not be directly based on the use cases. For example, holding a physical copy of a photograph gives you a sense of permanence which is independent of the use case. Similarly, the sense of belonging and coherence you get from a yearbook is particular to the use case.
Step 3: The USP: Customizability
This is the factor that defines your product and differentiates it from those of your competitors. This is an important contributor to the success of your business. In this case, the USP is customizability. Your Photo Album Design Software will determine the extent of customizability.
By letting the customers design their own photo albums, you eliminate the hassle and cost of working with a designer. At the same time, it is important that you offer templates so that it isn’t overwhelming for the customer.
Step 4: Storefront
Next, you’re going to need a storefront. You can set it up on various e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, etc. or purchase a web-to-print storefront. Again, it is necessary that your Online Photo Album Design Tool is platform independent so that you can use the platform of your choice without worrying about compatibility.
The storefront must be compatible with mobile because your customers are more likely to view them on their cellular devices. It is an added advantage if the storefront is mobile-first.
Step 5: Marketing
Now that you have your store set up, it is time to market it. We’ve made several points above about the type of marketing material you’re going to need. You should ideally have content and marketing strategies planned out and documented.
Have as much visual element as possible. This is especially important since you are a printing service and most of your work will be visual.
Step 6: Aim for Recurring Customers
It’s great when a customer makes a purchase. But your work doesn’t stop there. You should count your efforts successful only when the customer becomes a repeat buyer. This is only possible when you deliver your best, every step of the way.
It is worth the extra effort because that’s what’s going to set you apart and turn the customers into your evangelists. A satisfied customer is the best marketer.
To put it in a nutshell, people invest their emotions in photographs. A photo album is a portal to some of our fondest memories. It will be a great achievement to bring photograph prints back because they are an expression and experience of humanity. We might as well be the sum of our memories.
Thus, it is possible to turn this opportunity into a business. And that is achievable by our product, Brush Your Ideas. But that’s not all you’re offering. It has a hidden social impact as well. It can help a lost generation grow roots. Consider it good karma. It always pays back in some form. To know more about this product, book a live demo now!
Mr. Pratik Shah is the Creative Head of Brush Your Ideas, a Web-to-Print technology solution offering consisting of magento product designer extension and readymade Web-to-Print Storefront. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid blogger and writes about ecommerce and web-to-print industry.