Maximizing Sales in Volume Photography: A Guide to Products, Pricing, and Promotions

Written by
October 27, 2023

When it comes to making sales, what you offer and how you present it can be as important as the products themselves. Creating an appealing mix of packages and a la carte items with strategic pricing strategies has a powerful impact on who orders and what they ultimately purchase. 

It is vital to keep your offerings simple and appropriate for the job. This blog will discuss popular items, strategic bundling, and how to use price sheets and limited-time offers to drive sales for your volume photography studio.

What Products Do Customers Usually Buy?

Even though print labs can produce hundreds of products, knowing which items are most likely to yield multiple sales is essential so you know what to make available to your customers. Using this strategy to price and package items accordingly will make it easier for your customers to find the products they want and ultimately for you to maximize your profits.

The top ten items photographers sell on PhotoDay are:

  1. 5x7 Print
  2. High-Resolution Digital Download
  3. Pack of 4 Wallet Prints
  4. 8x10 Print
  5. 3.5x5 Print
  6. Social Sharing Download
  7. 4x6 Print
  8. 3.5x5 Magnet
  9. Memory Mate Vertical 8x10
  10. 3.5x5 Prints (Set of 2)

As you can see, these are “normal” items that fit standard frame sizes and are easy to display. Remember this when building your packages and price sheets, and offer these more practical items before adding niche products like canvas prints or bag tags.

Consider the types of photos you take, the age of your subjects, and your target market when determining your product mix, and only offer what fits your job. A holiday ornament makes sense for fall picture sales at an elementary school, but it wouldn’t work for a spring baseball league. Likewise, you probably wouldn’t want to offer trader cards on a dance studio job.

Building Price Sheets

PhotoDay enables you to create custom price sheets to build packages, add products, and set pricing. During the building process, you will determine a starting point for your pricing margins by specifying either a percentage-based or dollar-based markup on your cost from the lab.

Multi-pose is your main key to success here, meaning offering multiple shots of the same subject. You should offer at least 4-6 images per subject, but as many as 20 or more depending on the type of event. With online selling, consider the gallery photos as your inventory. Having more options for customers can lead to more significant sales opportunities. Depending on your picture day strategy, these could be different poses and looks from a single pose: full body, half body, headshot, horizontal, smiling, game face for sports, or silly and serious faces for schools. 

The options to boost your digital inventory are endless: combining varied poses, different crops, black and white versions, buddy shots, graphic backgrounds using PhotoDay’s Knockouts, and group photos like teams, classes, or dance groups. Be proactive on picture day to ensure your image inventory will match your price sheet and adjust it accordingly if you cannot capture the number of photographs you need. 

Remember the top ten list and keep your offering concise and straightforward. Stick to what you know your customers want, and keep in mind what is relevant to the type of organization you are servicing.

Be strategic and take advantage of your opportunity to make multiple price sheets. Even though your efforts are generally the same, you should price every market differently for volume photography. With school pictures, for example, you can leverage higher volumes against lower margins to make a substantial profit. With leagues and dance, parents have committed to involve their children in these extracurricular activities so these audiences will view a photograph’s value differently. You should be able to adjust your pricing upward.

General Pricing Strategies

A great way to upsell is to build your packages with bulk savings in mind. Packages offer an instant discount that a parent is more likely to choose over the higher cost of multiple mix and match a la carte items.

How you price your photographs will be a significant factor in determining the number of sales you generate and your profitability. You must build your overhead, costs, and processes into your pricing. Photographing on a natural background will take you less time to process than making composites. If you are adding effort in post-processing or using a paid service like Pixnub to finalize images, do not absorb that cost. Keep in mind that your time is money.

You need to know your market and ensure your prices aren’t below average. Remember, you are selling more than just images and products. The quality of your photography matters. You are selling your studio’s professionalism, service, and experience. Make sure you compensate yourself accordingly.

As with any pricing strategy, ensure you understand your market and customer. Do some research and consult with your professional network to find out what other photographers in your area charge for similar products and services. Avoid the temptation to win jobs by making your studio the lowest-priced option. Higher-end opportunities may interpret a low cost as low quality and look elsewhere.

Once you’ve considered all these factors and set your pricing, you can utilize discounts and limited-time offers to drive ordering.

A “Best Price Expiration” sale is a great example. Let customers know that you are offering your best price for a limited time, and that price won’t be around forever. Tell the customer that money-saving packages will disappear after your best pricing is over. Creating this sense of urgency will naturally create a bump in sales.

General Package Strategy

Now it’s time to have some fun and make some sales!

How you present packages can make all the difference in your sales. While it might be tempting to get creative with package names, we’ve learned that keeping package names as clear and easy to understand as possible increases your chances that a parent will purchase a package over a la carte items.

Rather than using Package A, B, or C, consider naming your packages more along the lines of Large Family Pack, Most Popular Pack, The Perfect Pack, Economy Pack, Basic Pack. Not only do these package names allude to what they include, but they direct your customer to packages that offer a better deal.

Your packages are part of your marketing, so make sure your creativity shines through. Don’t use boring names like Package A, B, and C; have fun and interact with your audience, even use emojis!

Would a sports league parent rather buy Package 1 or the Ultimate Athlete Combo? Dance families would appreciate the En Pointe Print Set. Little Learner Bundle for school pictures or a My-Kid-Is-Too-Cute-Not-To-Order Package could apply almost anywhere. Just make it memorable.

Provide bundle savings of at least 15% and scale the savings with the size of the package. Keep your lowest-priced packages basic and add the most wanted items into the higher tiers to encourage higher sales. Clearly define the savings in the package description and ensure parents fully understand why purchasing a more extensive package is advantageous. 

Drive value further by telling parents they can mix and match poses within a package. Realizing they can choose multiple images will make them more likely to buy more pictures and products. This wasn’t an option in the paper order form days. Parents and grandparents with that experience might not even consider packages if they don’t realize multiple photos are an option.

Finally, be sure to offer digital downloads. They are very popular and deliver high profitability with minimal overhead. Adding them to packages instantly boosts your real value and the customer’s perceived value, which could be the difference between selling or not selling a bundle.

Finding the right product mix and pricing strategy for your studio is a primary driver of sales and profitability. You will get there if you pay attention to what is selling, offer your customers realistic choices, and price appropriately. Shorten the learning curve with PhotoDay's many resources to guide you toward a volume photography business that thrives.

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