Parents Will Buy Prints After They Have the Digital Files

Parents will buy prints after they have the digital files in hand.

Who in the world is propagating this madness?!?! Sure they will buy prints, just not from you. They will purchase from Walmart, Shutterfly, and the like. So, let me get this straight, you are ok doing all of the hard work and letting these other companies profit from it? Come on! This is either a nightmare or a bad joke (the jury is still out on which one).

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

FACT: Once parents purchase only the digital files, they will only come back and buy physical product 7% of the time.

Bottom line, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SHIRT HERE. You cannot build a sustainable business this way; it is a race to the bottom of the market.

While parents may “intend” on buying physical product, we all know what happens: Life gets in the way. They become distracted, the files sit on their computer, and, the next thing you know, their kids are graduating medical school.

Instead, what we are seeing our most successful studios do is create a compelling package that includes a single transaction for print and digital files combined.

Successful studios create compelling packages that include print and digital files combined.

With this model, parents get what they want at a price photographers can make a great living at. Everyone wins and you are not waiting and hoping for your clients to come back for a second sale.

Some in our industry promote “offer the digital file first”, but in the school and sports portrait business, this doesn’t always make business sense. Good business is backed by unbiased, objective data. Look at how parents really spend their money.

Our sales data shows that when packages sold that DO NOT include digital files, the digital file add-on sale rate is between 10% – 12%. That is 9 out of 10 people who told you they wanted the digital file first, are satisfied WITHOUT it, and are happy with just their prints.

If we are being honest, where is the data from these other companies supporting that “digital first” or “digital only” is what customers not only want, but are willing to spend money on? Where is that data?

In our previous article, “Parents Only Want Digitals”, we showed that when consumers are given the option of ordering a physical product side-by-side with a digital download for the same price, they choose the physical product 95% of the time. That said, when the package is sold first and the digital file as an add-on at a discounted price, the studio can benefit by delivering the digital file in a 2nd sale opportunity.

hhimagehost allows you to sell digital files as part of a 2nd sale gallery.

Here is an example from our customer’s experiences of how sales can add up just by how and when you offer products and digital images:

  • League X has 400 athletes:
  • From this league 300 (75%) order a package.
  • The average purchase is $30….that is $9,000 total sales from this league.

If 12% of the buyers (36 people) bought a package and the digital add-on for $15, then your sales from these digital file add-ons will be an additional $540.

If you deliver those digital images in a 2nd sale gallery, typically 7% will buy additional product – roughly another $88.20

Then 12% of those customers who already just bought print packages, will purchase more product when you market the 2nd sale opportunity to them – an additional $1080 for a job like this.

All of these incremental decisions add up, don’t they?! This is why you CAN NOT focus on single sale. You must look at the entire sales process. Not just how it affects your success this season, but the entire multi-year agreement with that organization. The companies out there propagating the message of “digital first” or digital only” want you to ignore data metrics like this.

So to increase your sales on school and sports portraits:

  • Sell print packages first.
  • Sell digital files as add-ons.
  • Drive traffic to a 2nd sale gallery by delivering your files in the gallery.
  • Focus marketing product since it will reinforce your initial sale and your add-on sales opportunities.

This is why all of the proven team and individual sports photography sales programs that we share with our customers drive “prints first” with a “digitals second” model. Our programs focus on the details of what to offer, when to offer it and how to maximize your sales. You control your branding and you set the prices. This is your business. Watch out for this because not all companies give you that freedom. H&H customers see the fruits of this every day by selling products first, digital add-ons second, and include a package insert with every purchase that drives the parents to either retrieve their digital download and/or place a 2nd order online with hhimagehost’s fully-automated 2nd sale system. Did we mention we don’t force you to pre-purchase thousands of dollars of digital download credits? hhimagehost customers have a variety of ways so sell digital downloads. But they all have one thing in common. No upfront image download credits. Bottom line, we get paid, when you get paid.

At H&H Color Lab, we believe that by educating our customers on how to be profitable at every step of the sales process, we create a long-lasting and self-sustaining ecosystem for all.

What do you think? Tell us below.

Team H&H

H&H Color Lab is not only the market leader in the sports photography business, we are your partner. We’ve been helping independent sports photographers run profitable businesses for 49 years.

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