Zenfolio is the website host and designer voted #1 by photographers, and they’re sharing some quick tips to get your online print sales booming. Use promo code TBLZEN30 for 30% off your annual plan! Build a beautiful site with Zenfolio here.
Just like launching a brick and mortar store takes some planning before the doors should ever be opened to the public, the same goes for your online store. Here, Zenfolio covers four tips for perfecting the selling aspect of your website, from knowing who your audience is to prompting clients to buy through incentives—all so you can see the profits roll in.
Step 1: Know your audience
When deciding what products to offer, consider who your audience is for that particular event and gallery. For peewee soccer portraits, wallet prints, key chains and mugs will likely be the biggest sellers. And you can be sure no one is going to order a photo cutting board of their beautiful boudoir portrait. Some clients might not have the desire or the wall space for any print products, in which case you’ll want to offer digital downloads for sale in a variety of sizes or quantities.
The bottom line is that you need to create different price lists with the best products for each specific gallery. The products mom wants of her peewee soccer player are likely going to be very different than what a 26-year-old woman would buy for her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day.
Also keep in mind that some of your clients might be more price-conscious than others. It’s completely OK to have a healthy markup for your products for a wedding client, while cutting your margin significantly for a charity event.
Step 2: Build a beautiful product display
Just like when you see a beautiful outfit on a mannequin, selling is all about the presentation. When your photos look better, your clients buy more. So make sure your galleries are elegant and highlight the unique qualities of your work.
It’s also important to make the buying options clearly visible and enticing. Include high-quality photos of the available products in the gallery header and in the shopping cart. These should be displayed in a way that will make the customer want to buy. Have the “Buy” or “Add to Cart” button prominently and conveniently located on the page.
Every selling gallery should have:
- A clear call to purchase button
- A list of your featured products High-quality photos of the products
Step 3. Drive visitors to your galleries
Just like you need to drive traffic to your website to gain clients, it’s important to drive clients to their galleries so they can start purchasing. You can do this in several ways:
- Email invitations. Once a gallery is ready, send a nicely formatted email to your clients (and anyone else whose email you’ve captured for that event) to notify them. In the email, encourage them to share the link with their friends and family.
- Social media mentions. Create a few teaser shots from the event and post them on social media, tagging the clients. These will be seen by your clients and their entire social networks, creating excitement and driving traffic to your galleries. If you enable Visitor Sign In, you’ll have a list of potential buyers before your photos are even processed.
- Promo card with a link to the gallery. For your next event, create a gallery ahead of time and give it a friendly URL. Have some cards preprinted with this URL and pass them out to every attendee so they can go to your website and view your photos after the event. Set up the gallery to collect each visitor’s contact information to notify them once the photos are ready, and again you’ll gather a nice list of people for future marketing.
Step 4. Give your clients incentives to buy
You’ve brought people to your site and made it easy for them to make purchases. Sometimes that’s not enough. It’s easy to view images online but put off buying until later. Change this by giving your clients some additional incentives:
- Create time pressure. Set an expiration date on a gallery so they have a limited amount of time to purchase before their images go away. Make sure that expiration date is visible in the gallery. You can even send reminders a few days before the gallery expires.
- Offer a special promotion. Everyone loves a great deal. You can create early bird coupons for people who make purchases within the first week photos are online. Or you can include gift certificates toward prints as a part of your session fee to get people into the buying mindset right away.
- Bundle products into packages. Create a package of prints and products and lower the total cost of what customers would pay for the same items a la carte. The savings encourage visitors to buy more than they originally planned while feeling like they are saving money.
Looking for more? Start building your Zenfolio site for free today, to explore our best-in-industry selling tools and site customization tips. With a Zenfolio website, access these features and more:
- Zenfolio wants you to make the most out of your business. In addition to email invites, coupons, gift certificates and packages, it also has a shopping cart reminder feature. Your registered clients will receive emails reminding them of their unfinished orders, which encourages them to complete checkout.
- Zenfolio allows you to create an unlimited number of price lists and assign them to individual photos or galleries. These price lists can include products offered by Zenfolio partner labs, digital downloads or products you fulfill yourself.
- The Zenfolio Featured Products option allows you to select a list of your most popular (or most profitable) products to appear directly on your gallery or photo pages. The easy-to-use shopping cart that is built into every account displays the products available for sale and quickly guides the visitor from browsing to purchasing.