If you sell photo products, you’re likely already aware of the high spike in sales that occurs during the Christmas season.
You might not have felt the impact yourself, but this is something the printing industry as a whole has adapted to. Smart companies know when to apply extra staffpower. Just how busy can it get? Look at what this report has to say:
Enter the likes of Vistaprint, Snapfish, Shutterfly and PhotoBox, the last of which covers Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and employs about 400 extra staff at this time of year to cope with an estimated 2.5 million orders in December alone.
However, Christmas is far from the only gift-giving time of the year. Summer holidays and weddings, for example, also feature personalised photo gifts. When you also consider special days, such as birthdays, mothers days and other celebrations, it’s clear that there are opportunities to sell photoproducts off-season, too.
It’s all to do with tapping into what many are calling a “growing gifting culture”, as Research and Markets calls it. In one study, they report that
Today, consumers not only purchase items to gift others, but also for self-gifting. Consumers also purchase personalized gifts for self-use. Customizing gifts through personalization, configuration, or on-demand printing enables value- and differentiator-addition to general gifts to make them unique.
So, now you’re surely wondering how you can sell these products during the quieter season? Well, here are 5 ways to improve your sales outside of the Christmas period.
1: Try marketing with themed content
By tailoring your content to match the current season, you can greater inspire your customers to create photo products. Consider content that offers guides on how to create inspirational photobooks, or simply showcases brilliant examples.
By tapping into key events, such as valentine’s day or the summer holiday season, you can encourage people to create custom products to celebrate. Make sure you include lots of photographs as inspiration, as a strong graphical element will help grab attention.
Make sure you showcase how different products, such as cards, t-shirts or photobooks, can be used for different occasions. Once you have this great content, be sure to spread it via social media to reach as many people as possible.
2: Use Google Adwords To Keep Things Local
Google Adwords is a great way to reach target groups and, in this instance, you should use it to target people within your area. This way, your promotions will reach people nearby, rather than a couple of cities away.
When using Google’s PPC (Pay Per Click) service, you can set ads to be displayed over specific periods. So, target special promotions ahead of popular seasons. Try advertising gift cards ahead of valentine’s day, photobooks during the wedding season or even mugs during father’s or mother’s day.
It may seem complicated, but the trick lies in using a simple, catchy keyword that combines your product with the occasion. Try using some of the following:
- Wedding photobooks
- Holiday photobooks
- Valentine’s cards
- Birthday mugs
3: Use Facebook Ads to target interested people nearby
While Google Adwords is perfect for targeting people looking for specific products – and at a very specific period in time – Facebook can be used to target a very specific group of people in general.
Specifically, you can target your Facebook Ads by location, demographics, interests, jobs, marital status and many more factors. Yet it goes even deeper than this – with Facebook, you can target people with certain relationship statuses and even during very specific life events (like birthdays). All of these can be used to promote the right products to the right people, giving each group a direct, targeted message. *
Be a little creative and connect users to their ideal products. Is valentine’s approaching? Aim your content towards younger people, especially those that are recently married. At the same time, you can target young mothers with personalised products, such as photobooks and canvases, that celebrate their children.
4: Use time-limited offers
Having a special offer with a very limited time period will help to create a sense of urgency in some of your customers, helping them make a quicker decision. You can use this during a very quiet period, or use it to promote an upcoming season – it’s up to you.
Create an offer and send it to your current customers – both e-mail and sms are valid methods. Don’t forget to put a large display up in your store, too, as this will draw in people off the street.
5: Use your point of sales to inspire upselling
Don’t just let your customers wait in a line to buy one product. Use that opportunity to encourage and inspire them to buy more, whether it’s right now or the next time they visit.
This is an age-old method used throughout businesses. Have you ever noticed adverts or products while waiting in line, only to consider said items or products later on? There’s a reason it works, so why not apply it to your own store?
Add some smaller gifts by your point of sale and promote them within clear, visible range of the line. If you can also offer coupons and additional offers for the next transaction, as this will ensure a higher rate of customers return after their initial purchase.