Photolabs do have a future!
Yes – the demand for standard photo prints fell to a fraction of the volumes two decades ago. Causing very hard times for an entire industry. But the digital transition opened up a world of new opportunities. And now, this opportunity is not only available for huge industrial labs and online-only providers, but offers great business for retail, in-store providers as well. Even for rather small ones. Be market-oriented, talk to the customer and be extremely effective – then you are successful.
As any other business, your store for photo services must attract cutomers’ attention. You have new kind of products: they are the tools to enjoy the photos in a new way, but they must be sold.
Place an eye-catching kiosk into a shopping mall (malls love such a service!!!) or build a stylish store in a busy shopping area. Use great design, superb images and display samples of all possible products. Ensure your staff is well trained with focus on sales, and not so much on technique.
And you want to market your business. Time to time you’ll want to create decoration, posters to show your seasonal offerings, leaflets to distribute and a professional website to get online attraction, too.
Talk to the customer
Sure, you have to offer standard prints, as they are still well required. But you must offer a much wider choice of sizes than in the good old times. And today the majority of your product will come from all kind of creative products: greeting cards, photobooks, calendars, wall decorations, gifts…. show how many different things you can make of your customer’s photos – they will love them.
And everyone in on hurry. Nice, if you deliver a photobook in a week – but imagine how popular you’ll be with a one-hour-photobook service! Be prepared to offer extremely quick service for as much product as possible.
Many of your customers are happy to design their artworks at home on their computer. But there are maybe even more who does not have the courage to start such a great job alone and would prefer to ask for assistance in certain steps, or just want to place an order and take the product right then is a few minutes. Listen to your customers – and offer both home and local, in-store ordering option.
Be very effective
The modern photolab sells hundreds of different products, all personalized; produces most of them right there, in the store to provide an instant service. This can only be successful if you are extremely effective.
You want your customers to design their creation as much alone as possible – but of course, you’ll help them when reuqired. You don’t want to spend time on transferring files, manually correcting images to fit to the printer or the media. And definitely the last thing you want is to waste maybe hours with complicated finishing of products, because of lack of properly sized raw materials or due to highly complex processes.
What you need is a complex workflow where all elements – from ordering clients through printing services until maching consumables and accessories – work so smoothly together like the cogwheels in a gearbox.
To help this, we created Creative PhotoCloud
Creative PhotoCloud integrates all elements you need to run a commercial photolab, dedicated for success in the era of digital photography.
Integrates all elements you need
Capture orders from remote customers via home client. Give assistance for those who need and collect orders on touchscreen kiosks in your store. Offer simple products like various print sizes, photo collages or the most complex creative ones like wall decorations, photobooks, calendars, gift items and much more. Let the orders flow through your system automatically and start the production with a mouseclick. Use the perfectly matched set of consumables and accessories to print and finish all the products you offer. Or let the system send your customers’ orders to dedicated central labs to make those complex products you don’t have the machinery to produce. Yet. And receive a comprehensive marketing package – from website templates through flyer layouts to store design concepts – to make your sales easier. All these, without the need for special competency of digital design of new products, without the hassle of integrating various software, data and hardware components, and the risk and time to find the proper consumables, accessorries and tools for smooth production. Creative PhotoCloud gives you all these from one source.