Starting any business requires a bit of chutzpah and a lot more market research, and this is no different for a photobook business. If you’re considering starting an online photobook business, consider starting by studying the industry. According to research by the management consulting firm McKinsey, online premium products sales will triple by 2025. As Millennials are ready to pay more for personalized luxury goods, premium purchases are no longer reserved for the over-forty crowd either.
As reported in our Luxury personalization & its opportunity for print: The rise of the high-end photo product article, the online photo printing industry is experiencing notable innovations. From die-cut or embossing to high definition photography printing, people have even less reasons to stop capturing their precious moments. A study by Market Research Future expects the global photo printing market to reach a valuation of $27 million by 2023.
Indeed, with innovations come opportunities, and building a business in such a growing industry comes with a range of benefits; to name a few:
- Safeguard growth of your online photo printing business thanks to the volume represented by Millennials and their willingness to pay a premium for personalized goods
- Start anew with a low-risk option of print-on-demand with high margins
- Charge up your online retail categories
- Ensure conversions with user-generated content by offering them personalized products
The photobook remains a consumer’s favorite, essentially as an antidote to this digital era where people continue to yearn for the physicality of a photo product. To join this lucrative enterprise and start a photobook business, you will need to:
1. Create a business idea based on data & analytics
After deciding to start a business, people jump into eCommerce merchandising a bit too fast, with the hope of sales realisation. On the contrary, it is more advisable to start with planning. A well-researched business plan should include:
- A market analysis with a thorough study of the market itself, a SWOT examination, an investigation into the market leaders and their product offerings, and the niches to explore.
- Determine what kind of product or different categories of products you want to offer. This will, in turn, determine how niche you want to be.
- Research the cost, which includes the market size, industry growth rate, trends, profitability rate, etc.
- Identify a customer base by defining your targeted audience to have clarity on the products, sales funnel, digital presence, user-interface of website, and more.
- Once you know the market, you’ll want to consider what kind of infrastructure you will need.
- Choose your product(s)
While deciding on products to sell, it is important to consider the trends and customer preferences for photobooks. Nonetheless, blindly following trends won’t lead you far. As many businesses are wondering about how to conquer niche markets which have usurped the mass market, your decision of choosing the product should be based on market price, cost, profit margins, availability, storage requirements, market demand, and popularity.
For an online photobook printing business, there are three main types:
- Flipbook: A soft, magazine type book.
- Hardcover Photobook: It has two different cover types. Linen and printed cover.
- Layflat Photobook: Here, each page opens completely flat allowing for full-page layouts.
Along with the types of photobooks you’ll want to offer, you’ll want to consider other variables in the choice of product offering, including types of paper, embellishment options, cover customization, etc.
2. Pick your optimal network of suppliers/fulfillers
After you have a better idea of your product, it will be time to think of the operations. Depending on the scale of your online photo retailing business, the choice of fulfillers may offer new opportunities. Selecting a fulfiller with quality finished products and a worldwide network will be a way to secure current business, future growth, and the possibility of offering a proper omnichannel shopping experience. Do not forget that, nowadays, customers want what they want in record-time, from a local supplier, and at minimized operational and environmental costs.
3. Choose an eCommerce Platform
Your eCommerce platform will be one of the most prominent aspects of your business. Just like running a retail store, you need to apply the same level of strategic thinking and planning before starting your eCommerce journey. How to pick the right eCommerce platform is no simple decision to make. While deciding on the one that suits your needs, keep factors such as hidden maintenance and update costs, effectiveness of support, mobile friendliness, SEO capacities, and security.
4. Product designer solution – the most important factor
The photobook market is reaching a point of maturity and vendors need to differentiate their offering in order to retain their share of the pie. This type of personalization is making its way in most facets of online retail. If we look at product personalization specifically, Deloitte research found that at least one in three consumers want the ability to personalize their products. Moreover, the majority of consumers would be willing to pay more for a personalized product – a number on the rise with Millennials coming into their prime purchasing years.
It is always a good idea to stay ahead of market and choose a leading photo album product designer tool that integrates with your eStore, and lets customers design and craft their photo albums to the true sense of product personalization.
You can make your online store stand out by integrating such a tool. Many product personalization solutions exist out there and many elements must be taken into considerations before moving forward with product personalization, such as digital assets and capabilities you have readily available, or the support for those embellishment options leading segment growth. Indeed, for photobooks, responsiveness, larger formats but more importantly exclusive materials and special finishes will determine segment growth, likely to be around 3 % per annum until 2021.
We have tried to cover almost all the things you will need to make your photobook business launch a success story. Just as any form of product personalization offering, photobooks will allow your company to differentiate itself and grow as customers crave canvases to express themselves. Understandably, many businesses want to emulate the success of major industry players that have seen their sales grow substantially after featuring product personalization and customization on their webstore. Everything kept aside, the bottom line is to keep trying and providing your customers with what they desire for the price you ask.