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Moving picture day online is a thrilling step into a world of possibilities. By taking your volume photography business online, you will not only save countless hours of tedious paperwork but also provide a whole new, elevated experience for your customers. All while increasing your sales.

Our goal at PhotoDay is to help streamline your workflow so you can focus more on what you love. One of our most popular features is AdvancePay—which gives photographers the benefit of getting paid before picture day without limiting sales after picture day. We’ve also found that it significantly boosts your Average Order Value (AOV).

Simply put: our AdvancePay feature will help you work less and make more. 

AdvancePay, Explained

AdvancePay is PhotoDay’s answer to traditional pre-pay. It gives your customers the opportunity to purchase credits before picture day that they can apply to their photo order after pictures are published.

We didn’t think it made much sense to ask customers to order a package before seeing all of the amazing images captured and created by studios. Our team brainstormed how to modernize pre-pay for the digital world without capping overall sales. So we took a risk, brought something new to the photography industry, and we now have plenty of data to back up our claims.

The AdvancePay Workflow

Here’s how it works. 

  • The studio sets up AdvancePay credits and special offers that make purchasing an AdvancePay credit simply irresistible.

  • Customers opt-in to the gallery and purchase an AdvancePay credit to use when the photos are published. 
    • When a customer purchases an AdvancePay credit, the studio gets paid half of the credit amount minus the PhotoDay fee and the Stripe fee. The remaining half is held on reserve until the customer applies their credit to a purchase.
  • When the photos are uploaded and the gallery is published, the customer receives a notification that it’s time to redeem their credit and take advantage of their special offer.
  • The customer enters the gallery, views their photos, and orders their products. During checkout, their AdvancePay credit is applied to the purchase.
    • After the customer purchases their products, the remaining reserved AdvancePay studio funds go toward lab costs, taxes, and/or fees. Then the studio receives the balance.
  • Customers have 14 months to use their AdvancePay credits. If they don’t use the whole balance in the gallery for which they purchased, they can use the credit on any of your other galleries.
    • Any leftover, unused credit balances will automatically go to the studio after the reminder series has ended and the expiration date has passed.

Our revenue per person practically doubled.

Jason Marino, Strada StudiosShifting Focus & Saving Time with Jason Marino

Spend Now, Save Later

AdvancePay both qualifies potential buyers and incentivizes them to spend more, sooner. The function of AdvancePay + the simplified versatility of PhotoDay’s text & email marketing = a winning combination.

The first step in setting up a successful picture day using AdvancePay is to determine your messaging to the customer. Are you requiring a pre-payment prior to taking photos and the editing process? Are you photographing everyone and speculating that they will buy later? Are you using AdvancePay as a session fee that the customer can apply towards prints & products? All of these methods are effective ways to sell and market photography services online.

Once you decide on the method, it’s time to sell your AdvancePay credits.

Replacing Pre-Pay with AdvancePay

If this is your first time using AdvancePay in PhotoDay, keep things as simple as possible. First, determine or estimate your average order value for the type of event you’re photographing. Then set that amount as your AdvancePay credit purchase amount. In this example, we’ll make one credit available for $35.

Second, create an AdvancePay Marketing Flyer right within PhotoDay. This flyer has all the information customers need to know. Customers are able to purchase credits as long as the gallery is in AdvancePay status. 

Once picture day is over and the gallery is published, AdvancePay sales stop automatically and text marketing takes over to help convert views to sales. No need to set this up—it’s completely automatic with PhotoDay!

AdvancePay with Speculation

If you’re photographing every subject at a picture day and want to dangle a carrot to start sales early, you can encourage your customers to purchase an AdvancePay credit prior to publishing the gallery by creating an AdvancePay offer. Every time a customer texts their unique access code to 90738 or enters the gallery via mobile or desktop web browser, they are prompted to purchase a credit to receive their special offer.

AdvancePay as a Session Fee

From dance costume changes to senior portraits to mini-sessions and everything in between, AdvancePay can be utilized to connect your customer to a gallery and cover your time and expenses—all while giving them the flexibility to redeem their credit amount for anything in your online store. You control the price sheet and the required credit purchase amount while PhotoDay does the rest.

My first year of doing PhotoDay, my AOV for a particular dance studio was $101. This year, for that same studio and about the same number of people photographed, my AOV is $138.

Meghan Goering, Meghan Goering PhotographyDiving Into Digital Volume Sales with Meghan Goering

Incentivizing AdvancePay 

Qualifying your potential buyer and integrating offers into your overall strategy are more important than everAdvancePay with an offer is a powerful method to help accomplish this goal. Only you know what will work best for your organizations and customers, but we’ve collected data from PhotoDay to help guide you through this decision.

Another important benefit of AdvancePay is the data! These valuable insights give you a glimpse into the future of a job’s performance. Since AdvancePay sales happen prior to publishing, you’ll have a good idea of where your sales will end up shortly after going live. If you’re new to online, this can provide a level of comfort since the online sales cycle can take approximately 30 days.

Communication is Key

When it comes to online selling, communication with your customers is essential. Before they can order photos, they must know how to access their gallery—making gallery opt-ins one of the most important aspects of boosting your gallery sales.

While PhotoDay’s combination of automated and manual marketing methods is available for all users, the AdvancePay workflow ensures that each customer who purchases a credit is subscribed to the gallery and receives timely notifications when the photos are ready to be viewed and products ordered. These opt-ins are priceless!

All of PhotoDay’s features are designed to work together beautifully and easily. From the simple versatility of our text and email communication to the ease of creating offers and selling AdvancePay credits. It’s a game-changing combination that results in more sales, higher AOVs, and less time tied to your desk. 

If you’re ready to dive in and see what PhotoDay can do for you, check out all of our features and create a free account to get started!

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