Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Get the Job Done: The Value of the Impulse Buy During Presentation

Kim and Mike's Favorite of the Set

During the presentation of my first set of engagement portraits on Sunday, I discovered the value of the "impulse buy," and how it can be used to generate more print sales.

An "impulse buy" is a spontaneous purchase of an item that a shopper hadn't planned on buying. According to a survey conducted by The Yankee Group, shoppers are driven to make an impulse purchase by a "special sale price," free shipping and holiday or seasonal promotions. Other studies have long assumed that impulse buying happens at the cash register, which is why many small items such as batteries, candy, magazines and mints can be found on display racks or on the counters around cash registers in retail stores. I think I unwittingly tapped into that unconscious buying pattern by having prints available for purchase during the presentation.

My favorite of the set

When Kim and Michael arrived to my home to see the photos I had taken of them for their upcoming engagement party, several of my favorite photos had been printed out in 8x10s and displayed to tell the story of their romance fueled by outdoor activities including bicycling and skiing. The prints included with a laptop photo slide show set to a play list of love songs made quiet the impression.

It was the first time I had printed images from the KODAK ESP 3 All-in-One Printer I had received to review for my job at the Denver Post. To be honest, I didn't have high expectations of the prints thinking they wouldn't look nearly as good as anything I'm used to getting from the professional printers at Wolf Camera. To that end, I didn't feel comfortable selling them at full price, and I told the couple that if they purchased any prints that same evening, I would sell them for a discounted prices -- 8x10s for $10 and 4x6 for $2.50. After that, the price would go back up to $15 for 8x10s and so forth if Wolf or my online printing service did the work later.

As you can guess, the couple brought nearly all the prints and I made an extra $85 that night. That may not seem like a lot of money, but imagine how much more I might have made if I had other products on hand during the presentation, including more prints or even announcements for their party. I'm learning that accessibility and convenience are important to clients and make it easier for me to earn extra money too. I've already found out the hard way that the chances of securing additional print packages decrease unless you include them in upfront costs. So this could be another business strategy to spur more sales.


Jason said...

Thats awesome Sheba. Congrats. So you are liking that printer? Did you have to calibrate it use a printer?

I really need to get over there and check it out! Whats going on thsi weekend?

Sheba Wheeler said...

Thanks for the support Jason. I think the printer works great for me to print out photos I've taken and want to display in my home. However, I'm not sure it works as well for giving actual prints to clients. The printer seems to print darker than the image that actually appears on the computer. I don't know if this is a calibration issue or what. This weekend is pretty busy, so we will have to plan another time for you to check it out.

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