As the world returned to normality, business began again as usual… but we didn’t. Committed to pushing forward through innovation, our 2022 was a year like no other. As our team grew, we churned out new features, upped our marketing presence, and finessed our support model. Our commitment to being thought leaders in the industry also came to fruition this year with our School Photography Industry Report. This year was full of new beginnings, from new conferences to illuminating webinars. So let’s take a look at Fotomerchant’s 2022.
Our relatively small team grew exponentially this year. After two company acquisitions (in 2021) and many hires later, we have over doubled in size. The more, the merrier, we say! With a more significant presence and more products than ever before, we are looking to expand further to keep up. The two companies we acquired were Simplephoto and Elementice. Many of the original teams from these companies are still with us, so this year the main focus was pulling together to build one united Fotomerchant team. We are pretty chuffed with how it has gone. As 2022 comes to a close, I can confidently say that we are all working towards the same goal, and it feels amazing.
We have all bonded over our love for pranks. We especially love pranks that make the CEO confused as to why everyone else is upside down.
2022 marked a year of putting plans into action for us. We have always had big dreams, and this year many came to fruition mainly because of our team size expansion. More hands on deck always make a difference.
The first-ever leadership summit occurred this year. Leaders from all departments: sales, development, customer support, marketing, etc., gathered in sunny Byron Bay. We had some of our US team leaders fly over as well, which was exciting. Each team leader presented past achievements, past failures (we’re all human, after all), and future direction plans. This was hugely successful as many new connections between problems were found through inter-departmental solutions. After the leadership summit, the rest of the team was presented with the findings of the summit and the new direction that developed. This meeting of minds kick-started our current approach, which we feel super clear in.
New Features That Excite Us
Choosing just a handful of features to highlight in this recap was more challenging than expected. Why? There were so many dang good ones! The developers sure were busy this year. Below I’ve linked a few crowd favorites. Click the header to view our knowledge base documentation on the feature.
Bulk Subject Editing
This is a new feature in Studio that packs a punch. All your data correction dreams have come true with this release. You can now edit all the subject data for a session in bulk; no more individual subject editing. Say hello to a streamlined workflow. While bulk editing, you can perform various actions to update or manipulate the data.
Auto Cropping Orders to Direct Fulfillment Labs
For those using a direct fulfillment lab, you can turn on auto-cropping. This allows Studios to opt-in for images to be automatically cropped by the system to match the aspect ratio of the ordered product. Automation is the way of the future, so jump on board and optimize your workflow.
Paper Order Imports
Need a solution for fulfilling paper orders? We heard you. You can now upload a data file to Studio and have it send the orders directly to your integrated lab with your online orders. There is a small wholesale charge for using this feature, so contact your support team on Slack for more information.
Conferences We Attended
With our team size growing this year, we had more opportunities to spread our wings and attend new conferences.
The usual suspect, SPAC 2022, was a great success. With our presence being the largest yet, we made a splash. We had a new look this year, our marketing team had been hard at work, and it sure paid off. We looked amazing!
Our end-to-end workflow solution was our main talking point this year. We wanted to demonstrate how you can use us in an end-to-end capacity or slot us into the missing parts of your workflow.
Here are some of the highlights:
Backgrounds Masterclass with 36Pix
School Photography Industry Report 2022 – Interim Results
Growing as a Volume Studio with Strawbridge
Live Case Study with Prime Sports
Australia Day Party
Oh, and how could I forget! The winner of our trip to Australia competition. Congratulations, Greg Chatmon. We can’t wait to see you down under in 2023!
This was a new conference for us, and boy oh boy, was it great! SPOA, aka School Photographers of America, was held in Houston, Texas. A small but mighty team attended this conference. This was a successful trip for us, and we can’t wait to see how the same event turns out next year.
As you can see from the images below, our out-of-this-world space party was a smashing success.
School Photography Industry Report
We’re all self-proclaimed data nerds, so the School Photography Industry Report was a significant achievement for us this year. This report was a joint initiative between Fotomerchant and School Photographers of America (SPOA). We believe that if we can progress the industry with knowledge, we all grow together. Our big focus is providing studios with data they can use to make educated decisions. Why don’t you take a look for yourself? Download the report and prepare to have your mind blown.
Want some more information about the report? Read this blog to learn more.
We rolled out our webinars with full force this year. Providing content for the industry of value is paramount to us; you also got to see some of our very handsome/beautiful faces. Now that’s what I call a win-win. Here are some of your favorite webinars:
Interview with Christian Perry
Our very own Christian Perry gave us a wonderful webinar this year. Filled with Texan charm and illuminating industry knowledge, we recommend you give this one a listen. On-ground knowledge is something we take very seriously here at Fotomerchant. Christian allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of what matters and the pressing issues in the industry. By knowing what works and what needs improvement, we can streamline your workflow with precision and evidence.
Bringing Backgrounds to the Forefront
After partnering with the good folk at 36Pix, we celebrated with a webinar. Some people celebrate with champagne, while others opt for an invigorating webinar, know your poison, I guess? Our industry report results illuminated the importance of backgrounds. Your customers want good, premium backgrounds! The people at 36 Pix understand this, so we decided to chat about it. We caught up with Robert Ste-Marie, founder & president of 36Pix, to discuss some of the challenges studios have faced when using backgrounds and how we can alleviate some of these issues. Give this webinar a listen to peep into the future of background use in shopping carts.
New Feature: Preorder Automation
We are committed to providing an end-to-end solution that you can easily slot into your workflow. Preorder automation was a missing piece of the puzzle we are delighted to have resolved. No more preorder handling via other systems if you use one of our direct fulfillment labs. Preorders can now utilize subject matching for smart-automated image populations and direct fulfillment to our integrated labs. This webinar will run you through the advanced auto-order population system. We have you covered, from automated identification of pose selections to tag rules like sibling or buddy photos.
We ramped up our blog post-production on our mission to provide great value content. Here are some of our popular 2022 blogs, go on, take a look!
School Photography Industry Report
This was one of our most outstanding achievements this year for our business and the industry in general. We see data worth much of its weight in gold, and we think you should too. Our industry report provided brilliant data that both surprised and reaffirmed our guesses. This blog introduced some results we pulled out of the survey, but I recommend you also take a look at the final report I linked above.
Marketing Types Linked to Stages
Make marketing pain-free with templated session templates. Rest easy with our new capabilities to trigger marketing campaigns via stages in your sessions. Take a look at this blog to learn how to set up marketing at the start of the season and alleviate promotional stress.
The Opt-In Feature
This feature made a splash in 2022. Allowing customers to opt into your marketing so you don’t need to rely on clients to provide emails is essential. Our opt-in feature collects information in a user-friendly form that will help you match your images to customers and, in turn, collect those sweet customer emails. Sound interesting? Read through this blog and reach out to your friendly Fotomerchant human to learn how to implement this feature.
We want to end on a sentimental note. Thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout the past year; you know who you are. We hold all the industry relationships we have established close to our hearts and love the space we work in. Y’all are a good bunch. Speaking of good eggs, I’d like to express how lovely this team is to be a part of. We work in an amazing community that becomes strengthened by the day.