Without data, we are guessing at best.
In 2021 Fotomerchant announced we had joined School Photographers of America as a strategic partner, and one of our initiatives was to launch an industry-first national survey. During SPAC, we presented a broader outline of what we aim to achieve along with some of the interim results we had collected over the first few months, and we’re excited to share this information with you.
What Is The Report?
Without data, we are at best guessing what drives our customers to make the purchases they do. We don’t clearly understand why they purchase the things they do or what products they want. While you likely have customer reports that give you a glimpse of this information, we are creating this annual report using a national survey of parents and schools to provide insights across the entire industry.
What Data Are We Capturing?
This year, we’ve been collecting data from parents and schools to give us an initial understanding of what they want and where their pain points are. The initial goal is to establish a baseline that we can later build upon. In the future, we’ll be expanding the areas of inquiry, such as doing a deep dive into the digital products parents may be interested in or asking an expanded set of targeted pricing questions. In addition, we will look to broaden the survey to include school photography studios and, potentially, vendors. There is endless potential on how we grow the survey and limitless opportunities for data collection.
We’re currently focusing on four critical areas of interest:
An essential part of the survey, we’re delving deep with this to obtain the who and where information we need to get a baseline.
We want to know how much are parents willing to pay and why. Along with uncovering if they think the pricing is fair or too expensive and so on.
Discover what parents expect and how important quality is to them relative to price.
Learn if we are giving parents what they want and determine if we are giving them too much choice or too little.
We received over 10,000 responses from both parents and teachers across 24 states during the first week of launch. We’ve pulled a handful of this data and are thrilled to share the insights with you:
Here’s a brief look at some of the questions we’re trying to answer:
What size prints do parents want?
Keep in mind that we are barely scratching the surface here, and there are many more questions we ask, but this is a quick example to give you a taste of the type of questions we’re asking. While you may have a pretty good idea of what your customers want, do you have the data to back it up? Also, is there an opportunity for you to dial in your product offerings?
How much do parents think digital is worth?
There’s no denying that digital is growing, and we know parents are interested. However, we want to learn more about what they think digital is worth, if we are pricing them correctly, and how these answers may vary from state to state, zip code to zip code, household income to household income, etc.
Are parents happy with their eCommerce experience?
With sales rapidly moving online, accelerated by the pandemic, is the online shopping user experience fulfilling their expectations, or is there room for improvement.
Are schools being offered backgrounds by their studio?
There are exciting insights about parents wanting choices on the types of backgrounds they want to buy, such as basic colors, textured, themed, patriotic, etc.
Does any of this data change based on location?
This ties back into the demographic information we’re capturing for each survey respondent. Likely, behaviors and expectations will not be uniform. For example, buyer information collected in New Jersey will be different from information collected in Florida. We’re gathering the empirical data to back up this theory and provide solid evidence to support it.
Find out at SPOA in June if this data changes based on location and get even more details.
How You Can Help
If you’re interested in helping, you can share the survey with your parents and schools! The more data we collect, the more comprehensive and accurate it will be for the industry. Parents are also happy to participate in the survey, and we’ve had a respectable conversion rate of just over 1% and an excellent completion rate of close to 90%. While there is room for improvement, we’re thrilled parents are responding positively, and we’ll be looking to tailoring the performance of the survey over the coming years.
We’ve collected some incredibly insightful data across 24 states. Still, we want to obtain data from across the country and need enough data points to make the findings statistically relevant. We have just over 10,000 completed parent surveys, and we want to have over 100,000 completed surveys by the time we generate the report in June. Achieving this goal will be of tremendous value for the entire industry, and we believe that we can only do it together with your help.