The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner. While it’s true that the holidays are almost here, what we are most excited about is those big payouts from print orders that are about to hit your bank accounts as clients purchase holiday gifts for family and friends.
With the holidays approaching, so are print order deadlines. It’s important to communicate deadlines with your clients to ensure their orders arrive on time.
Grab your calendars and start making a plan! We will review how you can avoid holiday season print delays for happy clients and end up with an even happier bank account!
2022 Print Deadlines for Auto Fulfillment
To receive orders by December 25th, have clients place orders by these dates:
Economy Shipping (5-7 Business Days)*
Prints / Mounted Prints / Metal Prints - December 7th
Standard Shipping (4-5 Business Days)
Prints / Mounted Prints / Metal Prints - December 9th
Gallery Wraps - December 8th
Custom Cards - December 13th
UPS 2 Day / FedEx 3 Day (2-3 Business Days)
Prints / Mounted Prints / Metal Prints / Custom Albums - December 13th
Gallery Wraps - December 12th
Custom Cards - December 15th
Next-Day Shipping (1-2 Business Days)
Prints / Mounted Prints / Metal Prints - December 14th
Gallery Wraps - December 13th
Custom Cards - December 16th
Miller's / MPIX
Economy Shipping (10-15 Business Days)*
Prints (8x10 & smaller) - December 1st
Standard Shipping (3-5 Business Days)
Prints / Mounted Prints / Metal Prints / Gallery Wraps - December 12th
WHCC Custom Cards - December 13th
FedEx 3 Day (2-3 Business Days)
WHCC Custom Albums - December 13th
WHCC Custom Cards - December 15th
Expedited Shipping (1-3 Business Days)
Prints / Mounted Prints / Metal Prints / Gallery Wraps - December 19th
WHCC Custom Cards - December 16th
If you have Order Review enabled in your Catalog(s), be sure to deduct your hold time from these dates when communicating with clients. For example, if you have a 3-day hold on your orders, have clients submit 3 days earlier than the dates listed above.
2022 Print Deadlines for Custom Fulfillment
For any custom fulfilled prints and products, take a moment now to look up any lab ordering and shipping deadlines. From these deadlines, factor in your typical processing and delivery times. If you ship orders to clients, be sure to factor in the time it takes for packages to move through the mail. Write down these dates and keep them on hand to ensure client orders arrive on time.
Emphasize the Order Urgency to Your Clients
While print order deadlines are top of mind for you as a photographer, they are probably not on the mind of your clients. As we move towards print deadlines for the holiday season, emphasize the urgency of print deadlines to your clients and inform them of what will happen if they do not order by the print deadlines. They will receive their prints, but it may not be by the date they are expecting!
Pro-Tip: Provide Your Clients a Print Date Before Actual Print Lab Deadlines
Shipping delays are expected during holiday season. Ensure your clients receive their orders on time, consider giving your clients a print deadline that is sooner than actual print lab deadlines. A shipping delay buffer will ensure their print order is on time.
Stay on Top Of Order Approvals
Do you have Order Approval turned on within your Storefront Catalogs? This is a great way to ensure quality crops on your clients’ print orders AND to ensure that prints are correct the first time they are ordered! That said, during crunch time, it is so important that you are staying aware of incoming print orders and are on top of checking crops and sending orders to print. A few days can make a big difference during crunch time, so be sure to keep an eye on your Notification Center for any incoming orders that need approval.
Run a Sale
If you are hoping to encourage clients to place print orders by a specific deadline, consider running a print sale with a deadline well before Lab deadlines. Reward early-bird clients while encouraging them to purchase. Around the holidays, you may want to consider running a sale for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday! Consumers are ready to buy for the holidays, and print orders will arrive with plenty of time for many holiday deadlines.
The easiest way to run a print sale through CloudSpot is by creating a discount code— be sure to add an expiration date for the code!
Use a Banner
Remind your clients of print deadlines when they open their online gallery by utilizing a sales banner to display applicable dates. Banners display at the top of your clients gallery in your pre-selected brand colors. Banners puts deadlines front and center and will remind your clients to place their orders in a timely manner.
Send an Email Blast
Do you have Email Capture enabled on your online galleries? If so, it may be helpful to send all gallery visitors. Connect your CloudSpot account to a spreadsheet or Email Marketing platform through Zapier to have Zapier do the work for you. Throughout the coming months, collect contact information, and send emails to clients with order deadlines in early to mid-November.
Remind clients of the urgency for placing orders on time and let them know what will happen if they miss deadlines. Consider sending a few emails out over the course of peak print season.
Share Social Media Posts
Create a few social media feed posts and story posts to remind clients to place print orders early and by deadline. Basic marketing principles state that the average consumer must see a message seven or more times before they take action. Keep print sales and deadline top of mind for your clients by reminding them to place their orders on social media. If you have a client Facebook group or something similar, it may also be helpful to create a post or series of posts in your online group(s).
When in doubt, it is okay to remind your clients of peak season deadlines more often than you may think! If you haven’t set-up your Storefront yet and need assistance, our support team is here to provide you with one-on-one help. Look for the chat bubble in the lower right hand corner to get in touch!
Ready to get started with CloudSpot? Click here to get started!