Online vs. Offline Sales: Why It’s A No Brainer In School Photography

Blog  »  Business & Marketing, October 6, 2018, Paula Houben

Our generation grew up with sales offline and that included school photography. But, it is the 21st century after all and that means online sales are where every industry is at, even school photography. So, what are the key differences and why should you be selling school photos online? We sum up the differences and important points in this head-to-head analysis.

Ditch The Proof Cards

Mountains of paper are no fun for anybody and with moving online means you can cut out the need for paper proof cards. Parents can simply make their order online and not get frustrated with the complicated proof ordering process. Additionally, you don’t need to bother with the seemingly endless back-and-forth between lab, school and photographer.

Want to know more about the process of online sales with QR cards? Have a look through this helpful article. 

Picture and Product Variety

Everyone can recall the quickfire ‘snap, click and onto the next child’ style of photographers in their school days, but things have changed now and online photo sales is a big reason why. Using an online shop means you can offer more choice and variety in the pictures and products you sell.

Parents can mix and match photos within packs and pick from any of the poses available instead of being limited as you are offline. This has another great knock-on effect: higher spending! More choice gives parents more reason to buy. Some photographers even change their pricing for online sales. For more information on how to sell photos, read this article about how best to price your photographs.

While in offline sales you automatically get printed pictures your options with online sales are endless. Whether you want the product to be printed on a cup, a pillow, canvas or classic on paper, each of these prints is possible with just one mouse click and doesn’t cost you any extra work, since the production will be done by the lab chosen by you.

Increasing Revenue

With online sales, it’s easier to increase your revenue. In the online shop, you can entice your customers to spend a little (or a lot!) extra. You can set up special offer discount coupons, tiered discounting, upselling (for prints or downloads) and easily set deadline dates to increase urgency and ensure a quick turnaround time.


As you might have realised already, probably the biggest difference between offline and online sales is the amount of time you spend on the post-production work. Using an online platform such as GotPhoto means you can partner with a lab and save yourself plenty of tedious admin work. Going online also helps the schools you serve to save time and makes life far easier for the parents buying your photos.


Marketing your business is crucial to ensuring you succeed and it has been made incredibly easy using an online platform. Instead of manually trying to drive photo sales, you can use a system like GotPhoto which sends out automated reminds to potential customers that their photos are online and available.

GotPhoto’s automated marketing is proven to increase overall conversion and requires little to no input from you. Why not include some more information about other aspects of your photography business? This can help generate additional clients for family days and studio shoots. 


Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day – children’s photos make great gifts! Why not take advantage of this and run second promotions on shoots from earlier in the year? With online sales, the potential for reselling is much bigger. It takes a matter of minutes to set this up and notify your potential customers that you’re offering the chance to buy again.

Making Life Easier For Schools

School staff are busy people just like you. Labour intensive tasks are frustrating and can use up valuable time. However, with online sales, you can make life far easier for the schools and preschools you serve. No longer will school staff have to collect cash. You consolidate the whole process online and save the school staff the stress. From our experience, once the schools and/or nurseries have worked with online sales, they don’t want to go back to offline sales for school photography.

Paula Houben