The trends, the issues, and productive business
Scrapbooking in 2010
Sound advice for retailers and vendors to
survive and prosper in the next four years.
by Lisa Kanak, The Cropper's Corner (September 18, 2006)
Scrapbooking in 2010 will not be all that different from today
(as far as the crafters are concerned). There will be an influx of
digital scrappers, scrappers who are "hard-core" crafters,
and the largest percentage will utilize computer technology, but
that will still enjoy the tactile process (and community)
The question remains as to what scrapbook stores (and
manufacturers) can do to take advantage of the changes in
technology. There are many, many answers, but one thing we
absolutely must do is change the industry focus toward finding new
customers. Finding new customers can be the most expensive in terms
of advertising, but it is absolutely necessary in order to foster
continued and sustained growth in the category.
We need to stop fighting, and come together with a cohesive
scrapbooking message, and pool advertising dollars as a group of
retailers and manufacturers to reach our target audience. We need to
develop separate messages for different target markets, and show how
scrapbooking is more than just something for affluent, stay-at-home
It is a craft for young and old -- men and women. The industry
has all of the pieces that make it possible to reach out to a very
large pie, but we lack the leadership to develop and implement this
type of strategy.
As storeowners there are absolutely things retailers can do now,
to help prepare them for the future. Technology centers like Luci,
Scrapbook Central, and others will provide a means for more digital
services. Selling technology that is archival (scanners, printers,
inks, etc.) will help
sustain business through high-margin consumables (paper &
Increase the standards for customer service. Customers come to us
to help solve their problems. For many customers, this means having
a scrapbook designer that can create the albums for them – many of
these customers would be happy with a digital scrapbook where all
they need to do is choose the theme, and give you the photos to scan
into the albums. Some customers would prefer the dimensional,
handmade look (and are willing to pay for it). Either way, by having
a technology center like Luci and/or Epson Scrapbook Central, you
can offer those who "need it now" that option. Having a
standard training program to produce consistently trained employees
is going to be critical.
For customers who want to scrapbook as we know it today, we need
to give better help solving their scrapbooking problems. We need to
go beyond the, "here's the baby section" and really fine
tune the questions we ask to truly help them.
Brainiac Retailing has provided a fresh concept in helping us
help our customers be happy scrappers.
And don't forget to get your customers organized! One reason
scrappers don't buy is because they feel guilty they haven't used
what they have already purchased. And, they haven't used it –
because they don't know what they have!
Cropper Hopper has put together an excellent class series that
will help you get your customers organized (and then you can urge
them to sell their "not-so-loved" products in your store's
yard sale, so they can purchase more from you later).
There is much manufacturers can do to support the scrapbook
retailers – who are still the heart of the industry. Joint
advertising and loyalty programs are all wonderful (and necessary),
but don't forget about channel confusion; there is nothing worse
(especially for small to medium sized manufacturers) than to have a
boat load of product in two stores in close proximity to one
another. The product sells too slowly for both stores -- and instead
of building a long term relationship with multiple sales orders, the
stores stop purchasing because they are now convinced your product
doesn't sell in their store. Retailers need to diversify their
holdings from especially the small to medium manufacturers in order
to create a unique selection, and a unique reason for customers to
shop at their store.
More is not necessarily better. Remember, as a general rule,
stores will make more money selling embellishments than paper.
Having fewer paper designs released and more embellishments
(dimensional stickers, etc.) can really help the profitability of
Don't forget to think about merchandising BEFORE going to press.
You are NOT in the fixture business. Think about standardized rack
systems that are easily obtainable from most manufacturers. Think
about product widths and heights and standard slatwall when creating
your package dimensions. Product that can be easily merchandized is
much easier to purchase and put into store displays. This translates
to a higher visibility for consumers and more sales!!
And, let's get back to TWO trade shows, and schedule releases so
they coordinate with upcoming seasons and holidays. Spread out
shipping times to make products easier to budget for – and to keep
stores looking fresh longer. The small amounts of new products that
aren't advertised UNTIL they are in stores will keep collectors and
the all-new-all-the-time customers happy, without overwhelming
stores, and allow products to have a longer shelf life. Remember, we
don't need new Christmas papers in January – we need them by
Best wishes for happy, healthy scrapping in 2010.
(Note: Agree or disagree with Lisa's comments? Email your
thoughts to CLN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read previous "Memory" columns, click on the titles in
the right-hand column.)