The photography industry is going through a period of unprecedented change. Competition from smartphone providers, combined with the impact of the pandemic, has seen digital camera shipments decline to a new low of 8.9 million units, down from 121 million units in 2010 (opens in new tab). However, despite a drop in sales, camera prices continue to rise (opens in new tab).
Increased shipping costs and chip shortages are also driving up camera prices. Indeed, earlier this year Canon and Leica informed customers that they can expect significant price increases on their products. As prices continue to rise, so too will the financial pressure on high street and online photography stores who are already seeing customers abandon baskets in record numbers.
Photography has always had a reputation of being one of the most accessible art forms, with anyone being able to pick up a camera and capture the world around them. Yet, as price rises continue there is real risk that this art form will not only turn away from its accessible nature but also continue on this cycle of steady decline.
Through working alongside retailers across the photography industry, the team at Deko have seen that one of the most effective ways to combat this decline in sales is for retailers to provide their customers with access to a broad range of finance solutions.
Providing diverse checkout solutions
Many shoppers are increasingly drawn to stores which are able to provide them with alternative payment methods tailored to their needs. This is reflected by the growing buy now, pay later market size which in the UK was estimated to be worth £5.7bn in 2021 (opens in new tab).
Different checkout solutions, such as the retail finance services provided by Deko, allow customers to break down a large purchase into smaller installments. This form of fast and flexible finance unlocks the buying power which photographers need to pursue their passion. Simultaneously, this can help merchants reduce drop-off rates and increase their sales with more purchases and bigger basket sizes.
Focusing on the right retail finance
For merchants, there is no one-size-fits all retail finance solution, and this is especially true for photography merchants. Each retailer has different needs, and the traditional retail finance offerings – like existing BNPL solutions – are not always suitable. For example, some retailers are looking to increase order values or drive repeat purchases. In this case, you may want to consider providing your customers with a revolving digital credit.
This payment option provides customers with the simplicity of Buy Now Pay Later and the functionality of a credit card account. Alternatively, your business model may be best suited to adopting a buy now, pay later option which allows customers to make purchases in more manageable installments over a longer period of time such as 12, 24 or 36 months.
These solutions can also support baskets up to £25,000, making these checkout products the perfect fit for the photography industry where the average price of a professional camera and relevant equipment can be upwards of £8,000.
It is important that photography merchants have a better understanding of the finance options which are available to them, and what best suits their business and their customers. Buy now, pay later platforms, such as Deko, are well equipped to help guide merchants through the options available to them and what checkout solutions would suit their businesses.
The next generation of buy now, pay later
Using the right buy now, pay later provider benefits not only merchants, but also their customers. Traditional buy now, pay later services, which rely on one lender, produce lower acceptance rates than new multi-lender platforms which broaden lending scope. Choosing a provider backed by multiple lenders, such as Deko, gives customers the best chance of qualifying for credit and being matched with the right lender to finance their purchases.
Providing different payment options is a proven method to help reduce cart abandonment. With the average cart abandonment rate across all industries nearly 70%, this means that seven out of every ten customers when looking to buy a new camera will not complete their purchase at the checkout (opens in new tab).
If retailers within the industry are to continue to offer cameras and photographic kits, they must reconsider the checkout solutions which they offer. Providing customers with a flexible checkout experience will reduce basket abandonment and expand customer bases at a time when the rapidly increasing cost of living is forcing people to reconsider investing in new camera equipment.