Again, before you flame me in the comments section - this is NOT an anti-digi scrapper post. It's addressing those voices in the industry giving retailers advice to do something but not offering a good way (yet) to do it. I have NOTHING against digital scrapping nor am I minimizing it's place in the universe!!!
May 16, 2007
Digi Scrapping + Traditional Retailers = ?
Can we do it? Can we (meaning traditional scrapbook product retailers) REALLY successfully integrate digital scrapping into our businesses? Recently, a trade magazine devoted quite a lot of space to that very thing. And, as usual, I (the retailer) was told over and over that I need not fear digital scrapping and that I should EMBRACE it into my business. I hear that a LOT in the industry. But, what I am not hearing is a convincing reason to do it.
Now, before all you digi scrappers jump down my throat (again - LOL!) Let me remind you that I am a hybrid scrapper and do both! Let me also remind you that this is NOT an anti-digi scrapper post - these are my thoughts about the TWO different industries. I have nothing against digital scrapping, but I just don't understand how it can help a traditional retailer's bottom line.
Digital Scrapping and Physical Scrapping are two separate industries. They are both as different and yet as similar as, say, Cross-stitch vs Embroidery or Knitting vs Crocheting. There are people who do BOTH, but there are also people who do one or the other exclusively.
I hear voices in the industry trying to convince me to embrace digital scrapping as a retailer. But how? If a digital scrapper comes into my place of business and buys buttons, ribbon, etc. for an altered project or to complete a digital page, isn't she then just a customer? What makes her any different and why should I specifically embrace digital scrapping just because she's a digital scrapper? She's not in there looking for digital stuff, she's in there looking for what I already carry.
The only possible product that I could add to my product line-up that I might not already have is a digital scrapbook program. Other than that, I've got nothing that I could add that would entice a digital scrapper into my store. I should already be teaching paper craft and card-making classes- things that would appeal to a digi scrapper.
I'm not going to sell CD's of digital elements because anyone who digi scraps is going to be comfy with downloading what they need from home. So, what is it that I should be adding to "embrace" digital scrappers?? I already sell bare books to alter, elements for hybrid scrappers to add to their pages, etc. I don't need to specifically add any of that for digital or hybrid scrappers.
Someone suggested I have a photo printing kiosk if I own a store. Why? I don't think digi scrappers are printing out their photos and my regular customers will probably get their photos from Walgreens or Walmart. If I stock photo paper, I won't be able to sell it for less than Office Depot or Staples. A wide format printer to print customer pages may be one of the few services I could provide since they are so pricey and many people don't own one.
Someone else said I could teach digital scrapping classes to "embrace" digital scrapping. That doesn't make sense. I know people who have gone digital who have literally stopped buying scrapbook products. So, I show my customers how to do digital and sell them a piece of software and then I see them once a year for a button or piece of ribbon instead of 12 times a year for cardstock, adhesive, stickers, rub-ons, albums, brads, paint, etc. How does that help me?? It's a protectionist attitude, I know, but I just don't see how showing my customers how to do something that causes them to buy LESS from me benefits me.
Yet, the voices in the industry keep telling me to jump on board and incorporate digital scrapping. But why? Where's the benefit to a retailer to do that? We tried the Dot Scrap Alliance and it was a Dot Bomb. No one understood it.
So, here's my advice - let these two industries develop independent of each other. There is cross over in both directions and that's great - both are great ways to scrap. But I think we (meaning digi and traditional retailers) should just do what we do and not worry about trying to force a partnership. We should be friends, however.