Jul 31, 2009

I Can't Be the Only Traditional Turned Digital Scrapper Who Wants This

I'll admit that much of my scrapping is now digital. I make cards and once in a while, I'll scrap an actual page to frame or put in an older album.

But, I still love to go into scrapbook stores and I still love the pretty papers there. Unfortunately, when I see something, I don't buy it because I know I likely won't ever use it.

I am sure I'm not the only one who finds traditional products delicious but scraps digitally due to lack of time. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a paper in a scrapbook store that I wanted but in digital form.

I don't know why - wait, actually I do know why and I'll address that in a minute - that traditional scrapbook manufacturers don't capitalize on people like me who started out with the hands-on approach, still goes into scrapbook stores, but scraps mostly digitally now. I know very few of the digital scrapbook "brands". I love Shabby Princess and will look at Scrap Girls or A Cherry On Top when I need something specific. But, I still love Bo-Bunny (Shabby Princess look!), Karen Foster, Little Yellow Bicycle, Flair Designs, etc. I want those - in digital form.

It would so very easy for the traditional manufacturers to offer their traditional paper designs on CD for digital scrappers. And, it would be a brilliant idea to sell those CD's ONLY through traditional retailers who also sold the traditional papers (that's the KEY here - don't cut the traditional retailer out by selling the download at your own site). I would be all over those to get the look of my favorite traditional companies that I have loved for years in my digital scrapbooks!

Now, I'm sure someone has thought about this. I even have a friend who talked to some companies at CHA a few years ago about digitizing their older discontinued lines. Most of them were interested in doing that but it didn't go any farther than that. Why hasn't anyone actually done it, though?

Fear.

The fear of digital scrapping.
The fear that customers will print off your designs at home and never buy the traditional paper
The fear that your designs will end up shared with other users.
The fear of all things digital... period.

It's totally irrational. You are either digital or you aren't. You either have a way to print digital pages or you don't. Like anything - some might abuse the CD. But, most will buy it because they want that traditional brand look in their digital scrapbooks.

I can find "Bo-Bunny-esque" stuff (Shabby Princess). I can find Karen Foster-esque stuff or any other "similar" products. But, I keep shopping the traditional stores and coming out empty handed. Wouldn't this be a good way to make sure I didn't?

I see the pretties. I want the pretties. Sell me the pretties in a format I will use them in and I will cease to leave empty handed.

11 comments:

Kim said...

Kim, you read my mind! I was just complaining about this subject last week. There are so many older, out-of-production lines that people still love. Heck, I'm probably not the only scrapper that has hoarded a particularly lovely paper because it is the last sheet. I don't know how design contracts are written but I assume the companies already own rights to the old paper designs. Even if they only released older lines (so it wouldn't compete with initial physical paper sales), it would be a start. I know KI Memories is selling some of their designs digitally, so at least someone sees this as an additional revenue stream.

You have a such a great perspective on the scrapping business and the direction it is headed. I hope some manufacturers read this post and take heed. Use your assets guys!

Linda Fulghum said...

SEI has digital AND paper collections on their website. However, I hear you! I admit I have my share of pretty papers, all arranged so nicely. But I have also accumulated digital images in folders on my hard drive. So we can do both... it's the actual time we need!

Kim said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Kim and Linda. I would love to see this happen but it's hard to convince stores and manufacturers that digital scrappers can STILL be revenue sources for them. The key here is to not cut out the traditional stores but to offer these image CD's exclusively through them. Then, as a digi scrapper goes in and drools over the pretty papers, they can have them - just in digital form.

Laura Burger's Blog said...

Well in a very short period of time you will be able to get a lot of little pretties from some big names. Check out ScrapHD.com

Chris said...

I'm a programmer at StoryTellersClub.com and I know this is exactly what we do on our digitalexpressclub.com site. We are soon coming out with a new digital scrapbooking download manager and an update website/download manager will be out in just a few weeks.

You should check it out because this is exactly what we do.

(Sorry if this seems like spam. I thought it might help you out.)

Kim said...

I have heard about ScrapHD and while I don't know for sure, I am assuming that traditional companies going digi are cutting their bread and butter (retailers) out of the loop. That irritates me no end. Retailers are how these companies have survived all these years. Instead of now catering to the hordes of traditional scrappers who have left the industry for digi, why are they not providing a solution for their retailers to offer a digi version and entice those digi scrappers back into the stores? When all the traditional stores are gone, will those vendors be able to survive on digital alone? I think not.

Jennifer Wilson said...

I do see that sites like ScrapHD, Scrapblog etc. are partnering with the big paper companies and this really does hurt the brick & mortar stores.

However, I want to put a viewpoint in here from a relatively young person - and one that has never stepped foot into one of those stores.

While I do feel it is important to support small, local businesses, I have no desire to visit a paper scrap store when I can scrap at home from my laptop while caring for my family.

I had always wanted to scrapbook, but until I discovered the digiscrap community, it wasn't something I could fit into my busy lifestyle.

Still, for as many people who share my view, there are likely even more who will never put down their scissors and glue. These are the folks who will sustain traditional paper scrap, not the digital "defectors".

Kim said...

Jennifer,

This post is not addressed to digi scrappers like yourself who never paper scrapped. This is addressed to the thousands of former traditional scrappers who went digital for convenience but still love the feel and look of our favorite traditional brands.

If the only place you could get your SEI digi fix was from a traditional retailer, you'd go there.

Ross Petersen said...

Hi Everyone -

This is Ross from ScrapHD. I thought I'd enter the conversation and see if I can help clarify some things. This may take more than one post since there's a character limit, so please excuse the long winded response.

There are millions of people that currently have no clue who the leading manufacturers are in the scrapbooking world or where their local specialty scrapbook store is located. Just visit compete.com and type in "Snapfish", "Shutterfly", "Smilebox" and the likes and you'll see they each receive over 1 million unique visitors per month. Sometimes these sites see over 2-3 million unique users depending on the time of year. It's hard to ignore these numbers and currently the manufacturers have no way to engage these consumers.

Kim, you wrote that you assume that the manufacturers are cutting the retailers out, when in fact it's the complete opposite. Our partners have held out on going digital because they didn't see a platform that could support bringing in new customers to the retailers. They would love nothing more than to see the B&M stores come out stronger than ever through the evolution of technology!

-More-

Ross Petersen said...

It is a common belief that traditional scrappers are going to continue coming to your store just as they always have, but it's tough to ignore this new digital generation.

The idea is to get these millions of people who are currently creating scrapbooks and/or photobooks online to become familiar with Hybrid scrapbooking. While the term hybrid has been around for awhile, there hasn't been a reason for traditional retailers to fully embrace this. I can name multiple reasons why this would be the case but would prefer to stress why ScrapHD will be different.

ScrapHD offers the traditional sizes of 12x12, 8x8, and 5x7 - the same size albums and sheet protectors and traditional paper sizes that are currently in store (no need to buy new sizes to support digi). While you can order a prebound book through ScrapHD, you can also order single sheets (which I don't believe has been done before). ScrapHD was able to partner with a great printing company that was willing to listen to our vision of supporting the retail stores - single sheet prints are key to this vision.

Another important feature is our local printing capabilities. We do offer a print from home feature that will allow retailers to become service providers. Why pick up your prints from the scrapbook store? Two very big reasons are to avoid paying any shipping/handling, and to avoid waiting during the processing and delivery time to get your printouts. Another biggie is that most consumers don't have a wide format printer or photo paper at home, so this is a way for retailers to provide a new service to support digi & hybrid. ScrapHD is not charging for these prints - this feature is included for Club Members (for $9.99/mo or $99/year along with many, many other perks). That leaves lots of room for the retailers to make a profit on all prints picked up in store!

-More-

Ross Petersen said...

It is our hope that the retailers start carrying photo paper and house a 12" printer (many do, but aren't doing anything with them to make a profit) It is in their best interest to do so as we will do our best to drive new traffic into the stores.

In addition, single sheet prints picked up at the store still require binding materials, sheet protectors, adhesives, and all of the embellishments and tools that are needed to make a Hybrid layout.

Once a digi-scrapper sees a hybrid layout, there's no turning back. We have heard time and time again from the folks we've shared samples with "This is what we've been waiting for." These are generally digital scrapbookers or people that just create photobooks online that now have a reason to go into their local retailer. Adding true dimension to a digital layout looks SOOOOO good and we want the world to hear us!!

I should also mention that you can start from a blank canvas and truly customize the layout. We have created the application for the most novice of users to be able to add photos and artwork and then crop, resize, move around, layer, add journaling, and so much more. We can't wait to show you how easy and fun it is. For those that prefer to use a pre-made template, that feature is also there but to make it even better you can change around the pre-made layout to your liking – deleting, resizing, adding, moving, and doing just as you would on a blank canvas but with the ability to start with a layout that already looks great.

From there the retailer can host classes and give the personal attention that many need to complete their projects. ScrapHD will also be promoting many of the hottest new physical products in a way that's never been done before - you will see it when we go live :)

The best part for retailers is that we'll never compete with them. We will just promote great physical products and point our community to the stores, never selling them from ScrapHD.

I could really go on, but I want to stress that SHD will be different from what you've seen in the past. I personally believe that there are millions of digital scrapbookers out there that don't even realize they're scrapbooking!! We want those people to support their local scrapbook retailer and soon you'll see many other features we'll be providing to help do just that. (We can't let out all of our secrets, but we have the retailers' best interest in mind and our partners know that).
Please contact us if we can help clarify some things.

I appreciate everyone's time and look forward to meeting some of you soon!

Thanks,
Ross Petersen