AdvancePay (abbreviated as AP) is PhotoDay’s answer to traditional pre-pay. Whereas with paper forms, parents would select their photo packages and pay before photos were taken—with AdvancePay, customers can purchase credits before picture day that they can apply to their photo order after pictures are published.
For you, the photographer, this means you get to lock in early sales without limiting future sales. For customers, they get to buy in with an AP purchase, sign up for text notifications, and receive an offer specifically for AP purchasers (if you choose to set up an AP offer).
Read our blog post: Boost Your AOV with AdvancePay.
Here’s how it works in a nutshell:
The studio sets up AdvancePay credits and special offers that make purchasing an AdvancePay credit simply irresistible.
Here’s an example: Hey early birds! Get free shipping on your order when you purchase a $35 AdvancePay credit before picture day.
Customers opt-in to the gallery and can purchase an AdvancePay credit to use when the photos are published. Their AP credit is associated with the phone number with which they make the purchase.
When the photos are uploaded and the gallery is published, the customer receives a notification that it’s time to redeem their credit and take advantage of their special offer.
This article will walk you through how to set up and use AdvancePay.
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Creating AdvancePay Credit Sheets
These credit amounts are set up within the AdvancePay section of the studio panel, found under Store.
Here you can create an AP credit sheet, much in the same manner as a price sheet. Each credit sheet will contain up to four credit amounts from which a customer can choose. The sheet can then be attached to any job.
To get started, click the Create Credits button on the top right of the screen. This will open a window asking you to name your new credit sheet. This will open a window that asks you to name your new credit sheet.
Type in a name (for your reference, as it’s not viewable to your customers) and click the Create button. This will generate a blank credit sheet, which includes four slots in which you can enter credit amounts of your choosing.
To add a credit, click any of the blank credit icons. A window will open where you can select a predetermined credit amount or enter a custom amount (custom amounts can be added in increments of $5). Here, you can also add an optional description to your credit amount, just to let your customers know what they might want to purchase with this credit.
Once you’re happy with this credit amount, click the Save button, and it will be added to your credit sheet. You can add up to four credits per sheet and have as few as one. Your changes to the credit sheet will be automatically saved as you go along.
Once you are done customizing it, feel free to move on to the next stage of adding it to a job.
Attaching to a Job
To attach an AdvancePay credit sheet to a job, head to Jobs > Select the job > Settings > Store. Here you will see a section for AdvancePay Credits.
Under the Credit Sheet heading, click the drop-down menu to select one of the AP credit sheets you’ve already created or click “create a new credit sheet.”
If you would like to add an offer with AdvancePay to incentivize customers to purchase, select one of your pre-created offers from the next drop-down menu or click “add a new AdvancePay offer.” Skip to the Creating Offers section or feel free to come back to this section later on.
You can require customers to add the name of the subject being photographed to each AdvancePay credit purchase by toggling on Customer Data. This information will then appear in the Job’s Insights after payment has been made.
The final section is Preview Storefront. When this is enabled, customers viewing a gallery set to AdvancePay will see a preview of the products and packages you’ll be selling when the gallery is published. You’ll need to attach a price sheet in the Products section.
Once you’re happy with your AdvancePay job settings, be sure to click the blue Save button!
Changing the Gallery Status
If you are ready to start selling AdvancePay credits, switch the gallery status to AdvancePay.
Creating AdvancePay Offers & Attaching to Jobs
Incentivize your customers to get a jump start on picture day by attaching an offer to your gallery while it’s in AdvancePay Status. This allows you to start the sales cycle early, and reward customers with an offer they can’t refuse. Learn more on our blog.
If you would like to add an offer with AdvancePay to a particular job, here’s how. Go to the Job > Settings > Store > AdvancePay Credits and select one of your pre-created offers from the next drop-down menu or click “add a new AdvancePay offer.”
To create an AdvancePay offer, go to Store > Offers:
Select the type of offer you'd like to create. Need help deciding? Check out our article all about offers. For this example, we'll create a Discount offer.
Click the Discount icon to view the Discounts page. Here is a list of discount offers you have created. It might be completely empty if you’ve never been here before, so let’s go ahead and change that by creating a discount. Click the “Create a Discount” button.
This will open the Create a Discount Offer window where you can define and customize your new discount offer.
First, give your offer a name (this is only for your reference) and assign it a unique offer code (this is what your customer will see and use). Try and make it something memorable for your customers, as they’ll be tasked with entering it during checkout to apply the discount to their order! You can also click the Generate button and PhotoDay will auto-generate an offer code for you.
Next, click the drop-down menu to choose whether you want your discount to be a fixed dollar amount subtracted from the order subtotal or a percentage subtracted from the order subtotal. Depending on which option you choose, enter either a dollar amount or a percentage amount in the field to the right.
Once you have that information completed, hit the “Next” button to be brought to the second part of the discount setup process.
Here, you can further refine the offer by defining a minimum order amount, an expiration date, or maximum redemptions. Minimum order amounts can be used to encourage customers to add more items to their order, expiration dates can create a sense of urgency to order as soon as possible, and maximum redemptions incentivize your early bird customers. You also have the option to add free shipping to your discount offer.
When creating or selecting an offer that's going to be used specifically for AdvancePay, we have some important recommendations!
It's important not to set an expiration date for AdvancePay offers. The offer code is a coupon, and it cannot be used past the expiration date, just like a coupon. The ability to receive the coupon stops when the gallery status is updated from AdvancePay to Published.
However, the offer needs to remain active and redeemable in order for customers to use it whenever they want. If the code expired when you published, they never would have a chance to order and use the offer code.
If you do want to set an expiration date for the offer, we suggest not expiring offer codes for at least 6 weeks after the gallery has been published. This keeps customers happy and ordering simple.
Minimum order amounts can be used to encourage customers to add more items to their order. Since offers are global, this can help protect you in the event that any customers decide to share the code with someone else.
We do not recommend setting a maximum redemption since it can create a negative customer experience if they purchased an AP credit, go to use their offer, and it's unavailable to them.
Once you have your discount offer set up to your liking, click Create Offer, and it will be added to your list of available discounts. The Discounts page will now show you an overview of your offers. You can easily view the name, code, offer description, expiration date, and redemptions for each offer. Click the gear icon to edit an existing offer or click the trashcan icon to delete.
Once your offer is created, go back to the Job you want to attach it to > Settings > Store > AdvancePay Credits > Select your new offer from the drop-down menu > Hit Save:
Now you're all set up!
Examples of Customer View
Here's an example of what a customer sees when a job is in AdvancePay status before being published:
Since customers sign into their accounts to enter the gallery, any applicable AdvancePay credits will automatically be applied. They are displayed in the cart cost breakdown as "Credit" as shown:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can customers use an AdvancePay credit for more than one gallery and/or subject?
Yes! Customers can use their AP credits in any of your galleries, not just the one in which the credit was purchased.
Do AdvancePay credits expire?
Effective 1/12/2023: AdvancePay credits expire 14 months after the purchase date. This allows customers to spend any old/remaining AP credits on the following year’s gallery, hopefully resulting in fewer refund requests and more credit redemption.
- Reminder: Customers can always use their AP credits in any of your galleries, not just the one in which the credit was purchased.
- Please note: AP credits purchased before 1/12/23 do not have an expiration date.
Do customers receive reminders to use their AP credits before they expire?
Yes! There is a special communication series (SMS & Email) informing customers of their upcoming expiration date. The reminder series starts sending 75 days before the expiration date and will encourage them to use their remaining credits on photos.
What happens if a customer's AP credits expire?
Any leftover credit balances will automatically go to the studio after the reminder series has ended and the expiration date has passed.
Are AP credits refundable?
All refunds for AP credits are up to the discretion of you, the studio. Learn more about refunds.