Preveal: Super Sales, Living Off The Wall
A friend of mine runs a successful high-end family portrait business from her home. She shoots mostly outdoors and conducts the majority of her preview/sales sessions in the client’s home. I’ve always admired the fact that about 80 percent of her portrait sales are wall art canvas arrangements, or clusters. With a higher than average sale, she’d consistently “move the wall” in these sessions. I absolutely love to sell fine art wall portraits to clients. It’s not just for their higher margins and a reduced production workflow, but more important it’s the best way to showcase my work. This said, wall art sales have always required a bit more client persuasion on my part. Clients always seemed to naturally gravitate toward my albums or image presentation boxes. Could this simply be a lack of “visualization”? While I owned several Photoshop wall templates, they were inefficient and could not be done in real-time. My friend kindly revealed the secret to her success… Preveal.
Preveal is a simple, intuitive iPad application that transforms the dynamics of both in-home, or even in-studio sales sessions. After watching a brief video tutorial, I downloaded Preveal onto my iPad and was set up in less than 10 minutes.
The beauty of this application lies in its simplicity. After configuring the app with your free Dropbox subscription, you can simply load your session’s images at the touch of a button in an organized fashion.
Wall images ©2013 Cate Scaglione
Preveal enables three options for your virtual room setup. You can pre-load a JPEG of the client’s wall space (before the viewing session) in your Dropbox, use one of the many available standard room templates, or take a photo of the client’s wall from your iPad. If you want to use the real-time iPad photo, you’ll need to have strong natural or artificial light, otherwise your presentation will appear grainy and muddy. Clients truly appreciate the effort that you are configuring a product—not simply selling a product—to fit their home environment. With the quick glide of your fingers, clients will be impressed with your design savvy and high-end customization. This app made me feel as prodigious with my iPad skills as the Geniuses at my local Apple store.
There’s not much work or preparation entailed with this application. Preveal contains pre-configured wall arrangements from top vendors like Bay Photo, Pro DPI, and Design Aglow so you don’t need to start from scratch. Although, you could choose to reconfigure any of these to your liking, by saving it as a favorite.
Once you design your wall, Preveal allows you to share the design with clients by email, Facebook, Twitter, or by saving it to your iPad’s camera roll. Though I tend to close the sale during my preview session, the custom wall arrangement image file serves as great reminder to set client expectations on the final product, as well as how to hang it.
There are a few other apps out there that perform similar functions as Preveal, such as Shoot and Sell. Priced comparably, Preveal has a few features that outrank the others:
1. Users can edit each of the cluster templates with their own specific price specs and available materials (metallic, acrylic, canvas), and then help calculate the total sale. This helps you tally the final cost right there in the session, mitigating sales awkwardness.
2. Few apps of this nature can function with high res files on the iPad. An excellent advantage of Preveal is its Lightroom Export preset, which allows you to resize the image export specifically for Preveal. It makes the Preveal upload quick, easy and seamless.
3. Preveal users can enjoy Bay Photo and Pro DPI discounts on those specific vendor wall clusters. If you’re familiar with Bay Photo, their metallic and acrylic prints are second to none. I also use Pro DPI for canvases and other types of prints and their quality, turnaround speed, and color reproduction is amazing.
4. Design Aglow’s premium wall templates are integrated with Preveal and available for purchase for an additional $74.99. If you favor the Design Aglow templates, you may decide the price is well worth it.
Shoot and Sell, on the other hand, does have better framed image configurations, designer frame features, “stock-photo room” customization features, and additional Social Media sharing features. You can read more about Shoot and Sell's unique feature set in this review from January. While Preveal is available for iPad users only, Android and other Tablet users might prefer to keep an eye on Shoot and Sell, which is developing for those devices in a near-term release. Preveal is constantly incorporating user feedback with frequent product updates, and the outlook on their upcoming features for iPad users is exciting—real-time cluster redesigns, mix-and-match eclectic wall designs (mix-and-match frames, canvases, and more), international print-size clusters, and a cloud-based community of users’ designs.
For $74.99, there are simply too many benefits to prevent you from buying this application if you want to sell wall art.
I have colleagues across the country who have incorporated this app into their preview sessions and report double, even triple average sales increases in wall art. Preveal leaves clients with a lasting impression that your studio is custom, cutting edge and efficient.
Cate Scaglione is a freelance writer and fine art portrait photographer based in N.Y./N.J. She specializes in family lifestyle, women's beauty and commercial photography. Cate is also a brand consultant to artists and creative businesses across the country.