From an analytical point of view, a photography studio business has to focus on two sides of the business.
That is Quality and Quantity.
But to make sure both these fronts are well managed, it is important to track them regularly.
When you have specific Photography Studio KPIs in place, they share a holistic view of how your studio is performing.
Furthermore, to understand this better, we are going to break down photography studio KPIs into three stages.
- What are KPIs?: To understand what KPIs mean and why Photography Studio needs them.
- 10 Best Photography Studio KPIs: To understand exactly what KPIs to track and why?
- How To Use KPIs Effectively?: To understand the actionable ways to use Photography Studio KPIs to improve productivity and output.
By the end of it, you will have a complete insight into how to track your studio productivity and outcome as a Studio Manager.
What are KPIs?
KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are specific and measurable metrics that you can use to track and evaluate performance. They are essential for monitoring and managing the progress of any organization.
KPIs for photography studios are the ways through which you can identify your progress, find areas you struggle with, and growth opportunities to skyrocket your productivity and output.
Let’s take a real-life example of one well-known e-commerce photography Studio that PixelPhant came across.
The studio was producing over 5,000 images a month for the clients.
Initially, the turnaround time was great, but now it kept on increasing as they could not reduce the post-production time, without affecting the quality of the images that they promised.
That’s when they connected with PixelPhant to outsource their photo editing work. The photo editing turnaround time went to just 15 hours while processing more images than they were just dependent on in-house.
They were able to do this because they knew exactly what was affecting their productivity by tracking their Photography Studio KPIs.
After tracking various in-house KPIs, and isolating the post-production—they came to a conclusion to outsource post-production and focus on their strength.
That is running a successful photography studio.
10 Best Photography Studio KPIs
Bookings Conversion Rate
Bookings Conversion Rate is the Photography Studio KPI that measures the percentage of inquiries or leads that convert into bookings.
This one is important for independent photography studios that onboard clients and provide them with photography services.
Booking Conversion Rate helps identify the efficiency of your sales and marketing efforts in turning potential clients into paying customers.
The keyword here will be Paying. If you are providing a free trial, it is part of marketing.
If your studio can convert 20% to 40% of leads, it will be considered good. But if you are struggling to achieve that, it’s time for you to focus on marketing and sales of your studio.
You can calculate the Bookings Conversion Rate by the following formula:
(Number of Leads that turned into paying customers/Total number of leads or inquiries received) x 100
The ideal time period would be a month or quarter to track your Booking Conversion Rate, as the Photography studio’s KPI for growth.
Average Turnaround Time
Average Turnaround Time is a Photography Studio KPI that tracks the time it takes to deliver edited photos.
In our experience, it’s a broad KPI that is mostly useful for marketing purposes. To show how efficient your studio is.
The best use case of this studio KPI is when you track turnaround time for each team in isolation.
You want to calculate the time it takes to photograph a product image separately from the time it takes to edit those images.
Once you do that, this Photography Studio KPI becomes your productivity guide. You’ll be able to schedule better, allocate resources mindfully, and improve the overall output by a great margin.
Additionally, once you have data from four to five sessions, you’ll be able to optimize each process individually as well.
You might hire a shoot assistant to speed up the photography process and outsource creating product selection to a photo editing service.
Whatever your case be, having the data on your side, you will be able to set the right goals and track them all along.
To calculate your studio’s photography turnaround time, add the time it took to complete each shoot and divide it by the total number of shoots.
For example, if you did 5 shoots a day, you’ll calculate in the following manner:
(1 Hour + 3 Hours + 2 Hours + 1 Hour + 2 Hours)/ 5 = 1.8 Hours
The Average turnaround time for that day for your photography studio is 1.8 hours.
Product Image Quality Score
Product Image Quality Score is Photography Studio’s KPI that tracks the quality and consistency of product images based on set standards.
It is an important KPI for photography studios that deals with the quality side of the business and shares more insights on the quantity side.
That means, that if you suddenly increase the output of your studio, the KPI that tracks the quantity of images produced will show positive signs. But only the Product Image Quality Score will tell you whether the Quality was affected.
For the in-house studio team, the number of re-shoots or redos are the obvious metrics that indicate the quality score.
But you can be even more precise by putting in two quality check stations in your workflow. One at the end of the photography stage, and another at the end of the editing stage.
Not only are you able to keep track of the Product Image Quality Score for each team, but you will also be able to identify the most common products that the team is struggling with.
You can use a rating setup where QC members can rate each shoot based on the set standards and add comments. Same for the editing.
Once you have enough data on it—maybe in a month—you’ll be all set to take necessary actions to improve the quality score.
This can be through training, better communication, resource allocation, and more.
Utilization Rate is the Photography Studio KPI that measures how efficiently you utilize available resources, particularly studio space and equipment.
It is calculated by dividing the actual time the studio is in use for photography sessions by the total available time during a specific period.
Utilization Rate (%) = (Actual Studio Time / Total Available Studio Time) x 100
For example, let’s say your studio operates for a total of 48 hours per week. This week if you used the space for only 30 hours, your Studio Utilization Rate will be:
(30/48) x 100 = 62.5%
A studio manager should always aim to increase the utilization rate, as it indicates the resources are used productively.
Same for the Camera, Lighting, and every other resource that the studio uses.
Keeping track of this important KPI will help you manage your budget, allocate resources more effectively, and ensure maximum productivity and outcome for your studio.
Rate of Equipment Downtime
Rate of Equipment Downtime is the Photography Studio KPI that tracks the time when essential equipment was unavailable due to maintenance or repairs.
If you manage multiple photography teams—which is very common in both eCommerce and large studios—equipment is an essential part of the team.
They affect productivity, and quite often halt the outcome as well. Their downtime causes significant loss of resources which must be tracked.
Similar to the Utilization Rate, the Rate of Equipment Downtime is calculated by:
(Total Downtime Hours / Total Available Hours) x 100
For example, in a month, your camera was needed for 744 hours in the studio. However, due to maintenance and repair, the camera was unavailable for 20 hours. The Rate of Equipment Downtime for the camera would be:
(20 hours / 744 hours) x 100 = 2.69%
Tracking this Photography Studio KPI can help track if the equipment was efficient enough for the studio, and strategically plan the upcoming maintenance and repair to avoid any inefficiency in the workflow.
Image Rejection Rate
The Image Rejection Rate is the Photography Studio KPI that Measures the percentage of images that are rejected by clients or require reshooting.
This can be done for the photography and photo editing team separately as well when working in-house or with separate service providers.
For eCommerce, the Image Rejection Rate is very important as it indicates how serious the studio or service is on the working feedback you shared.
If the rejection rate is consistently high, it means the studio or service is not the best fit.
For Studio, having a high rejection rate indicates an unsatisfied customer. It is best to address the problem as early as possible and work on the feedback that you are receiving.
Time-to-Market for New Products
Time to Market for New Products is a Photography Studio KPI that measures the time it takes from receiving a new product to having it listed on the eCommerce website.
For eCommerce, this is one of the most important KPIs, as the ideal goal is to reduce the time as much as possible.
If we just talk about online product presentation through images, it includes styling, product photography, model photography, photo editing, correction (if any), file renaming, asset management, and uploading.
Ideally, having a Creative Producer to ensure all the time work is in sync with effortless product lines is very important.
Tracking Time-to-Market for New Products helps studios manage the work schedule better and prioritize the most important shoots early on.
Keeping track of the time also helps in setting the right deadline for other teams to write content, SEO optimize, and set up product drafts on the eCommerce selling platform.
Rate of Unresolved Requests
Rate of Unresolved Requests is an important Photography Studio KPI that measures the percentage of issues or complaints from clients or the eCommerce team that remain unresolved.
The issues can be regarding quality, turnaround time, requirements, billing, support, communication, and more.
Unresolved issues can soon result in friction in the workflow—and in the case of Photography Studio service, losing an important client.
To calculate the Rate of Unresolved Requests:
(Number of Unresolved Client Issues / Total Number of Client Issues) x 100
Managing to keep the Rate of Unresolved Requests low will help in creating a productive and reliable photography studio.
It also indicates the high efficiency of the processes that tell your strategies are working.
Customer Retention Rate
Customer Retention Rate is among the most common Photography Studio KPIs to know how well the studio is performing.
This KPI tells us how many customers the studio was able to retain—that is, continue to work with—from the last time.
It can be calculated every quarter, half-yearly, or annually.
To calculate the Customer Retention Rate:
[(E – N) / S] x 100
Here, E is the number of customers at the end of a given period, N is the number of new customers acquired during that same period, and S is the number of customers at the start of the period.
So, Let’s say you had 500 customers at the start of the month (S), acquired 100 new customers during the month (N), and had 550 customers at the end of the month (E).
Your Customer Retention Rate will be:
[(550 – 100) / 500] x 100 = 90%
A higher Customer Retention rate indicates your customers like your work and continue to work with you.
It is highly beneficial for any Photo Studio to increase its revenue consistently, with no additional marketing or acquisition cost.
Net Performance Score
Net Performance Score is another Photography Studio KPI that asks your customers directly how satisfied they are with your services and how they would rate you.
If Customer Retention Rate is a quantity metric, Net Performance Score is the metric to get a sight on the quality side of a Photography studio.
Here, you send a simple survey asking your clients “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our photography studio?”
Based on their responses, you’ll get some really important insights.
- Promoters (score 9-10): These are highly satisfied clients who are likely to recommend your studio.
- Passives (score 7-8): These clients are satisfied but not enthusiastic enough to actively promote your studio.
- Detractors (score 0-6): These clients are dissatisfied and may share negative feedback about your studio.
Now it’s time to calculate your overall score.
- Calculate the percentage of Promoters by dividing the number of respondents who scored 9 or 10 by the total number of respondents.
- Calculate the percentage of Detractors by dividing the number of respondents who scored 0 to 6 by the total number of respondents.
- Subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters to obtain your Net Promoter Score.
NPS = % Promoters – % Detractors
Your NPS score ranges from -100% to +100%. NPS above 0 indicates that you have more Promoters, which suggests more people will refer to your business. A negative NPS indicates that there are more Dissatisfied customers than Satisfied ones.
How To Use KPI Effectively?
Photography Studio KPI can be overwhelming and confusing at the same time. It is very important to know how to use them.
Here are two important points that you must remember to use your chosen Photography Studio KPI effectively.
Whichever KPIs you may choose to track, as per your requirements, they must be interpreted and applied with the appropriate context.
KPIs, at the end of the day, are pure data. You need to go through it and draw insight to understand your studio better. Here’s how you can ensure contextual use of Photography Studio KPIs:
- Align KPIs with Objectives: KPIs should directly align with the specific objectives and goals your photography studio is trying to achieve. Above we have shared 10 important KPs, but you need to pick the ones that are important to your specific goals.
- Time Sensitivity: Tracking and understanding insight is a long-term process. You can start tracking today but you’ll need to analyze the date over time. You should also consider long-term and short-term trends as well. What might be a concerning drop in performance during one month may be normal during another.
- Segmentation: Sometimes, KPIs may vary across different segments of your business or client base. Break down KPIs by different segments (e.g., client types, services offered) to gain a more granular understanding of performance. This is true for different teams as well. Tracking them individually will give you a much better insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
- Qualitative & Quantitative Insights: We have been discussing this over the article and it’s time to keep a note of it. Some KPIs are for Quantity purposes only. They are useful but limited in their work. So are the Qualitative insights as well. Understand the nature of each KPI and analyze them with their own intent.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
It’s a popular framework for setting clear and actionable goals and, by extension, choosing and using Photography studio KPIs.
Here’s how to ensure KPIs are SMART:
- Specific: Ensure that each Photography studio KPI is specific and clearly defines what is being measured. Avoid vague or ambiguous metrics. For example, “Increase client satisfaction score by 10 points in the next quarter” is specific, while “Improve client satisfaction” is not.
- Measurable: KPIs must be quantifiable so that progress can be tracked and assessed objectively. Use numerical values or percentages whenever possible. For instance, “Achieve a 15% increase in revenue” is measurable, while “Enhance revenue” lacks measurability.
- Achievable: KPIs for photography studios should be realistic and attainable within the given resources and time. Setting overly ambitious goals can lead to frustration and demotivation. Ensure that the chosen KPIs are realistically achievable.
- Relevant: KPIs should directly relate to the objectives and goals of the photography studio. Ensure that they align with the studio’s mission and long-term vision. Irrelevant KPIs can distract from meaningful progress.
- Time-bound: Establish a timeframe or deadline for achieving the KPI. This adds a sense of urgency and helps measure progress over a defined period. For example, “Reduce equipment maintenance downtime by 20% in the next six months” is time-bound.
The use of KPIs is the first step toward understanding the customer and the business itself.
Be it a small team that we are talking about, or an enterprise eCommerce studio with multiple photography teams. Using Photography Studio KPIs will be the pillars in improving productivity and output.
What’s more? Using Photography Studio KPIs also helps in setting up actual, achievable goals. Hence, it plays a major role in the growth of the studio as well.
Make sure to use these KPIs for photography studios wisely and regularly to help you get better insights and take the right actions to achieve your goals.
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