Print News: InfoTrends Offers Advice for Photo Printing Firms
A release by the market research firm InfoTrends offers encouraging advice for photo printing companies.
InfoTrends, the market research firm, has released its 2009 report detailing the photo printing habits of US consumers. An extensive quantitative study, retailing for almost $4000, the survey offers advice for photo printing firms looking to maximize their investments. According to the InfoTrends press release, it finds ‘bright spots’ in the photo printing market in spite of stiff competition from digital storage methods. In particular, ‘Households with children, family memory keepers, and hobbyists’ remain dedicated photo printers, while there are ‘many things’ vendors can do to encourage increased rates of photo printing among consumers.
In June 2005, a report by InfoTrends found that the photo printing market faced possible decline. In spite of an 81% growth in digital cameras sales that year, consumers were increasingly likely to neglect printing
their photos in favor of storing them digitally: either by hard disc, CD or DVD, or even on social media websites. Yet InfoTrends noted that an increase in photo printing revenues was possible, if vendors tried to increase the ease of printing while lowering the costs. The release found that, by 2010, revenues could either rocket to $7.6 billion or plummet, declining as low as $3.7 billion, depending on vendor strategies.
In February 2006, Hewlett Packard attempted to spur photo printing with the introduction of its self-service photo kiosk, housed in retailers across the US. The kiosk enabled consumers to not only design prints in under five minutes, but print each copy in 5 seconds. The Wal-Mart trial of the machines proved so successful that, by the end of 2006, it housed a total 50 photo-printers in its stores.
Yet in spite of this, vendors have largely failed to convince consumers of the worth of photo-printing over digital storage methods. In an article by Jennifer Nealson on December 1 2008 for DigitalCameraInfo.org, it was reported that the volume of images printed in the year 2007-8 grew by 1.7 billion to total 19.7 billion. This is good news – but at the same time a report by PMA Marketing Research entitled ‘Consumer Imaging in Canada’ for that 73% of young consumers share photos online. For consumers who used to print, this transition may be permanent.
InfoTrends believes that vendors have ‘only two or three years to gain back consumers’ who now store photos online. Equally though, the market research firm suggests that vendors may better invest their time in products that cannot be replaced online. The market for specialty printing – where images are placed on almost any item imaginable – grew 11% in sales from $9.9 billion in 2005 to $11.1 billion in 2006, according to Dimitrios Delis, Research Director at the Photo Marketing Association. It may be through these items that vendors assure their future.