The on-going challenge of the photo industry is to get consumers to print more of their photos. Digital photography has become so fast, so easy and so convenient, industry experts predict 1 trillion images will be captured this year.
According to InfoTrends, smartphones and tablets have the potential to generate positive growth for the digital photography market since they are leading consumers to take more pictures than ever, but this level of convenience can also have a negative impact on the photo-printing market. Many of today’s consumers simply don’t see a need to print photos since sharing, viewing, and storage can all be handled digitally and with mobile devices is now easier than ever. Fewer consumers are printing their photos—and those that do print are generally printing less frequently.
The market can counteract this trend by educating consumers about the value of printed photos, says InfoTrends. Hard-copy prints provide something tangible that can be passed down to the next generation, and physical prints will be much easier to access and view as time goes by. Furthermore, there is no guarantee digital photos stored on hard drives, cloud sites, DVDs, CDs, and flash drives will even be accessible in the future.
Technologies are changing at a dizzying pace, and there’s no telling when certain electronic storage methods will become obsolete or fail. That’s one reason why Internet pioneer Vint Cerf recommends hard copy to preserve information. The intrinsic value of printed photos is often forgotten in today’s world of instant gratification. This is particularly important among consumers who have no experience with printing photos, like younger people that have grown up using electronic screens and don’t have any nostalgic connection to printed photos, recommends InfoTrends.
The other thing to consider is expansion beyond simple printing on paper, and look to printing on everyday objects, like drink cozies, magnets, coasters and many other personal items. These products can be very popular with consumers, if they are reasonably priced and easy to make.
What are the recommendations from InfoTrends?
- People with a higher propensity for photo printing are an important demographic for industry vendors. InfoTrends’ research has shown parents—especially those with young children—are particularly likely to print photos.
- Target young consumers who might be starting families in the near future. Parents will have a vested interest in preserving memories for future generations, and printed photos may be the single best way to do this.
- Constantly work to improve the experience of ordering prints from mobile devices and to find effective ways to market mobile photo printing to their customers.
InfoTrends’ U.S. Consumer Photo Prints Market Forecast: 2013-2019 measures and calculates the market size and growth potential of digital photo prints.