Digital cameras have presented users with a variety of new methods for printing photos, and these options continue to evolve. Printing preferences include printing photos themselves at home, ordering prints online and having them delivered via the mail (net-to-mail), printing over-the-counter in a retail store, printing over-the-counter using a photo kiosk input terminal in a retail store, using a photo kiosk print station in a retail store, and using net-to-retail where a user uploads photos to an online service and picks up the prints at the store.
In August 2006, InfoTrends conducted its annual photo kiosk and retail digital photofinishing survey. 1,241 Internet users were surveyed about their digital camera ownership and behaviors, particularly where they printed their digital photos. The survey asked detailed questions of digital camera owners who print at home, at retail, through photo kiosk input stations, and also through net-to-retail. It also asked questions about the purchase of photo merchandise.
The Shift Toward Retail
According to the study, retail photo printing solutions are continuing to gain traction as digital cameras are becoming more mainstream and owners are becoming further acquainted with their printing options. While camera owners continue to use multiple sources for prints, many are printing most often in-store. In fact, the percentage of consumers that primarily print their photos at retail increased by 20% over last year. This growth is likely to continue as a result of falling print prices and an increasing number of photo kiosk input and print stations.
Figure 1: How likely are you to print digital photos at a
At this point, photo kiosk input stations and net-to-retail continue to have the most potential for growth because they are still relatively new and are becoming more widely available. More retailers are offering not only net-to-retail services, but also one-hour processing using net-to-retail. This is definitely an attempt to deliver the convenience factor to consumers, something that the respondents to our consumer survey reiterated as being important.
Interest in printing to a retail photo lab varied by demographic in the survey. Placing orders over-the-counter with the assistance of store personnel and placing orders using a photo kiosk input terminal were the most popular retail photo printing options overall.
The newest opportunity on the horizon for retail photofinishers is photo merchandise. A significant percentage of survey respondents who had ordered a photo gift in the past year ordered it over-the-counter at a retail store.
Figure 2: Where did you order your photo gifts?
Educating mainstream consumers on how simple and fast it can be to order photo merchandise at a photo kiosk input terminal or over-the-counter at a retail store with the assistance of store personnel will be essential in driving the growth of this profitable category.
The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends’ report entitled “2006 U.S. Photo Kiosk and Retail Digital Photofinishing End-User Study.” The complete document is available immediately. To learn more about the report or to make a purchase, visit our online store or contact Nicole Shown at +1 , ext. 207 or .
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