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Female Young Adults Gravitate to Net-to-Mail and Same-Day Net-to-Retail Photo Printing Methods

Survey participants were also asked which locations they used to print their photos. In the days of film photography, most consumers had only one choice—to bring their rolls of film to an outside party for processing and printing. The advent of digital photography and ever-improving technologies has brought about many more choices for photo processing. Although some methods (like printing at home or at work) are self-explanatory, others warrant a brief description:

  • Net-to-mail: This method of printing involves visiting an online site, uploading digital photos, and requesting prints that are then processed by an outside provider and mailed to the customer.
  • Net-to-retail: This method of printing involves visiting an online site, uploading digital photos, and then picking them up at a retail location. This method is often appealing to those who appreciate the convenience of being able to obtain their prints while running other errands. In many cases, prints can be ready for pickup on the same day that they are ordered, often within about an hour, but retailers will generally charge a higher price for this convenience. In other cases, prints are produced in a central facility and delivered to a local retail store for customer pickup, generally within a few days of placing the order, at a lower price per print and usually without any shipping or handling charges.
  • Self-serve printing kiosks: Some locations (e.g., mass retailers, drugstores, and grocery stores) offer self-service stations where consumers can obtain their prints by uploading them to a kiosk. The prints are then produced at the kiosk, usually in just a few minutes.
  • Photo kiosk input terminal: In this method of printing, consumers use a self-service kiosk at a retail location to upload their photos, but the prints are picked up at a later time over-the-counter.
  • Retail over-the-counter: This method of printing involves bringing a digital storage device (e.g., memory card) to a retail location and having photos printed in-store or off-site for later pickup. These prints may be ready in as little as 30 minutes in stores with on-site facilities, but in some cases prints may not be ready until the next day or later.

Although total respondents and male young adults printed the greatest number of digital photos at home, female young adults more commonly gravitated toward net-to-mail and same-day net-to-retail. This serves as a reminder that demographics like age and gender can affect consumers’ preferred printing locations. Female young adults are likely much more open to outside printing methods partially due to the high percentage of female young adults who accumulate their photos for some time before printing them. Retail or online printing methods are typically good for bulk printing because they enable the consumer to take care of their printing all at once while also offering a lower cost per print.

The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends’ report Spotlight on Young Adults: Digital Still Cameras. For more information, visit our online store or contact Robyn Wuori at +1 ext. 109 or e-mail .


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