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The U.S. Photo Merchandise Market

There is a great deal of focus within the photofinishing market on photo merchandise, and for good reason. Many photofinishing vendors have seen photo print volumes decline as digital photography has taken over the market, as consumers have many other ways to view photos and only print the photos they really want, rather than having to get all prints produced as with film. Photo merchandise, on the other hand, is still experiencing an upward growth curve and most products have attractive profit margins.

Types of Photo Merchandise

For the purposes this research, photo merchandise products (also known as photo gifts) encompass the following products.

  • Photo Cards
    Photo cards come in various forms, including:
    - Photo Greeting Cards
    - Folded Photo Cards
    - Photo Note Cards
    - Photo Postcards
  • Photo Books
  • Photo Calendars
  • Specialty Photo Prints: Many of the products in this category were and are still available to produce with film prints, but they offer creative options that are difficult or impossible to create using film. These products include:
    - Unframed Enlargements/Posters
    - Photo Collage Prints
    - Framed Photo Prints
    - Canvas Photo Prints

A Promising Market

Photo merchandise products are appealing on many fronts—they enable consumers to create unique and individualized products with their photos, and also provide a valuable source of revenue for vendors that have seen their photo print volumes on the decline.

Consumers who have purchased photo merchandise in the past typically report very high levels of satisfaction with these items and a strong propensity for purchasing these items again. This is good news for photo merchandise vendors because it bodes well for repeat purchases.

The Challenge

Since consumers who have already tried photo merchandise are generally very happy with their purchases, the challenge is not in retaining existing customers, but in obtaining new ones. Non-buyers of photo merchandise cite concerns about cost as one of the top reasons for not purchasing these items, and this may point to a need for increased market education. There appears to be a perception that photo merchandise is expensive, but this is not necessarily the case. In addition, these items could potentially become particularly appealing in the current economy—photo merchandise products can make great gifts, and these items are often much more affordable than many conventional gifts.

The preceding is an excerpt from a report entitled 2009 Photo Merchandise End-User Survey Analysis: United States. To learn more about this report, visit our online store or contact Robyn Wuori at ext. 103 or via e-mail at .


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