Revenue in Personalized Photo Products on the Rise

Revenue in Personalized Photo Products on the Rise


The new revenue potential within the traditional photo printing market is decreasing, but personalized photo products transform those digital photos into dollars for service providers. This broad category includes items such as photo greeting cards, photo books, photo calendars, enlargements and photo mugs.

These items have caught the attention of consumers and retailers alike. Consumers like photo merchandise items because they allow them to do something more creative and interesting with their photos, and photo-centric commercial printers and retailers like them because they are high-margin products.

InfoTrends' latest forecast data projects that revenues for the U.S. personalized photo products market (including photo books, cards, calendars and specialty photo prints such as canvas and posters) will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent between 2009 and 2014. Coming out of a difficult economy, all service providers are searching for double-digit revenue growth opportunities. By 2014, revenues for these personalized photo product items in the U.S. are projected to exceed $2.2 billion.

In October 2010, InfoTrends conducted a consumer survey, which mapped behaviors related to the purchasing and use of personalized photo products. Of the 1,615 end-user respondents to this survey, more than 30 percent had purchased personalized photo products in the past year. There is a clear correlation between age and the propensity to purchase personalized photo products. Within the age demographic, respondents under the age of 35 were considerably more likely to purchase personalized photo products than their older counterparts. In addition, more than 50 percent of respondents with children under the age of four had purchased these products in the past year.

Room for Growth

About one-third of total respondents had purchased personalized photo products in the past year, which means that the majority of had not purchased these items. In today's market, the opportunity lies in convincing consumers who have not purchased personalized photo products in the past to try it for the first time, as well as encouraging past purchasers to repurchase. The good news is that people who have purchased personalized photo products have a very high probability of doing so again in the future.

The respondents to InfoTrends' survey who had purchased personalized photo products in the past year were asked how they first discovered that they could create/purchase these products. The top three ways that consumers had learned about personalized photo products included:

• Referrals from friends/endorsements

• Websites

• Samples displayed at a retail location (i.e., mass merchandisers, national/regional drug stores/affiliate partners)

Personalized photo products represent a lucrative revenue opportunity, with double-digit growth expected over the next few years. It also remains a relatively untapped market. The demographics of the target audience are well-understood—consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 as well as the parents of young children.

Service providers of all sizes must build awareness of the personalized photo product opportunity through quality distribution channels, word of mouth and a strong web presence. Once your company has established a relationship with a consumer, that relationship needs to be cultivated with robust focus on purchasing new and different items. A picture truly is worth a thousand words, and photos can be a tremendous source of profit and growth for companies of all sizes.

Mette Eriksen is InfoTrends Director of the Digital Photography Trends service.