Aug 30, 2013
To be successful, most photo merchandise vendors must rely on sales to the average snapshot photographer who makes up a large percentage of the addressable market for products like photo cards, books and calendars. However, it’s also important for even for the largest vendors not to lose sight of the market for the hobbyist photographers, the type of photographers who more often rely on their camera instead of their camera-phone and who know how aperture, shutter speed and ISO influence photos.
InfoTrends survey research over the years has consistently shown that those who identify themselves as “Hobbyist” or “Advanced Hobbyist” photographers produce significantly more printed products than those that identify themselves as “Snapshot” or Family Memory-Keeper” photographers. Hobbyist photographers likely tend to be more creative types that experiment with their photography and enjoy seeing their best work displayed on their walls or in a photo book. These photographers are also more likely to understand the vulnerability of relying solely on electronic storage methods for their photos and want to have their best pictures in printed form.
The chart below was taken from our 2013 U.S. Photo Merchandise End-User Survey (http://store.infotrendsresearch.com/product_p/134526.htm) gives a good example of how much more popular photo merchandise products (including photo books, cards, calendars and specialty photo print products like canvas, photo panels and posters) are with hobbyist photographers. While only 32% of snapshot photographers and 45% of family memory-keeper photographers in the entire survey population had ordered any kind of photo merchandise product in the last year, those percentages rose to 57% for hobbyist photographers and 71% for advanced hobbyist photographers. Hobbyist/advanced hobbyist photographers also make significantly more traditional photo prints than the snapshot or family memory-keeper photographers, from both digital cameras and mobile devices.
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Aug 29, 2013
Print is driven by applications and production digital printing is no exception. Demand for certain applications, however, changes over time due to various reasons, such as growth in usage, electronic replacement, personalization, and the move to shorter runs. The change in demand will have a profound impact on production digital printing in competition with other processes as well as between different digital product groups. InfoTrends just published its 2012-2017 production digital print application forecast for the U.S. and Western Europe. It details application volumes and volume growth for 28 print applications in seven main application groups for the main categories of production digital printing devices.
Main Production Digital Printing Applications and Application Groups
The application forecast draws from many sources. InfoTrends’ consulting staff conducts ongoing primary and secondary research in the marketplace to determine the print volume share of the applications and volume trends. The underlying print volume forecast is based on published forecasts, which provide market size in terms of installed base, average monthly print volume, retail value of print, and other factors.
As an example, here is a view of some of the top production digital print applications in Western Europe (by absolute page growth).
10 Fastest Growing Applications in Production Digital Print in Western Europe 2012 to 2017
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Aug 28, 2013
InfoTrends recently published its second in-depth primary research study on the manufacturing industry within the Business Process Automation Consulting Service. The manufacturing industry is a dynamic market with several sub-industries that can vary greatly in size and output demand, and because of these widespread differences, certain processes may require more exhaustive and paper-intensive workflows. InfoTrends broke down the manufacturing industry into four key workflow areas: 1) Product Planning/Design, 2) Procurement, 3) Production, and 4) Fulfillment. Within those areas, we broke down the industry further and discovered several major manual processes that demonstrate the biggest areas for automation opportunity for vendors: 1) Sample testing and trials, 2) Quality assurance/product inspections, 3) On-site supplier audits, and 4) Warehousing.
The following chart is an example of one of the most paper-intensive areas in manufacturing — Sample Testing and Trials. Due to the high frequency of the sample testing and trials process (occurring on average of five times per product) and paper being used roughly 38% of the time, automating this area will improve processing times and compliance initiatives (both of which are the top goals and objectives for manufacturing organizations today).
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Christine Dunne Dunne
Aug 27, 2013
About a year and a half ago, we wrote a blog post about an adorable miniature printer from a London-based design firm called the “Little Printer.” The printer, which is now available for purchase, connects to the “cloud” and can print personalized mini “newspapers” at the press of a button or on a schedule.
The Little Printer
The post focused on the novelty of the product, as well as some questions we had related to pricing, the environment, and the types of feeds the printer can subscribe to. Now, after some internal discussions a year and a half later, we are starting to look at the product in a slightly new light (although those initial concerns haven’t necessarily been resolved). A number of recent product launches have prompted us to consider that the Little Printer might have been the first printer product in a new category of “mobile device-centric printers.” Read more »
Aug 23, 2013
After spending my Sunday afternoon looking through shoeboxes of photos, I realise that I have more printed photos of my childhood than I do of my adulthood. I have endless family albums and envelopes filled with memories of my younger years. The fact that my old family photos are only available as prints makes me cherish them even more. The sentimental feelings I get holding these photos in my hands I don’t feel when I look at photos I have stored electronically.Â Â Â Â
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Aug 22, 2013
Staples’ most recent earnings announcement and efforts to reinvent itself suggest the office equipment and supplies business has entered a period of long-term decline. Vendors and resellers need to take notice and develop new strategies for growth.
Consider some of the financial highlights and comments from Staples’ conference call with analysts: Read more »
Aug 21, 2013
In December of 2010, John Schloff briefed me on a new service called Volly that Pitney Bowes was working on. He later left the company, and now after nearly a year and a half on the sidelines of the digital mailbox services market, Schloff has joined new entrant Eco-mail as Managing Director of Marketing. Unlike Digital Postal Mail, doxo, Manilla and Volly, Eco-mail has no intention to create its own consumer destination. Its goal is to act as an open architecture exchange that connects producers of mail (e.g., banks, insurance providers, telcos, utilities) to their customers through any company (e.g., bank, telco, email provider, eCommerce provider) that wants to be a distributor.
Eco-mail at the Intersection of Producers, Distributors, and Consumers
I caught up with Schloff ahead of the announcement to get his perspective on coming back into the market. Here is what he had to say:
“I learned a lot during the early days of Volly, and have been watching the market intently since. It’s clear to me that four things have to happen to open this market up. First, Read more »
Aug 20, 2013
Industrial printing is always a side story at specialized trade shows like the beverage industry’s ‘drinktech’. Home to vendors of filling systems and other automation equipment for brewers and makers of soft drinks and other products, the 2013 version will take place September 16 to 20 in Munich. And though most of the printing will be coding and labeling related, there will be at least one full color printer, the KHS Innoprint. Already the subject of advance publicity, Innoprint prints on PET bottles directly in CMYK colors, using UV inkjet. The Innoprint is not the first system to do such printing–Tonejet and INX have offered direct color printing of metal cans since 2009–but if Innoprint performs as claimed, it will be the fastest direct digital color printer of beverage containers, and the first to come from a major maker of industrial automation systems for the drinks industry. The speed of Innoprint is important because it means that digital printing of labels as an integrated part of a production-speed bottling system will become possible.
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Aug 15, 2013
With a quiet roar, the namesake of a product we are all familiar with is taking a leap into the digital age. Formica Group, global manufacturer of the ubiquitous–and trademarked–Formica, is taking a bold step and now offers custom versions of its decorative architectural laminates to meet the needs of individual customers and designers called Formica Envisionâ„¢. Your restaurant’s bar counter, or your living room wall panels could thus soon feature your theme, or whatever other image or pattern that you want. Naturally, digital printing is behind the change; Formica Group will not comment on its technology, except to confirm that it some species of inkjet. Read more »
One of the big dilemmas for today’s smartphones and tablets is limited memory. With more vendors including only internal memory and no built-in microSD card slot for extended memory options, mobile device users are left with nowhere to go if they run out of internal memory for their collection of music, photos, and videos.
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