High Retention Rate among Photo Merchandise Buyers

David Haueter
Jul 25, 2013

InfoTrends recently published our 2013 U.S. Photo Merchandise End-User Survey , which we conduct every year to get a pulse on what’s happening in the consumer market. We ask specifically about photo books, cards, calendars and specialty photo prints, which includes poster and collage prints as well as canvas and photo panels. In the survey, we found that photo merchandise is continuing to penetrate more of the mass market. When all survey respondents were asked if they had bought any of these items in the last year, 40% answered “yes,” which was up from 37% in 2012 and 25% in 2009.

We also asked the entire survey population (including buyers and non-buyers) if they plan to buy any of these photo merchandise items in the next year. As shown in the chart below, photo cards have the highest percentage of people most likely to buy, with almost 40% saying they’ll either “definitely” or “probably” buy. This is no surprise given the continuing popularity of sending out photo cards for the Holidays.

When we consider only the responses from those that had bought photo merchandise in the last year, we find a very high retention rate, which is great. Across the board, the percentage of those respondents that said they would either “definitely” or “probably” buy was over 80%, and the percentage that said they would “definitely” buy was generally around 50%. Some people were uncertain, but only a very small percentage said they would “probably not” or “definitely not” buy again.

What does this mean for the industry? It means that the market is blessed with a large number of buyers that want to buy again, but those selling directly to these consumers need to make sure that they give them a compelling reason to come back and actually place another order, or even better, to move up to higher-end and more profitable products. Photo books, cards, calendars, and specialty prints are very attractive products, but consumers are constantly being reminded of the fact that they can share any photos they would have printed in a product for free, simply by posting them to a social networking or photo sharing site, or sending people a photo directly via mobile devices. The industry needs to not only continue to find creative ways to educate consumers on the emotional and sentimental value of printed products and make the buying experience a very positive one, but also to make it easier for consumers to order custom photo products directly from mobile devices. The success or failure of the market over the next five to ten years may depend on that.

The 2013 U.S. Photo Merchandise End-User Survey report will be available very soon on the InfoTrends Report Store website at http://store.infotrendsresearch.com/.

 

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