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US photo output survey shows need for speed

Photo output providers face three challenges, according to US market analyst Suite 48 Analytics: how to avoid margin-eating price discounts; how to be relevant to smartphone users; and how to attract new photo print product buyers.

Suite 48 Analytics asked respondents ‘which device did you or your partner place your most recent photo product order in the last 12 months.’ (Source: Suite 48 Analytics 2020 Photo Print Product Survey.)

While much can be speculated about the wisdom of various strategies to tackle these challenges, the new Suite 48 Analytics 2020 Photo Print Product Survey provides a range of data points that enable vendors to be more strategic about tackling these challenges.

The study differentiates between three categories of respondents: Those who have ordered photo products in the past 12 months; those who haven’t bought recently but have in the past; and those who have never bought photo products. Its findings clearly show that vendors should differentiate their strategies between these segments in order to achieve best results.

‘One of the most insightful analyses we conducted with this survey is comparing the characteristics of first-time photo product buyers with those who have also ordered photo products in the past,’ said Hans Hartman, author of the report.

‘For instance, you often hear it said that hard-to-refuse price promos are the way to attract first-time photo product buyers, with the assumption that once these newcomers experience the benefits of photo print products, they’ll become loyal customers. In reality, we found that only 11 percent of the first-time photo product buyers selected their vendor because of their pricing, significantly less than existing photo product buyers.’

The Suite 48 Analytics 2020 Photo Print Product Survey was conducted among 1248 US respondents aged 18 years or older who take at least 5 photos a month. The study covers an array of questions, such as:
What types of photo products do the respondents or their partner order?
How many times per year do they order photo products?
Do they edit their photos before including them in photo products?
How do they select their photo product vendor?
How interested are they in various scenarios that might improve the photo product creation process and make it easier or faster to discover photo products and get them fulfilled?

For instance, how interested would they be if they could subscribe to receiving a discounted photo product each month that’s automatically created from their camera roll?

A particular area of attention in the survey is the device (computer, smartphone, tablet, or kiosk) on which the respondents or their partner have ordered their most recent photo product, with questions such as:
How many respondents used any of these devices for placing their latest photo product order?
Why do respondents decide to use one device over another?
If they ordered photo products on their smartphone, did they do so through the vendor’s website or their app? And what made them choose the app over a website?

All survey answers are analyzed for statistically significant differences between male and female respondents, those with children living with them vs. those without, and respondents who ordered photo products for the first-time vs. those who have also done so in the past.

Suite 48 Analytics provided a little more detail from the survey in its most recent newsletter. Respondents were asked what if anything would prompt them to order more photo products, and given a range of options. Getting the products faster was well out in front (27 percent). This (unfortunately), was followed by ‘nothing’ (21 percent) and, reflecting a recent market trial by Google Photos,  ‘automatically receiving each month a photo product created from your camera roll, based on a subscription price that’s 70 percent off from individual orders’ (20 percent).

The Suite 48 Analytics 2020 Photo Print Product Survey has 64 pages and includes 25 tables and 30 charts. It’s for sale from the Suite 48 Analytics website.

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