Retail Printing Approaches Parity With Home Solutions

By Greg Scoblete On Jul 17 2006 - 6:00am

Jackson, Mich. — Home may be where the heart is, but it's no longer where the print is, at least not exclusively. According to the Photo Marketing Association (PMA), home printing accounted for 42 percent of all digital prints made while retail printing edged in at 41 percent. Online printing (which includes orders printed and picked up in-store) accounted for the remaining print activity.

The rise of retail printing marks a dramatic shift in consumer behavior from just three years ago, when PMA noted that only 18 percent of digital photos were printed at retail stores. The home still generates the most revenue at an estimated $1.48 billion vs. retail's $1.15 billion. In fact, overall, both film and digital cameras produced 14 percent fewer prints in 2005 than in 2000. However, when home printing is factored in, the total value of printing was higher in 2005 than 2000, PMA observed.

Online printing is also hot. Its growth outpaces the overall market, but it trails the ascent of retail printing, PMA noted. While retail outlets and pure-play online services have teamed up to drive more in-store pick up, consumers still largely use the Web to have prints mailed directly to their homes. According to PMA, the number of prints ordered online and mailed to consumers' homes accounted for more than 9 percent of the total prints made in 2005 vs. 7 percent the year before.

Alongside the shifting landscape of where consumers print lies the more static number of consumers who don't print anything, anywhere. While the total number of digital prints has risen, according to PMA fully a third of digital camera owners made no prints whatsoever.

“Total digital print growth is occurring because: (a) the number of digital camera owners has continuously grown and (b) because the new owners take slightly more photos, so the total images captured keeps increasing. Growth is not due to each household saving more pictures or printing a larger percentage of saved images. Both of these factors have remained fairly constant over time,” the association noted.

eBay Snapshot
Top digital camera brands searched for on eBay between 6/3/06 and 7/7/06
Source: eBay marketplace data
©TWICE 2006

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