TWICE: What will be the driving trends in the imaging industry during the fourth quarter and holiday selling season this year and how should retailers prepare?
Chris Chute, IDC: 4K video capture will be a tactic used by Sony and Samsung to show how consumers can use their devices and display content on televisions. Connectivity to tablets and the mobile internet should also be front and center in any go-to market initiative during the holidays.
Benjamin Arnold, The NPD Group: Lifestyle is becoming more important for design (colors, rugged/ waterproof) but also in how the devices are used- wearable/mountable. For me, these are the biggest growth trends in imaging. For traditional cameras, I think it will be important to communicate the advantages over mobile photography. Perhaps we’ll see some more significant price movement as a way to help step new consumers up to DSLR. I think it’s important to market DSLR to consumers who are at risk of going totally mobile for photography.
Masahiro Horie, Nikon: Entry-level DSLR, including the D5300 and D3300, will be very important in the second half of the year, including wellmatched accessory Nikkor lenses for consumers’ DSLR purchases. Long-zoom bridge cameras will continue to drive point-and-shoot sales; these customers will always want a camera as a present or to capture memories for families, friends, vacations and life events. Nikon suggests that retailers should make sure to adequately train staff in connectivity, the benefits of various Nikkor lenses, and how a Nikon camera can fit into the lives of their potential customers.
Darin Pepple, Panasonic: Black Friday has become a week-long or longer event lately and is no longer a one-day or weekend event. Dealers should prepare to remain visible and relevant over the long haul and not worry about just one day. As for a trend, we see 4K video and mirrorless as an amazing opportunity this year as consumers start to look into this segment more deeply. We see the DSLR as a technology that has reached its limit in photo enthusiast consumer appeal because not much other than price has changed lately.
Scott W. Hardy, Polaroid: I think connectivity will continue to be a huge driver of consumer demand throughout the balance of the year, as will the need for retailers to offer a diverse range of products and solutions for consumers. The market is fairly fragmented right now and consumers have very specific ideas and preferences that they want manufacturers to meet. I would recommend that retailers find the right mix of products that deliver a unique value proposition to their customer base. Consumers are always expecting more for less. They want the right feature set, at the best price and are looking for easy to use and fun products. This is part of the Polaroid philosophy, and we see continued success in providing these types of products to the consumer.
Jay Kelbley, Samsung: For cameras, we expect customers to continue to look for features that go beyond what their smartphones are capable of. Key camera features will continue to be long zoom and low light sensitivity. Along with these camera performance needs, connectivity and smartphone interoperability will continue to drive customers’ purchases this holiday season.
Mark Weir, Sony: The well-established pattern of price competitiveness is bound to remain a mainstay of holiday selling season. However, added value models are beginning to become as compelling as low price, so good planning becomes even more important.
Mark Sherengo, Ricoh Imaging: Traditionally price has driven Black Friday promotions as an effective marketing tool. Manufactures can work with the retailer to build the “have to have” campaign. “Cameras just sitting on a shelf” as a promotion is not an option. When people can try the product and see the results, they are more likely to buy.