Retailers are facing challenges in a rapidly changing photo-processing category. One huge shift has been in category leadership. One dominant brand is no longer directing — and pouring advertising dollars into — the category, so retailers need to take a more active role in marketing photo processing.
Another challenge is what to market. Consumers are still ordering prints, but they are increasingly viewing, manipulating and saving their photos online.
“People are inundated with images; the challenge is getting them to do something with them other than online sharing,” said Gary Pageau, an industry consultant.
Drug retailers have been quick to adopt photo apps that allow consumers to order prints from their smartphones or tablets. Using CVS’ app, consumers can access and print their photos or their friends’ photos directly from Facebook without a digital camera, USB drive or smartcard. At Walgreens, consumers can print Facebook album photos with likes and comments Some industry feedback has shown that consumers are actually using kiosks in drug stores to upload their photos to Facebook. The big question is whether or not those apps are leading to more dollars spent in the category.
Jennifer Kruger, a spokeswoman for the Photo Marketing Association, said the category will really depend on getting consumers to recognize the need for photo prints in addition to online photo sharing. “Digital images are great, but they lack permanence,” she said. “Prints provide a historical record that lasts for a very long time.”
Getting that message across is a big job. An easier task for retailers is to create a well-merchandised department that tempts consumers with products they can personalize with their digital images. “Gifting is the way to go for photo profit now,” Kruger said.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Photo Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.