The consumer photo products market struggles with profitability and stagnation, as “deal” driven sales no longer capture consumers in the numbers that were typical just last year. With the deal companies taking 40+ percent of the revenue, breaking even, let alone making a profit, is difficult. That limits investments and reaction to market changes. Short-term strategies make it hard to survive for the long-term.
There have been few new offerings for the middle class consumer. Because the existing brick-and-mortar and online photo services have not found the right answer, a new wave of photo services is on the rise that will most likely take over the market. Companies will use photo products as brand awareness and community-building tools.
A consumer products company that makes diapers and items for babies can build brand loyalty with new moms by offering targeted photo products as part of a marketing strategy where the photo products become an incentive. A camera supplier bundles service offerings with a camera for families to take photos of growing children, collecting images in the cloud and printing them as a subscription model.
Reaching consumers with the right tools when they are ready to purchase requires an omni-channel strategy to allow consumers to work when, where and on the device of their choosing. These are linked to services that target a specific goal, like preserving consumers memories, and tools that give photo service providers a very quick time-to-market for new products and the flexibility to change product offerings to meet market demands. Engaging the consumer is critical. Highly targeted marketing is key, as is the ability to up-sell and cross-sell while the consumer is in the photo application.