September 2, 2005, 12:00 AM

The web opens up the photo printing market for retailers

The proportion of digital pictures that consumers print at retail locations is growing, says a new study of digital camera trends from researchers IDC. The web will play a key role in the future of digital picture printing, IDC says.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Not only is the number of consumers printing digital pictures increasing, but the proportion that they print at retail locations is growing, says a new study of digital camera trends from researchers IDC. The web will play a key role in the future of digital picture printing, IDC says.

IDC`s new report, “2005 U.S. Consumer Digital Imaging Survey,” reports that 36% of users print their photos at a retail location and 6% of all digital photographers use the web to send their pictures to a printing facility. Two-thirds of pictures loaded for printing online go to retail locations; the balance go to mail-order printing facilities, IDC reports.

Retailers have hugely increased their share of the market in three years, IDC says. In 2002, only 4% of images were printed at retail locations. Most of the rest were printed at home. In 2005, 25% of images will be printed at retail. “Retail printing is growing its share of the market at the expense of home printing,” says Chris Chute, senior analyst, Worldwide Digital Imaging Solutions and Services.

Providing a web upload option for consumers “is really a core strategy for retailers,” Chute says.

The market will continue to grow, Chute says. “More people are taking digital pictures but the proportion of pictures printed and deleted are remaining the same,” he says.

38% of users never delete a picture or delete less than 10%. The retail price to print a digital picture is from 15-29 cents, Chute says.

The mean number of digital images captured per month is 75 and 14% of total digital camera owners capture more than 100 images per month, IDC reports.

 

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