Oct 6, 2008

Unfinished Business

This is interesting since photo books shouldn't take that much time to finish. Perhaps there is a good case here for scrapbook retailers to offer products through their stores and help digital scrappers finish their books. What's the point of starting one if you don't finish it? It's not like a half-finished scrapbook that people can STILL enjoy. Don't let your photo books get stuck on your hard drive somewhere. Get them done so you can enjoy them!

One interesting point is that interest in photobooks continues to climb. Nearly 10% of U.S. households have made a photo book. Contrast that with about 4% that have made a traditional scrapbook. Traditional retailers should figure out how to embrace BOTH types of memory keeping. Our PhotobookBiz program offers that option. Stay tuned, our new site should be launched in the coming week and information on how to join PhotoBookBiz will be there!

According to the 2008 PMA Camera/Camcorder Digital Imaging Survey, 8.8 percent of U.S. households made photo books in 2007, up from 7.3 percent in the previous year. Seventy-one percent of households that made photo books in 2007 completed all of the books they started, while 29 percent did not complete all of the books started. PMA Marketing Research estimates the average number of unfinished books is two. If looking at the population as a whole, it is likely that there are many more unfinished books.

The top reason cited for not completing a photo book that was started was the intention to finish at a later time, given by 53 percent of households. Perhaps some of these books will eventually become finished products. Twenty-nine percent of households said the process takes too long. This is an indicator that the most important improvement in the photo book market is in the software. Fifteen percent of those who started but did not finish a photo book did not have enough pictures to finish and 12 percent who just got bored with it. Some consumers simply may not be aware of all that is available to them. Other reasons for starting but not finishing a book were they did not have the pictures they wanted, it cost too much, and the process was too difficult to understand.

Photo books may have started out not varying much from a basic album, but recently not only has printing quality improved, but cover and embellishment options are anything but boring. Photo books can be a time consuming project and in order for the market to grow, it has to reach out to those who have little time and those who are not highly skilled in the area, but would like to have custom books with their pictures. These consumers who started making the books are especially interested in what photo books have to offer and if the manufacturers and retailers are sensitive to their needs, they may see an increase in finished products.

-- By Kristy Clairmont

PMA Marketing Research Analyst

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