Which customers should you pay more attention to: the ones who come in to your store in greater numbers, or the ones who walk out with more purchases-per-person?
Research firm InfoTrends says its surveys over the years have “consistently shown that those who identify themselves as Hobbyist or Advanced Hobbyist photographers produce significantly more printed products than those that identify themselves as Snapshot or Family Memory-Keeper photographers.
While of course “photo merchandise vendors must rely on sales to the average snapshot photographer who makes up a large percentage of the addressable market for products like photo cards, books and calendars” those higher-margin products “are much more popular with hobbyist photographers. While only 32% of snapshot photographers and 45% of family memory-keeper photographers in the entire survey population had ordered any kind of photo merchandise product in the last year, those percentages rose to 57% for hobbyist photographers and 71% for advanced hobbyist photographers.” Also, InfoTrends adds, these enthusiasts are “much more likely to buy these types of products again in the next year,” and also make “significantly more traditional photo prints than the snapshot or family memory-keeper photographers, from both cameras and phones.”
It might be easy to dismiss these percentages as reflecting only the tastes of a small market segment. Not so: InfoTrends says the hobbyist/advanced hobbyist photographers “also represent a fairly significant portion of the population” at 27 percent. This group also has a strong influence on the buying habits of friends and family that may fall into the snapshot of family memory-keeper photographer categories, the researchers add. “Word-of-mouth advertising is a key driver for first-time photo merchandise purchases, and it’s very likely that snapshot or family memory-keepers that have hobbyist photographer friends are going to turn to them for advice not only for camera purchases, but also for advice on the buying of products like photo books, canvas and photo panels. Vendors in the market should take this to heart in marketing activities, perhaps by using some direct marketing that rewards referrals to friends and family.”
Hobbyist photographers “likely tend to be more creative types that experiment with their photography and enjoy seeing their best work displayed on their walls or in a photo book,” the firm adds. They are “the type of photographers who more often rely on their camera instead of their camera-phone and who know how aperture, shutter speed and ISO.”
What Motivates Photo Behavior?
InfoTrends is also now launching a new study of the motivations for consumer photo and video behaviors — “the reasons for the choices they make, and what influences their daily photo activities.”
Social Photo and Video: The New Communication and Memory-Keeping Paradigm “will provide vendors and service providers with information to help them understand what influences consumers and their imaging choices,” the company says, “as well as what products and services will help satisfy consumers’ unmet needs related to photo and video expression.”
The study will also examine key questions such as:
• What motivates digital expression?
• What would make consumers capture, share, and print more?
• Are there friction points that are restricting activity?