Online Photo Printing in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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During the past five years, social networks and links to other photo sharing sites encouraged consumers to store and print pictures through online channels. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Online Photo Printing industry in its growing industry report collection.

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New technology to enable more customization will boost demand for industry services

The Online Photo Printing industry is benefiting from a consumer shift toward photo sharing. During the past five years, social networks and links to other photo sharing sites encouraged consumers to store and print pictures through online channels. An increasing number of broadband and mobile internet connections also facilitated consumer access to such websites, contributing to industry growth despite low consumer disposable income. Consequently, revenue is estimated to grow annually during the five years to 2013, including significant growth in 2013.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Kiera Outlaw, “New technologies and diminishing costs per consumer are benefiting the industry's bottom line.” Furthermore, industry operators developed and invested in process automation, which allowed them to reduce the industry's labor intensity. This factor slowed employment growth in the five years to 2013. Such cost-cutting measures contributed to profit expansion. Nonetheless, profitability was hampered by higher input prices, such as the rising cost of paper. In addition, the industry's increased reliance on mechanical processes caused depreciation costs to rise. However, mechanical processes are becoming increasingly efficient, resulting in diminishing automation costs over time. Meanwhile, industry innovation has made customization easier and more fun for consumers, and has enabled companies to offer a wider spectrum of products, boosting their value to consumers.

The Online Photo Printing industry has a low level of concentration, with the four largest players (including Shutterfly Inc., Snapfish Inc. and Winkflash Inc.) estimated to account for more than 30.0% of revenue (see IBISWorld report OD5450 for major player market shares). This percentage has risen rapidly over the past five years, mostly carried due to major player Shutterfly increasing its market share in 2008. Numerous industry acquisitions have increased the company's market share. The other remaining companies account for more than 60.0% of industry revenue. While most companies appear to be doing quite well, acquisitions are frequently occurring. If current trends continue and Shutterfly becomes larger, the industry could easily enter into a medium level of concentration, with the top four players accounting for roughly half of industry revenue.

During the next five years, “technological advancements will continue to prop up industry expansion,” says Outlaw. Rising internet and mobile access will enable more consumers to print photos online, and industry marketing will attract consumers through social media and mobile applications. Industry players will add more customization options to their products and services, targeting consumers' specific tastes and locations. During the next five years, rising disposable income is also forecast to support industry revenue. Also, downstream demand from the Photography industry (IBISWorld report 54192) is also expected to escalate as professional photographers offer clients a wider variety of printed products, which they will increasingly obtain through industry services. As a result, revenue is projected to grow in the five years to 2018.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Online Photo Printing in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics
The Online Photo Printing industry offers photo-printing services online. It does not include brick-and-mortar stores, such as Target and CVS. Online photo printing is different from digital photo printing. However, online photo printing is part of overall digital photo printing, since photos must be in a digital form to order prints online. Commercial web-enabled printing services are excluded from this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.

Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
IBISWorld Inc.
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