Sales of consumer photobooks in Western Europe are on course to rise slightly to 25.6 million units this year, up from 25 million units in 2016, according to the latest Futuresource Western European Photobook Market Report.
Futuresource attributes the rise to a combination of higher quality products, direct online sales and innovation from new market players, including Google which recently entered the U.S. market.
Jeremy Wills, Senior Market Analyst of Print & Imaging at Futuresource Consulting, points out that smartphones are starting to have an influence, due to the improving resolution of smartphone cameras, which can now provide images of high enough quality for photobooks, and to the emergence of additional ordering options.
“Although there is no substantial influence of smartphone-placed orders yet, new, easy to use apps are being developed and are expected to play a significant role in the future. This is partly due to new developments in Artificial Intelligence, facial recognition and curation, which allow resellers to offer ready-to-print photobooks, tailored to the consumer,” he said.
Futuresource’s analysis shows that online orders continue to dominate the market, accounting for close to 95% of all photobook sales. More than 70% of orders last year were web-to-home and 22% web-to-retail.