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Online Orders Dominate Photobook Sales in Western Europe

Photobooks Market Analysis and Commentary

18 Jul 2017 - Sales of consumer photobooks in Western Europe are being driven upwards by a combination of higher quality products, direct online sales and innovation from new market players, according to the latest Futuresource Western European Photobook Market Report.

Over 25 million units were sold in Western Europe in 2016 with volumes on track to reach 25.6 million units in 2017, finds the report. Online orders dominate the market with close to 95% of all photobooks ordered online.

"The Western European consumer photobook market is in a state of sales volume maturity, yet expected to still marginally grow in the coming years," says Jeremy Wills, Senior Market Analyst of Print & Imaging at Futuresource Consulting. "More than 70% of orders were web-to-home and over 22% were web-to-retail in 2016 and we expect that figure to keep rising."

Germany, the Benelux region and France hold close to 65% of West Europe's entire sales volumes of photobooks, but Switzerland was the leading market for online ordering in the region in 2016, where almost all photo books are ordered through an online channel.

New players, such as Google, are entering the market and driving technological developments, notably applying machine learning on image data sets. Although Google has only launched in the U.S. at the moment, Futuresource anticipates that its presence is likely to swell, energising the European market place.

"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," adds Wills. "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. If consumers are offered more timely ways to order photobooks, there is great potential for the industry to sell more of them." The improving resolution of smartphone cameras in recent years has started to provide images of high enough quality to print into larger photo products such as photobooks, which is boosting average retail prices. Additionally, a rise in VAT on photobooks in Austria and Germany is having impact on price.

Futuresource have assessed the development of the consumer photobook market in Western Europe in this report to include volume, value and average price forecasts through to 2021, distribution trends, product trends and a detailed overview of the competitive situation. Coverage is of Western Europe's top-12 markets: Austria, Benelux, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and the UK.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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