Page 5: Technological factors
How technology is changing demand
The photography and imaging business has experienced considerable change in recent years. Technology has been at the forefront of this change.
New digital cameras and digital media enable ordinary people to take high-quality photographs. These images can be quickly edited and altered. The digital camera market has expanded rapidly as a result. It is also quickly changing. For example, as more mobile phones come fitted with good quality built-in cameras, sales in standalone digital cameras have begun to fall.
The development of the internet is also having an impact on the market. Young consumers are also much more willing and confident to experiment with new media. More customers are using the internet for shopping. The development of these new selling channels has helped to push down prices.
Modern photographic equipment is much more affordable. High specification cameras can now be bought at relatively low prices. The increased use of the internet has also started to change theway people use photographs.
Increasingly, people use social media to share images online on sites such as Facebook and Flicker. Many people upload images from their mobile phones onto a social media site. By consuming and sharing images in this way, there is less demand for print copies. Sales of digital prints are declining by 10% a year.
Jessops have come up with technological solutions in response to these changes. The company is responding by providing products and services that reflect the way that customers take, use and distribute photos:
- Customers are now able to print images taken from social media or other websites.
- These images can be printed in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be compiled in photo books. Selected images can be printed on canvas, acrylic and aluminium.
- Customers can incorporate their images in gifts such as calendars, posters and greetings cards.
- Jessops has an integrated service for images created on mobile phones and loaded onto social media sites.
Jessops is seeking to make its customers aware of all its multichannel services. These include a range of new opportunities for printing images and for uploading and downloading images to Facebook. New developments include being able to create photo books and gifts from images generated through Flicker and Picasa. Customers can also order their digital prints online and collect them from their local store.
These developments, alongside a wider range of products, improved online functionality and consumer finance with an instant decision, have resulted in rapid growth of Jessops’ online business. In fact, its .com business has trebled in size over the last 3 years.
By using wide-format printers, customers will be able to have wall art printed on site within the hour. New kiosk technology will enable customers to convert old videos and films to digital formats, with results saved to Blu-ray Disc or DVD. Tablet style kiosks with a seating area will be introduced to Jessops’ centres of excellence to allow customers to order their images in a relaxed environment.
Jessops also offers customers a free 10gb storage facility that can be accessed in store via a kiosk or online. This allows customers another way to save their images. These images can then be accessed online, in stores or through smart phone applications.