Market Research : By 2015, Custom Photo Merchandise to Generate 80% of Online Finishing: InfoTrends

This article originally appear in the Photo Reporter on March 20, 2012 and can be view by clicking here.


Weymouth, MA—A recent InfoTrends report, U.S Online Photo Services Forecast: 2010-2015, highlights key market drivers in the online photo services market, projecting that by 2015 more than 80% of total net-to-mail (online) revenue will come from custom photo gifts and merchandise.

Other key points include that new product categories will emerge in the photo merchandise market to fuel growth, and printing and photo merchandise purchasing from mobile devices will provide additional opportunities for online photofinishers.

While online photofinishers have being offering basic photo products like photo cards, books and calendars, new products such as home décor (canvas wrap and fine art prints, posters, photo panels, children’s wall decorations) are now providing opportunities for online providers—because many retail outlets do not have the required equipment and operator training to create them. But whether you’re an online provider or brick-and-mortar retailer, continued product innovation is essential to fuel customers’ desires to enjoy and share their photos in different ways.

The study also considers trends in photo and memory preservation. The study states that consumers continue to rely on photo prints as a means of passing on their photos to future generations, and that print providers should leverage this. InfoTrends stresses the importance of prints or photo books as an easy way to pass photos down, adding that it’s also beneficial for those photofinishers that offer long-term storage of original images used for printing in case the originals are ever lost or damaged. “If photofinishers position themselves as a means to preserve photos that can be potentially lost, consumers who are less apt to purchase photo products will have an incentive to buy,” states the report.

Mobile applications were also considered. With today’s mobile lifestyle, most major online photo services now offer mobile applications that let users view their online photo albums, upload new photos and share them by various means. However, InfoTrends notes that many of these apps do not provide the ability to order prints or custom photo merchandise items. InfoTrends suggests adding this feature to online applications as many consumers use their mobile phone as their primary device for picture taking, storage and sharing.

InfoTrends’ U.S Online Photo Services Forecast: 2010-2015 report provides 2010 and 2011 market size estimates and projections through 2015 for the online photo services market, including active users (members who upload photos and visitors who do not) and net-to-mail photofinishing revenues (prints and custom photo merchandise).

neil enterprises pinterest board

Pinterest! Should photographers use it as a business tool?



So the latest social media craze is the super fast growing Pinterest. What is Pinterest you ask? Well back in the old days if you found something you like in a magazine whether it was a product you wanted, a cool photo, or just something inspirational, you’d rip it out and put it on a bulletin board. Well Pinterest is the digital version of just that!


Whether or not photographers should use it as a business, sales, and marketing tool is being debated by photographers across the globe. There’s a significant amount of benefits to being on Pinterest but the downsides are quite complicated. I highly recommend you read the two articles below which explore both sides of the issue.


Hey Photographer! Pinterest is NOT for You – written by Allen Murabayahi, CEO of PhotoShelter

Pinterest for Wedding Photographers – written by Leanne Marie, a Pittsburgh based professional photographer


For photographers on Pinterest there are many risks involved but when it comes to other types of businesses it could lead to plenty of new opportunities. And if you’re looking for inspiration on how to get started on Pinterest, just check out Neil Enterprise’s page:















UPDATE: Read this recently published article on the issue! – A Lawyer Who Is Also A Photographer Just Deleted All Her Pinterest Boards Out Of Fear by Alyson Shontell

Decorated 7702 wipe board

The New Dry Erase Board!

Looking for a creative gift? Something that you can totally customize and that’s practically a blank canvas. The new Dry Erase Board Photo Frame (#7702) is now in stock. It’s great for people of all ages and all kinds of occasions. From kids’ bedrooms to teacher’s desks, adding fun stickers and colors really transforms this once boring item.

Blank Dry Erase Board

Decorated 7702 wipe board

Decorated Dry Erase Board

Different stickers and things were used to decorate the wipe board above and purchased at a local craft store for less than $8.00. This included enough to decorate at least two boards and with the photo wipe board costing only $6.00 you can make a coupe of these for under $10.00 each. Not to mention, each wipe board comes with a pen that magnetically sticks to the board and has an eraser on the cap. Neil Enterprises also carries the same item in a cork board version. If you ever do something creative, feel free to send a photo to and we will feature it on our blog or even on the Neil Enterprises homepage!


What I want NOW!

New snow globes in time for the holiday season!!!

What will I be getting all my friends for the holidays? The new Create-A-Globe (#2716). With the Create-A-Globe you can design your own base insert. So I’ll be personalizing them for each one of my friends. The Globe actually comes with 4 pre-printed designs you can use but I plan on creating my own. Another thing that’s great about these globes is that they look like they’re glass but really their made out of this soft stuff so you don’t have to worry about breakage. And like most Neil globes they hold two photos, one on each side. And at only $6.50 each, I don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.


Create-A-Globes (#2716)

Here’s some globes I’ve created so far. In one of them I used a photo of the beach for the base design (great for vacation memories!). The one with the stripes I made for Christmas. I used QuickStitch Embroidery Papers and Mrs. Grossman’s stickers. The stickers look like they’re actually part of the base! The final one I create was made by embroidering on a cute sheet of pink polka dot QuickStitch Embroidery Papers. For all of these inserts once I created my design, I used the blank insert as a template to trace the proper size and then just cut it out.  It literally took minutes to do! Another great idea is if you’re handy with the computer. Then you can make some cool graphic design and just print that out. There’s so many different things you can do!

Another new snow globe that you should check out is the #2718 Mini Snow Globe. It’s cute and tiny and with a soft globe won’t break. The Mini Snow Globe is a great idea for stocking stuffers!

Mini Snow Globe

#2718 Mini Snow Globe

Click here to view ALL of the Neil Enterprises Snow Globes:

UPDATE: The new Create-A-Globes were featured in Invention and Technology News. Click here to read the article!

Photo Mailer

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

Have you guys checked out the new photo mailer frame (#242) yet? It’s perfect school and sports photographers alike. You just slip in a photo (or several) and fold over the cardboard cover. On the outside you can write the mailing address or even print your logo on it. Add a stamp and send it to your customer!

Then when the customer opens it (using the pull tab) they can pop out the easel backing and set it up to show off anywhere.

Photo Mailer

#242 Photo Mailer

Change things up a bit by mailing your photos in this new photo mailer instead of a boring envelope!

How to stick the Self-Stick Albums

Are you using or self-stick albums for the first time? Not sure how to put your photos in? It’s SUPER easy to use. Check out this video:

1. Place the photo on top of the page, exactly where you want
2. Lift the top corner of the photo and remove the top tab

3. Secure the upper corner of the photo
4. Lift up the bottom of the photo and remove the second/bottom tab.
5. Secure the rest of the photo by pressing down on it, starting at the top

Self-Stick Album
Self-Stick Album

The Fun Photo Strip Series

It’s party time! Have you checked out the super cool photo strip products yet? They were created specifically for the Sony SnapLab and Sony Photo Strip Media (2UPCC48TS) which is 4” x 8” perforated media that contains two rolls of print paper for 300 total prints.

Photo Strip Easel Frame


You need to download the SnapLab upgrade (which is FREE) before you start, Then insert the special media and you’re good to go. Snap some photos with your camera, then plug in the memory card to the SnapLab, select the photobooth design, then pick the photos, and print! You have the option of selecting a design that prints 3 photos or one that prints 4 photos. They look like they were taken in a photobooth but actually can be taken ANYWHERE!

The Fun Photo Strip Series includes two acrylic bent easel frames, one that is clear (#435) and one that has a film strip border (#2928). There are also two photo strip mounts (#3021 and #3022) with different sized windows to accommodate the two different settings on the Sony SnapLab.

The clear magnet frame (#926) and the film strip magnet frame (#2885) are ideal for school events like prom and fundraisers. The magnets are a great way for students to decorate their lockers. The clear photo bookmark (#5418) allows for two strip inserts, one on each side.

4 Strip Photo Mount


Back of photo strip Mount


All items in the series can be imprinted. This is a perfect way to highlight event themes or for photographers to promote themselves. In addition to these products Neil Enterprises actually carries Sony SnapLabs and different types of Sony media.

Sony SnapLabs require a free firmware upgrade to use the new photo booth features. The download and all these super cool products can be found here:

With the photo strip products not only will your event be a hit, but they get to take home a special something to remember it by. These are great for brand promotions, cocktail hour entertainment, corporate functions, parties, weddings, school events, and more!

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