Seasonality of photo products

Christmas is a popular season for all photo products, but many items have their own unique seasons throughout the year and you will find different times of the year are more popular for specific items. We analyse the seasonality of the most popular products, exploring which parts of the year they are most in demand and explain why.

Photo products make great gifts, because they can be easily personalized to create a wholly unique item. They are commonly used to celebrate important events, whether it’s a public event (such as Christmas, or a wedding) or something private and personal, such as a birthday or anniversary.

While this makes photo products a great source of income, it also makes them very seasonal in nature. According to Research and Markets, “one of the major drivers for this market is [a] growing gifting culture and increasing demand for seasonal decorations. Today, consumers not only purchase items to gift others, but also for self-gifting”.

So, while photo products are on the rise, it’s important to pay attention to when specific products are the most popular. In fact, MasterCard even suggests that the best way to increase revenue is by “dialling up a customer’s choice of gifts with a personal touch, especially during gift seasons”.

So, let’s take a look at how these products change throughout the season. We’ll go over the three most popular options: photobooks, calendars and photo canvases.

1: Photo products do well at the end of the year

Let’s cut to the chase: the New Year – November, December and January – period is the best time to sell photo products.

According to most reports, the peak season for photo products is between November and December, although this trend starts to grow in September. This is the lead up to Christmas, a very gift-giving period, so this should come as no surprise.

As you can see in this graph, there’s a very noticeable spike in online orders for these goods:

*1 order might have contained more than 1 product in the cart. Data gathered for one of Printbox partner e-commerce.

This is likely due to people planning ahead of Christmas and purchasing gifts early – a trend that continues up until the December itself. The highest activity occurs in the middle of December.

After this, it’s worth noting that certain products – calendars, specifically – sell well between December and January. It’s this and the buildup to the festive season that make the New Year period the epicenter of photoproduct purchases.

2: Photobooks are the most popular throughout the year – except near the end

Photobooks are one of the most popular items to sell and, for most of the year, they are a shopper’s favorite. The only time this isn’t the case is between November and January, when the highly seasonal nature of calendars causes a spike in sales

Here, you can better see how much photobooks dominate the market throughout the year:

So, why does this happen? We’ve already explained why calendars grow in demand near the end of the year. As for photobooks, remember that these items are used for various events throughout the year. People may purchase more than one item – whether it’s for themselves, friends or family members – and will often order several times a year, if it’s a busy period.

3: Every product is seasonal

Looking at the chart above, you can be forgiven for thinking only calendars are seasonal in nature.

The truth is, however, that every photo product is seasonal: calendars are just the most apparent. Just look at this data for search trends in the United States:

As you can see, everything grows in demand between December and November. For calendars, this increase is fourfold, but photobooks and canvases still double in popularity during this period as well.

4: Seasonality Depends On Culture

The data we’ve used here comes from Western Europe and the United States, but what about other world cultures?

Not everywhere celebrates Christmas and other cultures may have more important days at different times of the year.

According to a report by Research and Markets: “In regions like APAC and Central and South America, sales are higher during the regional holidays and wedding seasons. Depending on the product mix, companies may register additional peaks during international holidays such as Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.”

Considering this, it’s important to review the seasonality of various photo products. Because their peak demand can change depending on culture, it’s essential to monitor the seasonality of such items in relation to your specific customer base, to ensure you offer the right items at the right time.

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