Analysis: A Snapshot of Demand for Photography Gear

It’s hard to think of too many inventions that have had a greater impact on history than the camera. Between people snapping and posting shots from their phones, to professionals painstakingly setting up the perfect shot, countless photographs are snapped every year.

June 29th marks National Camera Day, a day when Americans are encouraged to celebrate by taking pictures and sharing them with the world, but we thought we’d celebrate by doing what we do best: diving into some data to learn more about online demand for cameras.

When is demand for cameras highest? Which types of cameras are the biggest sellers? Did COVID-19 impact online demand for cameras? Keep reading as we look to answer these questions and more.

When is online demand for cameras typically highest?

To understand online demand for cameras, we started by analyzing when people were searching for the term “camera” on Amazon every day in 2019 and 2020. We then combined total demand for each month of both of those years to see if a seasonal pattern emerged.

Demand for cameras across the past two years was definitely highest during the summer months, when people are more likely to be traveling, heading outdoors, and looking for a nice camera to capture their summer adventures.

November was the second biggest single month, even edging out December, which suggests people are slightly more likely to buy a camera to take pictures during the holidays instead of buying a camera as a last-minute holiday gift.

The sluggish demand during the spring months was surprising, and we immediately wondered if this was the result of COVID-19’s impact in 2020. So of course we had to dig deeper.

How did COVID-19 impact online demand for cameras?

Next we took a much closer look at 2020, examining when people were searching for the term “camera” for each week of the year.

Here we see clear evidence that COVID-19 had a significant impact on online demand for cameras.

Demand began to dip as early as late February, bottoming out during the week of March 15th as Americans began sheltering in place and practicing social distancing.

Demand began to recover in the springtime, but remained low even throughout the summer, only exceeding January’s levels during the height of the holiday shopping season. This suggests that COVID-19 depressed online demand for cameras throughout the year, as people were far less likely to be out traveling, adventuring, or getting together for big events and gatherings.

We can see an even clearer picture of this long-term impact when we compare monthly demand from January 2019 through April 2021:

In 2019, demand climbed steadily from March through June, then skyrocketing in July. This chart shows just how devastating last year’s slow summer was on online demand for cameras.

The good news is that it appears this year we may be on track for a return to more normal trends. Demand in 2021 has been at or above 2019’s levels for every month so far. It will be interesting to see if we see any evidence of pent-up demand as we proceed into summer and Americans start to head back out on summer adventures this year.

Which types and brands of cameras are the most popular?

The most popular camera in the world right now is easily the smartphone, but that doesn’t mean that all other cameras have become obsolete. Quite the contrary. From photo sharing apps to video and streaming platforms, quality photography equipment is still extremely popular.

So we next wanted to dive even deeper into our data by examining online demand for different types of cameras and some of the most popular camera brands.

First, let’s take a quick look at three of the major types of cameras: digital, film, and instant, starting with total combined demand from January 2019 through April this year.

As you might expect, digital cameras reign supreme, but film and instant cameras still maintain relatively strong niche demand.

Now let’s take a look at the major camera brands.

Canon was easily the most popular brand in our analysis, but at a surprisingly strong second place was Polaroid, which saw only 20% less demand than Canon.

From there we have a somewhat steeper drop to third place Sony and fourth place Nikon, who are the other two major players along with Canon in the higher-end digital camera space.

COVID-19 impacted some types and brands of cameras differently than others

Lastly, we wanted to take a closer look at these different brands and types of cameras to see if seasonal trends differed, and how COVID-19 may have impacted those individual trends.

To do this, we examined some of the major brands individually, comparing demand for each month from January 2019 through April of this year.

Let’s start with Canon, the most popular of the brands in our analysis:

In 2019, a “typical” year, demand for Canon cameras was highest during the summer and the holiday shopping seasons. As you can see, COVID-19 had a clear impact on demand in March of last year, although it appears demand for Canon cameras recovered to above-normal figures in May.

That recovery appears to have been short-lived, with Canon experiencing diminished demand through the summer. There was an unusual spike in October, but it appears to have been isolated, as demand fell again over the holidays and has been below 2019’s figures for each month so far this year.

Next up, Polaroid:

Polaroid cameras rely heavily on holiday sales, as demand in November and December doubles the monthly average during the rest of the year.

Demand was down throughout the year in 2020, starting with a modest dip in March that continued with demand staying below 2019’s figures through the rest of the year.

Things appear to be back to normal for Polaroid, though, as monthly demand in 2021 has been nearly identical to 2019.

Let’s now take a quick look at our third most popular camera brand.

Sony’s compact mirrorless cameras make them a popular mid-range travel camera, which is evidenced by its peaking demand in the summertime during a “normal” year. As you might expect, then, COVID appears to have had a major impact on demand for Sony cameras last year.

Once again, demand dipped in March and stayed below 2019’s figures for the rest of the year. 2021 has seen demand rebound slightly above last year’s, but fail to recover to 2019 so far. We’ll have to wait and see if this summer brings better news for Sony cameras.

Lastly, we wanted to highlight one type of camera that has bucked all the trends so far. Film cameras, once thought to be going the way of the dinosaur, appear to be only growing in popularity.

Not only did demand for film cameras appear to be unaffected by COVID-19, it actually increased from 2019 to 2020 in every single month of the year.

That trend only seems to be getting stronger in 2021. Demand for film cameras in April 2021 was 61% higher than in April 2020 and 90% higher than in April 2019. If 2021 follows typical seasonal trends, we should expect to see demand for film cameras only continue to climb.

While certainly still a niche product, there’s clear evidence that it’s a growing one.

A lesson for brands

Our data shows that COVID-19 had a definite impact on online demand for all types of cameras. It also showed us that the biggest time for online demand for cameras this year is still ahead of us, and we could very well see a significant rebound this summer and holiday season.

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

To stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights on the right.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today.

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Amazon's Sponsored Product ads
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What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

Utilizing Amazon sponsored ads can be a smart way for a brand to drive greater traffic to a product listing and start increasing sales. While many brands still struggle to manage their advertising strategies, 30% of Amazon brand sellers increased their advertising budgets in 2022. As ecommerce executives (or even on the nose with VPs of ecommerce?)  approve their 2023 advertising budgets, it may be worth it to take a look at Amazon’s advertising products and the benefit they may have on increasing conversions. 

​​Pattern is the premier ecommerce accelerator with all of the expertise, data-driven insights, and technology brands need to gain control on Amazon and maintain their competitive niche. We know the high value of and how to utilize Amazon’s advertising products to drive the most traffic and conversions to benefit and accelerate your brand.

Here are Amazon’s three main advertising products you should know about in order to drive listing traffic to your products and increase conversions: 

For a brand executive who is selling their product on Amazon, you may not already know the differences between campaign type, so we will walk you through the differences and uses for each of these three ad campaigns.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Products are a mid-funnel advertising strategy that gives visibility to products above the top organic listings (see example below). This strategy uses custom keywords to get products in front of the consumers who are searching for them, however it can be used to capture new audiences as well.These cost-per-click (CPC) ads require no additional copy or images, but usually receive the most interaction of the campaigns and need to be monitored closely.

As you can see, these ads look just like an organic listing, however they say, “Sponsored,” on them. These types of ads can be especially effective forms of advertising because they tend to blend in with the organic results around them. With Sponsored Products, you can get your products in front of qualified customers who are searching for your product in such a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being served an advertisement.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are a top-of-funnel brand awareness tool and function on keywords. This ad format helps show a customer what they may be in need of and where to get it.  Commonly used to promote product lines or best sellers, a Sponsored Brand ad shows up as a banner above the search results (see example below). This type of ad requires that the brand showcase at least three separate products.

Unlike other campaigns used on the Amazon platform, Sponsored Brand ads require ad copy and a unique logo. These ads also can take customers to a custom landing page, or a page on the brand store, that way they get a clear and overall picture about who your brand is, what other products you sell, and why they can trust your brand

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display ads can be a tactic for top, middle, or bottom of the advertising funnel due to its varying targeting abilities. Although most commonly found under the bullet points of a detail page, these ads can also show in emails, newsletters, and even more locations off platform.

Unlike the previous ad campaigns discussed, sponsored display ads can target shopping behaviors, like repeat purchasers, similar product purchasers, and even people who viewed the detail page but did not buy. Sponsored Display ads help customers discover your brand, drive awareness, and create loyalty. 

The example above shows just one of the many placements Sponsored Display has.

Accelerate Your Sponsored Products With Pattern 

Rather than competing with each other, each of the three sponsored ad products focus on a different section of the sales funnel, allowing you to target your customers and hit your sales numbers, all while edging out possible competitors. When brands use these advertising campaigns, they can better optimize their ad budget to improve ROAS and build revenue. 

At Pattern, we have all the resources to help your brand build successful advertising and digital marketing campaigns on Amazon so you can increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase your revenue

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads
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Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.

1. Go Early

In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.

From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.

From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.

It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.

Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.

The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.

Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.

Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.