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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Sept 27, 2022

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/)
Sept 22, 2022

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.

Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.

At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise  are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.

A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:

Prioritize Your Success

Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance

Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS. 

To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.

It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins. 

Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.

Sept 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)