The days of the memory card being, at times, the only accessories option for digital cameras are long gone. Today, CE retailers have expanded accessories sales to include carry cases; lenses; straps; printers, high-quality paper and ink; personalized picture books; batteries and chargers; digital picture frames; tripods; and filters, to name a few. Thanks to competitive pricing on popular SLRs, more digital photography enthusiasts are upgrading from pocket-size cameras to more advanced models, making room for a variety of creative add-ons that enhance the overall user experience.
“The most popular digital imaging accessories include software, lens, batteries, cases and Flash cards,” said Jeff Wiscot, vice president of marketing at Buy.com. According to Briana Curran, spokesperson for Staples, the office supply chain sells a wider range of camera accessories than ever before, including bags, kits, batteries and battery chargers. “We have found that this assortment is what matters most to our customers who are looking to purchase a digital camera and the necessary accessories,” Curran said. The chain is also merchandising more photo paper, printers, ink, cables and blank media with cameras due to consumers’ increased interest in actually doing something with their photos after they take them. “Our merchandising plan allows us to make it easy for the customer to find everything they need for their purchase,” she said.
It’s a good time to expand camera accessories, according to a recent study by research firm IDC, as digital camera shipments grew 22 percent in the second quarter of this year. Leading the field is Canon with 26 percent of the market, followed by Sony at 18 percent and Kodak at 12 percent. IDC reports that customers bought an estimated 7.8 million digital cameras during this quarter. The accessories aftermarket in the U.S. is expected to peak at $1 billion next year despite some expected price erosion, according to a recent report by research and consulting firm Understanding & Solutions. Combined camera accessory sales in the U.S. and Western Europe are currently $1.7 billion.