Identifying Opportunities in the U.S. Retail and Quick Print Market

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May 13, 2011

Over the past few years, the retail and quick print market has encountered hardship due to a weak economy and a general move to electronic delivery of many types of documents. As a result, value-added services have become an important component of retail and quick print providers’ service offerings. Recent surveys conducted by InfoTrends indicate just how important value-added services have become for this market. With 50% of revenue coming from services other than print, it is clear that print providers have realized the value associated with broadening their service portfolios. Direct marketing services such as direct mail and e-Mail marketing are among the top value-added services offered by quick print providers surveyed. In addition, there is a growing interest surrounding Internet related marketing services with a specific focus on social media marketing. As the print landscape continues to evolve, opportunities for new revenue growth will continue to arise.

One discovery that stemmed from our research is the opportunity in wide format. There is a vast array of wide format print media for a wide range of applications. Quick print providers have recognized this and are taking aim at a market that has historically been dominated by sign franchises. That said, quick printers’ expansion into wide format will mean that players in the sign market will need to look beyond wide format in order to remain competitive. For instance, offering a web-enabled service (i.e. Web-to-print) that provides access to wide format digital content and solutions.

In a recent InfoBlog, Kaspar Roos of InfoTrends estimates that in the United States, the share of total commercial print volume submitted via a Web-to-print solution will double from 15% in 2009 to 30% in 2014. As it stands, 11% of retail and quick print volume is submitted via a Web-to-print solution and the same level of growth can be expected for this segment of the market. While larger print establishments are able to take advantage of this opportunity, smaller retail and quick print providers tend to lack the resources needed to develop a Web-to-print solution of their own. InfoTrends’ Ultimate Guide to Web-to-print provides a third party evaluation of browser-based software that may prove useful to smaller print establishments looking to utilize this type of service.

Ultimately, the retail and quick print market will need to fight the same battles as the rest of the print market. Improved automation, integration with the web, and new services are required of any service provider who wants to evolve to remain relevant in this changing business landscape. InfoTrends’ recent analysis entitled, “Expanding Service Offerings is Key to Success in the U.S. Retail and Quick Print Market” discusses the recent shift in this market and the key trends that have developed as a result.

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