Highlights of the Online Print Symposium 2014 in Munich

David Stabel
May 20, 2014

On May 15th/16th 2014 the second Online Print Symposium was held in Munich, Germany. The slogan of this years’ event: „E-Business Print: Trends, Markets, Practices“. The Online Print Symposium is jointly organized by the Fogra Forschungsgesellschaft e.V., zipcon consulting GmbH, and the Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. and acts as a platform to discuss the latest industry developments in the field of e-commerce and print within the so-called D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). InfoTrends was invited to attend the first day of this symposium, which attracted around 150 participants from within different parts of the industry.  Here are some key impressions of that day.

Opening of the Online Print Symposium 2014 in Munich with (from left to right) Bernd Zipper (zipncon consulting), Jens Meyer (PRINTXMEDIA), and Dr. Andreas Kraushaar (Fogra)


3D-Printing goes online

Clément Moreau, CEO Sculpteo, kicked-off the first day with a keynote about a cloud-based 3D-printing platform which makes on-demand 3D printing services available within a few mouse-clicks. This example showed that an online printing business model is not limited to traditional and digital printing businesses only.


Marketing as a cost driver in online print is increasing

„…When you can’t be found you don’t exist…“ is a well-known saying. As print purchases are increasingly made online, print service providers offering online print services must ensure that they are being found within this virtual market space. Also, usability and customer experiences are becoming decisive factors in differentiating from competition as Dennis Kleine from Kuehlhaus AG was explaining. Doing this successfully will challenge the marketing budget of the online printers.


Sales psychology plays an increasing important role for online print portals

Sales psychology and other marketing methods usually known from traditional online retail businesses are becoming increasingly important for online printing portals as they influence purchase decisions of print. Jessica Salver, CEO of manymize GbR, pointed out the effects of Priming, Framing, and Decoy on these decisions and gave some thoughts to think about the next time you want to purchase something.


Online printers will dominate the industry in the future

Bernd Zipper, CEO of zipcon consulting, and one of the organizers of the Online Print Symposium, presented the mega-trends of online print market within the D-A-CH region. It is predicted that so-called „print factories“ and online printers will have a 40%-50% share of the printing market by 2024 coming from a 10% share nowadays. Most of this growth will be taken from conventional and digital „commodity“ printers.


Bernd Zipper (zipcon consulting) is explaining the trends in online printing within the D-A-CH region


Standardization is key to success

Peter Kolb, CEO of druck.at, presented his impressive story in becoming the biggest online printer in Austria. One key element for a successful online printing business model was to implement a healthy level of standardization. Standardization was also an important element of the 3D-printing cloud platform.


Infotrends’ opinion

Online printing is becoming more complex.  After an era dominated by overcoming technological challenges and optimizing production workflows, it now seems that the next era has arrived within online printing where the focus is on optimizing the customer experience, building customer loyalty and using e-commerce tactics to maximize the order value. This will have major operational and marketing implications for both technology vendors and online service providers.

While Web-to-print has shown to drastically reduce operating cost, there also seems to be a potential to diversify into new market segments. The example of the cloud-based 3D-printing service could just be the top of the iceberg. Other popular areas include marketing or fulfillment services. InfoTrends has long been covering the developments of the online printing market and will continue to monitor the market very closely. InfoTrends estimates the Western European web-to-print market to be worth €91M in 2012 growing with almost 11% CAGR until 2017. A large percentage of this growth is coming from the German market, which has been slow to adopt web-to-print but has rapidly caught up in recent years.


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