Future Of Printing Industry In 2021 And Beyond

Future Of Printing Industry In 2021 And Beyond

The estimated value of the Global Commercial Printing Market was $411.99 billion in the year 2020. 

It is expected to value around $472.35 billion by the end of 2026, with a CAGR of about 2.24 percent between 2021 as well as 2026. The printing industry is expected to grow drastically in the upcoming five years. 

As per the most recent research study, the pandemic situation has wreaked havoc on numerous global sectors, including the print industry.

The difficulty of functioning during the lockdown has had an impact on the operational hierarchy. While some of the limitations may go away with time, others may have long-term consequences.

Commercial printing is handled by about 25,000 businesses in America. It effectively brings in around $900 billion of revenue each year.

As a result, don’t go with the rumor that “printing is dead.” It’s not at all true. Advanced print technology has a bright future ahead, incorporating cutting-edge media as well as communication waves that are unimaginable today.

Even though print is not widely used, the sector is poised to grow as a result of privacy concerns and oversaturation on digital platforms.

  • So, Where Does The Printing Industry Go From Here?

Significant changes are on the horizon, according to the consensus. Some of the most well-known printing businesses are focusing on completely new ideas and making use of digital printing technology to personalize their products.

Here’s how the newest printing technology will help to advance things:

  • Graphics And Publications: Low To High Growth

During the difficult pandemic situation, the printing of newspapers and periodicals was hugely affected. Because of extensive work-from-home, sales ceased, and readers turned to online channels. Even IKEA, the world’s most important printing operation, has ceased production of catalogs to save money.

People stopped visiting stores, restaurants, pubs, and hotels, which significantly affected the graphics industry especially the PoS (point of sale) and wide-format display. 

Commercial printing, such as manuals, newsletters, and business forms, was also badly affected. Many service providers were forced to close their businesses, due to a sharp drop in demand.

Following the pandemic, a new, as well as open atmosphere, will provide greater possibilities for businesses to survive. 

There will be fewer occurrences of low-value printing activities if this is accomplished. The American print industry will concentrate on increasing the value as well as interest in their goods.

  • Print Substrates Are Still In A Bad Phase

The collapse of the graphic industry, as well as the reduction in publication jobs, will manifest in the market that is aimed at print substrates. 

Volumes of newsprint, coated or uncoated mechanical, as well as woodfree have all decreased. Much of this, unfortunately, will be permanent.

As per the Smithers study, print substrate usage in 2022 was down by about 10.4 percent from the pre-Covid-19 scenario in 2019. 

Volumes of packaging film as well as board will be more robust, returning to positive growth by 2025 and beyond.

Many pulps, as well as paper mills, closed or reused their existing equipment. In this volatile market, finding balance is critical. 

The supply of recovered pulp will be disrupted for a short time. Over time, maybe a decade, brand owners, as well as environmental laws, will further destabilize the industry.

  • However, The Good News Is That Ecommerce Is Booming

Retailers used creative eCommerce as well as direct-to-consumer methods to provide their services during the pandemic and lockdown to salvage income. 

The volume of eCommerce packaging has increased by 40% when compared to the pre-pandemic period in 2019. Additional packing with delivery labels is required for each order.

As a consequence, there is an immediate requirement for eCommerce packages in the corporate world. Companies may now offer value-added services with flexible data collection possibilities thanks to modern print technology

After accepting orders electronically, e-retailers may also offer this function. Because the typical lines are no longer there, eCommerce-driven packaging promotes personal connections specifically within the sales channels.

Another profitable alternative is to collaborate with a legal agreement as well as install printing presses in the distribution center of major eCommerce centers. 

Small e-retailers, on the other hand, may invest in a small-scale digital press and develop an in-house strategy of production. 

The press manufacturers will profit in any case, and they may also provide after-sales assistance. As a result, users will be able to get the most out of these particular machines. 

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  • Virtual Sales & SAAS Connection Are Two New Delivery Models

From the standpoint of machine sales, druppa was a huge casualty. There were many efforts to postpone it for 2021. 

However, the majority of the big OEMs pulled out, forcing the organizers to cancel the event. As a result, the event will not take place until 2024.

As a consequence, the majority of OEMs have decided to hold online events with virtual demonstrations. 

They aim to promote the most recent goods, which is in line with a wider trend of improved support services and a shift away from direct sales of basic equipment toward a solution-based approach. 

It covers all Print Service Providers with SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions. 

Fortunately, even though the environment is not certain and financial limitations exist, OEMs have reported positive experiences. 

Hopefully, these events will offer a more effective way to showcase goods and for machine operators to form integrated relationships.

  • The Key To Success Is Diversification

To compensate for the lost revenue during the pandemic, the surviving PSPs would have to adjust to shifting tactics. Instead of manufacturing, some print providers are increasingly working with several competitors. 

Others have broadened their product/service offerings and expanded their scope of operations beyond that of traditional print shops.

  • The Rise Of Online Print Orders And The Platform Economy 

eCommerce, along with the widespread usage of the web to print solutions, is poised to alter the direct-to-consumer technological trend that all CEOs should be aware of. Lesser intermediates would be needed. 

By 2030, the world will rely on online specifications, and online ordering for both prints and printed packaging will be the standard.

As a consequence, investment in web to print technologies as well as online ordering is encouraged. 

Print purchases are moving towards a platform economy system that is segmented as ride-hailing applications. Buyers find it simpler to compare prices and sometimes, even services.

Customer loyalty is also declining, highlighting the need for services. Shorter orders with a high expectation of quicker turnaround, such as next-day delivery, are followed by eCommerce. 

Smoother processes, as well as efficient digital and automated printing, finishing, and distribution will be pushed.

Furthermore, this would hasten the transition from analog to digital printing technology in a variety of applications, especially as inkjet print quality improves.

  • Packaging Is The New Star 

As per experts, Amazon is the driving force behind package innovation. Amazon has shown how well-designed, printed, as well as labeled packaging can make a significant difference in sales. 

Some experts also believed that millennials prefer customized and high-end packaging with labels and printed tapes on boxes.

Advanced print technology is also rapidly becoming customizable, similar to Amazon’s ability to make on-demand items more available to customers and eliminate the need for them to shop elsewhere. 

As sales continue to rise, packaging innovation offers up a huge potential.

  • Inkjet Technology Saves The Day

Because of its low cost as well as speed, inkjet will be the most popular printing technology. 

When compared to conventional printers, inkjet printers have proved to be quicker. Furthermore, these printers may be either sheet-fed or roll-fed, which is a game-changer.

Although there have been several notable print advancements, inkjet remains the most sophisticated printing technique. 

This rapidly developing digital printing technology may also be used in conjunction with some of the finest ink solutions. They’re even using nanoparticles to make conductive ink. This may be a game-changing breakthrough if it becomes a reality.

  • The Printing Industry’s Evolving Trends

Here are some of the emerging trends and future printing technologies that will continue to affect the printing business in 2021 and beyond:

Touchless Solutions

We all know how fast the coronavirus can spread. Therefore we must eliminate common touchpoints like their supply chain, manufacturing process, along service delivery to keep it contained. 

As a result, OEMs began producing printers with touchless solutions, such as an RFID sticker, ID card, or smart barcodes, enabling touchless automation. 

Touchless tools will be critical in the new global order, and we anticipate seeing further improvements in this solution in the next years. Such technical advancements like the adoption of NFC or RFID chips would assist buyers in improving their user experience.

Integrated Collaboration

Collaboration tools will become more important as remote working becomes more important for companies and organizations to continue operating in this situation. To make the most of it, businesses must educate and upskill workers. 

So, they can be well aware of the advantages of technology in terms of increasing productivity. It also involves other activities that can be automated using technology.

Solutions such as document composition, task management, device management, web to print, as well as color management across machines or cities for uniform output need to be amplified to assist people to be more productive. 

It is something that will significantly boost productivity. This will also assist to unify the output as well as effectively manage the print load on the devices, among other things.

Virtual Print Sales 

The Drupa 2020 cancellation was one of the most significant sales and marketing losses suffered by the print industry. 

Although it was originally scheduled to reschedule in 2021, it has now been postponed to 2024 due to key OEMs’ withdrawal from the world’s biggest print exhibition. 

This prompted OEMs to organize virtual launch events as well as demonstrations to raise brand and product awareness. 

Because of the pandemic situation, more goods are being offered online, making it critical to have an internet-based communication channel with the customers. 

The way print businesses conduct business with customers is evolving at a rapid pace. 

Currently, having a web presence is becoming an essential part of the business. It now includes more technology than it did in the past. More businesses are conducting business online and flourishing with the help of internet platforms.

Cloud Printing 

Cloud printing isn’t new, but the pandemic situation has made it very apparent that it is the future of printing. The ground-breaking technology not only streamlines the printing process but also significantly lowers the overall cost of ownership. 

Companies are embracing increasingly automated as well as predictive solutions to increase efficiency throughout the whole product production process. 

It also includes automation in supply chain management involving a large number of printed documents, via the use of QR/ Barcoding. 

Variable data printing is becoming increasingly common, and printed documents are becoming more customized. The future of 3d printing is also bright in the upcoming future times. 

Hybrid Culture

Even if the whole world operates remotely, we know that things will not remain the same indefinitely. Work-from-home concepts are a viable option for the time being, but they will never be able to completely replace offline activities. 

Given the present state of affairs, it seems that the future of employment will be hybrid, with businesses balancing online as well as offline operations. 

Digital printing allows printers to be more flexible and quicker, since they may utilize digital for small runs while continuing to use offset for longer runs. The whole transformation process will take time. 

But businesses that adopt fast will be the ones to remain profitable and relevant to their customers despite this crisis scenario. 

As we go forward in 2021, we must draw on the lessons learned from Covid-19 last year and avoid making the same errors. 

The printing industry is experiencing a massive transition for the better, and participants must adjust as quickly as possible. It helps to maintain resilience as well as return to pre-Covid normality. 

Predictive automation is the only way ahead, and businesses that adapt will have a greater chance of surviving and growing in the future.

Conclusion

There is a natural synergy between web to print as well as the eCommerce industry. The promise of Amazon to buy $400 million in inkjet equipment for their Merch line of business in 2020 was a major investment. 

PSP will expand into various sectors, including the installation of direct-to-object systems, as a result of direct-to-consumer customized printing like mugs, calendars, as well as photo products. 

The Covid-19 pandemic is still doing havoc on the printing industry. It will be fascinating to see how the global business landscape for the printing industry evolves over the next decade. 

However, for enterprise volume print solutions, it is important to opt for the assistance of an expert partner in this area. They will help to effectively satisfy your unique needs. 

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