New Study Shows Industry Converging Rapidly
In-plant and commercial printing establishments continue to expand beyond their traditional product applications into wide-format signage, banners, point-of-purchase displays, labels, direct-to-garment printing and much more. Key drivers for this convergence into new market segments include the promise of better margins, reduced competition and the desire to create more “stickiness” with customers to avoid the commodity stigma.
A new study of the in-plant, commercial printing, graphics, signage, packaging and garment industries, commissioned by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA), was completed by NAPCO Research to define and analyze the degree of convergence occurring between various printing industry segments (download it here). The goal was to determine where printing businesses have already successfully experienced — and are projecting the most opportunity for — expansion beyond their primary product and service offerings.
Based on the survey results, 95% of printers see an opportunity to serve existing and new clientele with a range of applications and services that extend beyond their primary offerings. The perception throughout the industry, they say, is that the migration and convergence crossover into new products and services will continue to occur in significant ways across all printer segments. In fact, 81% of printers believe the rate of expansion will accelerate over the next five years, with 28% classifying that acceleration as “significant.”
Among respondents, 33% have already expanded into new offerings within the past 18 months, 39% are actively researching new markets that they plan to enter, and 23% realize that the opportunity exists, but they have not yet begun the research to determine which new segments they should expand into.
Among in-plant respondents, the segments they are most interested in expanding into were commercial printing, wide-format graphics and signage, labels and direct-to-garment printing.
The results of this convergence as exemplified by the research study further reinforce the strong desire among printer respondents for a consolidated industry trade show event that enables them to address all of these market segments in a single venue.
Consequently, it wasn’t surprising that 80% of respondents believe a single, comprehensive industry trade exhibition that consolidates multiple, individual events would serve the industry better. Among in-plants, that figure rose to 90%.
Said one in-plant respondent, Nathan Thole, Iowa State University, “Printers could better justify attending one larger event. It takes time and money to attend trade shows. If they could attend one that covers more bases, it would be easier.”
This current market void was the key driver for the creation of the annual PRINTING United trade exhibition, which will premier in Dallas from Oct. 23-25, 2019. The event will address the full spectrum of participants within the entire print provider value chain — including brand owners, marketers and print buyers.
As such, PRINTING United will become the one-stop attendee destination for those seeking to educate and equip themselves with the kinds of integrated solutions that today’s print services providers need to offer if they want to remain competitive.
Related story: Convergence in the Print Industry