Buyer Demand Trends
While the mix of applications is one of the most interesting and important things about the wide-format market—driving innovation in the production hardware to accommodate the amazing variety of substrates that are required to produce this wide range of applications—the nature of these applications is also extremely important. That is, it is important for print service providers to recognize the trends that are driving changes within the applications and within the buying environment.
What this data shows is that the demand for many of the characteristics of print that lead to digital workflows and production are increasing. PSPs are reporting higher demand for personalization, higher demand for shorter runs, higher demand for delivery to the point of need, higher demand for more integration with other marketing collateral, more demand for online ordering, more demand for complex logistics, more demand for faster turnaround, and more demand for just-in-time production.
Figure 3 also compares these demand trends for all of the PSPs that responded to the survey with those that get more than 50 percent of their revenue from wide-format printing services. Thirty-six percent of the survey respondents get more than 50 percent of their revenue from wide-format printing services. So when we compare these groups it is interesting to see the companies that are very into wide-format are reporting that demand for many of these services is even higher than the average respondent.
One More Thing ...
The last topic we’ll cover is about additional services. InfoTrends believes that one of the critical success factors for PSPs is to be able to provide real value-add services to customers not as a last-minute upcharge, but as part of a consultative selling approach. In this survey we asked PSPs if they provide QR codes or some other interactive elements into their signage and graphics printing. Sixty percent of the respondents reported that they offer these kinds of services. Of those, 73 percent reported that they offer these services proactively. The companies that are more into wide-format bring these averages way up. For example more than 73 percent of the companies that get most of their revenue from wide-format printing reported that they offer these kinds of services, and of those more than 80 percent reported that they offer these services proactively.
The wide-format signage and graphics business is undergoing a constant change placing ever greater demands on print service providers. The data shows that wide-format printing is a tough business to “dabble in” as the heightening demand from print buyers necessitates comprehensive understanding of the markets and applications as well as high degrees of operational effectiveness.