Prepare for a digital print future

With the print industry undergoing a distinct shift in the wake of the digital print market’s growth period, discover how Canon can help print service providers to respond to this new and exciting industry opportunity. 

The print sector is rapidly changing and new opportunities are emerging with almost every day that passes. Where once the rise of digital communications seemed inexorable – as if it would all but end the need for print – we are now seeing consumers switch off from digital channels and turn again to print.

Indeed, print is now the medium that stands out and achieves cut-through. Rising demand for personalisation and custom printing is also driving interest in digital applications.

Digital printing is transforming the print sector and in the months and years ahead it looks likely that more and more print buyers and PSPs will recognise that digital is now a practical, and often desirable, alternative to offset. Canon has invested into research over the last six years to help print firms understand the rising opportunities.

Potential benefits

For the customer – whether consumers or businesses – digital printing offers a remarkable degree of convenience. They can order digital print jobs online at a time and place of their choosing. They can also specify the exact font size, type, line spacing of the documents and so on.  Then have it printed, finished and even delivered within a timeframe that would have been impossible in the days of order forms and offset job queues.

The perception that digital print produces disappointing print quality is simply no longer valid. Technology has advanced to the point that the print finish, and range of options, is at least comparable with offset alternatives. When allied to the range of interesting papers that the most cutting-edge digital print firms are now using, the end product is often one that delights, rather than disappoints, customers.

Many also enjoy the personalisation and variable printing that digital print allows. Companies can use a range of data, from purchase history to demographic information and even their precise location, to deliver printed materials that are directly relevant. It makes marketing more targeted and dramatically increases response rates. For example, many retailers have found particular success delivering voucher codes tailored to individuals’ specific shopping habits.

Then, there are the cost benefits for the print firms themselves. They no longer need to print on a large scale before a run becomes viable; so stock levels can be significantly reduced and all involved benefit from lower rental costs and reduced wastage.

Getting started
If you have not already joined the digital print revolution, how can you get started? The first step is to act swiftly. Your competitors have spotted this opportunity and are marketing the potential of digital to your customers. In fact, we’re seeing a new breed of digital-only print firms taking market share in this space.

The next step is to decide which digital applications can offer the most effective communications for your customers and so the strongest areas for growth for your business. Is trans-promo the right area? What about short run publications? Or perhaps you should consider developing a print-on-demand or web-to-print offering?

Talk to your partners and gather as much advice as possible. Canon can help PSPs to review and adapt their business strategies to the rapidly evolving market and understand the digital print opportunity. These are big questions and major decisions, but this is an opportunity that cannot be ignored any longer.