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Shouldn’t you be making the most of the inkjet opportunity?

April 12, 2024  By Sander Sondaal

Of all the innovative technologies shaping today’s print production landscape, inkjet is presenting print service providers with the biggest opportunity for growth.

Why inkjet?

Drupa’s ninth Global Trends Report predicts a five per cent lift in print volumes produced by high speed colour inkjet printers.


IT Strategies projects that by 2029 continuous feed inkjet pages will account for about 12.5 per cent of total worldwide volume of output at 800 billion pages.

In comparison offset document and publishing pages are declining about four to five per cent annually.

Book manufacturers and consolidation of transactional page volumes on fewer but more productive machines accounts for part of this market outlook.

As does strong growth in the graphic arts segment due to the technology replacing offset, and existing users adding second or third units to drive print volumes and high margin revenue in direct mail and specialty applications.

They are capitalizing on these opportunities:

What’s the potential for PSPs?

Charging more for less – tailored and personalized content achieves greater return on investment. It also helps reduce the cost of paper and postage on items that will not obtain optimum results. It is measurable too – JICmail figures found 40 per cent of website visits prompted by mail converted into online purchases in the fourth quarter of 2023. More than six per cent of mail (including direct mail, business mail, partially addressed mail and door drops) encouraged Christmas purchases, with half completed online. It was also reported that 95 per cent of mail was engaged with, 30 per cent of mail promoted a commercial action, and five per cent of mail prompted a purchase.

How to benefit!

Focusing on higher value pages – a business model of fewer pages, but at higher value per page, if done well, can result in significantly higher revenues for commercial printers. This fits in with trends for magazine publishers to focus on high quality, low volume run publications or hyper-personalized marketing campaigns.

Being at the forefront of growth – few print markets offer such high growth rates. Now is the time to explore how inkjet technology can help transform your print production model to produce high return applications. One area is book production. IT Strategies reports it is the second largest application for continuous feed inkjet output. Key drivers are re-shoring from Asia to Europe and America, due to cost savings, and the growing number of short run titles printed on demand. In fact, these have enabled many book manufacturers to double their revenues during the last four years. The report states that “the convenience provided by production inkjet of nearly ‘instant manufacturing’ and local delivery is unlikely to ever disappear.”

Capture the online growth – as businesses move to more sustainable procurement, the growth in online printing continues to drive more opportunities for inkjet pages. Automated job submission from web to print to pack will allow PSPs to redefine their sales approaches to capture new markets for print.

Sander Sondaal is director of Commercial Print Sales, Ricoh Europe.

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