Even though the past year has shown how interwoven – and thus vulnerable – the markets and their players are, print shops can look to the new year with a certain degree of confidence. Certainly those who have taken the volatility of recent years as an opportunity to align their structures and processes with this “new normal” – and see not only challenges but also opportunities in the trends. What will influence the online print world in 2023?
The British market research institute, Quocirca, has compiled an interesting overview of the key trends that could influence the print industry in the coming year. What’s interesting here is the perspective, as the overview lists not only, but primarily, the trends that could at the same time be an opportunity for companies in the print industry, enabling new business areas. I like this approach. Because it doesn’t just point to the negative influencing variables.
Yes, the situation with energy and paper prices will remain tense in 2023. Partly because there is still no end in sight to the war in Ukraine, and the Corona virus will not disappear either. Nevertheless, it is important to also perceive and evaluate the other developments in the market.
Quocirca identifies ten key trends that it believes will have an impact on the printing industry and the development of print volumes as a whole in the coming year. These include, for example, the return of many employees from the home office to the office, the entry of Generation Z into the working world, and with it the changing demands, and sustainability.
However, I find four other points particularly exciting – because they support what we at beyond-print.de have been regularly addressing for years:
- The importance of cloud technologies, because they are revolutionizing print infrastructures and giving rise to new business areas.
- Data-driven business models, because data leads to companies understanding their customers better and being able to tailor their offerings more specifically to their requirements and expectations. The British market research institute even talks about the fact that the correct handling of data – in Germany, of course, taking data protection into account – will distinguish those companies which are leading and pioneering a market and trend from those which are “only” following a trend as just one of already many. Leaders and followers.
- Collaborations and partnerships. No print shop can do everything, but still wants to offer everything. Production partnerships with other print service providers help to take on jobs that one could not manage oneself with one’s own machinery. Everyone involved benefits from this, because the equipment only pays for itself if enough print jobs run through the presses. So exploiting synergies and building up a well-functioning network based on mutual trust can also make a difference in 2023.
- Metaverse. What discussions there were when Mark Zuckerberg first spoke of the metaverse! Today, the idea of a virtual world no longer seems as alien as it did at the beginning. On the contrary, the first companies are now developing strategies to map their business in the metaverse. And even if it may sound absurd to some, online print shops should also get to grips with this new world as early as possible – regardless of whether it seems absurd to them. Because if at some point the metaverse becomes as much a part of the norm as the Internet is today, the companies that adapt the new possibilities fastest will be the successful ones. By the way: We will also deal with the metaverse at the jubilee OPS next year in March.
We at zipcon also see mass customization as a key trend that can – and will – continue to be an important driver and cornerstone for successful print companies in the new year. After all, it is precisely when resources are scarce and/or expensive, and “digital overflow” has long been part of everyday life, that individually designed, customized print products make a special impression through their feel and design.