The growing demand from print buyers for digital print applications shows no signs of abating, Canon’s latest Building your future with print Insight Report can reveal. There is notable increase in awareness and use of all of digital applications services amongst print buyers, especially in customised promotional and marketing products (which has increased from 47 per cent in 2012 to 65 per cent in 2014) and web-to-print services (from 21 per cent in 2012 to 34 per cent in 2014).
While these qualities have long been recognised by Print Service Providers (PSPs) to address the latest industry trends – shorter turnaround times, print-on-demand, web-to-print and cross-media services – it has taken a while for these benefits to be communicated and understood by their customers. However Canon’s independent recent research has found a growing awareness among print buyers of digital print’s capabilities to address their communication needs – especially in web-to-print.
That said, PSPs need to realise the potential this offers and act fast if they’re to benefit from this bourgeoning demand. Results revealed that only a third of all PSPs offer a web-to-print service, and many print buyers actually discovered the service through channels other than their PSP.
With a plethora of software packages and supplier advice available to provide web-to-print (and other digital) services, PSPs can steal a march on their competitors and generate an exciting new revenue stream. But it is vital that they communicate it to their customers as 15 per cent of PSPs claimed that they do no promotional activity to ‘shout’ about their services. It’s only natural that if a service isn’t advertised (or even provided), then customers will go elsewhere, so PSPs need to invest in and promote their web-to-print offerings to maximise their opportunity for growth and stand out from the crowd.
 Insight Report 2014 page 17; Awareness & use of digital print applications/customised event and promotional materials.
 Insight Report 2014 page 26; web-to-print; percentage of all print buyers using web-to-prints
 Insight Report 2014 page 26; percentage of all print providers offering web-to-print services.
 Insight Report 2014 page 9; standing out in a crowded marketplace