The printing industry is dramatically changing. It is likely to achieve remarkable growth in the coming years. For example, according to statistics, the global commercial printing market was $411.99 billion in 2020.
It is likely to reach $472.35 billion by the end of 2026. To remain profitable and sustainable in the future, it is important for printing businesses to constantly evolve and adapt to recent developments.
Adapting to the latest Web to Print trends will help achieve all your business goals. Here is a complete list of the most prominent Web to Print technology trends for 2022 and beyond.
- Print Automation
Not just in printing, automation is one of the biggest buzzwords. In printing, automation is all about streamlining the process of pre-press. There is growing adoption of print job automation to remain more efficient.
The traditional way of executing pre-press processes is time-consuming and prone to human errors. The process starts with designing rough sketches, editing images, manual proofreading, and finally sending a design file off to printing.
Automating this entire process comes with several advantages. It reduces turnaround time, miscommunication between different departments, improves quality, and ultimately leads to customer satisfaction.
Automation further leads to profitability and productivity. NAPCO research, the premium provider of strategic consulting to print, packaging, etc., industries, surveyed 245 commercial printers.
These printers are based in the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. The survey aimed to find out how print providers handle automation and what results they enjoy.
The key findings of this survey are that automation improves productivity by handling most of the repetitive tasks. You and your employees can focus on other crucial tasks by automating print workflow.
Second, automation leads to profitability too. With high automation, you can accomplish more print jobs in a day.
Web to Print software solutions enables you to optimize daily print activities. Once you integrate that with your eCommerce platform, for example, if you have a store on Magento, Web to Print Magento Solution can help you automate business operations and improve efficiency.
Using the software, you can handle end-to-end business processes like orders, customers, warehouses, job tickets, etc.
- 3D Printing Technology
3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Here, the material is laid down layer by layer in order to form a three-dimensional object.
Why is it called an additive process? Because you built an object from scratch. It is the opposite of a subtractive process where you cut or drill the material. This kind of printing enables you to create complex shapes using fewer materials.
The trend of 3D printing is likely to last. In the year 2020, the worldwide market for 3D printing products and services was valued at around 12.6 billion U.S. dollars.
The industry is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent between 2020 and 2023.
Let’s look at how 3D printing works. The process starts by creating a 3D digital design with the help of Computer-Aided Drawing Software. Then you export the file into slicing software to slice the design into layers. And then export the new file to a 3D printer and let it do its magic.
Some of the major advantages of 3D printing include rapid prototyping. It is the ability to design, test, and manufacture a customized part in less time. This reduces the long lead time associated with complex manufacturing projects. It saves time, cost and is more efficient.
Another advantage of 3D printing is flexibility. For example, in traditional methods, including multiple materials in a single object was difficult. But with 3D printing, it becomes easy. You can also mix and match an array of colors, textures, and mechanical properties.
3D printing is used in almost all industries. A few examples include consumer products like footwear, furniture, eyewear, industrial products like manufacturing tools and prototypes, dental products, prosthetics, and so on.
Personalization is critical for a businesses’ current and future success. And that is why it is not surprising that 80% of businesses are investing in personalization.
They are moving forward from a generic way of services and operations to a more personalized approach, and the printing industry is no exception.
Before we discuss personalization in Web to Print, let’s first have an overview of personalization technology.
Personalization is the process of creating tailored shopping interactions and experiences. It includes personalized website content, product recommendations, and so on.
Personalization helps businesses improve customer experience. Rather than offering generic and irrelevant content to customers that frustrates them, a tailored approach will help improve customer satisfaction and deliver a great customer experience.
All of these ultimately impact your conversion rates. The more personalized product or content a customer sees, the higher are the chances of conversion.
The most common use case of personalization in printing is product personalization. It is the process of delivering customized goods to end customers as per their unique preferences.
There are two ways to enable customization. One is where customers get in touch with you directly regarding the customizations they want to make. So, they will email you the image they want to add to a bottle or a quote they want on their notebook.
And second is where you offer them a Web to Print software where they can themselves customize their products. How does this work? You integrate the software with the backend of your online store, enable different features, and end-users will be able to use the tool.
End customers can personalize an array of products, including apparel, mugs, bottles, caps, jewelry, shoes, phone cover, laptop skin, trophies, uniform, stationery, and a lot more. They can use the software to add custom images, messages, or quotes, change background colors, and add patterns.
Another use case of personalization in Web to Print is sending personalized emails to your customers. You can target emails to specific customers by leveraging the data and information that you have about them.
- Internet of Things
Internet of Things is becoming increasingly popular in the printing industry. It all started with the fourth industrial revolution.
Industry 4.0 refers to the new phase in the industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity, machine learning, automation, and real-time data.
Industry 4.0 is not just about investing in new technology, but it is about revolutionizing the way you conduct business operations.
Industry 4.0 technologies include cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, and so on.
Internet of Things seems to be a new era for smart printing. IoT connects a wide range of internet-enabled devices. Devices are becoming increasingly intelligent, and it’s possible to connect, manage, and monitor them remotely. Smart devices help improve business efficiency and reduce operating costs.
In the printing industry, IoT best works in combination with 3D printing. The most popular use case of it is creating custom made products.
IoT can help collect data and provide behavioral patterns of connected devices. You can collect data with IoT devices, then create custom products that are easy to manufacture using 3D printing.
For example, if you run a shoe business, you can make custom-made 3D shoes on the basis of data collected.
There are significant changes ahead in the Web to Print space, so one tends to think about the future. More and more businesses are automating their operations to avoid potential errors and increase efficiency. Further, there are advancements in 3D printing, IoT, etc.
There are other printing technologies like photonic printing, conductive inks in development. Additionally, the printing industry is becoming more environmentally friendly. We hope this post helps you get an overview of Web to Print technology trends in 2022 and years to come.