Web to PrintE-Commerce:
It’s not a new technology but more widespread adoption should happen by printers of all sizes in the coming year. Why? Customers want to have interaction from quoting to proofing on their terms. Commercial print shops who fail to implement an e-commerce storefront face the risk of losing existing clients and not capturing new ones. Although the initial cost of a storefront is significant, the marginal cost to serve this to the next customer is next to nothing and your potential customer base is the world if you choose (even more useful as location based platforms come of age, pointing anyone local to your wares). The good news is that the mass market vendor solutions should be able to increase features while decreasing complexity of use this year, offering an easier method of entry than custom grown solutions.
Know More: Learn from those already successful in this space such as Hotcards, Mimeo, Printing4Less, and Vistaprint, then determine your niche. Contact your suppliers to learn of their options.
- Techno Cross Media:
The captivating print from this past year came from the merging of ink-on-paper with technology and the trend should increase in 2010. QR Codes (or similar), barcodes scanned by your smartphone that take you to online information, are being implemented by some major companies including Pepsi. USB sticks are showing up in our newspapers circulars and Robert Downey Jr. is talking to us through Esquire magazine through some newfangled technology called augmented reality. I imagine the next year will show us more and different kinds of this print-to-online marriage.
Know More on QR Codes: m-Bossed, InterlinkOne, Wikipedia, Mashable
- Social Cross Media:
Companies, including print companies, are still learning how to capitalize from social media. Expect to see more print campaigns that creatively promote their digital presence. To effectively assist in these marketing campaigns, printer’s must first immerse themselves in the technology. With social media it is not a single event but a process, so get started now.
- Inkjet Printing:
Faster, better quality, cheaper, more versatile applications – one of the few hardware areas pushing the envelope. Don’t be surprised if inkjet technology greatly erodes toner based strongholds while also pushing run lengths continually higher into the offset realm. Yes, inkjet made inroads in 2009 but there were not many installations completed of the latest generation equipment like HP’s T300.
What other technologies or information sources are out there that you think are important for 2010?