COVID-19 has touched every life and every industry sector unfavourably, and the print business is no exception.
But, despite the virus still between us, things are getting normal slowly, and so is the demand for print-on-demand products getting back on track too. So, let’s sneak a peek at what printing demands can you expect in the year 2021 that we hope will be a post COVID phase.
The impact of COVID-19 on printing industry markets
Unlike every other industry, print too faced the impact of COVID-19 as print volumes across the globe recorded a steep decline during the months of lockdown.
With the focus entirely shifted to essential items, printing demands dropped severely, and the restrictions made it even more challenging for businesses to serve customers like they previously used to.
However, amidst these uncertain conditions, the growing print-on-demand (POD) industry has been able to identify opportunities hidden in the crisis and have come up with innovations and strategies as per the current situation to ensure business continuity in today’s tumultuous times.
About 79% of them believe that COVID-19 presents an opportunity to drive new product and service innovation like the one which is now trending in the market – personalized and customised face masks.
So, what lies ahead?
Since everyone is trying their best to make the pandemic less scary by contributing in whatever they are best at – like we have now handsfree sanitiser dispenser, disinfection tunnel, UV light sanitizer, customized PPE kits, etc., the print industry too, has come with some interesting innovations which are now soaring in demand and may continue post-COVID-19 as well.
1. Graphics and wraps for delivery vehicles
Printed graphics and wraps for vehicles were already a hit before the outbreak of Coronavirus but, with the need to spread COVID-19 awareness, warning, request, etc. orders for customized printed graphics & wraps are shooting up like never before.
Many businesses are not only ordering their regular graphics and wraps to promote business but, are also at present interested in having them customized with COVID-related messages especially delivery vehicle owners since they are at high risk due to socializing.
2. COVID-19 signages
The end of the pandemic is yet unknown, and even if Coronavirus will bid goodbye to us in 2020, the after-effect of it will stay for a long time. By after-effect, we mean to say that, since we have now embraced the new-normal of maintaining social distancing, practising hygiene, frequent hand-washing etc., signs showing all of them will be useful in the future too to prevent giving birth to any other pandemic.
Also, the fear that COVID-19 has implanted in all of us may not go away soon and hence; COVID-19 related signages which are in high demand at present at offices, restaurants, retail outlets, hospitals, malls etc. may remain due to the high impact it is creating on people.
3. Contactless payments and retail Point of Sale (POS)
Everything that was done physically has now become virtual due to COVID-19. Cash payments have been withdrawn temporarily due to the fear of Coronavirus but the way people are embracing cashless payment; looks like cash will be soon out of fashion.
The speed and convenience of contactless payment is a win-win situation for both retailers and consumers. Also, POS is in trend as it frees retailers from handling a junk of cash registers.
With a Point of sale software, online store owners can digitalize everything inputting product details, tallying the cost, to conducting the financial transaction which is safe for both the buyer and the seller.
4. Sustainable and flexible packaging
With the rise of eCommerce business around the world, there are other businesses associated with it that are gaining popularity, as well as demand which includes, packaging, labelling, stickers etc.
The unforeseen rush in online orders and the fear of COVID-19 has led to an increase in the demand for sustainable packaging; where eco-friendly products are used for wrapping up products and flexible packaging; which is considered more hygienic due to limited handling.
Even labels and sticker design business experienced a sharp rise in sales due to the need for conveying safety information about the product during the COVID-19. In short, packaging, labels, and sticker design are here to stay as being an important part of the supply chain and now with the designing software for each i.e, label design software, online sticker design tool, and custom packaging; personalization and customization of all is possible which will help it boom further in 2021.
5. Single-use menus
Since COVID-19 has triggered the fear of touching in each one of us, people are staying away from any such public places or products and even if they have to; they either prefer it to be personal or check for sanitization after use. Restaurant menus, product catalogs, etc., are such products that are frequently touched by countless people and so to cater people in such turbulent times, single-use menus or disposable catalogs are in fashion, and people are loving the concept.
Therefore, the demand for such one-time use products is flourishing and will be in high demand in the future ahead.
COVID-19 has brought a drastic change in us and everything around that to survive, you must walk with the trend and need; and the only way to do that is to embrace latest technologies like web-to-print solutions and make smart moves not just in the current situation but also, in the future ahead.
This article was submitted by Roma Kapadiya, the Content Marketing Manager at Design‘N’Buy.