The print industry remains extremely resilient to the market fluctuations, as evidenced by the recent rebound in demand and revenues that has been tracked by a wealth of studies conducted in the past four years. Although there are a breadth of concerning matters and moving parts involved in the discussion of print industry, the main theme has been the battle between digital and physical forms, as the global economy has quickly moved into the World Wide Web.
However, it would be erroneous to assume that the print industry is out, or even down for that matter, as demand for paper products in business, consumer markets and government not only remains present today, but clearly will be around for years to come. Still, there is no denying that the print industry will have to make changes to ensure its continuity and revenue growth over the coming years, and there are several pressures that must be faced head on.
1. Younger generations
Today, millennials and their younger counterparts are taking up an increasing rate of consumer and workforce populations, while the generally agreed upon believe is that these individuals are far more interested in digital constructs than print ones. This is especially evident when looking at how these generations consume news, which is shifting quickly to an entirely digital environment.
However, recent reports show that the average teenager and college student is beginning to prefer print texts more than e-books, which was marked in a recent study that showed digital readers are on the decline with respect to demand and units shipped. Still, print industry players will want to ensure they are marketing to these generations more heavily and making their service relevant.
Another driver of digital technologies has been the mentality shift sweeping around the globe regarding the use of digital forms rather than print ones to reduce deforestation and other environmental issues. This one is a bit more complex, as there are so many contradictory lines of thought regarding the impact of the print industry on forests and other ecosystems.
One thing is for sure though – print industry businesses will need to focus upon first developing exceptionally sustainable practices and then market those initiatives as much as possible to make it clear that purchasing items will not contribute to environmental problems.
A product of the digital revolution, electronic commerce platforms and similar systems are becoming increasingly popular in the global economy, leading to shortened demand for paper products related to invoicing, billing and other payment processing matters. Although this is not necessarily the foundation of the print industry, it is worth fighting against the grain to see if demand can be flipped.
By combining digital and print services for business leaders to choose between and perhaps even use interchangeably, the print industry might be able to turn the tides back in its favor and begin increasing the popularity of paper forms for payment processing.