Over the past several weeks, we’ve been highlighting the valiant and creative work of printers here and south of the border to not only stay safe and stay in business, but to contribute to their communities and society in fighting this worldwide scourge. Here are some of the encouraging trends that we’re now witnessing in Canada and the U.S.:
An online presence. Now, most of the brick-and-mortar stores are better understanding the importance of an online presence and are making shifts to keep up with the current market. With physical stores closed down, printers won’t get orders unless they have an online presence.
Travel and shipping restrictions have been imposed across various parts of the globe, so many printers may not be able to ship orders to remote locations. However, of course, you can still continue delivering local orders. Once you create your business website, you can inform your customers that you’re operating remotely to deliver these local orders, and outline what specifically they are. If you have local warehouses, you can fulfill local orders as most localized shipping doesn’t face stringent shipping restrictions or heavy costs.
Custom products (such as t-shirts, indoor and outdoor signage and photo albums) would be in demand if it weren’t for the virus. However, some custom products are still in high demand such as custom t-shirts for fundraising, thanksgiving, inspiration, etc. These can be a good source of income. Similarly, custom signage can be used for hospitals, healthcare clinics, or local administration authorities to create awareness. For instance, they can display signs in public places to appeal to people to stay indoors, instruct people about the lockdown restrictions, or reveal guidelines to follow in case anyone suspects COVID-19 symptoms. Hospitals can also display them to make people aware people of COVID-19 symptoms, as well as safety measures to follow to prevent infection.
Old photos may also help people escape the harsh reality of the current situation and give them a few moments of relief during this distressing situation. They may cherish their memories and stay positive by looking at them. Therefore, custom photo albums may also be a product worth selling right now.
A good returns experience. Studies indicate that about 96% of digital buyers would repeat purchase if they experienced a good returns experience. So why not ease your returns and exchange policies and extend the return period? This will engage your customers better and enhance their shopping experiences with you. Plus, they’ll likely keep returning to your business.
3-D printed PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits are in high demand because they’re cost-effective and can help reduce the shortage. Many companies and even individuals from this field have stepped up and are aiding governments and local health authorities to curb the PPE shortage. for front-line healthcare workers. These companies have the capacity to produce metal and polymer parts for the medical industry and believe they could help with the manufacturing of casings, clips, fixtures and more. Ventilators, hand gloves, hospital gowns, etc. are the products being manufactured and sold to local health authorities and hospitals at nominal prices.
Security. With the increased use of mobile-to-print technology, security and data-leak issues might increase. Hence, security is the need of the hour so as to build trust in customers while protecting their personal and sensitive data.
Sustainability.COVID-19 has forced all of us to re-think our practices and assess them whether they’re environment-friendly or not. The printing business is no exception and shop owners must think of print sustainability measures. For example, HP has initiated an environment-friendly practice by pioneering ink and toner cartridges with recycled content aimed at cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.