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Eric Zimmerman

Making 3 Wide Format Predictions for 2024

A sneak peek at the year to come

Jan 17, 2024 7:00:00 PM


As we charge full speed ahead into another year, innovation, adaptability, and staying ahead of the curve will be imperative for wide format print service providers (PSPs). In the coming weeks, we here at Keypoint Intelligence will publish our 2024 Wide Format Predictions Roadmap detailing what to expect in 2024. To provide a bit of a head start, I want to take the opportunity to share three significant facets of the report. The surge in online business, the expansion of application offerings, and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into workflow optimization will all play a significant role in PSPs’ perspective and investment decisions. Let’s take a quick look at these transformative elements that will help PSPs blend a professional perspective with a personal touch.



Increase in Online Business…but With a Personal Touch

The growth of online shopping continues to gain momentum, and for wide format PSPs, establishing an online storefront is increasingly imperative. While online retailing is important for expeditiously fulfilling straightforward orders such as banners, posters, and stickers, it’s essential to recognize that these represent just a portion of the comprehensive wide format print landscape. To achieve optimal results, it is critical to maintain focus on customers who value premium offerings and are prepared to invest accordingly.


Employing strategically chosen keywords, devising inventive marketing campaigns, and harnessing the potential of email and social media advertising are instrumental in engaging with the target audience seeking a wide format print partner capable of delivering specialized solutions. Moreover, while the prominence of search engine optimization (SEO) has waned in recent times, its significance remains pivotal for small enterprises. Elevating website and content optimization for search engines is fundamental to enhancing online visibility and attracting prospective clients, particularly for local businesses in search of a dependable PSP.


Expanded Application Offerings…With a Focus on Direct-to-Object

Diversification of application offerings is crucial in the competitive wide format printing landscape. Setting oneself apart from competitors is a structural aspect of any business strategy. The ability to provide unique applications unattainable by others not only serves as a magnet for new clientele but affords a dedicated focus on high-margin offerings, too. For instance, high-profit areas such as custom prints, specialty substrates, and design services often outperform low-margin commodities like banners and posters.


With the growing availability of smaller, cost-effective direct-to-object (DTO) printers in the market, the opportunity for PSPs to extend their printing capabilities to virtually any substrate has never been better. Additionally, depending on the specific application, the adoption of DTO technology can facilitate entry into novel market segments, thereby diversifying revenue streams without causing disruption to the core business model.


Streamlining Workflow…How AI Fits Into the Picture

In any business, producing more with fewer resources is a key element to strengthening profit margins. For PSPs, effective cost management is paramount. AI-driven systems can optimize various aspects of the printing process. Artificial intelligence helps in job scheduling, prioritization, and resource allocation, ensuring that print jobs are completed most efficiently. Strategic investments in automation technology, encompassing cutting and finishing equipment, sophisticated front-end solutions, production workflow systems, and advanced nesting software, can be game changing. These investments will help streamline operations, reduce labor costs, and contribute significantly to enhancing the organization's financial performance.


In an era where online business is surging, PSPs must establish a digital presence that resonates with customers seeking quality and specialization. Diversification of application offerings can open doors to new revenue streams while maintaining a focus on high-margin products and services. AI-driven workflow optimization represents a pivotal investment in efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By leveraging these strategies and technologies, PSPs can get a head start navigating the evolving landscape of the wide format printing industry with confidence, delivering excellence while driving profitability.


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