The future of personalised experiences in print

The future of personalised experiences in print

Print service providers (PSPs) and brands alike are well-versed in the benefits of personalisation. A recent study revealed 74% of marketers recognise that personalisation provides a significant boost in customer engagement1. Certainly, bespoke items have been shown to resonate strongly with both consumers and businesses, establishing brand loyalty and even influencing purchasing decisions.

Advances in digital printing have significantly enhanced the field of personalisation in recent years. Whilst retailers are gaining more customer insights than ever before, developments in technology have allowed PSPs to improve the use of automation in unlocking valuable customer data. The increased applications that have been made possible recently have allowed businesses to unleash their creativity and print custom designs and messages on an expansive range of both rigid and flexible items.

For example, PSPs are now able to produce a plethora of personalised items from uniquely designed cases for laptops, tablets and mobile phones, to customised vinyl wall coverings and product packaging. This flexibility is opening up personalised print runs to a truly mass market, combining the use of data segmentation and bespoke applications.

However, customised print runs are just the beginning and, while brands often split their operations across multiple disciplines and departments, they all strive for an omni-channel customer experience. This pursuit for seamlessness, particularly in retail, has seen personalisation change the face of the shop floor. Today, consumers expect and demand a more personalised shopping experience, unified across online and traditional media. This trend has already seen many brands introduce in-store personalisation services, offering shoppers the opportunity to create custom furniture, clothing and electronic goods.

As production speeds increase and the use of 3D printing becomes mainstream, PSPs can expect personalisation to play an increasingly important role in the retail industry – branching out into both the luxury and mass markets. In fact, the retail industry is just one of the many reasons why the expectations for 3D and other digital printing technologies are so high. In this industry, additive manufacturing can change every single step of the supply chain and offers fully customised retail products. Many 3D print marketplaces such as Society6 and Shapeways already exist today and through collaboration with designers, are able to print one-off home décor and jewellery items on demand. This technology is a genuine revolution for the consumer and the impact on brand experience is already being felt as the drive for more customised goods continues to increase.

With the consumer and B2B appetite for personalised goods on the rise, it’s important that PSPs work with their customers to assess how it can be used to meet this demand and improve brand advocacy. Most importantly, working with a trusted partner will enable printers to make the most of their customer’s data, allowing them to unleash print in a truly unique way that resonates with their audience.

1 eConsultancy: Three major benefits of using personalisation in marketing, August 2013

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