Retail in the World of Digital Printing
Today’s retailers are faced with the challenge of keeping customers coming back to stores while at the same time driving competing sales in the online world. They must win on shelf and online. These are the two frontiers retailers are focusing on. Gary Hawkins points out the biggest question retailers must answer is “How can (retailer) help me find, discover and learn about the products I am interested in?” This is key to the new world of customization and personalization in our changing world. Surprisingly, the Customer must be put first in the thought of brands and retailers. This has noticeably slipped over the last decade. We have pushed everything in the world at the consumer rather than listened to what he or she wanted. Today, with data analytics, we can understand the buying patterns and choices the Customer makes and focus brands and retailers to attract what the Customer wants.
From the perspective of personalization in the packaging and display world, new manufacturing techniques stemming from digital printing opportunities are at the forefront of the process. We can now customize and even personalize packages and in store displays with this new and improved technology. We can now digitally print different images one right after another without slowing down a press to change tooling. This eliminates the cost of tooling because there isn’t any and the cost to slow or stop a press to change the tooling. The new frontier is small quantity variable images all running at speed. We can now place a face with a carton in today’s new frontier. As we as consumers want more personalization, manufacturing techniques now avail themselves to that end. To make it easier to understand, we can print a personalized message from an individual consumer right on the package without stopping or slowing a press down. Think of a subscription box being mailed out with not only an address of a customer but a direct message to that customer thanking her for buying a particular product and maybe at the same time including another message along the lines of asking how they enjoyed the last item they purchased. That is powerful direct marketing to the client. How about a national campaign for college football delivering retail displays across the United States that result in delivering to retail-specific branded college football team themed displays in every different region in the US. All of this is possible with today’s new technology.
Bay Cities has installed now four different digital presses to accomplish variable digital printing. From very tiny runs, all the way up to large quantity runs are now possible with these new presses. Our newest digital press can print a blank 76 X 120 inches at speeds up to 2500 sheets per hour and up to six colors. We have run smaller sheet sizes at speeds up to 7500 pieces an hour. The machine does not care if each image is different as it does not know any better. This becomes a game-changer when it comes to delivering mass customization inclusive of personalization. The best part is there are no tooling costs to hamper the cost of execution and the speed of delivery. The wild wild west is here at Bay Cities. We are extremely excited to launch this new frontier here at Bay Cities. We couple this personalization with our speed to market set and disciplined pack-out processes and we help build the requests from brands and retailers by putting the Customer first and bringing he or she very personalized messages or images that make them feel special. Let’s face it: This is the “Me world”. Consumers do not care about anyone other than themselves. With the many choices they must pick from, the “Me” is very key to surviving in this brave new world.