5 Retail Printing Trends You Can Expect to See In 2024
Published On: December 12th, 2023|By Comosoft|6.7 min read|
Those claiming that the power of print is waning need only look at the numbers to see how far this is from the truth. Print media is one of the most trusted media channels among consumers, who reportedly trust newspapers and magazines to help make a purchase more than any other type of advertising. In fact, 82 percent of Americans rely on newspaper and magazine advertising as a reliable source.
As a reflection of this trust, the retail print and consumables market is demonstrating significant growth. Looking ahead, the demand for these materials is anticipated to grow between 2023 and 2033 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5 percent.
Overall, the retail industry is showing signs of growth—and with plenty of innovations in publishing print, retail print marketing is having a moment to carry into the new year.
The U.S. Postal Service recently shared that consumers who receive direct mail from retailers not only purchase 28 percent more items but also spend 28 percent more compared to those who do not receive direct mail marketing materials. Print marketing continues to connect with consumers in fresh, exciting ways. Here are some retail print marketing trends predicted to blaze new trails and lead the way in 2024.
1. A Focused Effort Towards Real Sustainability
Regarding publishing print marketing materials, retailers are looking for strategies to make their processes more sustainable. This drive toward sustainability includes factors like:
Limiting carbon footprint and reducing waste production
Choosing recycled materials for paper, ink cartridges, and other supplies
Sustainable printers and printing devices
Where is this drive toward sustainability coming from? It’s coming directly from consumers. Recently, an astonishing 84 percent of customers stated that discovering that a brand has poor environmental practices would alienate them from that company—and 55 percent of these customers would even pay more to support an eco-friendly brand than those with less sustainable practices.
Moving into 2024, brands should examine their printing processes to discover how they might make them more sustainable—and how they can share this information with their audience to foster a transparent connection with environmentally-minded consumers.
2. Printing According to Demand: Short-Run Printing
Short-run production and printing on demand are tied closely with a movement toward sustainable publishing. Not only does this limit waste, but it also reduces excess production and costs associated with it. With on-demand printing, retailers are becoming more strategic and printing fewer copies of their printed marketing materials while only producing additional copies as needed.
Short-run printing can be a smarter alternative to larger printing runs when introducing a new product, trying out new content, or even targeting a smaller, niche market with a more focused message. It can also be an effective tool for market research analysis. By including unique promotional codes or QR codes in short-run printing materials, retailers can gather more specific data about how their customers respond to a particular product or marketing initiative.
3. A Continued Push Toward Personalization
Personalized print marketing will continue to be an essential trend moving into 2024 for one primary reason: It works. This highly effective print marketing strategy has proven results. Direct mail print marketing personalized to the recipient generates 135 percent better response rates.
There’s much power in personalization. Consumers already possess a strong emotional connection to a tangible message they receive and can hold. But when retailers match the impact of direct mail with personalization through customer data, custom greetings, and product recommendations, it amplifies this connection.
Customers feel valued and prioritized When they get a message from a brand that’s meant specifically for them. Perhaps that’s why 75 percent of millennial-aged consumers share that when they receive personal direct mail, they feel special—and there’s something quite powerful in that.
With advances in publishing solutions, personalized printed marketing materials aren’t out of reach. Personalization can be a simple and affordable way to strengthen relationships between retailers and consumers. It can include customizations for location, industry-based marketing, and even customer retargeting—which was once only financially feasible online.
4. The Sensory Experience of Print
Perhaps one of the most significant assets of a print catalog, magazine, or direct mailer? It’s not online. The typical U.S. consumer will spend an average of 4 hours and 25 minutes—or 65 full days—on their phones in 2023. Conversely, Americans keep printed, direct mail advertisements in their home for an average of 17 days—and 41 percent of all Americans look forward to checking the mail daily, most of which consists of advertisements.
A printed catalog is a unique, memorable experience in a world saturated with digital interactions. For this reason, many retailers will continue designing print marketing materials that focus on the tactile experience to interact with consumers’ senses in a way digital media can’t. This strengthens the emotional connection consumers feel toward a particular product or brand.
What do these tactile experiences look like—or rather, feel like? It might be the feel of the paper, with choices like linen or textured paper, or even letterpress printing, engraving, or embossing, raised UV and polymer finishes, or specialty coatings like leather or even paper with a sandy texture. It might also be the added texture, look, and feel of interacting with hand-sewn or high-end binding.
The trend of creating a sensory experience for consumers isn’t limited to the tactile feel of printed materials. Some retailers are looking for ways to reach the other senses, even experimenting with adding scented inks, coatings, and varnishes during the print run. Since the sense of smell connects to emotion and memory, this can be a powerful tool for retailers to delight and surprise their customers and make a lasting impression.
5. Embracing New Technologies and Augmented Realities Offline
While not a new trend, including personalized URLs and QR codes to drive customers online and track behavior continues to be popular—but these are not the only ways retailers will leverage technology in their printed marketing campaigns.
Consumers are incredibly excited about the possibility of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR); they’re eager to test out these tools and see all the different ways they might be used.
Printed augmented reality features included in these printed campaigns can capture the attention and imagination of consumers, with options to discover a product on the page, then use their phone to get a 360-degree view or detailed look at what this product can do or even how it will look in their home.
AR can enhance the user experience and help customers through their decision-making or buying process by scanning a link on the printed page. It’s important to note that customers in 2023 and 2024 may not be eager to download an app to use these features. Thanks to the introduction of WebAR, however, retailers can still implement AR experiences into their print media.
With WebAR, consumers can access many AR features through their device’s web browser. These web-based AR tools present an incredible opportunity for retailers to build innovative campaigns that merge the digital and physical worlds with interactive content and try-it-before-you-buy-it offers that enrich the entire customer experience in a brand-new way.
Comosoft Keeps You Ahead of the Trends
LAGO by Comosoft is a one-of-a-kind marketing automation tool that revolutionizes the entire collaborative workflow process in real time, making it possible for retailers to store data and digital assets in one secure repository accessible from anywhere. The result is a more efficient publishing process that lets you stay updated on the latest trends. When you manage the entire Digital Asset Management (DAM), Production Information Management (PIM), and publishing process from one place, there’s more time to keep up with the newest innovations.
Comosoft LAGO is an all-in-one marketing production solution fully equipped with both a PIM and DAM solution. It supports your operations with integrated workflow collaboration support, versioning optimization, and an intuitive proofing system.
Use LAGO to easily create printed media like magazines, catalogs, and mailers and save valuable resources in the process. Then, free up these savings to make the most of the coming print marketing trends. Ready to learn more? Book a demonstration today.