Amazon and Flipkart Observe Increase in Home Printer Sales
In the midst of the pandemic, the overall size of the printer market has witnessed a shortfall in demand, but in India, a silver lining is seen in the upward demand for home printers.
According to Gadgets 360, the demand for home printers has grown thanks to homeschooling. The top three players in the home printer market in the country, namely HP, Canon, Epson and Brother are seeing a notable increase in the demand for home printers.
“This can be attributed to the increased ambit of home printing needs — be it from the home learning segment or the work from home professionals and small and medium businesses (SMBs),” said Sunish Raghavan, Senior Director, Printing Systems, HP Greater India Market. “We are also seeing a consistent shift towards blended learning patterns that includes a mix of both digital and physical learning that is also driving home printing demand.”
New research reveals many have chosen to go with ink-tank printers over cartridge-based printers.
Nishant Bansal, Senior Research Manager of the IPDS (Imaging, Printer, and Document Solutions) domain at IDC, echoed Raghavan’s views and added that while schools largely don’t mandate printouts, parents are wary of exposing their kids to too much screen time and hence taking hard copies of documents to reduce eye strain.
“For certain professionals, such as lawyers and chartered accountants (CAs) who must read through high-volume content, the uptake of home printers is higher as it is easier to read and review hard copies than soft-copies. A lot of scanning requirements for reimbursement claims and GST claims are also being done from home now by consumers,” Bansal pointed out.
According to an IDC report, the printers and peripherals market in India registered a year-over-year decline of 4.7 percent in the calendar year 2019 owing to weak consumer segment demand. The market is now seeing a positive sign through the increase in demand for home printers in the last few months.
“Even though it may be difficult to estimate, we foresee there may be an increase in demand by 1.5 to two times for home inkjet printers,” said Siva Kumar K, Senior General Manager – InkJet Printers, Epson India.
Aside from Epson, Canon is also estimating a double-digit growth in printer usage at home in the country.
C. Sukumaran, Director, Consumer System Products Division and Imaging Communication Products Division, Canon India, told Gadgets 360 that alongside people started using home printers for their kids and professional purposes, there are some users who’re spending more time and effort in capturing their lockdown memories.
“We are expecting to see a rising in demand for photo printers this year,” he said.
Ink-tank continues to lead the market
The demand for ink-tank printers that have Wi-Fi connectivity is at a peak. Many believe that since ink-tank printers are more economical over laser and existing inkjet cartridge printers, they are preferred over laserjet and traditional cartridge inkjet options.
While the overall inkjet printer market had been flat in 2019 compared with 2018, the ink-tank segment grew at seven percent year-over-year last year, while the ink cartridge segment declined by 19 percent year-over-year. This suggests that the earlier trend has continued in the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Flipkart, like Amazon, is popular in India. It has also seen a spike in demand for home printers on its platform. According to Flipkart, there has been a 75 percent increase in searches for various kinds of printers (inkjet, ink-tank, and lasers), especially wireless printers. The Walmart-backed marketplace has also seen two times increase in ink cartridge purchases during the lockdown.
“The surge in demand for home printers will help improve the overall market to some extent, but it might not be sufficient to fill the gap (by volume or value) created by a shortfall in demand for laser printers, primarily from micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), corporates, and the government,” said IDC’s Bansal.
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