Only 14% consumers likely to use print out on demand service if it became available via quick commerce
- ● 82% households to not use a printout on demand service due to printer at home, data privacy concerns or comfort of getting it printed locally
- ● 6 in 10 households with annual income of INR 6 lakh have printers at home and 2 out of 10 bought them during the pandemic
September 19, 2022, New Delhi: Majority Indians don’t print much these days with the exception of school and college students or when adults have a need to apply for a government document like passport or take a bank loan. Most transactions are now online and so are train and flight travel where printouts of itineraries and tickets have been replaced by digital boarding passes and SMS tickets.
However, the COVID pandemic drove sales of printers up as school and college students in urban India did their classes online, had to print, complete, scan and upload assignments from home. However, as schools and colleges resumed fully in early 2022, the need for printing has reduced again.
However, recently there have been some announcements by platforms like Blinkit which is a quick grocery delivery platform stating that it will enable printout on demand service enabling people to send their documents to Blinkit which will then print them and deliver home. To understand whether there is an actual market for such a service, LocalCircles conducted an extensive nationwide study which received over 42,000 responses from household consumers located in 185 districts of India. 62% respondents were men while 38% respondents were women. 47% respondents were from tier 1, 34% from tier 2 and 19% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
The first survey question asked respondents “when did you purchase the printer that you currently have at home” and it revealed that 40% of the surveyed households had bought their home printer in 2019 or prior to that, while 13% bought it in 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown period when large number of people were forced to work from home and student attended classes online, in the following year another 7% households invested in a printer. So far this year, 2% of respondents have bought printers for use at home. The survey also revealed that due to lack of use or other issues 28% out of 10,514 respondents have non-functional printers at home while another 4% are not sure about when they purchased the home printer. The survey found that two in ten households with annual income of over INR 6 lakhs purchased a printer during the pandemic.
2 in 10 of the urban Indian households with annual household income of over INR 6 lakhs got their home printer during the pandemic while 4 in 10 had it prior to it
In October 2021, International Data Corporation (IDC) in a report had stated that during Covid it was the consumer and SMB segment that pushed the printer demands in India and not the enterprise segment. “In fact, 2021H1 grew by more than 60% over 2020H1 in (printer) volume shipment and about 43% in value. In terms of unit shipment, the Indian market saw strong demands from consumer/home and SMB segments,” Bani Johir, Senior Market Analyst – IPDS, IDC India, had stated in the report. In fact, the IDC India report states that a major shift towards ink tank printers within the inkjet segment compared to laser was seen towards the end of 2020. “Owing to prolonged work from home and online classes for kids is driving significant printer demand particularly ink tank printers,” Johir had stated.
The survey via its next question asked respondents “how many printouts (for personal use) on average do you take out as a household each month” found 21% out of 10,832 respondents stating “rarely there is a need”, 8% are printing 1-2 pages a month on an average, 10% households print 3-5 pages, 23% print 5-10 pages and another 23% use the home printer for printing 10-20 pages and another 15% use it for printing 20 or more pages a month.
6 in 10 urban Indian households with annual household income of over INR 6 lakhs take 5 or more print outs each month
Of those in the annual income of INR 6 lakh household income bracket, 61% of the respondents have a printer at home, 31% have been going to a shop in the local market for getting the documents printed
In the next question, respondents with annual household income of INR 6 lakhs or more were asked “when you have to take printout (for personal use) how do you generally get them”. In response, 61% said they have a printer at home, while the next largest segment of 31% have been going to a shop in the local market for getting the documents printed. Of the remaining, 6% respondents admitted to using printing facilities at place of work and carrying printouts home while 3% stated that they rarely needed to use a printer. This question in the survey received 10,335 responses.
82% households with annual income over 6 lakhs have no plans to switch over to a print out on demand service
The scenario in which home delivery services started offering the advantage of getting the documents printed and delivered at your doorstep in less than 20 minutes may have changed due to rising perception that Covid risk has ebbed, but more businesses are continuing to see it as a new growth area. Online grocery application, Blinkit has started with a pilot in few areas of Delhi-NCR and other quick service platforms may be considering a similar offering. To understand if consumers are comfortable with sharing their personal documents and data via whatsapp with platforms, the survey asked consumers, “if a printing on demand service was made available at INR 10-20 per page and delivered within an hour and one where you could whatsapp/email your document to a number, would you use such a service”? It was found that 14% of the respondents were willing to avail such a service. Of those willing to avail such a service, 7% stated it was due to “convenience” reasons, and another 7% stated it was both for convenience and the price factor. On the other hand, 82% households stated that they had no plans to switch over to a delivery platform for printing needs either for privacy reasons, or unwillingness to change from the current mode of using home printers or use of services from nearby shops or for both reasons. Of these, 39% cited both the reasons, 25% convenience of using home printers or known shop facilities and 10% had privacy concerns. A total of 10,371 responded to this survey question. While platforms like Blinkit have promised to delete the information immediately on completion of the task, consumer concerns are bound to linger.
In summary, the survey finds that while demand for printing has reduced overall due to rapid growth of digital services, post the pandemic, 6 out of 10 households with annual income of INR 6 lakh or higher have a printer at home. 3 in 10 of them currently visit the local market for their printing needs. It is largely this income segment that is also users of smartphones and quick service apps in India. The survey found that 82% of these households are not likely to use a printout on demand service while 14% households are likely to avail of such a service. Whether the demand from these 14% households is sufficient to sustain the printing infrastructure in markets where quick service grocery delivery platforms operate is what will determine whether these on demand printing services continue or are discontinued.
The survey received over 42,000 responses from household consumers located in 185 districts of India. 62% respondents were men while 38% respondents were women. 47% respondents were from tier 1, 34% from tier 2 and 19% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.