Growing your business: diversifying into personalised products

Encarna Luque, product manager, textile & inks, Roland DG EMEA, outlines how you can grow your business by diversifying into personalised products.

In Smithers’ 2018 report The Future of Dye-Sublimation Printing to 2023it was suggested that the consumer demand for personalised items was far from satiated. The personalisation market has remained a key trend over the past year and is set to reach £1 billion.

For those looking to fulfil this consumer desire and create all kinds of customised products on-demand, dye sublimation printing could be the perfect solution. This fast and efficient printing technology allows professionals to easily predict the time and costs of each print job, whether you’re printing high-volume to short runs or even one-offs with sublimation printing technology, the setup is the same every time.

Expansion

We regularly hear from our customers that the move to sublimation printing has enabled them to expand their product offering without the burden of additional costs. Offering a range of personalised items not only provides a bespoke service to customers, increasing customer loyalty, it also allows print professionals to increase sales without increasing their stock to include many different items. This made-to-order approach is also effective in reducing operational costs and waste, preventing leftover stock.

These applications can include everything from interior décor items, such as curtains, upholstery, and cushions, to sportswear, apparel, and high-vis safety wear. Rigid objects, such as mugs and other rigid substrates with a polyester coating can also be decorated using this technology.

What’s more, textile manufacturers have been developing new polyester fabrics, offering a wide range of textures which include simulated natural fibres like cotton or silk, and more technical fabrics.

Uniquely, sublimation printing allows print professionals to retain the original texture and feel of these fabrics, since the ink is integrated within rather than on top of the polyester surface. As a result, this is the perfect technology for fashion and sports garments that may need to be washed multiple times as the images do not fade or crack.

Taking your services online

Over the past 18 months, we have radically seen a change in buying habits in a way we’ve never seen before. Consumers have got used to making purchases online during the pandemic and having everything at their fingertips; as a result, they expect an increasingly personalised experience, including the ability to purchase customisable goods.

As the printing world continues to evolve and customers demand faster turnaround, easier ordering, and more online product personalisation, we expect to see a continued rise in the use of digital webshops, allowing print businesses to quickly start selling online hassle-free, integrate personalisation options into existing ecommerce platforms and offer a complete solution to customers.

The beauty of digital printing, particularly when combined with online selling platforms, is that it gives you a high degree of flexibility and allows you to shift and capitalise on these trends – an element that is essential in today’s marketplace.

By digitalising customer ordering processes, print providers can start selling online and provide personalisation options to consumers, allowing customers themselves to edit, customise and purchase specific items.

Now that print processes and transactions have occurred online without hiccups, more business than ever before will likely take place digitally. As a result, we can expect to see more innovations that will complement a digital-focused print service, such as increasingly sophisticated online webshops, which can scale with a business as its online presence increases.

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