Subscription models could present print opportunity

Subscription-based business models could offer an opportunity for printers, according to the DMA.

The organisation’s new report, Customer Engagement - Acquisition and the consumer mindset, found that 45% of the subscription users among the 2,016 respondents to the survey would like to pay for more products and services in this way rather than paying at the time of purchase.

54% of subscription users agreed that they opt for the most flexible options when taking out subscriptions, even if it costs them more.

Furthermore, 59% of millennial respondents agreed that subscription-based products or services offer value for money, compared to 35% overall, while 73% of all respondents to the survey said they avoid services that tie them into long contracts.

The DMA said these findings suggest that companies should continue to assess how more flexible buying options such as monthly rolling contracts can help to attract new customers, with long-term loyalty building being the ultimate goal.

“What consumers really want is flexibility and I think we’re seeing that increasingly in print and design spaces. There are lots of different ways to get things done and get things made and increased digitalisation in print is allowing brands to become more flexible,” said DMA head of insight Tim Bond.

“For example, you could imagine a service offering where you get a set number of business cards a month or over the course of a year according to the number of employees you have. You could use that allocation as and when you need it and they could be produced quickly and effectively within that period.”

Separately, 51% of respondents to the survey said they prefer interacting with people rather than using chatbots.

The DMA said this indicates that while many businesses are starting to adopt AI to replace roles previously held by people, not all consumers are happy to see this at the expense of personalised human interaction.

“By and large, people are open to using chatbots but from what we see they don’t want to necessarily use them for really in-depth conversations about the intricacies of a design job, or about what kind of quality paper and size would suit a particular job,” said Bond.

“They tend to want to talk to a real person for those in-depth conversations and recommendations.

“But what they are increasingly happy to do via a chatbot is those simple conversations – for example there’s no need to phone up and wait in a line to contact an account manager to find out when they can expect final proofs, when all of that information is actually in the project management software.”


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