IRELAND:MULTIFUNCTION TO DOMINATE

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IRELAND:MULTIFUNCTION TO DOMINATE

 user 2005-11-17 at 11:10:00 am Views: 57
  • #13321

    Multifunction to dominate
    Devices to outsell stand alone ink jet printers in 2005
    Katrina Timmis, Epson’s channel manager for Ireland, said that she expects multifunction devices to outsell stand-alone ink jet printers this year. Epson, one of the stalwarts of the computer printing industry, continues to be number one in the photo printing area, number two for multifunction inkjet devices and number two or three for consumer scanners.
    Epson have been very active recently launching 13 new products in September alone. Many of the products are incremental improvements on existing products. Ink technology has improved again with Epson’s new Durabrite Ultra incorporating a gloss in the ink as well as retaining all the features (durability, waterproof and smudge proof) that made Durabrite such a success. Longevity has been extended to 120 years of light fastness compared to 80 years for Durabrite ink and smudge resistance has been improved.
    Other notable new products are the scanners that are both faster and support better resolutions. Epson’s strength on the printing side continues with inkjet technology or micro piezo print head technology as Epson prefer to call it. On the laser side HP continue to be, by far, the most dominant player in the market place.
    Epson’s route to market is through two distributors (Sharptext and Micro Warehouse) for hardware and two distributors (Sharptext and Datapac) for consumables. Timmis said that dealers appreciate having a choice of suppliers. There has been a significant shift in the last five years from hardware to consumables as hardware prices have fallen and a large proportion of user spend has shifted from hardware to consumables. Epson devotes much effort to positioning consumables both to generate revenue and to ensure that the printing experience is maximised for the users.
    Like many inkjet vendors Epson is conscious of the consumers’ perception of the high costs of ink. To combat this perception Epson market multipacks with complete sets of cartridges that in some cases can save consumers up to 40 per cent. Another product offering is Picture Packs that contain a combination of inkjet cartridges and paper. In the UK Epson has a web-based option for consumables but Timmis said that the logistics would not work for Ireland. She thinks that consumers like the flexibility of being able to purchase locally, especially as 65 per cent of cartridge purchases are “panic” purchases.
    One of the strong selling points for Epson is technical support. This operates at all levels including retailer and consumer. Retailers are encouraged to have demonstration units and to be trained to use them and to evangelise the benefits of the Epson products. At the consumer level there is telephone support, e-talk on-line trouble shooting and web support. Unlike some competitors Epson does not charge for technical support at the end of the first year or whenever the warranty runs out.
    Timmis sums up the benefits of selling Epson as being the profitable brand that is easy to sell and market