*NEWS*CHEAP PRINTERS / EXPENSIVE CTGS

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*NEWS*CHEAP PRINTERS / EXPENSIVE CTGS

 user 2003-12-07 at 10:13:00 am Views: 95
  • #8113

    The Future Of Inkjet Cartridge Promotions – Show Me The Value!

    One hot topic concerning the inkjet printer market today is the pricing of inkjet supplies. Everyone wants to know where it has been and where is it going. Over the past several years there have been some slight price increases for inkjet cartridges, but over all, the prices have remained stable. Let’s face it, pricing will never decrease on inkjet cartridges; thus, the future of successfully achieving high sales of inkjet cartridges rests in promotions. The sticker shock that customers are experiencing when they see a $30 inkjet cartridge for their $100 printer is causing them to reevaluate their printer purchase. Instead of blowing customers out of the water with inkjet cartridge prices, manufacturers need to make customers feel like they are actually getting a value when buying a $30 inkjet cartridge. Value In Customers Many manufacturers are actually starting out in the right direction. HP, Canon, Epson, and Lexmark are beginning to create value in customers’ minds with the creation of twin packs. Although customers are spending $50 instead of $30, the inkjet twin packs are positioned to save the customers money, up to $5 per ink cartridge. This is a great way to help create value in customers’ minds. However, inkjet cartridge twin packs are not the wave of the future for inkjet supplies. Customers are going to demand even more value. You may ask yourself, “Where is the value going to come from?” The biggest concern in the customers mind is – “Why should I spend $100 on a printer that is going to cost me twice as much in inkjet cartridges?” There is a simple solution to that question, give the printer away for free. To begin, manufacturers are making very little profit on the printers, so why not require customers to buy $75-$100 worth of inkjet supplies and give them the printer for free? Throw in an inkjet paper value pack and you are on your way to winning customer loyalty and confidence. My answer may seem too simple, and there are many factors that come into play; however, it is a do-able solution for gaining market share in the low-end printer arena. Canon has tried a promotion similar to this in the past, but customers had to fill out hordes of paperwork and wait for a mail-in rebate. Customers want instant gratification. Solutions Enhance Value Offering a free printer is not the only future for inkjet cartridge promotions. In other words, an additional big move is “solutions”. Customers need “solutions” for their complicated lives. They need more reasons why they should use an inkjet printer and spend big bucks on the cartridges. Therefore, manufacturers need to provide them with the solutions that are going to save them money, make their lives less hectic, get them organized for the new year, or simply help them communicate better. HP has been creative in providing such “solutions” to customers with their various printing kits that provide free software, inkjet paper, and printing ideas. Providing customers with printing solutions needs to be more than just free software and paper. I believe that manufacturers can take this type of promotion one step farther. To reach the next level, to make their lives run more smoothly, customers need to know how they can more effectively use their computer, printer, scanner, digital camera, cell phone, and handheld. It’s not just about printing from your computer anymore. The future of printing rests in a company’s ability to illustrate how everything in a system can work together through wireless connections – to be printed, then, in a nice package, with a mere $30 inkjet cartridge. Customers need to be made aware of how economical a $30 inkjet cartridge is when considering the time and value such a device is adding to their lives