Hi. Welcome to Ingram Micro.

Please choose your role, so we can direct you to what you’re looking for.

If you’d like to learn more about Ingram Micro global initiatives and operations, visit ingrammicro.com.

Opportunities in wide-format printing

October 08, 2018

Opportunities in wide-format printing

Which markets are ripe for this technology and tips for securing new business
Did you know that the wide-format printer market in North America is currently growing at 9.5% annually and, according to IDC, projected to reach $1.7 billion in revenue by 2022?

What started as a blueprint-printing solution for architects, engineers and construction crews, has escalated into a huge market opportunity for schools, stores, restaurants and businesses of practically every shape and size. If you’re looking to expand your business and grow sales, exploring the potential of large-format printers is an excellent place to start. 

Who uses wide-format printing?

The list of people, business and organizations using wide-format printing is long and diverse—and growing quickly. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t use wide-format printing in some way. Here are some examples of popular markets and how they’re using wide-format printing today: 

  • Travel, leisure and entertainment: Hotels, casinos, amusement parks and sports arenas use it to create lobby displays, show posters, ticket booth signs and special offers.
  • Restaurants, retailers and food distributors: Grocery stores and quick-serve restaurants use it to develop in-store displays, backlit drive-thru menu boards and sale signs.
  • Retail: Stores and big-box warehouses use wide-format printing to generate point-of-sale graphics, window signage, end caps and floor advertising.
  • Corporate business: Fortune 1000 companies, law firms, banks and real estate developers use it for announcements, trade shows, court room graphics and directional signs.
  • Engineering and construction: Architects, engineers and construction crews use it to print blueprints, CAD drawings, landscape designs and oversized schematics.
  • Marketing: Advertising agencies and design studios use wide-format printing to create proofs and client presentations.
  • Federal, state and local government: Political campaigns, fire departments, police departments and cities use it for special event graphics, municipal planning and zoning, safety signage and parks and recreation posters.
  • Education: Grammar schools, high schools, colleges and vocational schools use wide-format printing for classroom materials, bulletin boards, plays and presentations, posters, fundraisers, and alumni events.

After seeing this list of customers and possibilities, you may quickly realize—the sales opportunities are vast. Even if you have absolutely zero experience selling wide-format printing solutions, it’s not hard to learn. The key to successfully creating value and selling solutions is learning to understand a customer’s needs—then filling those needs as precisely and completely as possible. 

Want to find and secure new sales? Ask the right questions.

By finding out the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to better understand a customer’s needs and make good recommendations. They can steer the conversation to identify the right kind of printer, the right size—even down to a specific model.

What’s the purpose of your wide-format graphic?
Does your customer need to create window displays, banners for fundraising events, presentations for business meetings, menu boards, blueprints or car wraps? Or maybe they’re hoping to have multiple purposes. Their answer can steer the conversation in very different directions.  

What types of materials will you be printing on?
Different printer brands and models are built for certain types of applications. For example, some are designed for photographic, fine art and commercial proofing applications. Others can create high volume, quality prints on fabrics, like flags and soft signage. Others specialize in printing on plastics, metals, wood, acrylic and more. Different materials require different inks, which will dictate what printer options are available. 

What’s your need for speed?
Have your customer think about how often and how much they will be printing. A base model may be fine if they don’t need a quick turnaround, but they may want to opt for a more advanced model for high-volume printing at faster speeds. 

What size ranges are needed?
You’ll need to know if they’ll be printing small, poster-size prints or large billboards. The size of the substrates and images will narrow down your options since every printer has different size limitations. 

How will the graphic be viewed?
Find out whether the graphic will be viewed up-close or from far away. If people will be viewing it from up-close, you’ll want to suggest printing images at higher resolutions. 

How will the wide-format graphic be displayed and for how long?
Your customer may plan to frame it, hang it from the ceiling, stand it on an easel or mount it to the window. Knowing this information will help determine the type of media to use and if finishing will be required. 

How much wide-format printing do you currently do?
The answer to this question will help you quickly gauge the print volume needed, the desired speed and the scope of the customer’s requirements. If the volume is high enough, the time savings could justify investing in a wide-format printer. 

If you’re outsourcing the service, how much are you spending now?
Customers who spend a lot in outsourced printing costs have an easier time justifying the purchase of wide-format technology. Don’t forget to have them include the outsourced costs for tradeshow graphics, car wraps and other printed items—many of which can also be created with wide-format printers. 

If you’re ready to dive into the world of wide-format printing opportunities, Ingram Micro is ready to assist. We have an expert team that’s well versed in the wide-format printing market, available solutions and how to get authorized to sell them. For more information, email our team at largeformatprint@ingrammicro.com.