Increase Margins with Digital Embellishment

By: Eat Print Love |

Innovations in print technology continue to revolutionize the way customers interact with printed pieces. Today, digital embellishment technology has made it possible to enhance even short-run print jobs through the addition of embossed effects, foil stamping, spot UV coating, and more. As printers and designers, we value the enhanced visual and tactile beauty these effects can bring to a printed piece, but what about our customers? Well, turns out they love it too.

The Science Behind
Embellishment Printing

A number of academic and real-word case studies have shown that consumers are drawn to embellished pieces. A 2013 study by the Foil & Speciality Effects Association used eye-tracking devices to measure the impact of embellished vs. non-embellished packaging. The researchers found embellished packaging was identified 45% faster and held a shopper’s attention 18% longer than non-embellished packaging

In 2017, researchers conducted a follow-up study to determine whether embellished packaging increases a customer’s willingness to make a purchase. Pitting a made-up brand of coffee against well-known brands like Maxwell House, Eight O’Clock, and Green Mountain Coffee, the researchers tested the effects of both embellished and non-embellished packaging on nearly 200 participants.

You can probably guess the outcome – the non-embellished packaging for the made-up brand was one of the least-purchased, while the embellished packaging for the made-up brand saw purchase rates as high as Maxwell House and Green Mountain Coffee, and even higher than Eight O’Clock. This is a powerful indicator of embellishment’s effect on consumers.

What Does This Mean for Printers?

It means that embellishment brings additional value to your customers, which means you can charge more for individual pieces that include embellishment. Think about it on a per-piece level – let’s say you typically charge $15.00 for 100 coloured business cards. By adding spot varnish, you can double the price to $30.00 for the same number; add spot varnish and foil, and you can easily triple the price to $45.00 for the same run. Embellishment adds value for your customers, and additional value is reflected in greater revenue for your business.

The Embellishment Market Shines

The fact of the matter is, the industry hype surrounding this technology is justified – and the numbers prove it. A 2016 study conducted by Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, looked at the growth rate of the embellishment market as a subset of the larger print market overall. What they found was pretty incredible.

First, they found that the volume of digital print enhancement and embellishment printing is growing at a rate of 27% CAGR from 2015 to 2020 and is expected to reach 25 billion pages of embellished printing by 2020. This is more than double the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of regular CMYK printing over this same period.

They also found that profit margins on digitally embellished pieces range from 50% to over 400%! This should excite any printer reading this right now, as it stands to radically transform the growth rate of your business.

Finally, one of the more interesting figures that came out of this study: the average CMYK print buyer today is willing to pay a premium of up to 89% for digital print enhancements once they’ve seen these effects. This is so exciting because it means that when you invest in embellishment technology you not only gain access to a new audience seeking out foil and varnish finishing, but you’re also able to demonstrate the value of these capabilities to existing customers who may not be aware that embellishment is even an option.

So many printers have already invested in this technology and seen major results. Take this video posted to the print industry-focused YouTube channel INKISH: in addition to showing off the beautiful interior and works of the German print shop NINO Druck, it also highlights more print shop owners outlining how digital embellishment printing has allowed their business to grow exponentially.

The Future of Printing is Varnished and Foiled

I hope at this point you’ve come to realize the immense benefits that can come from offering digital embellishment as an upgrade on your existing print capabilities. The science is clear – digital embellishment catches and holds the attention of consumers better than regular printed pieces. And, with an ever-growing number of success stories and examples of printers putting this technology to use growing their business, there is little reason not to take the plunge and invest in this technology.

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