Home Printers Demand In India Almost Doubled During COVID-19 Crisis

Home printer sales in India have doubled thanks to the coronavirus related lockdown as many people are working from home to slow the spread of COVID-19. New research shows that a number of people have chosen to go with ink-tank printers over cartridge-based printers. Nishant Bansal, Senior Research Manager of the IPDS (Imaging, Printer, and Document Solutions) domain at IDC, echoed Raghavan’s views and added that while schools largely don’t mandate printouts, parents are wary of exposing their kids to too much screen time and hence taking hard copies of documents to reduce eye strain.

“For certain professionals, such as lawyers and chartered accountants (CAs) who must read through high-volume content, the uptake of home printers is higher as it is easier to read and review hard copies than soft-copies. A lot of scanning requirements for reimbursement claims and GST claims are also being done from home now by consumers,” Bansal pointed out.

According to an IDC report, the printers and peripherals market in India registered a year-over-year decline of 4.7 percent in the calendar year 2019 owing to weak consumer segment demand. The market is now seeing a positive sign through the increase in demand for home printers in the last few months.

“Even though it may be difficult to estimate, we foresee there may be an increase in demand by 1.5 to two times for home inkjet printers,” said Siva Kumar K, Senior General Manager – InkJet Printers, Epson India.

Aside from Epson, Canon is also estimating a double-digit growth in printer usage at home in the country.

C Sukumaran, Director, Consumer System Products Division, and Imaging Communication Products Division, Canon India, stated that alongside people who started using home printers for their kids and professional purposes, there are some users who’re spending more time and effort in capturing their lockdown memories.

At present, the demand is at peak for ink-tank printers that have Wi-Fi connectivity, supporting wireless printing. Experts believe that since ink-tank printers are more economical over laser and existing inkjet cartridge printers, along with higher page yield of printing per ink bottle, people are preferring them more against laserjet and traditional cartridge inkjet options.

Bansal of IDC said that while the overall inkjet printer market was flat in 2019 versus 2018, within the inkjet market, the ink-tank segment grew at seven percent year-over-year last year, while the ink cartridge segment declined by 19 percent year-over-year. This suggests that the earlier trend has continued in the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.  The retail market in India is indeed offline dominated so far. However, the growth of home printers demand isn’t limited to offline stores as several people are placing orders through online marketplaces as well.

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