CT News bureau
Preference for Ink tank printers among consumers is increasing and vendors will look to aggressively push this category through marketing, channel schemes and end user promotions, according to an IDC report.
Ink tank printers are driving the market in major 50 cities of India clocking a quarter on quarter growth of 6% making up for nearly 40% of the overall Printer volume and 74% of the Inkjet volume. Inkjet printers led the overall market with 53.3% share, said IDC.
“Back to School season and growing demand from SMBs will lead to strong demand for printers in the second quarter of this year. Vendors are increasingly focusing on Tier 3 and 4 cities for driving growth and the trend is expected to continue for rest of 2018,” said Nishant Bansal, Research Manager, IPDS, IDC India.
According to the report, while Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai remained top 3 cities in terms of sales volume, demand from tier 3, tier 4 cities was the main catalyst behind this growth. Elections and channel expansion fueled the growth of cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad with a combined quarterly sales growth of 12.2% in Q1 2018.
According to Abhishek Mukherjee, Senior Market Analyst, IDC India “Government demand was higher in Q1 2018. Channel & end-user schemes boosted the sale in price sensitive SMB segment as well.”
Within the Inkjet category, Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS)/ Ink tank printers constituted more than 70% of the market. Demand for low-cost printing among SOHOs and SMBs in Tier 3 and Tier 4 Cities generated approximately 54% of the Ink Tank sales volume. Some key vendors refreshed their Ink Tank portfolio in this quarter.
“To push Ink tank printers, vendors focused on increasing depth of their channel partner network along with attractive channel schemes. Vendor’s effort in improving the service quality also helped in building confidence among buyers,” added Mukherjee.
HP Inc maintained overall leadership in A4 Printer market with 42.2% market share in 50 cities across India. Significant channel push on entry level Laser printers helped it maintain its leadership in the market.
Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune were major cities driving growth for the brand. West zone outpaced other zones in Laser printer contribution to HP while South zone had the highest contribution for Inkjet printers. End user promotion and channel push helped HP to sell entry-level Laser printers in tier 3 and tier 4 cities.
Epson registered 1st spot in the Inkjet Printer Market with 50.5% market share in the category (27.0% Overall A4 printer market). Epson’s dominance was primarily aided by its vast sales and service network in smaller cities and towns. Hyderabad and Agra were the key growth markets for Epson - the upcountry movement from these cities through Tier 4 channel partners fueled the brand’s growth.
While L380 has been the highest selling model for Epson as well as in the Inkjet category, its M-series (Monochrome CISS) witnessed significant growth from Tier 3 and 4 cities as channel partners effectively developed newer markets such as Cooperative banks, Small and medium businesses such as C&F, legal agencies and State Government, for the series.
Canon secured 3rd spot in overall A4 printer market with 22.0% market share in 2017 Q4. Chennai, Pune and Ludhiana were the key growth markets for Canon. Canon refreshed its ink tank printer’s portfolio i.e. PIXMA G Series in January 2018 and aggressively pushed them with attractive channel schemes in the Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities. They also increased their outreach by adding several new retail partners which resulted in strong sales for its ink tank printers. Ink tank printers contributed to 52% of Canon overall Inkjet sales.
Canon’s laser portfolio was at the second spot with 25.4% market share in A4 Laser printer category. It had a softer quarter due to supply gap and lack of channel and end user promotions by the vendor. Increase in number of service partners is expected to increase sales of Laser and Inkjet printers in Q2 2018.