By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle
The rules of retail are changing and the only new rule to understand is that there are no rules anymore when it comes to retail. In the past, traditional brick and mortar merchants would open their storefronts and merchandise inventory based on mass market trends and branded inventory that consumers were familiar with. Nowadays, however, customers crave more personalization and more hands-on experiences unlike ever before. Keeping this in mind, the new Direct to Object Inkjet Printer from Xerox is a perfect solution for today’s modern merchants.
Having recently spent a day at the Gil Hatch Customer Engagement Center at Xerox’s Webster, N.Y. manufacturing and engineering campus, I was thrilled to discover the possibilities that Xerox’s new Direct to Object Inkjet Printer will deliver retailers. Among the many things I learned that day included insight from Karl Dueland, vice president and general manager of Digital Manufacturing for Xerox. Karl explained to me that among their various goals of this new technology is to allow merchants to create stronger, on demand in-store experiences for retailers who want to gain more business from their local marketplace. Through this new, patented technology, retailers can introduce personalized gifts and products on three-dimensional objects that may include water bottles, tumblers, souvenirs and more. The retail reach of this printer is vast, as well, and ideal for merchants from a variety of categories that include sporting goods stores, gift shops, wedding boutiques, resorts, activity centers and more. Exploring this in more detail, Xerox’s chief technology officer Steve Hoover, along with Dueland, treated me to an interview and opportunity to showcase the new Direct to Object Inkjet Printer while at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, which you can see here.
As retail continues to evolve and consumers continue to expect more from where they choose to spend their dollars, it’s important for merchants to be proactive in their efforts to both succeed at retail and meet their customer expectations. The Direct to Object Inkjet Printer, an innovative way to do this for a variety of reasons. Among them:
- The vivid colors and digital printing capabilities of the Direct to Object Inkjet Printer are ideal for short – or even one time – print runs, helping to introduce more realistic selling opportunities for smaller merchants.
- The footprint of this printer introduces an engaging in-store experience while also providing a tech-driven merchandising component – something future-minded retailers should actively be looking to introduce.
- The variety of inventory available to print via the Direct to Object Inkjet Printer opens up volume opportunity, increased sales and loyalty among customers who need customized objects regularly.
- This printer can help strengthen community relationships, allowing you to leverage its unique capabilities through partnerships with schools, youth teams and more.
There’s no doubt that the rules of retail are no longer are what they used to be. The question to ask yourself as a retailer, however, is if you are prepared to keep up. With the Direct to Object Inkjet Printer, merchants can not only keep up but also lead the way in their community innovation, customer engagement and sales – something retailers old and new can appreciate.
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle (right)is a paid contributor for Xerox. She is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference and a regular contributor to various publications that include Entrepreuner.com. Additionally, Reyhle is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Follow Reyhle on Twitter at @RetailMinded.