Widespread penetration of RFID tags used on barcodes currently pose a challenge to thermal printer sales, as the RFID technology enables remote tracking of products. A majority of manufacturers tend to prefer RFID tagging over other alternatives, owing to their readability and password protection. However, significant rise in the demand for the printing of barcode, ticket, and receipt will reportedly bring in attractive opportunities for thermals printer manufacturers, more prominently in developing countries of Asia Pacific.
In terms of value, the global thermal printer market is projected to thrive at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period 2018–2028, reaching a value beyond US$ 4.5 billion by 2028 end.
The Need for Compact, Convenient, Cost-effective Thermal Printing Solution Persists
High demand for mobile printers is prominently fuelling the growth of thermal printers market. As mobile thermal printers are available at cheaper costs compared to their desktop and industrial counterparts, it is likely that mobile printers will continue to gain higher traction throughout the forecast period. Retailers and wholesalers are expected to remain more inclined towards mobile printers, as they are compact, efficient, and deliver high performance.
High Speed & Cost Efficiency Enable Direct Thermal Printers to Witness Growing Traction
On the basis of product type, the market is currently witnessing higher sales of thermal transfer printers. Though thermal transfer printers are estimated to remain dominant throughout the forecast period, direct thermal printers are believed to hold a significant growth potential in next few years. The latter is further segmented into – the direct thermal industrial printers, direct thermal desktop printers, and direct thermal mobile printers. While retailers are shifting from thermal transfer printer to direct thermal printer for high speed performance and low maintenance, consumers are also preferring the latter due to cheaper costs and higher speed.
In terms of end use, retail and consumer goods sector will remain the uncontested leader, with growing demand from grocery products, food & beverages, clothing & apparel, and others. Research uncovers attractive opportunities in the institutional segment that includes industries such as hospitality, hospital & healthcare, and banking & financial services. Based on the printing speed, 4-8 inch per second printers will remain the most sought after ones, whereas above 8 inch printers are expected to face a pricing challenge, resulting in relatively low preference. Regional examination of the market concludes continued dominance of North America, and promising growth prospects for emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe.
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Leading manufacturers competing in the global market for thermal printer are focusing more on developing a standalone thermal printer with an enhanced storage capacity, capable to perform the functions of a computer as well as a conventional printer. While such a printing solution will provide more efficient functioning, it will also bring the cost pressure down.