Product Innovation to Promote Growth in Stationery Thermal Barcode Printing

by Richa Gupta, on September 2, 2016


The global market for stationary thermal barcode printers will post a CAGR of 4.3% through 2020, reaching $1.6 Billion in overall revenues.

Macroeconomic challenges have prompted a slowdown in the first half of the year for hardware vendors this space. Zebra’s year-over-year sales declines within this category so far in 2016 are primarily due to a difficult comparison and a massive retail order in 2015 that will not be immediately repeatable. Ongoing global exchange rate fluctuations, pressure from a strong US dollar, and geopolitical risks in regions like Latin America and the Middle East will also affect overall sales.

Relative product commoditization, intensified competition, and declining price points will push device manufacturers to reconfigure some of their product development and go-to-market strategies with a stronger emphasis on innovation and differentiation, from VDC’s perspective. This will be especially true as the product mix shifts from industrial printers to lower cost desktop printers. Vendors can no longer rely on brand name recognition and product quality alone to achieve their profitability targets. New features introduced by the likes of Godex, Honeywell, and Zebra Technologies include high resolution printing capabilities on desktop printers, built-in touch screens to store simple label designs, and ink ribbon cartridges for desktop thermal transfer printers.

The retail industry is undergoing a major shift with traditional brick-and-mortar sales growth lagging behind e-commerce; retailers including Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Target have reported lower in-store sales so far this year. Such a shift in consumer shopping trends will have a direct impact on retailers’ technology investments, prompting them to direct more of their budgets towards setting up technology infrastructure in warehouses and distribution centers in support of e-commerce sales. Printer hardware vendors see this as a massive opportunity and are proactively positioning their industrial printer portfolios at retailers’ order fulfillment application environments like warehouses and distribution centers. According to our research, this is one of the primary market growth drivers through the forecast period.

For more information and insights, download the Executive Brief for VDC’s recently-published Stationary Thermal Barcode Printers report here. Contact us at to learn how you can access the full report.