PUBLISHER: VDC Research Group, Inc. | PRODUCT CODE: 1346948
PUBLISHER: VDC Research Group, Inc. | PRODUCT CODE: 1346948
This research analyzes the key strategic issues, trends, and market drivers for mobile thermal printers used to print receipts, tickets, tags, and labels. The report offers market analysis (historical, prior year, and forecast revenues and unit shipments), vendor considerations, and growth opportunities across the following dimensions: end-user industries, distribution channels, print width, connectivity, and geographies. Within this report, readers can expect key analysis on technology trends, channel requirements, supply chain strategy, and demand drivers going forward.
This annual research program has been carefully designed for senior decision-makers at mobile printer technology and solution provider companies, including those individuals with the following roles:
VDC expects the mobile printer market in 2023 to experience volatility as macroeconomic pressures clouds enterprise investment cycles. While the North American mobile printer market has experienced healthy demand, the remaining regions have faced higher lumpiness through the first half of the year. With strong market performance and refresh cycles in 2022, these regions have faced more headwinds in the first half of 2023.
Key mobile printer workflows including shipping and receiving, inventory management and stock replenishment, and patient care use case have expanded mobile printer deployments and are expected to continue to drive investments through the forecast period.
From a regional perspective, VDC expects the Americas to lead all other regions in mobile printer investments. Moreover, expanding opportunities within omnichannel retail workflows, ecommerce-driven warehousing, and healthcare environments will drive demand for mobile printers through the forecast period. Workflows such as shipping and receiving, pick and pack labeling, inventory management, direct-store and proof of delivery will expand mobile requirements in retail and warehouse environments. Increased patient care standards will also generate demand for mobile printers within hospitals and healthcare laboratories while field services expansion for event sales, inspection reporting, maintenance service logs, and ticketing will also drive demand through the forecast period.
Zebra Technologies continues to shine within a globally fragmented competitive landscape.
Stabilizing inventory availability has enabled pent-up demand to come to fruition across regions, propelling mobile printer sales significantly. As 2021 faced strong inventory availability challenges from rising material and freight costs to part scarcity, 2022 inventory levels experienced higher fluidity as channel distribution backlogs went down to as high as 6 months to turning around projects within a couple weeks. VDC expects inventory availability to continue to strengthen and mobile printer hardware pricing hikes to also begin to alleviate in 2023.
Omnichannel retail workflows continue to expand mobile printer investments for on-demand labeling and receipt printing use cases. Higher adoption of omnichannel strategies from retailers across tiers has propelled mobile printer utilization to support inventory management and stock replenishment, order management and curbside pickup options. As retail spaces are also more commonly integrating a micro-fulfillment component for ship from store deliveries, mobile printers have played a more important role for on-demand labeling and proof of delivery requirements.
Ecommerce operations remain a key investment driver for mobile printer sales, as proof of delivery and route accounting drive demand in the T&L sector. As online orders have become an increasing portion of retail orders, home delivery parcel volume has increased significantly, which has strengthened demand for mobile printers to improve DSD, proof of delivery, and invoicing requirements.
Healthcare investments continue to gain momentum in a post-pandemic market as hospitals and healthcare organizations make strategic resource allocation of patient care improvements. As the pandemic highlighted the importance of patient care efficiency, mobile printer investments in the sector have risen significantly as refresh cycles have shortened and organizations see expanded use cases on health care carts, and specimen labs.
Mobile printer portfolio expansion has paid dividends across OEM brands. As enterprise customers prefer to leverage purpose-built solutions for application specific requirements, OEMs address use case with new product introductions have improved market performance. OEMs such as Sato have introduced highly ruggedized PV4 mobile printers, as Honeywell as introduced a couple of new printers with its LNX3 and MPD series. Competing brands such as TSC have expanded its Alpha series to maximize print width capabilities, as brands such as Bixolon and Sewoo have also increased ruggedized mobile printer solutions and receipt printing series to expand their vertical reach.
Cloud connectivity and remote management are key components to expanding mobile printer effectiveness and workflow efficiency. Flexible integration across enterprise software platform providers such as WMS and POS systems are integral for automating mobile printing workflows and maximizing mobile printers as an additional data source. From user authentication and encrypting sensitive information to asset tracking and product traceability, mobile printer integration within cloud infrastructure can help streamline mobile printing operations. Moreover, remote management expansion from third party to propriety OEM solutions have enabled end user to better track device health, maintenance requirement, and hardware monitoring.
Furthermore, device management platforms have become increasingly important for expanding mobile printer functionality and efficiency. Third party independent software vendors (ISVs) such as SOTI, Airwatch, VMWare, and Infor amongst others are integrating remote management tools in order to strengthen visibility into mobile printer workflows as well as expand asset tracking effectiveness. Having a better understanding of mobile printer health, battery life and charging proficiency, maintenance alerts and output performance has improved mobile printer production and mitigate down time. Additionally, location services and dashboard analytics reporting help enhance workflow optimization and improve mobile printer loss prevention. Moreover, beyond third-party ISVs, channel partners have begun to develop their own proprietary remote management and asset tracking tools in order to expand profitability within a value-added service. Resellers such as Barcodes Inc. have rolled out their TrueView platform in order to manage the client assets from remote setting control to device health and maintenance monitoring.
Michael is a market research and consulting professional who works within VDC's Auto ID and Data Capture practice, supporting syndicated research and custom engagements. Michael brings experience in market research, financial services, and operations. Michael holds a B.A. in Economics from Colgate University.
Richa is a Consultant working for VDC's AutoID & Data Capture practice. She has been tracking the markets for a range of AIDC technologies at VDC since 2010, including, but not limited to, barcode scanners and printers, labeling solutions, machine vision solutions, and robotics automation. Over the years, she has undertaken market opportunity sizing and forecasting, competitive landscape analysis, and offered strategic marketing assistance, while also providing valuable thought leadership for this technology segment. Richa holds a degree in Computer Engineering and an MBA from India.
David has more than twenty years' experience covering enterprise and government mobility solutions, wireless infrastructure and automatic identification and data capture technologies. David's research focuses on the intersection of digital and mobile solutions with today's business and mission critical frontline mobile workforce and how organizations are leveraging mobile solutions to improve workforce productivity and enhance customer engagement. David's consulting and strategic advisory experience is far reawching and includes technology and market opportunity assessments, technology penetration and adoption analysis, product and service development and M&A due diligence support. David has extensive primary market research management and execution experience to support market sizing and forecasting, total cost of ownership (TCO), comparative product performance evaluation, competitive benchmarking and end user requirements analysis. David is a graduate of Boston University (BSBA).