Is there an age skew for subscribing to an ink replacement plan?
Consider the person racing to print that important report or family photo, only to discover their printer is out of ink. While office supply and discount retailers still lead as major sources for printer ink purchases, the most-recent market disruption offers a preemptive choice – ink by subscription.
Busy and convenience-oriented youngish adults have lead the adoption of subscription ink. Adults age 25-39 have the highest rates of subscription ink usage.
While the national average rate is 22% of adults with printers that subscribe to an ink replacement plan, among adults age 30-34 the rate is double that – at 45%. This is narrowly followed by Adults age 35-39 with 43%.
In addition to their quest for ease and convenience, these age groups are also highest in the presence of children full-time employment and household income, a very active life stage. These sociological factors help drive the demand for family photos, recipes, and greeting cards.
Looking ahead, we expect the attitudes of this often-engrossed group to continue, furthering adoption of subscription ink within this age segment.
This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.
This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users, and is based on the following TUP table set: 460 SUxAGE in the Age Category Section of the TUP User Profile Chapter.
Many other related answers are part of the TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapter with the most information about printers and printing activities is the TUP 2016 Printer Chapter, and about age-skewed tech usage in the TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter.
Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders – Dan Ness, November 18, 2016
Home printer makers do their best to make innovate products, manage their distribution, and support their customers – all while competing. Buyers, meanwhile, make their choices. Interestingly, all home buyers aren’t created equally, and some brands have carved out a customer base which may or may not be favorable for them.
Home printer buyers can be tough on some brands. Some users choose refills instead of new ink, while others spend much more on supplies and technology than the users of other brands. Meanwhile, others have a longer printer replacement cycle.
Older and newer printers
HP can justifiably claim that home printer owners get longer use. Users of HP Home Printers use older printers than do users of other major home printer brands. The average printer age is 2.4 to 2.6 years for printers being used in the prior 90 days by Brother, Canon, or Epson home printer users. In contrast, among HP home printer users, the average printer age is 3 years.
Active with images and graphics
Users with some brands have attracted more or less graphics-oriented users. There is a different profile based on their breadth of graphics and image-oriented activities across their connected devices, such as PCs, Tablets, and Smartphones.
Users of Brother Home Printers have the widest range of graphics/image activities. Breadth of use is higher than those with other home printer brands. Nearly half (46%) of Brother home printer users are in the top-third.
Uniquely-strong activities with connected devices among Brother home printer users are creating personal graphics/presentations (38% of Brother users vs. 28% nationally) and work graphics/presentations (37% versus 28% nationally).
Use of refills
Whose Home Printer customers are most likely to use refilled ink/toner?
Among major home printer brands, Epson’s users have the highest rate of using refilled ink cartridges. Over one-third (35%) do so, a 53% higher rate than the national average of 23%. Just over a quarter (26%) of Canon’s home printer brands do.
Brother’s home printer users spend the most on their home technology devices and services. Over one-third (34%) of these users are in the top quartile of consumer technology spenders. Brother home printer users spend substantially more than users of other major home printer brands. At $10.2k per year, this is 30% higher than the national average of $7.9k.
Brother’s home printer users also outspend on levels on ink, toner, and paper. Compared to the national average, their annual spend of $980 is 53% higher than the national average of $640.
Epson’s home printer users have the least tech experience. Twenty percent first started using a desktop PC within the last 8 years, versus the 12% national average. Similarly, 37% first started using a basic cell phone within the last 8 years, a rate 54% higher than the national share of 24%.
HP is at the other end of the spectrum, having attracted a more-experienced tech users. Although this measure of tech adoption – years since first using a given device – also reflects older users, when correcting for age, this same pattern holds true. Epson has a higher share of tech laggards than other home printer brands. Comparing similarly-aged users, more of Epson’s users were laggards – in the last 16% to adopt desktops, notebooks, smartphones, basic cell phones, and tablets.
Among customers with less tech experience, support costs can be higher, and products, marketing messages, and instructions need to be simpler and clearer. Being strong in any particular market segment may have benefits, however if they’re more expensive to support and sell too, over the long run other segments may be more worthwhile to pursue.
About this TUPdate
This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.
Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.
The TUP 2016 Printers Chapter details printer brands, types, printing activities, and other key analysis points. The TUP 2016 Technology Adoption Chapter drills down into experience to profile Early Adopters, the Early and Late Majority, and Laggards.
Comments Off on Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders (TUPdate)
Who refills their printer ink, or buys refilled toners or cartridges?
Younger adults use refilled ink more often than older adults, with the practice being strongest among printer users age 18-34. In fact, nearly half of printer users using refilled ink are under age 35, and among these younger adults, refill usage rates exceed one in three.
In our other TUP research, we’re finding that while overall printing levels have declined over the last five years, certain segments of graphically-oriented users are printing more than ever. Also, subscription ink replacement plan usage is growing.
About this MetaFAQ
In addition to profiling the spending, demographics, activities, and devices of printer users, many other related answers are part of the TUP service, available to paid subscribers. One section of TUP 2016 which includes extensive results about printers, printer users, and printing activities – the TUP 2016 Printers chapter. This is one of more than a dozen chapters in the entire TUP 2016 study.
These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from the most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).
For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.
Comments Off on Is there an age skew for using refilled printer ink? (MetaFAQs)
Beyond “Paper or Plastic?” to “Refilled, Original or Compatible?”
A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst
Ink refill usage is substantial, especially among some leading-edge market segments.
There’s an old marketing adage about giving away the razor to make it up selling razor blades. In the PC printer business, printer ink pays a lot of the bills, yet is increasingly at risk.
In our most recent wave of Technology User Profile, American adults told us they continue to prefer original ink versus compatible or refilled cartridges. However, the ink loyalty rate varies by PC printer brand and market segment. One bellwether segment is decidedly using refills or sharing photos online.
We started this analysis by first looking at the answers from 8,175 U.S. respondents in the Technology User Profile service and then drilled down further into their profiles including factors such as their printer brand, type of ink used, years of PC experience, and age. We also compared usage from our prior waves, including results from our identical surveys across nine other countries.
In U.S. homes, original is strongest. Kodak & Lexmark have the highest ink loyalty, at 81% and 79%, respectively. Eight in ten adults who use these PC printer brands as their primary printer used an original ink cartridge by the same manufacturer as the printer.
Ink Type by Printer Brand
HP’s ink loyalty rate is not the strongest, with HP ranked third. HP is maintaining its strength: its ink loyalty rate at 73% is slightly up from 70% the prior year.
These high ink loyalty rates may be satisfactory enough for some printer manufacturers, yet as consumers change their printing behaviors, and even non-printing behaviors, these rates are likely to change as well.
Use of refilled ink is highest for Dell and Brother, both with 27% of adult printer users. Due to HP’s dominant market share, the number of users of refills for HP printers is almost equal to users of refills for all other brands combined.
The refilled market is broad and diverse, so unlikely to change overnight. It it served by a diverse group – spanning drug stores such as Walgreens, franchises like Cartridge World, to a small army of entrepreneurs and do-it-yourselfers with pliers and squeeze bottles.
Direct competition is strong, although compatible inks trail refills as the least-preferred option across most brands. Use of competitive compatible inks is highest for Epson and Brother, at 19% and 18%, respectively.
Compared with many other developed countries, the U.S. has some of the most ink-loyal consumers. Our prior wave of Technology User Profile across key countries revealed that ink loyalty rates are strongest in Japan and the US and weakest in Germany and the UK, and that use of refills is highest in South Korea and Germany.
Home Photo Printing – Ink & Options
Looking ahead, the ink business continues to face challenges both from within the printer and ink industry as well as from substitutes.
Printer manufacturers hoping to reclaim refill customers face an uphill battle beyond pricing, since a higher rate of refill users share photos online and a lower rate print photos. Adults who use refills have higher rates of using online photo-sharing services, sharing images across a social network, sharing on their own websites or blogs, and sharing folders online through a cloud storage service. They are an attractive segment, though, because when they print, they print at higher volumes.
To the extent that younger users are bellwether of future buyers, it’s important to note that younger adults use refills at a higher rate than older adults.
Looking further ahead, increased online collaboration is expected to continue the erosion of home-printing photos. Of the 70.9 million adults with a home printer which they don’t use to print photos, most of their sharing is done online. The greatest upside is likely to come from the broad general increase in images from user’s own smartphones, feature phones and cameras, as well as the many photos they receive online from friends and others.
The results in this TUPdate are drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Survey. Results specific to this topic can be obtained through a customized report and analysis. Or contact MetaFacts for the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition report, which covers the broader range of key trends. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically. This edition is for the U.S. based on the 2010 wave of Technology User Profile gathered among a scrupulously selected set of representative respondents, surveyed both online and offline.
To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on www.technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals who want a solid resource they can use immediately after industry events such as mergers, or even use prior to anticipated events, can license direct access to TUP.
MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry trends and facts. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at https://metafacts.com/contact-metafacts/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.
MetaFacts, Inc. is a market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.
All content on TechnologyUser.com and MetaFacts.com have the Creative Commons CC BY-SA license, unless stated elsewhere. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit MetaFacts and license their new creations under the identical terms.