I've today the great pleasure to interview Mr. Nicholas Green, CEO at Printed.com, a leader in online printing in the UK.
Ludovic Martin : Hi Nicholas, thanks for accepting my interview. In 2019, major online print groups like Cimpress or Cewe saw a slowdown in their growth, while smaller companies were growing faster and raising funds. Do you think this trend will change in 2020 ? What’s the trend for your company ?
Nicholas Green : I think the whole market saw a slowdown in 2019. Whilst Printed.com did still grow year on year, the growth rate was slower than we expected in the second half and this was generally echoed by most of our competitors who I spoke with. I think the UK does remain in a tricky position as whilst the election is behind us there remains some concerns re ‘hard brexit’ and as a result some businesses will slow down their spending or investment in the UK and this can trickle down to impact all businesses.
Ludovic : Do you plan to expand Printed.com to countries in Europe, outside of the UK ?
Nicholas : Yes. This is on our 2020 roadmap and will start in the second half of the year.
Ludovic : The webtoprint landscape is changing in Europe with the raise of marketplaces and price comparators. Do you believe Marketplaces like Amazon or Ali Baba will change the game in printing like they did in other industries ?
Nicholas : When companies like Amazon and Ali Baba enter markets they of course have the potential to take or buy market share as well as impact the direction of that market place. We do follow their progress here at Printed.com but I am confident that we offer our customers a different experience and as a result am confident that they won’t have to greater impact at this point based on their offerings.
Ludovic : for 2020, do you believe that the need of sustainable printed goods will incitate customers to shift to shorter Fulfilment circuits ?
Nicholas : Yes I think that makes sense. We continue to invest in our social offering and consider that key to our business model.
Ludovic : Many online printers are focusing again on the resellers market with the launching of closed portal. Do you believe that in the next years there will still be a need for graphic art professionals ? Do you provide specific services to this market segments ?
Nicholas : I think the Graphic Art professional market place is very stable and very important to UK business. There are so many emerging businesses that care greatly about their brand and positioning and will require help by graphic professionals to bring to life their stories through logo and presentation. I think they are fundamental to the UK market place and yes they are a big part of our customer base.
Ludovic :The Brexit, the raise of nationalisms, the tensions between the USA and Europe or China... do you think that the global context may have an impact in 2020 on the online printing industry ?
Nicholas : I am sure you can always track geo political impact to business and yes for now I think the UK does have exposure to Brexit and trade negotiations but I also think business has to continue and as a result will but perhaps growth in some markets will be slower while agreements are set out.
Ludovic : As a conclusion, what can I wish you and your teams for this new year ?
Nicholas : This year we plan to launch our new platform, expand in to new markets and launch new products. We are excited about 2020.