FedEx Office Survey: Consumers, Small Business Owners Prefer Print

Results mirror consumer preferences for print reported by Two Sides & Toluna 2017 consumer survey

by Phil Riebel, president, Two Sides North America, Inc.

In April 2018, FedEx Office released the results of a survey of consumers and small business owners about their preferences and purchasing habits regarding professional printing services. The survey, conducted by polling firm PSB, shows that consumers and small business owners prefer to use printed materials over digital.

Ninety percent of consumers and small business owners agreed that they “like to have the option to have printed materials” and preferred reading materials, most notably official documents and contracts – on paper vs. on a screen.

The majority (90 percent) of consumers also agreed there will always be a need for printed materials and almost half (49 percent) said a world without paper would make them feel stressed or annoyed.

Professional printing was very popular with 70 percent of respondents reporting that they had the same number of items printed as last year. And nearly half the millennials (18-34 years) reported having something professionally printed at least one a month.

These results mirror consumer preferences for print reported by the 2017 Two Sides-Toluna survey where 90 percent of consumers felt they should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronic) from financial organizations and service providers. Similarly, 73 percent said that although government, banks and other organizations want to persuade them to “go paperless,” it’s not “paperless” because they regularly have to print out documents.

The FedEx Office survey also reported an inclination of consumers toward printed materials for advertising, and 85 percent said they were more likely to shop at a small business that had custom printed materials, such as business cards, signs, flyers or banners. And 80 percent of small business owners felt that professional printing services helped their business stand out from the competition.

The Two Sides survey backs this up with the finding that the majority of consumers (71 percent) do not pay attention to online advertising and more than half (54 percent) paid more attention to messages and ads on printed leaflets and mail than messages and ads delivered by email. Fifty-five percent said they would be more likely to take an action after seeing an ad in a printed newspaper or magazine than if they saw the same ad online.

In this increasingly digital world, the evidence points to print as having a major role to play.

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