The humble printer emerges as one of the surprising heroes of consumer technology

67 per cent of people say the printer is one of the most useful pieces of lockdown home tech reinforcing the need for more cost-effective and efficient printing options

The humble printer emerges as one of the surprising heroes of consumer technology

New research from Epson* shows that 81 per cent of people feel lockdown has made the need for reliable and economic ways to print at home more important than ever.

With 76 per cent of respondents that mainly worked from an office or other work location before the lockdown now working from home, the role of the home printer has become a vitally important one. 55 per cent believe they have become more reliant on their home printer than ever before. From printing out schoolwork to allowing people to work, 67 per cent of people say it has become one of the pieces of home technology they have found most useful.

Earlier this year, Epson accelerated its plans to launch its ReadyPrint subscription model across Europe. This allows people to print without running out of ink for as little as €1.xx a month, saving between 70 and 90 per cent depending on which plan is chosen. (amend wording and savings for UK – to reflect only flex)

Mauro Bartoletti, head of subscription at Epson Europe, says: “Recently, we’ve seen the way that we use our homes change. No longer are they just our houses; they are also our offices, schools and entertainment centres.

“Whilst we all adapt to a ‘new normal’ it’s important that people are prepared when it comes to working or educating loved ones at home to ensure they’re fully equipped to get on with their daily lives. Not having the right equipment is frustrating and unproductive and can ultimately be expensive. Subscription services like ReadyPrint can help ensure running out of ink is just one less thing to worry about, and it can even offer cost savings too.”

60 per cent say they’ve used their home printer more during the stay at home period than at any point in the last year, with 56 per cent saying they’re buying more ink than at any point in the previous 12 months. During the stay at home period, 69 per cent say they have increased the amount of education-related materials being printed, whilst 53 per cent have seen an increase in printing work-related materials.

However, frustratingly, 34 per cent have found themselves without ink at crucial moments when they needed to print something during the stay-at-home period. 57 per cent say this was because they were printing more – perhaps not anticipating just how much they’d use their printer during lockdown.

Specifically, on at least one occasion 42 per cent of those that ran out of ink were left unable to print out home schooling materials, potentially hampering their ability to teach children in their household. 43 per cent have also been unable to print out work materials, on at least one occasion, making working from home more challenging. Meanwhile, 20 per cent have been unable to print out materials to keep their family entertained on at least one occasion, heightening possible boredom at home.

37 per cent bought a new printer during the stay at home period of lockdown and 41 per cent are now considering how to ensure they always have ink to hand cheaply and quickly, for example, with a subscription service that delivers ink to the door before it runs out.

Regardless of restrictions lifting, home working will continue in a much bigger way than before. It’s estimated that 63 per cent of West European businesses will keep in place at least some working from home measures1. Reflecting this data, Epson’s own survey results pointed to 47 per cent of those that mainly worked from an office or other work location before the lockdown were expecting to work from home in the future. 79 per cent of these people said they expected to do so between one and five days a week going forward. This paves the way for many more people to consider new ways to get the ink they need when they need it.

“Epson always wants to support its customers. For those who do not print a lot they can continue to use ink cartridge printers, but those who print more should consider joining the 40 million users globally who have switched to EcoTank printers, which come with enough ink for 14,000 pages of cartridge-free printing 2” concluded Bartoletti.

(*)This research was carried out by Epson. 1,997 Epson printer owners were polled across seven countries (Italy, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK and Ireland) in July 2020.

(1) COVID 19 Response in Western Europe Brings the Future of the Workplace Closer – End User Survey IDC #EUR 146289920

(2) Quoted yields are extrapolated based on Epson original methodology from the print simulation test patterns provided in ISO/IEC 24712 or 29103. Quote yields are NOT based on ISO/IEC 24711 or 20102. Quote yields may vary depending on the images that you are printing, the paper type you are using, the frequency of your prints and environmental conditions such as temperature. During the initial printer setup, a certain amount of ink is used to fill the print head’s nozzles, therefore the yield of the initial bundled set will be lower.