Office Supplies Industry Emerging Trends #1: Multi Channel Marketing

Multi Channel Marketing Set to Boost Global Office Supply Sales

The global office stationery and supply market is set to exceed $217 billion by 2019. A report by UK research firm Technavio predicts that significant growth can be expected thorough developing markets in China, Brazil, South Korea and India.

The report: Global Office Stationery and Supply Market 2015-2019, identifies four emerging trends for the office supplies industry:

  • Multi-channel marketing
  • Growing demand for computer/printing supplies
  • Business expansion via mergers and acquisitions
  • Packaging innovation and green product development

Over the next few months on the Office Supplies Blog we will be looking at each of these trends in more detail. Today we start with multi channel marketing.

The office supplies market is increasingly selling more products online. For traditional bricks and mortar businesses, the prospect of competing against giants such as Amazon and Staples is daunting.

Top brand Moleskine currently sells its products via B2B, e-Commerce and B2C retail stores and concessions. Last November we explained in Continued Growth for Moleskine, how the company’s current success has been achieved in a combination of bricks and clicks.

moleskine notebooks

Luxury stationery brand Moleskine has successfully combined bricks and clicks. It sells sells its products via B2B, e-Commerce and B2C retail stores and concessions.

For resellers and dealers who do not have their own e-commerce website other options are available. In October last year VOW Europe launched an upgrade of OPinfo.net. Potential customers can now utilise the enhanced opinfo.net as a portal to view and find dealers in their area.

The growth of click and collect services and same day delivery options is making online sales more simple and convenient for customers. Regardless of the size of your business, offering your customers an online option is now essential.

What Channels Should Office Product Suppliers Use to Attract New and Repeat Customers?

Office Depot's Elf Yourself

Elf Yourself” launched back in 2006 took on a new life when it transformed into an app in 2012. The app has been downloaded over 65 million times.

Embracing mobile based applications and social media marketing is another challenge. When done well these new methods can achieve impressive results. However, determining which channels to choose can be mind boggling. Should you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram? Or what about new emerging channels; Periscope and SnapChat?

Over recent years the office supplies market has been responsible for some innovative campaigns. The most famous being Office Depot’s “Elf Yourself”. Originally launched back in 2006, it took on a new life when it transformed into an app in 2012. The app has been downloaded over 65 million times and every year includes new fads and features.

A company that has embraced a wide range of social media channels to communicate with its customers is Australian company Officeworks. It has an active social media presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

OfficeWorks social media platforms

Australian company Officeworks embraced a wide range of social media channels to communicate with its customers, including Instagram.

Whilst the thought of making everyday office supplies appear photogenic may seem tricky, Officeworks has shown how it can be done. Instagram is famed as a haven for glorious food and fashion photography. Officeworks is following this style by showing its stationery products as luxury “lifestyle” items. We discussed in Fountain Pen Resurgence how luxury and fashion stationery items are rising in popularity and with over 11,000 Instagram followers; Officeworks’ success underlines this trend.

How is your business using multi channel marketing to boost sales? Which platforms have brought you the most success? Which ones have not worked for you? Please share your stories and thoughts with us here on the Office Supplies Blog or through Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Sam Rose