Megatrend at drupa: Platform Economy

Platform economy is one of the new megatrends at drupa 2024. We explain what this term exactly means and what opportunities the printing industry can experience through the merger of printing specialists.

The Merger of the Future


drupa is known for picking up on the spirit of the times and venturing visionary views of the future. One topic that is very important in the printing industry and sits right  between these things is platform economy.


What is Platform Economy?


Platforms are nothing new. On the contrary, they are at the heart of the digital revolution. Generally speaking, platforms are business models and companies or parts of companies are built on these business models. But not everything called a platform actually is one. Platforms can also enable value-creating interactions between providers external to the company and customers. For example, a print shop that uses the platform to get customers, and in turn registers at the platform to get in touch with them, but is not working for the platform. The participants are provided with a more or less open infrastructure for this purpose on the platform. However, the framework conditions and rules for participation in the platform are also defined. The aim is to match platform participants for the purpose of interactions or transactions. This enables the exchange of goods, services, assets and social currency. The business of the platform is not to develop software, but to enable interactions.


What Are the Benefits for the Printing Industry?


In the printing industry, the focus must be shifted away from the product and into the direction of the customer. Platforms that have the customers and a merger of specialized print shops on them focus on the customers needs. 

A major advantage for print shops is direct market access. It is also possible to increase and develop the understanding of customers. How, you ask? Thanks to digital platforms, which can be used to collect data and thus analyze customers’ actions. This makes it possible to understand their desires and needs.


Why is this Topic Important for drupa?


The digital transformation offers inspiring opportunities for those who are truly ready to transform and reinvent themselves, which is why platform economy is a very promising topic and the printing industry will not be able to avoid this future trend. The merger of print specialists opens up new opportunities, both for print shops and for customers.


What is your opinion on the trend topic of  platform economy in the printing industry? Have you already considered moving in this direction or is it still far off in the future for you? Feel free to write to us in the comments.

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