A question I commonly hear around the apparel decoration industry is, "What trends have you seen in equipment buying habits?"
One of the most significant trends we’ve seen in recent years is businesses starting with multiple technologies. It used to be that someone would come to us that wanted to start a business in one thing, such as embroidery or promotional products, but for the past few years, we’ve seen equipment bundling accelerate. Now, our typical customer wants to accomplish multiple goals. They want to expand their awards business with a UV printer but also add a white toner transfer printer for textiles and apparel. They have a sign shop but are interested in bringing T-shirt printing and embroidery in-house.
It’s becoming rare that we sell an embroidery machine by itself. It is usually is bundled with a vinyl cutter or a transfer printer. The ones that don’t initially purchase more than one technology are frequently back for more within the first year or 18 months.
As customers become more educated, they realize that the hard part of the business is bringing people in the door, so being able to offer them more than just one thing makes good sense.