Ten years ago, demand for inkjet cartridges was exploding as the installed base of inkjet printers continued to grow. OEMs fought a pitched battle over market share, and the price of hardware plummeted, fueling sales of more machines. After years of augmenting declining hardware margins with higher-priced cartridges, however, hardware manufacturers faced frustrated consumers who tired of paying more and more for inkjet supplies.
Third-party supplies manufacturers seized the moment, forged relationships with U.S. retailers, and quickly took market share from the OEMs. Sensing growing consumer frustration, retailers stocked shelves in their brick-and-mortar outlets in the United States with inexpensive third-party alternatives to pricy OEM cartridges. The availability of refilled and compatible ink cartridges skyrocketed along with refill kits and other alternative products. Retailers profited greatly from the bigger margins third-party products offered compared to OEM cartridges, and the category looked like it would grow forever.
Today that has all changed. With a few exceptions, most retailers have dropped third-party products from their store shelves and only OEM inkjet cartridges remain.
Now available as a free downloadable PDF, Actionable Intelligence’s latest white paper, “Searching for Big Spenders: Why Retailers Shy Away from Third-Party Supplies in Brick-and-Mortar Stores,” examines some of the factors behind U.S. retailers’ decision to dramatically reduce the selection of this once-burgeoning category. Featuring data collected from the U.S. Nielsen Homescan Panel, which is made up of nearly 120,000 households across the United States, the white paper provides unique insights into why retailers now find it more profitable to sell OEM cartridges in their brick-and-mortar establishments and sell third-party supplies at their online stores.