From digital pens to digital implements that help children to write – it remains exciting to see where the journey of the stationery sector is heading. One thing is certain and that is that digitalisation is challenging the stationery industry, but at the same time is bringing with it a number of opportunities. Manufacturers just need to gather up a little courage to dare take a step into the future. After all, new business models and the melding of technical features and classic products will bring new momentum to the industry.
Developments show that the stationery industry is facing major challenges as the market stagnates. In addition to demographic factors, digitalisation is also having a major impact on the development of the sector. Manufacturers are, therefore, faced with the important decision of how to deal with the altered market conditions and the opportunities and risks associated with them. During the course of the digital change, some initial companies are taking the topic to heart, expanding their product range with digital products and developing new business models.
Tablets are not only being used at home, but are now also the preferred choice of schoolchildren and students in their lessons. For many, though, it is important to maintain an authentic writing experience. That is why STAEDTLER developed the Noris digital, which combines the feel of a pencil with the innovative technology of the S-pen stylus. The yellow and black digital input pen, therefore, looks and feels almost the same as its traditional counterparts, thus allowing you to write and draw in the natural way on compatible end devices.
The traditional brand of STABILO is forcing the pace of tools that foster the fine motor skills required for writing. The STABILO EduPen is a digital pen specially developed for teachers and classes to assess and promote writing motor skills. An app is used to evaluate what has been written on paper. The pen data is automatically analysed with regard to writing rhythm, writing speed and writing pressure. Based on the data, teachers are able to help the children with regard to their individual needs and develop special support programmes.
Another digital product in the education product category is the STABILO ErgoPen. It is used in occupational therapy, where it functions as a diagnostic and treatment instrument.
Writing instrument manufacturer Kaweco is also getting ready for the future and fitting digital components into its pens, such as the Kaweco Al Sport Touch, which is a ballpoint pen with a rubber stylus at the top that works on capacitive touch screen devices. With its new "Connect" series, Kaweco not only offers an innovative solution for digital writing, but also the possibility of not having to forego traditional writing. The Connect writing inserts can be easily inserted easily into almost every Kaweco fountain pen, thus transforming the traditional fountain pen into a digital writing instrument in seconds.
Can you be creative and digital at the same time? Companies have long since recognised the trend and developed new digital concepts. Apps such as Procreate and Amaziograph create a unique digital handlettering experience, provoking huge enthusiasm among their users. The apps also provide great lighting effects, bouncing and popular watercolour effects. Faber Castell also offers a Repaper graphic tablet in cooperation with iskn, a tablet that makes creative hearts race. With the aid of the Repaper, drawings made using pen and paper can be easily and faithfully digitised.
Digitalisation is also an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers, because product innovations and new business models make it possible for you to stand out from the competition. Manufacturers should, therefore, devote themselves to this topic and consider whether they can supplement their classic product range with digital stationery products in order to generate new sales potential and position themselves in a forward-looking manner.