Thermal printers offer so many benefits that it’s understandable why most large-scale retailers have already switched to this highly reliable, extremely efficient and cost-effective technology. Thermal printing is incredibly flexible, allowing it to be integrated with different kinds of labeling and printing systems already being used by retail businesses. Also, for the many retailers that are embracing RFID technology for their inventory management systems, advanced RFID printing and encoding systems are essential for getting the full benefit of their RFID deployment.
Let’s take a closer look at five of the most important benefits associated with thermal printing in retail:
#1 – Lightning-Fast Printing Speed
With ink printers, it takes time for the printer to physically put the ink on the page. Although it might not initially seem like much, the wasted seconds can really add up when customer after customer is waiting in line for their receipt to print.
With a thermal label printer, the ink is taken out of the equation, which allows for lightning-fast images in a fraction of the time. This leads to faster customer checkouts, faster shipping label printing, more customers served, more goods sold and more work done by fewer employees.
#2 – Thermal Printing is Cheaper
Anyone who’s owned a printer knows how expensive it is to replace the ink cartridges. A thermal printer, however, is inkless. They use heat to print images on the paper, which eliminates the need to spend money on ink cartridges and printing ribbons that tend to run out of ink at exactly the wrong time. By eliminating the need to replenish ink supplies, retailers save big on operational costs.
#3 – Less Need for Maintenance
Every retailer knows what it’s like when there’s a massive amount of work to be done or a long line of customers waiting to check out and the workflow suddenly gets interrupted by a receipt or label printer that malfunctions or stops working. Experienced employees might know how to get the printer back online if it gets jammed or breaks down in many situations, but sometimes, an expensive technician is required to quickly resolve the situation.
Because thermal printers don’t have as many moving parts as conventional printers, there is less opportunity for them to break. Also, with fewer moving parts, if something does go wrong on a thermal printer, they are usually a lot easier, faster and cheaper to repair.
#4 – Improved Workflow Efficiency
Even when conventional printers work perfectly, they aren’t free from ink-related interruptions. Employees will regularly need to stop and replace ink ribbons or cartridges from time to time, which represents another opportunity for workflow delays. A thermal printer, on the other hand, will print continuously without ink-related interruptions.
#5 – Better Quality Images
Have you ever removed a label or receipt from a conventional printer and noticed ink smudges as soon as it’s touched? Or maybe the ink was running low, so the image is faded or not even legible. Because there is no ink to smudge, thermal printers create clear and long-lasting images that are easier to read and better capable of enduring damaging factors like UV rays, extreme weather environments and water damage.
With so many cost-saving, time-saving and efficiency-promoting benefits associated with thermal printers in retail, it’s no surprise why so many retailers are moving beyond conventional printers. Although the initial expense of updating one’s printing technology could represent a significant investment, the long-term benefits are as clear, crisp, and easy to see as a thermal-printed image can be.
At MSM Solutions, we offer a large variety of thermal printer solutions that help retailers quickly print clear and legible receipts, barcode tags, high-quality apparel tags, RFID tags and other items. Once you’ve implemented thermal printing, or if you have your system up and running already, MSM’s PortalTrack solution can be integrated with your thermal label printers to help you verify electronic product codes.