The go-to-market strategies of 3D-printer vendors worldwide have continued to evolve and change as more personal/desktop printers were sold via indirect channels in 2016 than in the previous year. At the same time, more high-end industrial/professional devices were sold directly to end markets by manufacturers, according to data released recently by CONTEXT, the IT market research company.
“Often lost in discussions about the 3D Printing market, is how important the go-to-market ecosystem is to its success,” notes Chris Connery VP for Global Analysis at CONTEXT. “As the market grows, so too will distribution channels evolve.”
CONTEXT data shows that 64% of all global revenues in 2016 from personal/desktop 3D printers – largely those selling for under $5,000 – flowed through non-direct channels (excluding retail), compared with 61% the previous year. Broad-line retail saw its share fall from 17% in 2015 to 11% in 2016 as vendors shifted their near-term focus from pure consumers to the educational and professional markets.
Direct shipments, including those from crowdsourced efforts such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, saw a slight increase with 21% of global Desktop 3D Printer revenue being through this route, up from 20% a year ago.
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