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Paper vs. Digital

HomePaper IdeasPaper vs. Digital

Paper vs. Digital

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, more people prefer paper versus digital. The excitement when opening invitations and announcements is much greater than receiving them digitally. Studies have shown that reading from printed material is also more memorable!

Many industries rely mainly on a printed version in many cases due to consumer preference.  You may be surprised to learn that many people do not use computers daily, and others not at all. Also, in some cases information may be needed on-the-go; and internet access may not always be available. I have listed the top five industries that people prefer receiving paper documents over digital:

#1:  Healthcare and Social Assistance

More than 17% of office paper print volume is in the healthcare/social assistance sector.  There are strict regulations regarding the retention of medical records. In addition, printed documents ensure people can access information related to their well-being. Many people prefer to have paper documents for record keeping, even if they also receive a digital copy.  In this day-and-age of hacking personal information, many people feel more comfortable that it will not be exposed if they receive a printed copy as opposed to a digital one.

#2: Insurance and Financial Industries

14% of the paper print volume is in the insurance/financial industries.  As with healthcare these are very regulated industries and must have printed documents/records for this reason.  In many cases documents must be signed by the consumer in person, and some documents must be stored for long periods of time. Many consumers (including myself) manage their finances more efficiently when receiving paper statements.  Keeping printed insurance documents can relieve some of the hassle when filing or settling a claim.

#3:  Education

Education entities use 11% of paper print volume. Studies have shown that an average school uses 360,000 sheets of paper throughout the school year, this does not include the paper used for textbooks and worksheets.  As I have previously stated, students learn better when they are reading from printed materials due to their studies being more memorable when in print form vs receiving lessons on-line.  97% of teachers have stated there was a significant loss in learning retention during the first year of the pandemic.  During that time, students were not able to attend classes in-person, all lessons were taught on-line. This was noticeable, especially in the subjects of math and English.

#4: Professional Services

This category includes businesses that are service oriented such as law firms, accountants, and real estate firms, etc.  At 11% of the office print volume, which includes legal documents, contracts, and hundreds of other documents that must be retained for tax purposes, legal or financial purposes as well as the client retaining these documents for their own records. 

#5:  Public Administration

With 7.6% of office print volume, this category includes government and public offices, such as; housing, dept. of motor vehicles, utilities, and public safety etc.  Since these are regulated entities, documents must be printed and retained for legal and regulatory purposes.

Some of us have needed assistance or want to purchase something from a business and are unable to due to “internet being down” this is not only frustrating but can have dire consequences.  This is one of the reasons people prefer to have their documents printed and available.  I don’t think that having printed copies of documents will ever be non-existent, even in this digital age of communications.

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