- Generally speaking, as e-commerce is becoming stronger, desktop accessories suppliers are trying to expand their businesses online.
- Moreover, the U.S. will see an increasing number of start-ups entering the market within the following years.
- The number of corporate offices around the world is expected to increase. This will be one of the major factors that will drive the demand for office supplies.
- When it comes to desktop accessories' industry subcategories, because of IT integration and automation, two phenomena that are becoming more and more prevalent in developed countries, paper-based products are becoming less and less popular, while computer and printer supplies and accessories are gaining traction.
- As smart devices are becoming more popular, businesses are looking more toward implementing digital solutions to optimize their activity.
- When it comes to storing documents, companies have begun using cloud services to store them virtually.
- Green initiatives discourage the use of paper.
- The rise in digitization resulted in paper stationery products are decreasing in demand.
- Overall, in 2018, the U.S. stationery product retail market decreased by 0.4% and got to $9 billion in revenue.
- This happened even though the number of U.S. businesses increased by 1.9% and that; consequently, the number of employees also increased by 1.2%.
- This report suggests that adults aged over 50, and even more so over the age of 55, still prefer to utilize traditional paper products.
- Businesses are pursuing IT integration strategies. This trend resulted in less demand for stationery paper products.
- Green initiatives and regulations surrounding the manufacturing of plastic products, which is the material that a lot of desk accessories are made from, will likely affect desktop accessories' production.
- Top 9 Desk Accessories subcategories based on the Office Depot website: desk organizers, file organizers, wall files, desk trays, desk pads, business card holders, magazine holders, drawer organizers, and bookends.
- Based on Amazon's best-seller desk accessories list, the most popular subcategories are: laptop and monitor stands (23 items, some of which were designed either for both monitors and laptops or strictly for monitors or strictly for laptops), mouse pads (22 items), desktop organizers and storage (9 items), drawer organizers (7 items), business card holders (6 items), memory foam rolls for writs support (5 items), scotch tape dispensers (5 items), document or book holders (4 items), magnifying glass (2 items), sticky note pad, note pad dispenser, pen holder, clip set, hook set, desk pad, desk calendar, suggestion box (1 item for each subcategory).
- Employees prefer sit-stand desks.
- In 2018, the costs of office supplies decreased, as paper and pen usage decreased for most companies, except for businesses such as law firms.
- A Forbes article confirms that many employees are now opting for standing desks.
- Automation, increased mobile usage, apps, and cloud storage are also characteristic of the future of business.
- As bureaucracy is disappearing, virtualized office environments are becoming a reality, and document storage is moving to the cloud.
- Eco-friendly desk accessories and office supplies represent one of the newest trends in the industry.
- Demand for paper has decreased, and businesses have started opting for accessories such as digital pads.
Summary of some reports behind a paywall
- The "Office Supplies Market — By Product (Writing supplies, Calendars, Planners, Organizers, Clips & Fasteners, Staplers & Punches, Sticky Notes, Memo Pad, Tape & Adhesives, Computer & Printer Supplies, Others), By Distribution Channel (Online Store, Supermarket & Hypermarket, Stationery Stores, Others) & Global region — Market Size, Trends, Share & Forecast 2018-2024" report contains a chapter titled "11.2. North America Market Size (USD Million), 2017-2023" that contains an analysis of the market by product. The products the authors took into account include everything from pens and erasers to sticky notes, organizers, or memo pads. This report mentions several trends that will affect the office supplies industry in the following years. Based on these trends, we can try to predict which products and subcategories will grow/decline in popularity in the following years. We found out that businesses are creating virtual offices and looking at cloud storage when it comes to storing documents. Moving company documents in the virtual environment and storing them in the cloud implies a decline in pen and paper use. Based on this premise, it is safe to assume that desktop accessories such as file holders and organizers are expected to decrease in popularity. Another factor that contributes to this development has to do with the prevalence of green initiatives that discourage the use of paper.
- Another report, "The Retail Market for Stationery Products Industry in the US," suggests that paper stationery products are decreasing in demand. This phenomenon was driven by the rise in digitization. Based on these findings, we can assume that desktop accessories that are used in relation to traditional paper products will also experience a decline in demand. At the same time, the same report indicates that new businesses and new offices have been created and that the number of employees has increased. Based on this information, we could conclude that some subcategories, such as desk pads and other products that are not directly related to traditional paper products, will experience a slight increase in demand. Unfortunately, this report was also hidden behind a paywall; therefore, we didn't have access to their subcategory analysis. Moreover, their subcategories weren't as specific as those identified by the previously mentioned report. They broke down the industry by the following subcategories: office stationery, envelopes, invitations, writing tablets and other supplies and all others.
- The "Office Stationery and Supplies Market in the US 2016-2020" report is also hidden behind a paywall. However, we selected it because we believe that it contains important insights regarding the desktop accessories' industry. They segment the industry by very specific products: "paper products, desk supplies, stationery/mailing supplies, computer/printer supplies, filing supplies, binding supplies, time tracking supplies, supplies for hanging, and identification supplies." Not only that but they also analyze some leading companies in the market. This report strengthens the ideas that we have already presented. The prevalence of IT integration resulted in a decline in demand for stationery paper products. In turn, we can assume that this transformation will affect the sales of desk supplies. Unfortunately, the chapter that analyzes each category "Segmentation by product type and analysis of the office stationery and supplies market in the US," is hidden behind the paywall.
- Based on the information that we gathered, we understand that, in future years, accessories that have to do with computers and computer peripherals are going to see an increase in demand, while those accessories that were generally used to store and organize traditional paper products will see a steady decline in demand.
- To be more specific, it appears that subcategories such as computer and monitor stands, mouse pads, and memory foam wrist support for keyboard typing are increasing in popularity. On the other hand, desk accessory subcategories that can be replaced with an app, such as desk calendars or calculators, are likely decreasing in popularity.
- However, if we were to judge by the two tops that we were able to create based on Amazon’s bestseller list as well as the Office Depot website, leaving aside computer-related desk accessories, the most popular desk accessory subcategory seems to be the desk organizer (it was ranked #1 in both tops). Then, we have subcategories that are mentioned by Amazon in their bestseller list that are also mentioned by Office Depot in their subcategories. We considered those to be among the most popular as well: drawer organizers, business card holders, and magazine or book holders.
We started our research by looking for preexisting industry reports analyzing the desktop accessories sector. We were particularly interested in finding reports that broke down the industry by subcategory or by product. Our search proved to be successful as we uncovered several reports that seemed to answer the question directly. However, unfortunately, they are all hidden behind paywalls. We found a report on the current global market size of the industry, but because of its focus, we ignored the data provided in the report. However, when it comes to predictions regarding the evolution of the market in future years, we believe that it is safe to assume that they apply to both the global market in general and the U.S. market in particular.
Seeing that this strategy has proven to be unsuccessful, we continued our research by trying to analyze some companies that are active players in this industry. Based on the reports that we had consulted, we found that companies such as Costco, Office Depot, Staples, Target, and Walmart were important market players. Therefore, we continued our research by trying to find out what kind of desktop accessories these companies are selling. We went on to consult their respective websites to explore each company’s products and find out which products have been the most popular in 2018 and the first half of 2019.
We started with retailers that are specialized in selling products destined for office use, beginning with Office Depot. Although we explored the Office Depot website in depth and even checked the financial statements in the hopes that we would find a breakdown of the company’s revenue by product subcategory, our research hasn’t revealed any relevant information. However, on the Office Depot website, there is a desktop accessories' category. Thinking that supply is driven by demand, we looked at how many product types were available under each desk accessories subcategories. It is essential to mention that the desktop accessories' category does not include any computer and computer peripheral-related subcategories. Based on the principle that the subcategories that contain the most product options are also the highest in demand, we built a top 9 desk accessories subcategories.
To find out whether any of the other desktop accessories retailers had a similar offering, we went on to check the Staples website. Unfortunately, the Staples website design is quite different, and we couldn’t utilize the same strategy as we did with Office Depot. The same goes for Costco. However, in our research, we came across a report that analyzes companies that sell office supplies. The report also contains estimate market sizing by subcategory and by country. The report, "Office Supplies Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity And Forecast 2019 to 2024" is also hidden behind a paywall.
We continued our research by looking online for precompiled tops and lists of best-selling desk accessory products. This is how we came across Amazon’s desk accessories bestseller list. It is important to note that their bestseller list is updated hourly; therefore, we couldn't make a distinction between 2018 and 2019. Nevertheless, we found out that the most popular desk accessories are those that have to do with computers, such as monitor stands, ventilated computer holders, mouse pads or memory foam rolls utilized to support the wrist when typing on a keyboard. Scotch tape and drawer organizers also appeared on the list, but they were much less prevalent than computer accessories. To compile a top of the most popular desk accessories, we counted how many products pertaining to the same subcategory occurred on Amazon's bestseller list.
We also consulted the 50 most popular desktop accessories list created by houzz.com. However, in terms of popularity ranking, we could only choose between "all time popular" and "popular today," but we didn't have any additional data to help us create a top.
Seeing that our strategies so far did not help us answer the question, we continued our research by looking through industry publications and business magazines such as Forbes to get more details regarding the future of the industry. Therefore, we started searching for trends surrounding desk accessories and office supplies overall. We wanted to find out what the hottest desk accessories are for 2018 and 2019, thinking that this would help us understand or infer which subcategories are gaining popularity and which are declining. We also sought to uncover surveys concerning the modern employee’s preferences in terms of desk accessory products, articles regarding what businesses spend on desk accessories, and which products cost them the most, and articles surrounding big companies like Google to find out how they accessorize their employees’ offices to ensure a seamless workflow. This search revealed that employees prefer sit-stand desks, which, consequently, helped us conclude that monitor/computer stands are gaining popularity. We also found out that offices are spending less and less on paper and pens, which made us think that, as a consequence, accessories such as pen and paper holders are also decreasing in popularity.
Although this search was not revelatory, we did, however, uncover several articles regarding trends surrounding the future of the business world as well as trends in the modern office. We analyzed these articles, and we understood that the transformations that are taking place in the modern office and the business world, in general, will affect the growth/decline of certain subcategories in the desk accessories industry. A Forbes article confirms that many employees are now opting for standing desks; therefore, as we have already found out, monitor and laptop stands will see an increase in popularity.
Furthermore, automation, increased mobile usage, and cloud storage are also characteristic of the future of business. These findings confirmed that desk accessories surrounding computers are becoming more and more popular, while accessories that have more to do with traditional paper products are declining in demand. Cloud storage means that we no longer need to invest in physical file storage, like file holders. The prevalence of mobile usage and apps might suggest that we no longer need to use calculators or desk calendars. Another Forbes article adds that bureaucracy is disappearing, virtualized office environments are becoming a reality, and, of course, document storage is moving to the cloud, findings that confirm our previous conclusions in terms of desk accessory subcategories that are rising in popularity.
Our searches for statistics surrounding the U.S. market size for desktop accessories subcategories has not returned any relevant results. We were only able to uncover general statistics concerning office supply stores in the United States or office supply retail as a percentage of all retail in the United States. These statistics did not contain any relevant details to helps infer the answer to the request.