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A4 Labels vs Direct Thermal Labels

In today’s competitive e-commerce landscape, choosing the right type of label can significantly impact your operations and bottom line. Two common choices are A4 labels and direct thermal labels, and the decision you make depends on the size and scale of your business. Let’s delve into this topic and help you decide which option suits your needs. 

Small Online Businesses (1-20 Parcels a Day): A4 Labels with a Laser Printer

If you’re a small online business handling a modest volume of 1-20 parcels a day, it’s best to stick with what’s readily available - a laser printer for A4 labels. Here’s why:

Cost-Effective: Low-volume businesses shouldn’t rush into buying additional equipment like direct thermal printers. Instead, focus on growing your revenue.

Ink Saving: With a low number of labels to print, the cost savings from not buying ink outweigh the investment in a direct thermal printer, which can cost around £500.

Medium eCommerce Businesses (21-50 Parcels a Day): Direct Thermal Labels with Zebra ZD420

As business begins to scale and you're shipping 21-50 parcels a day, it’s time to upgrade to a direct thermal printer, such as the Zebra ZD420. Here’s why this transition makes sense:

Time Savings - With a direct thermal printer, you’ll enjoy a streamlined printing process and never have to change the paper tray, saving valuable time. 

Cost Efficiency - Direct thermal printers use thermal technology, eliminating the need for ink. This translates to significant cost savings over time.

Reliability - The Zebra ZD420 is known for its reliability and longevity. Many large-scale customers rely on multiple units in their warehouses.

Fewer Jams - Laser printers can be prone to jams, especially when using free A4 labels provided by postal services. Direct thermal printers like the Zebra ZD420 are less prone to paper hames, and if they occur, fixing them is quick and easy.

Large eCommerce Businesses (51-500 Parcels a Day): Direct Thermal Labels for Speed and Cost Savings

If your online business is in the league of processing 51-500 parcels a day, the advantages of direct thermal labels become even more apparent. Here’s why you should make the switch:

Enormous Cost Savings - Large enterprises benefit immensely from never having to purchase ink again. Direct thermal labels, especially for standard shipping labels, offer substantial savings over time. 

Speed and Efficiency - The speed and streamlined process of printing with direct thermal printers are unmatched. They often come with auto-aligning mechanisms, minimising alignment issues. 

Label Rolls - Standard shipping labels like the 100x150mm label, are widely used and are available in both 350 Labels/Roll and 500 Labels/Roll options. Opt for the 500 Labels/Roll to reduce the frequency of roll changes. 

In conclusion, choosing between A4 labels and direct thermal labels depends on the size and volume of your online business. Small businesses can stick with A4 labels and a laser printer, medium-sized businesses should invest in a reliable direct thermal printer like the Zebra ZD420, and large enterprises should embrace direct thermal labels for their speed, efficiency, and significant cost savings. Making the right choice can have a substantial impact on your business’s productivity and profitability.


Get in touch with us today at CDM Labels to find out more and work out the best solution for your business

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