Look around the various eCommerce websites these days. You will find plenty of them using a web to print software of some kind of another. There is absolutely no doubt that ‘Web to Print’ is an emerging industry and it is experiencing booming growth. According to a 2011 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. the global web to print market is estimated to reach a mammoth $869 million by 2017.
Let’s take a look at 5 big reasons why the web to print industry is growing at such a rapid rate:
1. The Demand for Personalization
Retailers and manufacturers all over the world are recognizing the increasing importance consumers are giving personalized printed products. More and more customers want a particular product whether it’s a T-shirt, a coffee mug, or label or something else printed as per their specifications. They are envisioning traditional mass produced products through the prism of their identity. They want their products to be designed keeping in mind their interests and preferences and not somebody else’s. Consumers want to use personalized products as a means of creating their own identify that distinguishes them from the other people around them. They want people to look at the products they are using and get an idea of how they think, and what makes them tick.
2. Availability of New Ways to Create and Order These Products
If there is one thing that is constant it is change and nowhere does this saying fit perfectly as it does in the world of technology. It’s kept evolving over the years and what is possible today through the use of various technologies couldn’t be even dreamt about a few years ago. Take for example the case of web to print applications. No own would have ever thought that software that helps customers imprint their chosen products with their own designs, will be available. But this technology is available now and it’s very popular. As more and more online retailers implement such software that allows users to create and order products with their personalized designs on them, customers have actually begun to expect online retailers to have such software up on their sites. This expectation means retailers know there is a ready made market for personalized products, which means retailers, who otherwise would have shied away from using such technology, aren’t afraid to implement this software on their sites.
3. Web Development Companies Getting into the Act
Web design and development companies are always looking for newer opportunities to make their mark and generate revenue. Designing and developing web2print solutions was a natural progression for many of these companies who were already designing cutting edge software for ecommerce businesses. If online shopping sites want to offer their customers the benefits of ‘do-it-yourself’ product design, they don’t have to search far and wide for such software. There are plenty of companies who offer ready made software, as well as, solutions that are custom designed for a business’s specific needs and requirements. In fact some of them are also masters of designing and developing a web to print storefront for their clients. There are quite a number of companies offering such products and services, all you need to do is work with the most reputed amongst them.
4. Low Investments, High Returns
In the world of business including online retail, it’s all about the money. If you are willing to invest in a new technology, then you must be able to get something out of it. The projected growth figures of the web to print industry suggest that businesses implementing the use of this technology are profiting from it.
This technology has two critical components:
a) The front end that consist of the software and its UI
b) The back end that includes order processing and printing.
Your major investment will be in the online print shop software and the printing system. Yes, these two items will require some investments, and some might find the expenses prohibitive. But if you take a look at the high returns on investments, the actual investments that you make will come across as manageable.
5. Makes Better Business Sense
Rather than maintaining a huge product inventory, web to print software ensures businesses using them, can focus more on their marketing message and the benefits this software brings to the target customers. This also allows them to reach out to a wider audience and tap into newer markets. Compared to traditional products, personalized products are less subject to an increase or decrease in demand. Also businesses that use this software can experience increased production efficiency.
So here they are; the five reasons for the booming growth of the web to print industry. The fact is it’s the end users, that is the customers who are gung-ho about this technology and are enjoying the experience of using it. That’s because such software enhances the shopping experience and gives customers more control over what they want to buy. Customers like thinking that the online merchant cares about their requirements, so much so that he has given them an option for designing their own T-shirts, labels, banners etc. The use or web to print applications is a user oriented approach towards improving customer satisfaction.
If you are a business that wants to deliver the web to print experience to its customers, you must take note of a word of caution – You might have to convince your customers to use the online software on your website. There is a chance that your target customers might not trust themselves to design their own products. In such cases, it’s your duty as an online retailer who only wants customers to get the best services, to convince them of the benefits of using such software.