The Coronavirus outbreak has disrupted businesses worldwide. Despite making significant progress in the COVID vaccines, most companies are still working remotely to ensure business continuity and maintain the momentum of providing services.
On the other hand, the print industry was adversely affected. Many printing plants have shut down, which meant plant workers were either furloughed or laid off. According to an April 2020 study, 70% of printing businesses suffered a significant decline in orders since the pandemic began as customers did not see any point in doing print marketing.
But this was only from the side of business and professional service clients. The same study reports that 79% of print service providers believe the pandemic has presented an opportunity to them to drive new product and service innovation, besides:
- Witnessing an increased use of W2P design tools
- Implementing new operating models for faster turnaround times
- Deploying new cost-cutting measures
Sure, the print industry is no stranger to operational challenges and technological disruptions. But the onset of the pandemic has altered the landscape significantly. With the Coronavirus here to stay for some more time, let us not forget that 2021 will definitely be shades better.
Here are five benefits that all print service providers like you can deliver to their end-clients in the post-COVID-19 world in the New Year:
1. Faster turnaround time
Your end-clients not only care about the quality of printed products but also the speed with which their artwork proofs are approved, printed, and shipped. If you cannot ensure a faster turnaround time for print jobs, your end-clients will be unhappy about it.
Thankfully, you do have the opportunity to strip away layers of the longer traditional printing process that required the customer to coordinate with multiple teams (e.g., design, customer service, operations) in the printing company.
Today, a web-to-print solution will allow them to upload their artwork or customize a print-ready template using the W2P design tool, place an order quickly, and track it from a single platform. On the other hand, your design team can quickly check the client’s artwork and give the go-ahead for the printing job.
Moreover, since a web2print software solution enables all orders to get queued up for production through an automated process, the turnaround is faster. When it comes to managing shipping vendors, you can create separate user accounts for them on your web-to-print shop so that they can see which print orders need to be shipped asap.
All-in-all, this kind of tech support shortens the printing and shipment cycle and ensures prompt delivery to end-clients. Investing in a web-to-print solution is what will bring the real ROI for your printing business in 2021.
Moreover, when you sell via your web-to-print shop, you can glance at the order intake, sales per client, print costs per square meter, plate efficiency, and paper waste to make informed decisions about your business—keeping in mind COVID-19. All of this would not have been possible in a traditional setup.
2. Personalized printing
According to Bain & Co, consumers who personalize a product online are more inclined to engage with a company. More than 35% of online US consumers want to purchase built-to-order products using their specifications or have the flexibility to personalize the products before placing an order on it.
In the New Year, consumers will continue expressing themselves with even the smallest of products, such as mugs, t-shirts, photo frames, photo calendars, handbags. The good news is the list of merchandise that can be personalized is endless!
It is up to you how many customization features you want to offer on your online store in 2021. Some businesses provide design-from-scratch options, but please note that not every consumer is design-conscious.
Therefore, by deploying a web-to-print solution such as Design’N’Buy, you can offer simple personalization functionalities on pre-built templates to enable them to make specific changes in the design and place an order for print promptly.
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3. Instant pricing
COVID-19 or not, do not let calculating quotation be a roadblock in your end-clients’ shopping experience. Please enable them to type in their order details, such as printing, size of the artwork, quantity to print, and other features to estimate how much the personalization, printing, and shipping jobs will cost them.
They do not wish to spend time coordinating with the sales reps for quotations. They want to quickly know whether they can afford to get the print job done within their budget. So, it would help if you eliminated the unnecessary price talk in the New Year.
According to Baymard, 55% of consumers abandon a shopping cart because of hidden charges! A web-to-print storefront will not only eliminate the unnecessary coordination that takes place between the end-client and sales team but also maintain transparency in the pricing.
Offering instant pricing will help you focus on delivering proper shopping and after-sales experience to your end-clients. It is the first step that they will take when they land on your eCommerce storefront. So, you cannot take this step lightly.
4. Low-budget and small print jobs
The Coronavirus has undoubtedly put a dent in marketing budgets. Businesses want to market themselves, but they do not make any plans for the long-term and large-scale. That is because the future looks uncertain even today.
Financial resources are limited, and businesses undoubtedly want to be cautious about how they spend. As mentioned before, business and professional service clients are not looking to spend on signage, flyers, brochures, or banners as much as they would like to.
No wonder an average print clients’ spending capacity has dramatically gone down. That is why your end-clients, therefore, want you to empower them to place smaller orders within a budget. Web-to-print solutions can make that happen for a small cost and low order volumes.
5. Preference for placing online orders over other sales channels
COVID-19 has digitally transformed many businesses across industries for the long-haul. It is not surprising since consumers have dramatically moved to online channels for their shopping requirements. The print industry was no exception.
Today’s print consumers are all about convenience. They do not want to spend hours browsing through a print storefront, coordinating with the sales reps on email for quotations, or discussing artwork requirements on the phone.
When left in charge of their buying process, they are a lot happier. An online product design tool can enable your end-clients to search for products online quickly, customize as per their liking, and place an order.
In conclusion: higher ROI and conversions
Today’s consumers are demanding. Although COVID-19 has moved everything and everyone online, the buying patterns incline more towards wanting the convenience of shopping for custom products within a budget on a small scale. Thankfully, with a web-to-print solution, print service providers can fulfill all requirements of their end-clients.
Look for an intelligent web2Print eCommerce storefront with a designer studio that is easy to manage and fully responsive, enables simplified ordering processes for your end-clients, and also has a dynamic back-office administration facility designed for print service providers.
The pandemic will get over soon. Vaccines are already out. But the disruption that this virus has caused is here to stay for years. It is best to prepare your printing business for the “new future” and cater to client requirements keeping in mind their changed buying behaviors.