Successful expansion in European markets can be a lucrative option to channel new sales and growth for a web to print service providers. The European eCommerce market shows a sign of exponential growth with online retail sales in Europe reaching 323 billion Euros ($437.91 billion USD).
As much as it provides an opportunity to tap 50 new countries cum markets together, it poses some unique challenges for printing service providers. Every country has its own language requirements, payment preferences, and complicated tax and compliance regulations. In the first article of this series, we are covering some top printing business challenges in the European market and how web to print software can be the answer.
Challenge #1: Multiple Currencies
Imagine a print service provider juggling between what multiple currencies for expansion in European markets. Europe has a total 28 currencies used throughout Europe. Euro is the most used currency in Europe (It is used by 19 out of 28 European nations, along with the other five countries that are not part of the European Union). The United Kingdom used pound sterling as its currency.
Configuring all these currencies in an online storefront and managing their conversions as per user’s geography can be too intimidating for a print business. Not doing so can lead to lose of profits and revenues as customers want to make a purchase decision in their local currency. A print service provider can handle this challenge in two ways – Integrated third-party plugins to provide multiple-currency and conversion support or implement an advanced web-to-print software to serve the purpose. However, installing third-party plugins will require technical expertise, and these plugins also pose security issues with the upgrades and open source libraries.
A right web to print solution with customized and flexible currency options enables a hassle-free experience for customers. This increases footfalls on your web to print storefront. As per an online survey including 30,000 online consumers in Canada, the UK, Australia, and Germany, 92 percent of consumers prefer shopping from sites displaying local currency.
Challenge #2: Multiple Languages
Like every other business, it’s a challenge for print businesses to bring in the local flavour with global varieties for customers. Languages play an important role in bringing localization flavour, and when it comes to printing businesses where the language is part of the product, the necessity to emphasize on it increases further. The challenge further increases when print businesses want to expand in European markets. Why?
Europe has 24 official languages across the continent. It can be extremely challenging to configure multiple languages at the back for the online print shop owners. At the same time, it is very crucial to have localized language so that online customers can understand products, pricing and other necessary elements to finish their shopping experience.
Web to print with customizable settings of multiple language configurations can be a challenge-solver for all print service providers.
Challenge #3: Payment Gateways
We don’t need to stress how crucial payment gateways are for online eCommerce businesses and it works the same way for print service providers. The smooth checkout experience is incomplete without the right payment gateways. Challenge further intensifies with European markets as they have a different preferred mode of payment gateways.
In Germany, customers usually prefer cash payments after the delivery of products and services. In Italy, the preferred card is the CartaSi credit card, which controls 40 percent of the credit card payment. While there are some payment gateways that cover few geographies in the union, but not all of it. Are you facing the same challenge in scaling your print operations in Europe? Web to print with configurable payment gateway is the answer. We worked with various web to print brands for expanding their services in Europe and discovered preferred payment methods and gateways for some European countries.
For a successful web to print initiative, it is not only crucial to select the right payment gateway but also select the right partner who understands the European market. This will help print service providers to match the right payment gateway against each country in the European Union.
Other factors to consider in selecting an appropriate web to print service provider are ease of use, ease of installation and integration, mobile compatibility, security and tax compliance, and local currency display and exchange.
Challenge #4: Logistics
This is another significant challenge of expanding the web to print business in the European market. Online printing businesses have to partner with logistics service providers to deliver products to customers. This poses challenges in determining whom to partner and integrate with web to print store for seamless deliveries of orders. How to do it? The best way is to partner with niche and popular logistics provider for the last mile delivery services. How to integrate this into your online storefront?
There are two ways of doing it –
- Integrating third-party logistics extensions that restrict volumes of order, variety of products, and delivery speed required for eCommerce business.
- Adopting the right web to print solutions with customizable integration options for the logistics service providers.
Making an informed choice with the right web to print implementation partners can help in a successful expansion of the business. Apart from this, logistics also involves managing multiple stores of the same brand or managing private labels. The right web to print platform can help in managing multiple stores with warehouses and different SKUs.
These are some challenges for expanding printing businesses in Europe and how the right web to print solution can be an answer to these challenges.
We will cover a few more challenges in the next part of the article. Stay Tuned!