Festive Season 2020 – Printers resort to online sales to combat COVID-induced economic tailspin

Festive season is around the corner for most of the countries and demand for print and personalized products e.g. greeting cards, photo books, gifts and promotional products etc. is expected to be back on track in last quarter of the year. That’s the reason printers from all around the world are getting ready with their web-to-print stores to engage their customers online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and have started focusing on digital strategies for the upcoming festive season.

So, if you have not invested in setting up your online print store yet, here are the reasons why you should get started now:

1. Be where your customers are

The pandemic has transformed the buyer’s behaviour forever and online buying trend is going to surge during this festive season and beyond. And it now becomes essential for offline printers to make some serious plans to start selling their products and services online to maximize their revenues for the year in upcoming festive season. They still have time to grow their business by improving their online presence and customer experiences.

2. Choosing the right web-to-print solution provider takes time

Choosing a right web-to-print solutions provider can be a very involving process. First, you must plan your online strategy, identify critical business processes and function to be automated for online business and define your budgets as well as timeline. Then comes taking demo from shortlisted solution providers and choosing the right solution that meets your expectations. You then have to identify the right stakeholder in your IT team to be responsible for successful implementation of online print storefront. Finally, arrange the training for your internal team as well as for your customers for quick adoption of online channel of ordering prints.

Remember, you must get it right the very first time, as there is no time for try and run given current business scenario.

3. Setting up your store with right products and designs

Carefully choose the products that you want to sell online, as not all print products are suitable for online sales. Setup competitive pricing with convenient payment options to win more online customers. A simple to navigate product catalogue will help your customers to browse desired product in no-time.

Differentiate yourself by offering unique and appealing design templates. Editable design templates rule the online print industry, as your customers can just choose a template of their liking, personalize it, and instantly place the order.

Read more: 6 Ways to Make Money with Graphic Design Templates in Your Storefront

3. Plan and run promotions and discounts

The right SEO and digital marketing strategy will bring targeted customers to your website in desired timeframe.

To maximize holiday sales, start planning your marketing and promotions early. During the festive seasons, printers have a chance to capture loads of new customers with the expectation that holiday promotions will motivate online shoppers to buy more of their products as gifts for family and friends. Promote your holiday sale early to get first-mover advantage. This helps your targeted customers to choose you as their preferred print service provider for all their printing needs during festive and holiday season.

4. Get your workforce ready to meet online demand

You may be working with lesser staff due to pandemic or many of your team members may be working from home due to reduced client interaction and slow business. So, plan your workforce and train them in advance to meet surge in online sales. Your internal team should be proficient in handling online orders through the back-office panel of your online storefront. Additionally, get your workplace ready as per rules and regulations recommended by local authorities ensuring everyone is complying with the new health, hygiene, and safety standards you put in place.

5. Expand your shipping to serve local as well as global customers

Online channel opens your door to expand your customer reach. Why sell only locally when you can print and ship your products anywhere and everywhere. Research your market and define the geographies where your potential customers are. Then partner with the right shipping service provider so that you can deliver to desired locations within agreed upon time limits.

Whether retail, pharma, publishing, marketing or communications, eCommerce and online channel has proven its worth and an upward trend has been set. How can we ignore the fact how Amazon has make sure that buyers of all kinds and all ages believe that buying online is safe, rewarding & comfortable. And printed products, although more complex and fuller of customization and creativity, do not seem to be an exception. Hence, printing industry now needs to urgently respond to this changing consumer landscape and opt for an Omni-channel business strategy or suffer the consequences for a long-time to come.