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Blog / Is Web to Print Viable? Who should go for it?
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

web to print

In the current time web to print has become the center of attention for all those in the print industries. All thanks to the advancement in technology of digital printing. Customers prefer to communicate through the web or mobile to ease their daily tasks. No one wants to go the physical printing stores for prints. There have been many innovations in this department to enhance the user experience.

Printers that are already using technology to ease their work and accuracy rate are live examples of growth in this sector. Adapting to this new technology and integrating it with your system can open new doors for you. Those who are new in the business first need to understand the importance of w2p for their business and how is it useful to their customers?

No more following the traditional printing process where you have to spend a lot of time waiting for the design and content approval.

Understanding Web to Print and What it Offers for Printing Businesses

Unless you are from the 18th century you know that web-to-print has become the hottest buzz in online printing. Where e-commerce has given opportunities to many to start their own business online or enhance the current one through online tools, even web-to-print has become quiet famous among print service providers. If you are already in the print business or you have immense knowledge in this industry then you must definitely opt of web2print. There is a lot that this concept has got to offer; to both the printers and print consumers. Reasons why one should go for web2print are:

  • Self-service portal for customers to order prints, thus reducing overall order turnaround
  • Reduces the in-house work and pre-press cost by 50%
  • Clients are ready to adopt
  • Ability to enhance customer support with 24×7 online help desk
  • Increases flexibility and scalability with global customer reach
  • Helps to increase overall sales with add-on services

Is web-to-print viable?

Yes, web-to-print is viable and has turned out to be successful to those who made informed decision of implementing it rightfully. It is easy to use and integrate with your current systems. It helps in increasing the sales and enhances the overall growth. Hence, it’s worth every dime you spend on its implementation. But, there are some factors one needs to keep in mind before choosing a right web to print solution.

Points to consider for making web to print viable for your business

You need to establish why you need a web2print solution and what are your expectations from this solution? You need to choose the right web2print solution for your printing business not based on how popular it is or what all feature it offers. But, on the basis of what your business needs and focus are at the moment and what are your expectations from a successful implementation? Is it customer acquisition or in-house cost reduction or back-office management or something else? Let’s take a look at some important points to keep in mind:

Why you need a web-to-print solution?

You should first chalk down why you need a web to print solution and the solution you are buying needs to meet your business requirements. Buying something just because it’s cheaper or easier to implement than other, but later may not fit your business can be very gruesome experience. You need to consider the factors that lead to opting for w2p.

  • If you have just begun your printing business and barely get orders, then spending on a full featured w2p solution will be of no use. You will end up spending more than you can earn, leaving you at the threshold where you can do nothing but just wind up. Hence look for a web-to-solution that can help you in more customer acquisition while you can manage to handle back-office work offline if required. Check the scalability for solution with future expansion plans. So keep your investment low and grow your solution as your business grows.
  • If you are a well established printer with repeat customers but choose a start-up level web-to-print solution you will not be able to fulfill the requirements of the customers and may end up losing them all. Hence you need to focus on every aspect of your business while choosing a best fit solution which is both robust and scalable. You can focus on a solution which is easy to implement, can help in faster order processing and re-ordering, reducing printing errors and increase staff efficiency.

Make a list of features you really need, than prioritize them with numbers, and based on this you can choose the right solution provider keeping your timeline and budget in mind. You can get some features added later if they are not that important as of now but may be needed later but is hampering your expected budget and business plan.

Always remember “Wise decision makes no place for regrets”.

Who should go for it?

Web-to-print can be used by all, only if you know what printing is all about and how web-to-print can help boost your printing business. I have identified some key attributes that may help you identify if web to print is a viable solution for your business.

Strong Network

You may or may not be a printer but knows how to run a printing business, and have a strong network of printers and other vendors you need to run it. In that case by implementing a web-to-print solution, you can acquire orders and process them through your vendors. With a web to print solution, you can bring your entire business network on same platform that deals with materials, pre-press order processing, printing and shipping needs.

Products

You should be offering products that can be personalized and printed like mugs, t-shirts, caps, etc. Offering these products to customers for customization and personalization, will enhance your business. Hence rather than just an eCommerce website that helps you sell off the shelf products, implementing a web to print store can enhance your product portfolio and services.

Know Your Customer

Printing industry is all about knowing what your customers want and how to keep them forever. If you are not able to understand your customer’s requirement, then you will not be able to deliver them the best. It is as simple as the demand and supply rule. A self-service portal for printing will help your customers to design their own artwork with help of templates or from scratch and preview it before ordering. This would avoid the long and tedious process of artwork approval and understanding client needs leading to better customer satisfaction.

Different Stakeholders

If you have a good team size with well defined stakeholders for each aspect of your business, a web to print system can help you to manage and oversee the productivity and quality of work of all entities involved in order processing. You can define role based access for everyone for the web to print back-office to let them manage their area of work under centralized system. Automating the printing workflow can help you gauge the issues earlier and rectify them in-time to reduce waste and make informed decisions in-time.

Conclusion

Web-to-print is a viable option for all kind and size of players in the printing business. With such solution, one can eliminate paper wastage, streamline production workflow, boost performance, enhance customer satisfaction and grow customer database. Only what is important is to understand how to make it viable for your business as every business has unique dynamics of scale and budgets.


CEO and Co-founder at Design'n'Buy.