The internet has transformed how we do business, and eCommerce is booming. Though there is much scope, the market is highly competitive, even for those in the print sector.
To succeed as a print entrepreneur in the eCommerce space, you need to know how things work and what may go wrong. Adopting a web to print software is one smart move.
Research shows that the web-to-print industry is expected to grow at a rate of 5.1%, earning revenues worth $30.5 billion by 2023. This is not surprising as web-to-print helps customer engagement move fast online, and it represents a huge change for more traditional printers.
For starters, the tedious process of physically meeting with a designer, sharing a concept, getting it designed, and asking for edits to get the final draft is outdated now. With web-to-print technology, custom product design functionality is made available.
However, many printers often have misconceptions about adopting web to print software. The solution enables them to engage their customers deeply through additional product offerings.
Here are the top mistakes printers make when launching an online print platform:
- Not having unified brand online and offline
- Not focusing on business operations
- Not having plans to attract the existing customers
- Not having coordinated and collaborative teams
- Not executing a launch process that onboards properly
- No marketing your print storefront properly
- Not building localized product templates for your target audience
1. Not having a unified brand online and offline
You may want to have a different brand for your online print store, but it is not always the best strategy. Building an independent brand based on your web2print eCommerce storefront makes your job more challenging by dividing your business into silos.
It would be best to create a new brand identity from scratch that serves both offline and online needs. It would take a long time to build a reputation equivalent to that of your existing business. Therefore, it is best to scale your brick-and-mortar presence and move it digitally.
Customer service would also become more complex as you will have to set two separate teams for the physical and online stores. Separate processes must be laid down for both, and if not done correctly, customers might perceive it as poor customer support.
Similarly, you will need to manage two marketing strategies. Creating and managing social media profiles for your online print business separately is time-consuming. Since your audience is the same, it is better to have a brand identity similar to that of your physical print store.
2. Not focusing on business operations
Having a tremendous web2print eCommerce storefront presence and useful print products will attract customers only the first few times. But the growth of your online print business depends upon the process after they place an order, and thankfully, a web to print solution can keep that problem at bay.
With the help of technology, you can ensure that the backend processes, such as payment processing, shipment, and customer service, are streamlined.
Hiring a customer-centric product owner will ensure your operations team is ready to deliver a satisfying customer experience. A project manager with web-to-print expertise can help you identify the crucial areas for your business operations plan.
A robust online print software backend will ensure timely processing of orders, payment verification, an optimized supply chain, and on-time delivery. Well-defined return and refund processes will minimize customer service requests.
Additionally, having omnichannel customer support on the web-to-print solution will help build brand loyalty. These are crucial checkpoints that sculpt your customer experience and help them decide to reorder from you.
3. Not having a plan to attract existing customers
Even if your business is doing well offline, that does not mean it will automatically translate into success online. Though your print audience may be the same, they may have different needs for online shopping.
Amidst the enraging competition, they are not always waiting for your online print store to go live, so you must try to attract them. Instead of waiting for customers to turn up, you must invest in driving them to your store by addressing their needs.
It is vital to set specific goals and target a market for your web-to-print storefront. Without this, you are leaving your online business open to competition.
Recommended to read: Smart Packaging: Challenges, Opportunities, Types, And Benefits
Therefore, before launching your online store, it is essential to do your market research. Study your target audience, analyze the competition, and identify gaps. It would be best to promote areas that make your storefront stand out in the online space.
You must plan to address customer needs through your eCommerce store. Though time-consuming, it is an important step. If you do not take the time to learn what you are getting into, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
4. Not having coordinated and collaborative teams
A standardized process must drive your web2print eCommerce storefront to accomplish success. All stakeholders must be aligned with the business strategy. There must be frictionless sharing of data and insights among teams to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction.
Remember to list critical stakeholders and assign ownership to those handling key roles. Implementing a standard process will help streamline the performance of all parties involved. Setting out clear guidelines will make operations and accountability much easier.
Here are some simple steps which can make your operations smooth:
- Allocate the ownership to a project manager.
- Outline processes and designate roles in advance.
- Monitor progress and adherence to the guidelines laid down by you.
- Provide stakeholders with the steps and information about your standardized process.
- Keep an eye on the objectives being met or the risk mitigation strategies being employed.
5. Not executing a launch process that onboards properly
The last step in setting up an online print store is to launch it, and the most crucial one. Soft-launch your online print store before going live publicly. Invite people to test the process by placing orders. Do not just sit and think people or businesses will come to you on their own.
Letting them test your web2print designer studio and share performance feedback helps you identify glitches. You can rectify them before launch and offer a sublime shopping experience to your customers.
6. No marketing your print storefront properly
Having a marketing plan is equally essential. Once users give positive feedback, you must start creating hype about your launch. Smart marketing will quickly help get your store out in front of a broad audience.
Your marketing strategy must be a mix of social media leveraging targeted ads, organic posts, and other traditional mediums. Send personalized emails to your existing customers and invite them to shop online with you.
Besides, you must make sure your site is SEO-friendly, so that target customers can find it when they search for related keywords. SEO matters for printers. Besides optimizing the pages with appropriate product descriptions, relevant metadata, and tags, it is also helpful to set up a blog.
Enriching your blog with high-quality content that engages your audience is also necessary. The blog organically drives customers to your business and establishes your credibility on social media channels like Facebook or Instagram.
Please make sure you reach out to your consumers where they might be looking for solutions to their problems. Investing in PR and launching news is also a good idea.
Keep track of how your print storefront performs and ranks on search engines. Review your analytics using tools such as Google Analytics and make changes to maintain consistent inbound website traffic.
7. Not building localized product templates for your target audience
Sure, online editing using your product designer is an exciting feature for your end customers. Still, it only helps if you create local templates for different print products to experiment on.
You see, giant corporations and franchise businesses want a web2print designer studio that allows them to personalize a string of templates to serve diverse purposes without compromising brand consistency and the company’s bottom lines.
They do not want to waste time explaining the business requirements or design concepts to designers. A web to print software editor helps reduce the time lost in processing marketing material orders.
Therefore, conduct market research and build templates for all the possible items your target audience may need. Design your order flow so they can upload, customize and place an order on the print products on their own, without any hassle.
Over to you
To give your business the best chance of success, it is crucial to avoid common mistakes. It is vital to focus on the needs of different customer segments and put a strategy in place for the products you want to offer them.
It must be done before launching your online store so that you invest your time and money wisely. Do not worry if you are looking to set up a web2print eCommerce storefront for yourself. Simply drop us a message with your requirements, and we will get back to you with a custom demo.
Most frequent questions and answers
Your web-to-print storefront functions just like any other eCommerce business. You are online, which means you can sell print products to anyone from anywhere across the globe. With web to print, you can add print-ready and customizable templates for various products and leverage multi-lingual and multi-currency support on your store.
Poor business leadership, little involvement of the sales team, and complicated interface for both the employees and end-users are three main reasons any print commerce store would fail. Depending on the web to print solution you choose, you have to make sure that it is easy to use by everyone in your team and your customers. Your sales team keeps coming up with exciting ideas to drive sales, and your top management is vested in the business.
For starters, you must have a unified brand online and offline. Your backend processes, such as payment, shipping, and customer service, are streamlined. There must be a proper marketing strategy to retain existing customers and attract new ones. Build localized product templates for your target audience so that giant corporations and franchisees can avail your print services.
Choose any web-to-print solution and it will come with a custom branded storefront, a smooth ordering process for your clients, and various print-ready templates. Also, check the solution for other capabilities such as pre-designed templates, promptness of user support, payment gateway options, and shipping integration.
Your marketing strategy must be a mix of social media leveraging targeted ads, organic posts, and other traditional mediums. Send custom emails to your existing customers and invite them to shop online with you. Make sure your site is SEO-friendly. Publish quality blogs on the site. Be active on organic social media and do a bit of forum marketing to spread the word.
Read here: Free Marketing Guide for Printers