You have a print business model and then you have the e-commerce business model. Both models have been delivering solid returns for businesses that have been using them to sell products and service. But here’s the thing- times are changing and so are the expectations of customers.
So what is the expectation of a customer, whether it is somebody who shops online or a person who makes his/her way to a brick and mortar store to buy products or services? Average customers want products and services that perfectly satisfy their needs and requirements; and they want to get their hands on these products and services conveniently. These are the two essential expectations of every customer.
Now let’s take a look at the print business model from the prism of customer interaction. A customer will usually make his way to the print store, talk to the printer about the kind of printing services wanted, discuss the design of the print product, collaborate with the printer to hammer out the problems with design (if any), and finally give the print order. The prints are either delivered to an address, or the customer personally collects these prints.
Now, check whether the print business model is aligned with the expectations of the customers. Yes, the first part that is getting access to quality products that meet their demands is covered. But, what about the convenience factor, is that satisfied? Not by a long way, it isn’t.
The traditional print business model subscribes to a time consuming process in terms of deliverability; it also cannot promise 100% customer satisfaction. Even seen from the printer’s eyes, the process is slow and peppered with problems. The fact that the printing process is slow means printers can only take up limited orders. More importantly, they’ve to spend a lot of time in product design; this time, if saved, can be spent in other revenue generation activities.
So what is the solution? The solution lies in bringing the convenience, speediness and reach of e-commerce to print activities. To put it simply, a blending of the e-commerce and traditional printing model needs to be established to offer next generation printing services to their customers.
The solution lies in a blend called Design’N’Buy which enables printing business on the Web.
An ‘eCommerce and Print Business Models’ study says that total print e-commerce shipments are all set to touch $29.7 billion in 2016. If you want your print business to get a slice of this massive pie, you must be prepared to take it to the next level. This involves blending E-Commerce and Print Business Models and ensuring the final product only brings the strengths of both models to the fore, and does away with all the weaknesses.
Is this easy to accomplish, yes it is, especially with Design’N’Buy. Let’s see why it is such a good idea?
An Online Store
The first benefit is that you get your hands on an online store. You therefore can experience all the benefits associated with taking your business online. The first and foremost benefit is that you are making your business more accessible to your target audience. Your print business is not constrained geographically. You can reach a wider audience.
Another huge benefit is that marketing becomes cheaper and the fact that you have an online presence means you can start building brand credibility and authority. The more your brand reputation, the more customers you will be able to attract.
What you are also offering customers is a truckload of convenience. Your customers no longer have to visit your physical store to hire your print services or buy print products. All they need to do is log on to your site and make the necessary purchases online. This persuades more people to turn into customers. As we mentioned before, customers are looking to make a purchase quickly, conveniently and comfortably. Design’N’Buy brings all three qualities to your print business.
We are entering an era of product personalization. A customer doesn’t want just any product, but a product that is specifically designed to suit his/her interests and preferences. But the fact is, it is impossible to keep coming up with products that address the specific design needs of each of your customers. But, you can’t tell that to your customers, who demand personalized products.
What is the next best option?
Put the reigns of personalization in their hands. With Design’N’Buy you can implement a product personalization tool within your existing site to help customers personalize the design on the printed product they want to buy. Whether it’s a brochure, a business card, or even a T-shirt, the easy-to-use online design tool will ensure customers can give shape to their imagination effortlessly.
While customers get the benefit using products that they themselves have designed, you as a printer can witness a boost in business profitability. More importantly, all that time you spent collaborating with customers’ vis-à-vis print design can be spent elsewhere in other business critical activities.
The Design’N’Buy business model benefits both business owners and customers. This is why it is such a good idea. At the end of the day, if your print business is to remain competitive, it needs to keep upping the ante on the quality of its service and product offerings. It cannot remain stagnant, it needs to keep growing. Print is a highly competitive industry and the use of new technology like the integration of a product personalization component on your site will give your business the edge it is looking for over its competitors.