Top Web-to-Print Features for Trade Printers to Consider before Opting One

A trade printer is a printing company that provides printing services to resellers at a wholesale rate, who in turn sells the printing to the end print consumers. The reseller provides the trade printer with the orders. In return, the trade printer provides print capabilities that the reseller doesn’t offer, along with wholesale pricing. Everyone wins, including the end user whose needs are satisfied with one service provider, eliminating working with different PSPs for different printing needs.
Now, when the entire business world is going online, there is always an opportunity for everyone in the printing industry to follow, including the trade printers. But unlike commercial printing, the trade printers are not directly in touch with the end users and hence have a different objective altogether to go online. Their prime objective is to leverage the people they are connected with and automation of their own printing services and processes using the advantages of the eCommrce and web-to-print technologies to grow their business. So, let us see what a trade printer should look for in a web-to-print solution before choosing one.

1. Setting-up Online Store and Unique Reseller Storefronts

A trade printer serves many segments of the print industry. Be it graphic designers, ad agencies, marketing firms, print brokers, copy shops and other printing companies, all are potential customers of a trade printer. Such businesses outsource print jobs to trade printers when they do not have the means to produce the printing themselves. At times, even commercial print shops use trade printers if they have an overflow of work or if they lack a particular capability. Purchasing the printing wholesale from a trade printer allows them to resell it to their own customers at a competitive rate. So, the best and the foremost feature the ideal online trade printing solution should offer is to setup an independent and unique storefront for trade printer as well as for each of their resellers so that end consumers can order prints from such stores and orders are in-turn pushed to centralizd back-office for trade printer to produce and deliver . On the other hand, each reseller gets freedom to setup their website with unique product catalog, pricing, offers and design templates based on their target customer segment,markt demand and expertise. Such application will create win-win proposition for all entities as trade printers can attract more resellers, resellers will get online website to offer one-stop services to their customers even if they can’tprocess the order in-house and end customers can stay with their print service provider for any kind of print orders.

2. Shipping Flexibility

Depending on the agreement with the networkers, a trade printer should be able to either ship the printing products to the resellers for them to distribute to the end user or should be able to blind-ship the printing to the end user on behalf of the reseller. Generally trade printers also offer multiple shipping and production speed options to meet clients’ timelines. Hence a good web-to-print solution built for trade printers should offer them ability to prioritize order processing and production along with complete job tracking until delivery with role base access to resellers on order and delivery status.

3. Efficient Pricing Options

In a typical scenario, a trade printer can either define a reseller pricing/commission irrespective of the products offered or can define product specific commission for the reseller. So, the payment for any online order received from reseller store is sent to the trade printer, and trade printer is liable to pay the commission to the reseller on per order or periodic based as agreed upon mutually.

The trade printers should also be able to configure multiple pricing structures for each product. They should be able to decide and dedicate different prices to different networking partners based on the quanitity and number of jobs. Also the trade printer should be able to provide the broker or reseller more flexibility and control on prices for end customers.

4. Centralized Administration

As a trade printer generally works with large number of re-sellers, print brokers or agencies, it should be able to manage all re-seller stores, orders and payments centrally through a robust and easy to use back-end system. It should provide him a quick dashboard to monitor and control day-to-day operations as well as offer detailed reports to manage re-seller commissions, payments, order status, shipments and deliveries, abandoned carts, customers etc. The application should also be easy to integrate with any 3rd party software like CRM, accounting applications or ERP to avoid managing multiple systems for better control and efficiency.

5. Notifications and Updates

A good trade printer solution must offer in-built feature to send notifications and alerts to all entities involved. For example, when any order is shipped, it should send notifications to both re-seller and end customer with tracking details. Similarly, when an end customer places any order online, it should send new order notifications to re-seller as well as production department along with order confirmation e-mail to customer. A robust notification system helps in keeping all entities informed, thus avoiding chances of cross communication.

In the end

Wholesale or trade printers use the latest printing machines and the most updated computer programs to offer prints with best quality at minimal affordable costs. And in order to do so they have to keep their machines fully utilized as well as bring down their operational costs to increase profit margins. By implementing an online web-to-print solution, the objective of the trade printers should not only to be available 24/7, but also to extend their customer reach through adding more re-sellers and partners.

If you are a trade printer and looking forward to setup your business online, have a look at our premium web-to-print marketplace solution ideal for trade printers as it brings the print re-sellers, graphic designers, vendors, print service providers and even their end customers on one single centralized platform. With our solution, it’s quick and easy to setup and manage an extensive print storefront of your own along with ability to setup independent and unique re-seller online storefronts with centralized administration. As the solution is built over Magento open source platform, thus, it is completely open source (except our proprietary design studio for product personalization) and ready for customization as per your business needs.To know more about the solution you can visit our website or drop in a mail to for personal consultancy.


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