Web-to-print marketplace to bring buyers, designers and printers on common platform


The Marketplace model is not new in business after some of the big names hitting on huge revenues from this model. EBay, Alibaba, Amazon, AirBnb etc. are some of the names associated with the marketplace model of offering products and services.

When talking about replicating this successful marketplace model for printing businesses can actually turn out to be a multimillionaire idea. The marketplace model needs lots of sellers and buyers to maintain the liquidity of the trading on e-commerce platform. And as per recent printing industry forecast, it seems right time to leverage this tried and tested successful model for your printing business –

“The global printing industry is forecast to reach $980 billion by 2018, driven by growth in packaging and labels, according to a new market report by Smithers Pira.”

Source- Smitherspira

So let’s first see what are challenges faced by printers and how marketplace model can offer solution to these challenges:

1.  Logistics and Warehousing – Printing industry in general faces distribution and warehousing problems. Small print service providers can’t afford global distribution or huge warehousing facilities to hold inventory. In addition to this, cost of own e-commerce site, its maintenance and marketing costs will again be a sum up to additional standing costs incurred by the owner.

2.  Workflow Approval – With traditional brick and mortar model, workflow approval is a tedious process. Every time one needs to take a sample print, get it approved from customer and then process the printing.

3.  Marketing – Without online presence, only few of your registered and loyal customers will be able to contact you, place order and thus your source of sales is limited.

Web to print marketplace solutions for print brokers is capable of offering answers to these challenges for printers. Just like other Retail Marketplaces, a Web-to-Print Marketplace can bring Re-Sellers or Print Brokers, Designers and End-users on the same platform for printing transactions.

The solution offers various benefits to each party involved in the transaction and thus can be a win-win situation for anyone out there –

1.  Business/Marketplace Owner

Business owner can take benefit of the technology platform and earn commission for each product being sold on the marketplace site. Thus without investing in printing infrastructure or production man-power, they can generate revenues merely by offering a centralized platform to print service providers and buyers with additional logistics and marketing support. With more printers registering themselves on marketplace, the business owner can make more profits and ROI with wide range of printing products and services online.

2.  Print Brokers or Resellers

The printers who do not have enough capital to market their products and services online, they can take sure shot advantage by registering themselves on marketplace. With marketplace solution printers can just register themselves on the platform and get continuous flow of orders to keep their machines utilized full-time up to maximum capacity. The logistics and warehousing can be taken cared by the marketplace owner and marketing will again be an integrated part of the core marketplace platform.

3.  Designers

The printing industry marketplace adds one more segment of stakeholders benefited by the solution. Designers can create accounts, upload their designs, let it get approved and then whenever end-users or any printers use their designs for their products, they will earn commission from this.

4.  End-Users

End-users are benefited by getting one stop solution for all printing needs at one place and designing services as well. With marketplace solution, one can also offer them competitive pricing and lots of services and products.

Elements of Successful Web to Print Marketplace Solution

There are certain parameters that determine the success of any web to print marketplace implementation, the important ones to consider are:

1.  Payments

There should be crisp and clear ways of handling payments and transactions – how print re-sellers are earning their commission, how end-users are paying for services, how designers get their royalty and how business owners earn their profits. A good marketplace solution offers well derived reports at all levels e.g. order reports, commission and redemption reports for designers and resellers, dashboards and notifications etc.

2.  Logistics

How is business owner going to maintain logistics services and how the cost is minimized also needs to be decided beforehand. This will help in deciding effective product pricing and commissions and distribute the cost over customers and print service providers keeping product prices competitive. An in-built logistics or shipping calculator helps customers to locate right seller to minimize shipping costs.

3.  Accountability

Make sure quality of products don’t get affected because of wide range of suppliers. Keep an option of accountability and check on the products delivered. This will help your company to gain trust of the customers. A good marketplace solution offer features like seller rating, report abuse, product ratings etc.  to help marketplace owner control quality and accountability of all resellers and designers.

Some successful web to print marketplace implementations by Design’N’Buy

LTD Edition – pride on holding the finest and best designs for production on to fine art prints, framed art prints, and fine art canvas. So, whether you’re a designer, artist, photographer or a creative person with an idea, open your own web store on ltd edition and upload, create and design your own unique products o earn hefty commissions.

Checkout our Marketplace video to gain insights about how printing marketplace works – Design’N’Buy Premium Marketplace Solution

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