2019 is an exciting year for the printing industry. According to an SGIA study, the overall sales in the commercial print sector will value at $87bn and witness a growth of 1.5-2.5% by the end of the year. The technology used in the industry is also expected to undergo a transformation.
The rising popularity of Web-to-Print solutions
For starters, many printing companies are now offering digital storefront and online ordering capabilities to their end-clients. Also known as Web-to-Print technology, the framework helps end-clients in placing orders for personalized products on the website and making seamless online payments for the same.
The W2P storefront makes the printing company’s website more user-friendly and easy-to-use. The technology streamlines and automates their internal processes that involve tasks like approving artworks, sharing quotations and following up with end-clients.
Design’N’Buy conducts a survey
To understand the main intention behind implementing the Web-to-Print technology, Design’N’Buy surveyed a mixed bag of 455 printers in a span of three months, starting from September. Out of all the answers received, three stood out:
● To win new customers and to scale the business [49%]
● To service existing customers better [30%]
● To automate back-office processes [21%]
Let us further elaborate these findings to understand what printing companies and end-clients expect from W2P in the New Year:
To win new customers and to scale the business
A better performing Web-to-Print storefront
For end-clients, the Web-to-Print technology has enabled automation and given them the flexibility to personalize pre-designed templates using a dynamic design tool and to place an order easily. However, there is little offline assistance.
We live in an age where “customer is king”. It is important for a printer to be more focused on the end-clients than ever! Focusing only on individual orders is not a sustainable business plan for any printer anymore.
Therefore, it is vital for printers to form strategic partnerships with them and to ensure there is a steady flow of recurring orders. Hyper-personalized Web-to-Print storefronts that cater to the tiniest requirements of end-clients and offer solutions they may face with offline print services.
Advanced Desktop and Mobile Ready design tool
Today, there are so many options in the market that enable eco-friendly productions and deliver high-quality prints, without costing too much to the printers. However, when it comes to W2P, the printing company has to invest in an advanced design tool.
From marking specific printable design areas that can be personalized using the design editor to providing pre-designed artwork templates and font library, the Web-to-Print storefront must ensure that any end-client can create a great-looking product in minutes.
Design‘N’Buy, for example, has deployed its responsive online design software on the storefronts of various printing companies across the globe, which enables the customers to order a custom print product on their own easily.
A flexible design tool that is not only easy-to-use but also has a huge library of pre-designed templates make the job easier for both printers and end-clients.
Digital marketing assistance
Digital marketing is one of the major tactics applied by businesses across industries to grab new customers and to ensure business growth. A printer not only wants a responsive W2P solution, but also assistance in executing digital marketing plans.
They want an SEO-ready W2P solution that would enable them to target the right audience to their website and make sure the right keywords are in the right place. They need help in defining, designing and strategically placing ads that attract the end-clients instantly.
To serve existing clients better
Web-to-Print enables the commercial printer to focus on promoting other value-added services like excellent customer support that adds to the brand reputation. Printers can support their end-clients right from the beginning of the process, and understand what they need and how much they are willing to spend on an order.
Similarly, even the end-client knows they can rely on that printer for urgent requirements if the W2P storefront is robust enough. For instance: if they require additional brochures for a service they sell, they can quickly reorder through the printing company’s website and have the order delivered on time.
By deploying W2P technology, the printer is not only expediting the print orders but also ensuring the end-client enjoys a smooth online personalizaton and buying experience.
To eliminate back-office processes
One of the biggest concerns for an online business is timely deliveries. The whole plot is lost if the end-clients don’t get their orders on time. Given the high level of competition in the industry, it isn’t difficult for them to switch service providers. But for printers, it is revenue lost.
Thankfully, many Web-to-Print storefronts have partnered up with shipping vendors so that the customer can see the exact status of the delivery on the website itself. USPS, FedEx, UPS and more are some of the popular names in the shipping business.
Please note the capability differs from a W2P solution provider to provider. Most of the times, the end-client is taken to the website of the shipping vendor for tracking purposes. But some W2P storefronts update the order status on the system itself, this making it easier for the end-client to know the status.
W2P helps generate business during off-hours, re-order customized print products and expand market reach apart from taking volumes of orders, managing complex databases, keeping a log of deliveries – on a single platform.
While the printing company gets to deploy a robust and dynamic software, the end-client gets to enjoy the many facilities at one place. It’s a win-win for both the parties.
Eliminate manual tasks
End-clients want speed, quality, and service. Printing companies, therefore, want to keep background stream of automated work so that their resources can focus on completing ad-hoc tasks, as and when they arrive.
Investing in software is what brings the real return on investment for a business. A software that enables an open database at the heart of a printing company, has an agnostic interface and allows the printer to be dynamic and flexible.
Rapidity, London’s leading print service provider, was able to move from processing 20 jobs a day to 500 jobs a day in the region ‘only’ after it deployed a W2P software. Imagine producing 300 business cards in an hour because your system was so efficient?
End-clients, on the other hand, can breathe a sigh of relief when they know there is a system at work for their orders. Moreover, automation eliminates print errors and makes sure that the job is done correctly and delivered on time.
Showing end-clients exactly how much value is being created for them will be a prime goal for printing companies in the coming months. Either way, the importance of Web-to-Print can’t be emphasized enough.
Strike a deal with a reputable vendor that can deploy the solution, train your staff and handle all the nitty-gritty related to starting work on a new software. If you are currently trying to find one, look no further!
Drop us a comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our staff member will connect with you with a solution best suited to your business requirements.