In today’s competitive world every investment that you make in your business has to be well planned with clear expected Return on Investment. Printers are faced with the same challenge when deciding what should be the wise investment strategy going forward. There are many areas where they can invest, e.g.:
• In latest printing machinery
• Training and skill development of their existing staff for increasing efficiency
• Hiring new people/talent for enhancing quality of deliverables
• Marketing their services
• Software applications to enhance customer experience and business expansion
• Business automation for operational cost reduction
Is there one single option that can help you achieve most of the above objectives? An investment that can return multi-fold benefits? Sounds interesting.
Yes and that option is Web-to-Print. Let me explain how:
1. Investing in web-to-print will help you take your business online where you can share your product and service portfolio with online visitors who are looking for similar services. Thus opening a new revenue channel in addition to your offline business. Initially your online store may just help as an enabler to enhance your offline business, and once your customers get hands-on experience on placing orders online, you start getting direct revenues from your online store.
2. Most of the web to print solutions offer integrated marketing options like search engine optimization to ensure people can find your store if they are searching online for similar products and services that you offer, sending newsletters and e-mailers, SMS notifications and updates about festive and seasonal discounts and offers etc.
3. A web-to-print application offers self-service portal with readymade design templates to your customers so that they can create their own artwork without requiring professional proficiency in graphic creation tools. They can design, preview and place orders without any assistance. They can also save their designs as well as re-order. Over the time, you get a complete repository of your customers data, artwork assets and favourite templates thus ensuring long-term client retention and satisfaction. Saves your investment on new client acquisition and marketing.
4. A good web-to-print solution comes with integrated workflow for quotations, artwork approvals, print ready file generation with pre-flight, print job management, drop-shipment, order management, shipment and tracking and online payments etc. All such modules automate critical business processes and eliminate the need to hire multiple people with varied skills to look after each area of operation. You can end up hiring a good IT resource that can manage and operate the web-to-print application and co-ordinate with several departments to ensure impeccable services to your customers. This ultimately saves a lot of cost for your business that you can invest elsewhere.
5. Instead of investing in different new printing machinery on your own, you can tie-up with several other vendors who do speciality printing and outsource (for drop-ship) the job to them at good margins. Your web-to-print solution can help you to manage all your vendors and automatically forward relevant jobs to them with full online tracking. Thus you can span your area of expertise with distinct printing services without huge upfront capital investment along with full control on complete order processing. Voila, amazing!
All I wanted to share here is if you are thinking about what could be the next best investment to boost your printing business in current competitive world, give web-to-print a thought. For some it could be worth investing in to reduce production cost by automating many tasks and eliminating errors/re-printing, for others it could be a new revenue channel with good marketing opportunities while for some it could be a collaboration platform to retain customers and partner with speciality vendors to increase product and service portfolio. When choosing a web-to-print solution, all you need is to clearly identify your motive, your expectations, what problems you want it to address and define your expected return on investment with measurable goals. So, next time you are looking to invest in your printing business, give web-to-print a serious consideration.