The most common question that I’ve ever come across is: ‘I own a print house & have a XXX printer. I am planning to launch photo books or a web-store to sell personalized products (B2C). What is the best solution?
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) means that you are choosing to open a new venue to do business with strangers. In today’s times, when your sales team does numerous follow-ups & meetings with prospects for months, those prospects are no longer strangers.
Many printers look at the B2C market as a means to supplement their business-to-business (B2B) strategy to increase productivity. This is a logical call but requires better understanding of what it takes to build a successful online business.
First and foremost, technology is not the only ingredient for a successful online business. It is your marketing strategy and its successful execution that is essential to be successful.
Companies like Vistaprint or Zazzle are successful owing to their focused marketing strategy and not just because they have a Web-to-Print system. Print house owners think that if they buy any Web-to-Print system, they can compete with Vistaprint. Firstly in order for the customers to find out your printing capabilities, you need to be found online. Getting to the top 10 precious spots on the first page of Google’s dynamic search results has serious competition.
So when you want to buy a Web-to-Print or Photo book solution, you firstly need to decide on the marketing strategy because this will influence your decision for the solution. So what is an online marketing strategy?
As mentioned earlier, the paramount step in the online business is that you have to compete to be found. So if you are not found in the first few results, you don’t have a good online presence. Your photo book or web-to-print solution has an impact for being found online owing to ever-evolving search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. For example: your solution needs to have a proper structure for the search engine bots to index the website URL’s, navigation etc, discern what you determined as the most important content on each page in form of header tags and provide a good user-experience in terms of loading time, responsive design etc.
There are two ways to generate internet traffic – paid and organic search. In paid search, calculating the ROI is easy as you pay Google for the clicks and calculate it in accordance to the customer revenue. In organic search, you drive the audience to your website through your own marketing efforts like blogs, social media, email campaigns and your own skills in SEO.
So if you are considering jumping into the B2C bandwagon, following would be the list of questionnaire:
1. Who is your target audience? (customer type, vertical, geography etc)
2. What is your online strategy? (Whether it is paid search, organic search, content marketing etc. The answer to this question drives your investment)
3. What products or services do you intend to sell online?
4. Who is going to execute your marketing strategy?
5. What plans do you have for integrating your business with your existing technology?
6. How are you going to measure your success and ROI?
7. Once you have an answer to the first 6 questions, what kind of web-to-print or photo book solution will meet your requirements?
It is true that an online presence is extremely important even if you don’t intend to offer products or services to unknown people. It is a wrong belief that only those companies who engage in SEO are the ones servicing consumers. You need an online marketing strategy for a B2B business as well. In offline world terms, ignoring SEO is like opting out of the local yellow pages listing. Every business needs to engage in the online ecosystem and learn the tricks of the trade so that they can continue to thrive as increasing customer interaction moves the online way.
So once you have finalized your online strategy, you have a solution like Pixopa that only aids your online web-to-print business, but also aids in helping you with the right tools for the marketing strategy. For more information on how Pixopa can help your business, please email us on [email protected]