Why is it necessary to have a Web-to-Print System?

Print houses and print brokers have realized that without an online presence, their businesses don’t really exist. They lack the exposure which thus stalls their progress and their dreams of expansion. So the easiest thing that one does is to get a web designer to design a simple website on the lines of a ready-made template. The pain is the choice you make between using this website to market your business versus utilizing a technology to facilitate your business workflow.

Nowadays a static website is as good as having a ‘We are open from 9 AM to 5 PM’ board hung on the door of your shop. It can only fetch you those customers who chance by to look at your board and if they really require your services. In order to be successful and grow – you need to do much, much more on the Internet.

Whether you want to market your home page or complete a pre-print process, you need to understand that the key to success isn’t one or the other. Successful print companies know how to utilize both of them effectively.

So what is this Web-to-Print? I am sure that most of us reading this would have heard this term umpteen times. In the printing industry, it is also called as web2print or W2P. Let us try to quickly cover the basics.

In today’s world, websites are designed to offer higher levels of customer engagements. Like all other industries, this is a favorable situation for the printing industry where more products and inventory is handled through online storefronts, MIS systems and we have CRM and accounting systems to augment it. So basically, Web-to-Print describes a website that receives orders through a web interface which then pushes them into a workflow that is suitable for the particular organization. The orders are then directed to an output device which could be a printer or a press. From the customer’s standpoint, they have no idea what a Web-to-Print is or what is does and they really don’t care about it. What they really need is an easy system where they can design, place orders, make payments, receive invoice, tracking information and of course, a good customer service. If you tick all these boxes, then you are on the right track and it makes life easier for you.

Most printing companies that fall in the same category (like SMB’s or a large printing house) will use similar printing equipment and technology. User interfaces will be ever-evolving to suit different business requirements and strive to be user-friendly. The future of technology with Web-to-Print lies in the ease of use for the customer as well as for the print house when they chose to implement it. As a result, print houses can choose technology that best fits their business logic and requirements in terms of shipment tracking, payments, order integration, pricing and workflow.

The game-changer lies where how a printing company embraces technology which is robust and scalable and figures out innovative and profitable methods to implement it in order to keep themselves ahead in the race against their competition. Mind you, it is the same Web-to-Print Technology that is available– the difference lies in what you choose and how you implement that technology. Your customers may think that Design tool is a self-service, but your website and back-office staff must be available to assist them at every stage supplemented with automated tools and processes wherever necessary.

When you want to set yourself apart, it lies in providing outstanding customer service. Your website content could supplement your online success. But online instructions, coaching through chat and emails can surely make a difference to your customer’s problem when he/she is sending a large print job and prevent him from searching for another print-shop in your neighborhood.

Even though Web-to-Print favors automation, you must always show your customers that you are indeed an active and live print shop that really cares for them. Come Christmas and you offer them a 20% discount on cards. For Independence Day you have a 15% discount on keychains or lapel pins. A thank-you email sent from your system will make your customers feel that they are cared for. Your system should be capable of handling all this.

Another important factor that needs to be taken into account is you need to be aware that all jobs that are received are always not accurate. Sometimes the face of the birthday kid is cut in safe area margins of a greeting card or the logo is missing from the design of a pet bowl. You may have questions on the ordering. Customers may think that what they have ordered is correct, but you know who is a professional printer between the two of you. If it isn’t addressed correctly, a situation can arise if things go wrong owing to human error, it will be either a refund or an unhappy customer or unfortunately both.

It is often observed that most online buyers are comfortable reordering rather than placing new orders. There are a few reasons for this. One is that all the hard work has already been done. Second reason is customers don’t want to spend time in ordering items that are complex and time-consuming to order through the Ecommerce storefront. If your web system isn’t up to the mark, customers will have to perform tasks like formatting a file, uploading it after selecting all the accessories like paper type, cover type, type of packaging etc. Therefore reorders are usually preferred by customers. So in a way this amounts to a loss when other products although they are good, don’t sell owing to a complex Web-to-Print system and workflow.

So will this trend continue? Most signs indicate that especially price-conscious customers will use online interfaces to order simple items like business cards, greeting cards etc. but for more complex and bulk orders, buyers will have to directly get in touch with a marketing guy or a big printing company. So this negates the use of an automated process. Thus it creates a notion that only big printing companies can survive in the print industry and SMB’s will have to be content with regular orders. No, it isn’t the case. It means that you have to pay more attention towards your marketing, your existing workflow and what kind of system you are offering to your customers. In a nutshell, if your company has a web presence that concentrates on web-to-print, but isn’t fully optimizing the web marketing and technology to drive sales, then you are missing vital opportunities that are on your fingertips.

Strategic keywords and SEO strikes will send your potential customers not just to your homepage but also to landing pages that addresses their needs which will play a more significant role in Web-to-Print. It will help in educating and engaging the customer prior to the purchase thus helping in driving sales.

So if you are driving your web traffic with a Web-to-Print Ecommerce storefront, you can opt for Pixopa which will fulfill all these requirements. Whether it is form-based personalization which helps a novice computer user to design a product or ‘Text on Curve’ to enhance creativity we have it all to trigger your sales. Explore our solution and see how easy it is for compelling your customers to utilize the potential of Web-to-Print. With capabilities such as SEO, Order Tracking, Template Management Module, it will certainly help your company not only in staying ahead in the competition but also find new ways to achieve growth.