Over the past few years there was a lot of talk about web2print, and as we move forward with technology improvements, having a web to print storefront became a must decision for many print businesses. The outcome of your web-to-print software implementation depends on several factors. We have summarized five aspects you should consider before choosing the right web-to-print solution for your business.
Know what you are going to sell
This is a vital information to know as printing is a very diverse and extensive domain offering multiple web to print software that cover both B2B and B2C domain. You can print and sell personalized t-shirts or any kind of clothes, shoes or apparel; promotional items such as caps, cups, mugs, batches; business cards, labels, signs, stationary, stickers, or even wide format banners. It’s impossible to get a web-to-print solution that covers it all.
The best thing to do is to opt for a web-to-print solution that is specially designed and developed for the products you offer. Another thing to keep in mind is checking whether the web to print software in question produces ready-to-print files as that will increase your operational efficiency and decrease the cost.
Let’s assume you are selling posters. To determine the final order price you will need your customers to specify finish size, printing material, coating, quantity etc. On the other hand, if you are selling decorated apparel it could be just size and quantity. Bottom line, look for a solution that best fits your product offerings.
Know your customers
Who is your target audience: business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C)? Are they tech savy? For example, if you are selling personalized t-shirts or promotional items, the best thing to do would be going for a web-to-print solution that offers a user friendly design center interface with generic design facilities like add text, clipart and upload images.
As your customers probably won’t be professionals but first time designers, they will love to design unique, professionally looking, 100% personalized items, and order them quickly and conveniently from the comfort of their own home. Conversely, if you deal with other businesses offering business supplies like business cards, flyers, menu cards or banners for example, you need a more professional and more accurate design interface that allows your B2B customers to create pixel perfect designs with the print output having trim and cut margins, QR codes etc.
And let’s not forget about the personalization tool here as well. Did you know that Economist Intelligence Unit reports that 81% of consumers receive more marketing materials that include their name than they did five years ago, making personalization a must have in your product offering.
Know the technicalities
Things like back-office implementation, high quality print ready files and limited web design area are all things to know when it comes to your web to print storefront.
Back-office implementation will tell you how easy it is to configure your product catalog and implement your print workflow with minimum training and staff, so opting for a solution that gives you a very user friendly and scalable back-office support making sure you can implement the web to print software with minimal human intervention.
Once you get that right, you can move on to the next step ensuring you have high quality print ready files of minimum 300 DPI and offer CMYK. For that you need a web to print solution with a robust and accurate print engine to convert web designs into print-ready files or at least offers layered PDF or source file that can be touched up to be of print quality.
Finally, as web offers a limited design area, you need a web to print software that offers maximum design area to your customers so that they can create and visualize their design perfectly. We highly recommend you avoid a design studio that requires scrolling or paging to view the design area.
Know the kind of support and training you will get
Although majority of web-to-print solution providers offer more or less all of the features mentioned above, many lack customer support which brings us to the reason why majority of unsuccessful web-to-print implementations happen. Avoid this by ensuring your stuff will be properly trained and by agreeing an on-time support with your web2print provider. Finally, don’t forget that customer training via how-to blog post or perhaps a how-to video, ensuring they have the knowledge to use your solution properly, hence create some pretty amazing things, is equally important as training your employees.
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is do you want to buy the software, so called “License software“ and host it on your own, or you prefer renting it? The latter is software as a service (SaaS) model. Should you opt for SaaS, make sure you choose a vendor that offers you flexible plans, or even allow you to start with low cost, low risk SaaS and move to license later.
Another detail to keep in mind from the very beginning is your marketing and promotion strategy since web2print solutions have features like SEO and marketing, be sure to understand what exactly does it include and the kind of support that is provided for SEO and marketing.
Web2print is a very exciting domain with product improvements happening on a regular basis. Just make sure you have a clear vision of your business and your customers before choosing the right web2print solution for your business. Don’t forget, it’s ok not knowing everything right from the beginning.
This branch is very competitive making sure that only the best thrive in the market, so when you decide to start your journey in this amazing industry, you will be able to choose amongst the best web2print software in the business.