Web-to-print is a fairly new concept and is a printing business model where the customer go to the printer’s online store and orders product with their own custom printing requirements. The printer gets the ordered design printed on the required items and then ships it to the customer without any face to face interaction with the buyer. It’s basically an e-commerce model for the printing industry.
But while the eCommerce industry has grown tremendously in the last few years, web-to-print is yet to take off in a big way. One of the biggest hurdles is the web-to-print technology itself. Offline printing businesses find the technology too cumbersome to understand and manage or find it too costly to invest money in.
But there are some good reasons why offline printing businesses should adopt web-to-print. Given below are some of these reasons.
Increased Market Reach
Internet is used by masses irrespective of physical boundaries. When your printer is online, you can reach out to more customers. Offline printers generally have a fixed business where the customers are from same locality, some of the known people from nearby areas, or some regular clients. Online printing resolves this and provides you with a much bigger market not limited by geography.
Online processes are much faster. Your customers order their requirement within a few clicks and you get to work on it immediately. You don’t have to make space for the consignments till they are picked up by the customer. Here, you can ship the items as soon as they are ready as per customer requirements. The payment for the delivered goods is also received timely and surely, which remains a limitation of an offline printer.
Convenience for Both Printer and Customer
It is not only profitable but convenient as well. From the customer’s’ point of view, they get to order their supplies sitting at the comforts of their home. They don’t have to extract time and conveyance to visit the store and select the designs before ordering. The printer also doesn’t have to spend time on describing the products to the customer. The saved time and efforts can be exploited to focus on better business opportunities.
Standardized And Automatic Process
When you go online, all your work process gets automated. You don’t need to bother about explaining your products to the customer; your website does that for you. All the orders are also well managed. Also, following a standardized process helps to keep a check on business records. Nothing is haphazard, you get everything sorted out and can employ the results for further growth of the web-to-print.
Reduced Operational Cost
With a web-to-print store you save a significant amount of money on electricity charges, taxes, store maintenance, store display, etc. It also reduces the costs that are incurred on individual transactions. You can get in touch with your customers using e-mails and send over electronic invoices. Also, when transactions are fewer, the transaction costs are higher. Selling online means selling more and therefore, it helps in reducing the transactional costs as well.
In comparison to other industries, the web-to-print industry is currently less competitive. Not to mention the competitive advantage a printing business will have against other offline printers if they have an online sales channel as well. And the technology is becoming cheaper and cheaper. There are many web-to-print software solutions available in the market at competitive prices.