Unclear communication can very dangerous when you plan to invest in a web-to-print solution. Investing in web-to-print is not a one-day decision. Ask as many questions you want without the worry of being annoying. After all, you are spending your hard-earned money and you have all the right to know everything. Clarify all your doubts before you spend your money. A lot of thought and discussion brings one to invest in buying or integrating this solution to bring their print business online. You must ask your web2print provider a few questions about the features they have or can customize for you before you plan to invest in one.
Before you invest in a web2print solution for your company, you should also understand the current trends in the printing industry. When asked at drupa how companies were doing, 42% of printers and 56% of suppliers said their economic condition was good compared to 11% & 6% as poor. 46% of printers and 50% of suppliers expect a growth in their performance in 2017, which clearly states that people are going online and embracing this new trend with open arms. 44% reported an increase in revenues and 21% reported a decrease in their revenues.
Image Source: Drupa Global Trends Report March 2017
Now that we have seen the rise and fall of both the printers and the suppliers, you would definitely want to know what needs to be done in order to be a part of the clan of printers that are successful. You need to do your homework right.
Here is how you can do that. Ask a few questions to your w2p provider and understand why they are important to be asked.
- Can My Customers open this site on Tablets & Mobiles?
We already know that customers prefer to use mobile and tablets over PC. If you want to run a successful online store you must keep in mind the mobile users because they are the majority of users using online shopping.
A study by Outer Box Design said “During last year’s busy holiday shopping season, a third of all online purchases came from Smartphone users. Not even Black Friday was immune to mobile fever, as nearly 40% of sales on the traditionally brick and mortar shopping day came via a mobile device. That’s up almost 10% from the previous year.”
“Statistics show that 40% of users will go to the competitor after a bad mobile experience, yet an alarming 84% have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction. That is an incredibly high number, and it shows just how great the opportunity is for companies to capitalize on consumer conversion just by creating mobile responsive and user-friendly websites.”
- Can you customize your Products?
All web-to-print customers love it when they have the ability to personalize their products. There are many reasons behind this:
- First, it saves the time to edit and re-check the product.
- It gives them a personal touch to be able to design their own product.
- It gives the customers many choices to choose from.
When the customers are given the freedom to add text, image, etc. on the product, it interests them to buy one and try the changes on their own. Therefore, you must know whether the w2p design software has these features or not.
Image Source: Designnbuy.com
- Will the Platform provide High Speed to my customers?
Everyone has waiting issues. All customers expect the site’s web pages to load in seconds. If they have to wait longer than that, they will simply close the site. Hence, it is very important that the platform you choose has to be a high-performing. Choosing a low-performing web to print software will not fetch you any good results. It would rather make you lose your past loyal customers too.
- Does it have Catalog & Product Browsing & multi-layer navigation for my customers?
Customers want that they are able to find the product very fast. They lose their patience very fast. This in return forces them to leave the site without completing the purchase. They want that if they are not able to find a particular product, your site should give the customer more options similar to their choice. It will help them narrow down their search and make the buying process quick.
- Can my customers Save Designs, Track Orders & Re-order Previous Products?
These are a few features that customers will look for in your print Store. They should be able to create their designs on products and save them for future purchases.
The platform you support should give this feature where they can see their saved design from “My Designs”.
They should also be able to track their orders again from “Track Orders”.
In case they want to re-order any product, they should be able to that too.
- Can I manage Pricing, Promotion, & Coupon Codes from the Admin?
While choosing a platform for your print business you need to make sure they have pricing options. This very important feature will be used very often. For those who are wholesalers or retailers you have to create different pricing settings. You should be able to do this from the panel of the platform you choose. You can offer them tiered pricing, group pricing, promotional pricing, discount codes, and more.
- Can I generate Advanced Reports?
For doing any business and having a vision to excel in it, you need to have reports for everything. Even for a web-to-print store, you need a platform that will allow you to retrieve reports. Your web2print software should have the features that allow you to create different reports. You may want the sales report, or the customer transaction reports, or your various discount coupon codes reports, or the number of vendors or sellers on your portal. It can be anything. Today’s advanced technology has features where a one-hour job can be done in 10 minutes through the Admin Panel.
- Can I add Images from external sources to give more options to my customers?
Because you are a printing store, you need this option. You cannot always have the same images, you need more power to create and add more images of your own. If you are given this freedom then you can attract more customers and be able to provide them with new designs every time they come to your store. For web-to-print options, you need to be open to show your creativity. You should have the latest w2p design software that allows you & your customers to create their own designs and show their creativity.
- Does it support SEO Features?
You may build an exclusive store but if you cannot be found in the search engine, it is of no use. Therefore, the platform you choose for your web2print store should allow you to add content that will bring you on top of the search engines. There should be options to add keywords, Meta tags, Meta title, and Meta description that enables SEO every time you update the content.
- Does it allow Multiple Payment & Gateway Options?
Well, this should not be forgotten. The platform should allow you to have multiple payment options and multiple payment gateways too. This will enable you to sell your products in different countries where other payment gateways are supported. So once you target the countries you wish to sell in, have the requisite gateways added to the system.
- Will my customers be able to give and read Reviews & Ratings?
Feedback is the most essential part of any web-to-print or ecommerce site. To be able to succeed, you need to know what your customers like and what they will need to have better shopping experience. This should also be a feature added to your portal.
You are by now clear about what questions you need to ask, but do you know what kind of features web2print offers and what are your customers expecting from their printer? There are many features that make a successful web2print software, but these are the most important and should not be forgotten.
As a printer, you should be able to offer the following to your customers:
- User-friendly System
This is a very vital point for any web2print service provider because if the features are not user-friendly you will not be able to fetch many customers. The user needs to feel comfortable & secure using the system. Both the print provider and the customer should be able to navigate through the system easily.
Customization is one thing all customers look for, so if you are able to give them customization, you can increase the interaction with the printer and make all decisions on your own. As a printer, you can make ready to use templates for them to choose from and place orders directly without many amendments. You can take control of everything, yet give them some power. A web to print solution will offer these features to ease your work.
- Production & Delivery
To be a reliable and prominent web2print service provider, production and delivery are very important. A web2print solution will offer this in order to get the maximum benefits. More prints mean more customers. If you are able to produce and deliver prints in time your customer database will always keep increasing. This is important for any web-based service.
- Brand Uniformity
You can have specific templates set keeping in mind the customer’s requirement, yet having your branding on it. The design of the template can be made in such a way where information can be added as needed and certain design areas can be static or you can lock the same.
- Personal Accounts for Each Client
With Web-to-print solutions, you can offer each client a personal account, making you more reliable. Giving your users the ability to be able to login in anytime and make the required changes or edits in their data before it is gone for the print will ease their work.
- Easy Shopping Cart Process
With the integration of web-to-print for your printing business, you can be sure to have happy customers with the easy add to shopping feature, and it will also allow them to track their orders online. This not only increases sales but also customer interaction with you. It allows customers to secure their order for reordering in the future.
- Virtual Review & Approval of Proofs
If you adapt to the web2print solutions, then you can pass on the headache of proofreading and reviewing the data to your clients. They can preview and approve the same with just a click. They will no longer have to travel to your place nor will you have to wait for days. This will save days of work and enhance the production to a great level.
Summary: Key Points that you need to keep in mind while selecting the platform for your web-to-print – be it Magento, WooCommerce, Opencart, or Prestashop – you need to be sure of all the features you want before you decide on which platform to choose. You must ask your web2print provider a few questions about the features they offer. Based on the answers as to what features they have and can custom for you will help you to make your final decision.