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Print industry is undergoing transition. Gradually but significantly the industry is shifting towards digital platform and for good reasons. It is driven by the necessity of the enablement of e-commerce into the conventional print industry which is ravaged by digital technologies. Certain factors responsible for this are a semi positive outlook for the printing industry and the necessity to fight disruptive changes in technology, growing print on demand services, and the rise of cloud to print as the model of choice in print commerce. Easy access to the internet has enabled far wider and deeper penetration into the masses. What made this transition natural? Answer, the arrival of Shopify and other similar web solutions.

#1. The Emergence of Web to Print


Image Source:

The worldwide web to print market is estimated to grow to $1.3 billion by the year 2022. Europe represents the largest market at present whereas the Asia-pacific region has fastest growth rate. In the U.S.A, over 50% printing firms have integrated these trends that are multiplying their ROI & sales.

Market analysts estimate that the profit generated by web-to-print in 2017, will be:

  • Annual Profit will be a staggering 17.2%, a figure unheard of for years past in the print commerce.
  • The growing number of companies offering online printing depicts growth of almost 68%.
  • 1 in 2 printing companies (50%) in the US have invested in obtaining web to print solutions for their firms.
  • 30% of the current total revenue generated by the print industry is estimated to be churned out by this upcoming online printing promising a bright future for the print industry.
  • Close to 70% of printing organizations are satisfied with their investment in the web to print integrated eCommerce platforms.

#2. Shopify: A Force to Reckon with


Image Source:

Shopify has been predominantly known as e-commerce store thanks to its resounding success. What’s not well known is the fact that Shopify also offers a suite for development and running of e-commerce stores, and shares its name with its website sibling. Most prominent of those features is the product designer tool that one can be built into one’s website during development. Which means that not only the website providing the customer a market place for prebuilt products, but also giving him the option to create his own product according to his requirements and get it printed and sold. All of those facilities, at one single place. At the same time Shopify also offers app building tools for development of product customization apps (which cover products like t-shirt design and printing) for smartphone platforms, android and iOS.

#3. Shopify is as User Friendly as It Gets


Image Source: Thinkpup, an online Pet themed custom t-shirt seller.

Shopify has provided a launch platform to many budding print commerce start ups. Though their turnovers aren’t measured in 6 figures, the scale of their success is still phenomenal. One of them is ThinkPup. It provides custom designed t-shirts whose central theme are pets. As Co- founder Tucker Schreiber writes in his blog post

“Shopify makes it easy to buy and set up a custom domain. All the configuration is done for you, and your custom domain setup is completed automatically.”

Thanks to the ease of setting up an e-commerce via Shopify, Thinkpup made $1,248.90 within 3 weeks. Yes, it’s not a big figure but when you take into account that his upfront cost was effectively zero it is a staggering turnover. His experience with the extent of user friendliness of a Shopify based e-commerce platform offers is evident in how he describes it. He chose the Shopify t-shirt design tool and the integration with his Shopify based website was “incredibly painless”. He goes on to call the entire model of store operation as “a fully automated, totally hands off experience” that gave him time to devote towards the most important aspect of any e-commerce store-marketing.


Shopify has close to revolutionized web to print and in general the print commerce as a whole. The last few years have been the witness to rise of several e-commerce vendors offering custom t-shirt design ordering and printing. A single individual consumer is as important as an entire business. Start ups have benefited extremely from the conducive environment provided by Shopify. Print commerce will be on the up and rise with innovations such as these breaking through.



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