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Is web-to-print right for you?

There has been a lot of hype about web-to-print. The reality may be totally different. We collected some facts and observations of the industry and of our own customers.

Who’s behind the hype?

The vendors. We get on average 1 email a day with offers of web-to-print software of all sorts and kinds. Usually they promise a rosy future as soon as we buy and install their software. It is understandable – they need to sell. Read on to find out why this statement from one of the promotional emails is misleading:

Your rosy web-to-print future starts here

Web-to-print flavors

There is no exact definition what web-to-print is. It presumes a website with some feature set to facilitate transactions between print buyers and a printing company or advertisers and a publication. Web-to-print solutions can be categorized by their features:

  • Basic: Website for a printing company
  • Useful: File transfer and quoting
  • Fancy: Design it yourself
  • Advanced: Template based

Read more what is behind each of these types and how to get them for FREE.

Build it and they will come

One of the main misconceptions about web-to-print is that it’s a magic technology to boost your sales the day you buy it. At least this is the picture software vendors portray to the industry, but nothing can be further from the reality. Read what it takes to make your web-to-print a success.

Web-to-print is a growth tool

There are only 2 real benefits of web-to-print:

  • convenience
  • cost reduction

Everything else is a flow-on effect. The real value of web-to-print technology is in supporting your growth, because you can do it at a faster pace without increasing your design and administration resources. The cost reduction benefit depends on the Cost Per Order.

Is web-to-print right for you?

Answer these simple questions and decide for yourself if web-to-print software can help you.

Growth:

  • Do you want to grow?
  • Do you want to increase your market share?
  • Do you want to explore new markets?

Product types:

  • How many orders are alike?
  • How many are repeating orders and re-orders?
  • How many designs can be templated?
  • Are most of your jobs unique or one-off?

Resources:

  • Do you have sales and marketing capacity to promote your web-to-print service?
  • Who will convert customer designs into templates for you?

Customer types:

  • Do your customers need personal assistance and advice with every order?
  • Are your customers capable of using the Internet?

Reasons to skip

Many printing and publishing businesses are quite happy the way they are and don’t want to grow. Some others do not see the Internet as an avenue for expansion.

Not every printing business can benefit from what web-to-print has to offer at this stage of technological development, but watch out for your competition. They may figure out how to use the web and take over some of your customers before you realize what is happening.

Value for money

Purchasing a piece of web-to-print software is only one of many expenses a printing or publishing businesses will need to incur before any return on investment. Read about hidden costs and many pitfalls to avoid.