While 43% of the global printing industry overall is facing a decrease in the margin, the digital printing industry continues to grow. But not all its residents: only 20% of companies are succeeding.
The main reason for such a situation, strange as it may sound, is an unwillingness to digital transformation. For most printing companies, digital printing is just a secondary revenue source, while conventional printing remains at the top.
In such conditions, only those companies that are catching the new opportunities provided by the Internet and digital era will remain competitive in the future. And the most significant one is the Web to Print technology.
Web to Print is a name of extensive measures of automation in the printing industry. The idea is to shift the responsibility, as well as the part of unprofitable tasks, on to customers.
The customer itself forms the order through the web interface. The tools usually include the possibility to create and edit mockups following the detailed requirements. Draft templates help to make it easier, faster, and without staff intervention. Strict rules make it possible to avoid mistakes, making the processing of such orders faster and cheaper (and more profitable, of course).
- The customer visits a site of the printing company.
- He or she finds the mockup that is best fitting to the needs.
- Using the selected mockup and based on the rules and requirements, he or she develops the own one in the built-in editor.
- Once the mockup is finished, the customer should fill in the special form and arrange a number of copies, paper type, and other parameters.
- Then the system automatically calculates the overall price for the order.
- Finally, the customer should pay the paper bill or proceed with the online checkout.
- Once the order was formed and paid, the system automatically checks it on errors.
- If everything is OK, the customer gets a notification with the date when the order will be completed.
- Otherwise, the system notifies that edits needed and halts the order until the user makes them.
Project Examples: Such a workflow was implemented in the visitka.com project. And the workflow has proven its high efficiency. During the first year from the delivery, on average, only 1 of every 572 orders processed via the system caused any issues. By comparison, issues in the orders that were processed manually during the same period produced seven times more frequent.
For the customers, Web to Print creates a possibility to select an appropriate variant from a personal perspective. There is no need in visiting the printing office to place an order, as well.
For the printing companies, Web to Print opens a way to automate the most routine operations. It means that there is less need for staff members, as well as for space and equipment for them. The orders that were fully processed by the customers have almost no room for complaints. Also, Web to Print opens a brand new sales channel with a new category of customers.
There are several possible weak points here in technology.
- People are conflicting anyway. Although the responsibility lies wholly with customers, they are prone to accuse others in their own mistakes.
- There are possible geographical misunderstands. People using proxy can easily find the printing service far outside their real occupation and overlook that. If the service processes such an order, the delivery cost could be rather heavy, making it unprofitable.
- The technology is for the simple and cheap orders only. It means that the primary revenue-generating operations remain unautomated.
- While the traditional approach works fine with conventional promotion methods, the Web to Print tech requires massive online promotion. Otherwise, the share of it in the company’s revenue will be dramatically low.
Project Examples: We managed to avoid all these cons in the visitka.com service. The two-factor security feature analyzes the IP address of the user and compares it with the delivery address. If the address or IP is outside the serving area, the user gets a special notification with the request to clarify the location or choose the nearest available partner.
We have deep and vast experience in developing custom Web to Print solutions. Summarizing the previous cases, we can offer:
- Front stores with responsive design and advanced e-Commerce features.
- Personal cabinet, equipped with a visual mockup editor.
- Print order management tools.
- Billing system with all necessary payment gateways integrated.
- User notifications system.
Every custom Web to Print system we developed has a modular architecture. It helps to deliver our clients only those features that they were required, as well as to seamlessly add any new features later.