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LiveArt Blog

Considering a Custom Web to Print Solution for Your Printing Business

Going with an online product designer for your business is a serious step, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses that have already established themselves in local markets. Becoming a global company that accepts orders online is totally different as you may deal with another type of customer and new challenges. Yet, going online has a significant reward in increased revenue and orders coming from all over the world.

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Costs involved and expected ROI

The first thing to consider would be the budget, required to have an online design software enhancement. Study the market and get an idea of what it would cost to get the software deployed for your website. A lot of forums are discussing the available solutions that may or may not work for your particular business.

Another helpful thing would be to gather the necessary requirements for the custom user scenarios you might require for your web to print system. Comparing these against available features of online product design software would help in making the right decisions.

Whether you have an existing website or just plan to have one, defining a budget depending on planned ROI would help in looking for a solution that will fit. We assume you already have printing equipment and learned already about existing eCommerce platforms available on the market.

Users of the future system

Looking at the available tools on the market, it is best to envision your average customer using such tools to customize and buy a personalized product from you. Learning about common questions, patterns of behavior, and problems is crucial for implementing the web to print technology successfully. It may be also helpful in running a survey across the existing website or polling users. The survey results will answer questions like whether designing their product online would be more convenient than using the traditional methods. If you are using a phone operator or in house artist that works on customers’ designs, think whether your customers would feel better with a self-service online design application instead.

Streamline factor - will orders be processed faster?

One of the main benefits you get with web to print system is lowering the costs for each received order. Rather than having a person talk to a customer and prepare a design according to the customer’s vision, an online product designer allows users to place an order personally without applying for service or talking to anyone. Before implementing a web to print system, think of your present business process and whether deploying an online design tool along with an eCommerce website would help to streamline existing orders thus lowering the costs and allowing the business to scale.

Bear in mind that you would still require personnel to run the system, accept and process orders, and troubleshoot possible questions coming from customers. Make sure to provide adequate training for them when the system is in place and ready for launch.

Products compliance

Some of the most popular promotional items that can be easily deployed for online design software are t-shirts, jerseys, mugs, and such. You can find lots of blank images across the Internet, either worn by models or seen plain, and prepare a catalog easily. The customizations such as gallery artwork, text, or user uploaded image are seen clearly and perfectly work as live proof. However, certain products require more complex customization and modification of the web to print software itself. Such products may concern printing business that produces signs and banners, business cards (including Variable Data Printing), and complex items requiring 3-dimensional visualization as shoes or gift boxes.

Prepare a plan

Taking the available budget, existing customers, streamline factor, and products you sell into account is important in order to make some final decisions. Despite having an online product design system for a printing business becomes a firm trend for over 10 years already, one should clearly evaluate and plan such advance ahead.

Accurate budgeting, planning, and overall readiness for the web to print system implementation would help your business make a solid step forward and get to the next level, acquire new markets and make your customers happy.

5 Common Mistakes When Implementing Online Web to Print Solution

There is no doubt - web to print solutions are becoming common for printing businesses today. They efficiently streamline orders, make the proof process easy, and reduce costs for each order production in general. If implemented and promoted properly, they generate lots of customer satisfaction especially if online product designer supports smart mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Yet, implementing a web to print system is a challenge, both organizational and technical, ergo should be treated in a respective way. One should evaluate the task of building a web to print solution for their business carefully before doing any final decisions or starting a promotional campaign in social networks. Let us look at common 5 mistakes one may encounter when diving into the web to print offers on the market.

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1. No research

While it is common for any beginning, a lack of preliminary research may result in unexpected results after deployment of the web to the print system. Each business has its own specifics, own eCommerce platform, products, customers audience, and so on, which means that you should look for a particular vendor and solution that would fit your business and guarantee ROI after implementation. We recommend checking these posts for more information and brief checklists that would be helpful.

2. No personnel to fulfill orders

Implementing a web to print solution to your website without being ready with personnel that will accept and process orders is equal to failure. While online product design solutions will simplify the process they would still require someone to keep an eye on how the orders are processed and delivered for fulfillment. Make sure you have hired the right person to do this job, report on possible problems, and run the web to print system.

3. Poor products selection

Sometimes the personalized products just don’t fit the concept of the web to print system. One should consider and ask themselves questions regarding the personalized product:

  • Is my product personalization clean and visible to my customers?
  • Would the product personalization become easier to customers than it was earlier (by phone/email)?
  • Are there any options of the product that might confuse my customers?
  • Are the proofs, given by web to print studio, sufficiently clear, and understandable?

Lack of product preparation is a common mistake when implementing a design studio as part of the web to print system. Make sure you have checked out our post on effective proofing and product preparation for your web to print system.

4. Lack of resources and patience to launch the project

Although launching a web to print system can be really instant fast with hosted solutions, it is often a mistake to expect immediate positive results, customer appreciation and sales boost. Launching a system is not an end in itself, but rather a beginning of lifetime journey your business would board on. Product images support, unique and nice fonts, ready-made design templates, available gallery clip art - all of the above requires resources to be gathered, prepared, checked, uploaded into the system, and maintained on a regular basis. It is common that lack of patience often makes customers turn off the logo designer studio and navigate away from your website if they suspect the job not done. Getting resources ready for your online product designer part of the web to print system would prevent user confusion and frustration from the new tools on your website.

5. Failing to count in resistance to change

While not fully a mistake, a business owner should always think of loyal and frequent customers and the way they are used to order their personalized goods. Think of a friend of yours, who would come into your website one day and see everything changed - will they be disappointed or would like the change on your website? Will they like the new way they personalize a product, assess proof and checkout? Since there is always room for change resistance, make sure you inform users well and provide sufficient instructing materials to make the transition as smooth as possible and convert change resistance into satisfaction, wow effect, and sales boost.