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LiveArt Blog

5 Reasons to Make Your Product Customizable Online

No matter how your product is unique, it is time to ensure it can be customized by your customer. Whether it is a color change or addition of text or pattern, in most cases, customers see it as a way to make their beloved product one of a kind. In this article, we will cover the top five reasons to allow product customization on your site right away.

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Reason 1. Researchers say custom products are the future
According to a research report from Deloitte, over 40% of the customers seek a personalized product. In practice, if you are still not offering the customer a choice for customization you are likely to be outplayed by those competitors who are offering it.

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Reason 2. Personalized means more value
It is also known that the customers are likely ready to pay more for the product they have built on their own. Several studies prove that customers are inclined to overpay for the bespoke product, justifying the price raise by having the purchased item their very own. In most cases, you can also upsell additional services like the artist assistance, dedicated support or a priority service.

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Reason 3. Secure, repeatable sales
According to LiveArt's observations, the customers are more likely to return if their experience with the design tools was fun, the checkout went smooth, the product was good, and delivery went just fine. They will return and re-order their design. Luckily, online design tools allow saving designs, sharing them to social networks, and re-order anytime later. The bulk order forms are also a nice point of sale places where customers can easily make group orders.

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Reason 4. Being closer to the customer
Customers become more emotionally involved and attached to the product they've made their very own. By putting certain efforts into the product development, which they've become part of, the client is more likely to complete the purchase rather than drop off. If they did not like anything, you are more likely to receive the feedback. Even if the order was dropped, your e-commerce can follow-up the user to complete their design or share the feedback about the experience, what went wrong, etc.

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Reason 5. Streamline your orders queue
We hear these stories every day - the orders are coming slowly, customers are never sure what they will receive, the design proofs are taking forever. With an online product design tool, you can drastically reduce this time and make orders go faster.

Now that the Mass Customization is no longer a future perfect buzzword, but a well-established reality, offering online product customization is something you can do right away and gain an instant momentum in sales and your brand marketing. The brands cannot be wrong, and it is time to join them for the future of the product personalization.

The Importance of Cross Platform Development for Web Applications

In a 2012 study, Google found that 90% of today's media consumption is screen-based, and noted that consumers regularly bounce from PCs, tablets, and smartphones. With multi-screen behavior becoming the new normal, it's critical for businesses to adapt and focus on cross-platform development to meet consumer needs better. Additionally, a 2013 report from Statista found that in today's BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world, 49% of respondents said they used their devices for work as well as play. With so many different tools in the workplace, apps need to perform seamlessly across multiple platforms.

Man sitting in a front of the computer and coding
(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)

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Businesses may worry about the challenges associated with cross-platform development, like available resources, time, and cost. Luckily there are tools and resources available to help companies better manage the process. These tools can help developers more quickly create apps at a lower cost, with the bonus that many of these tools are simple to use. For example, LiveArt's HTML5 Mobile-Ready Online Product Designer and it's plugins for platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, or Shopify are available for phones, tablets, desktops, and other devices that don't support Flash. They also work with multiple browsers, and the Online Product Designer can be added to any existing website or e-commerce platform as a simple web component.

The days of an app that only performs on a single platform or browser are gone.

Cross-platform development not only allows developers to maintain just a single code base, but it also gives them the capability to fix bugs or other issues immediately on any platform. Having one code base will also reduce cost because it involves less testing.

Users on cross-platform apps also benefit because even those with limited experience can be taught to maintain platforms with a custom content management system. This further reduces the business's cost because it allows an in-house team member to maintain the content and make changes when necessary. Instead of hiring separate developers to create apps specifically for a single platform, businesses can leverage in-house teams and individual employees to maintain operations through the content management system. Changes made by that employee will be reflected across all platforms, rather than having to engage multiple developers to make changes on one single platform.

 
(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)

Cross-platform development also offers the following advantages:

Reusable code
A developer can use code multiple times rather than rewriting sequences. Once something is coded, it can be re-used in other platforms.

Cloud access
Many cross-platform development tools and frameworks are designed to easily integrate with cloud services, allowing businesses to take advantage of their current enterprise solutions, such as Salesforce.

Plugins
Plugins and other modules can quickly and simply be plugged into available frameworks, tools, and services. These components make it easy to add specific new features to the app.

Ease of deployment
Cross-platform development makes it easier and faster to deploy changes and updates across multiple platforms. Developers can focus on one app and one code base rather than dealing with various programs, which saves the developer time and the company money.

Cross-platform development is a smart decision in today's world of ever-evolving technology. Businesses should take advantage of the tools and resources available to them, as it will save both time and money in the long run, which will allow companies to generate higher profitability overall.

Nick Rojas is a journalist based in Chicago, IL. His work often covers content creation and technology. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.

 

 

Online 3D Design Preview In LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer

Modern online product designers feature realistic previews that are shown in real time. Whether you add text or upload own artwork it is reflected on a product just in a split second. While a flat preview might be sufficient for a printed products industry or stationary, promotional products like cups or uniform might require a better outlook. That is where 3D preview of a design might benefit much to final look and feel of the personalized promotional product.

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Basically, a 3D design preview applies design onto a product model, allowing user to rotate the it in a 360 degree, while realizing how the end printed one would look like. A 3D product preview can be implemented for all types of LiveArt software, including LiveArt Lite and LiveArt HTML5 versions. Upon additional request, our team can build custom scenes for a product rather than allowing preview float in a space, which is the most simple implementation.

A realistic touch can be made for phone cases 3d preview, t-shirt 3d preview, mugs, cups, USB drives and a number of various products one can imagine.

Want a 3D Product Preview implemented for your project? Gather up a bit of information and let us know:

  1. Version of a product you are already using or planning to use. Applicable versions are LiveArt HTML5, LiveArt Shop and LiveArt Lite;
  2. A product type you would like to enable 3D preview for - t-shirt, cup, mug, banner, notebook, jewellery etc.
  3. Any additional preferences to controls or scene itself.

Today the personalization comes out of 2-dimensional into complete 3D, where one can 3D print small applicable things like phone cases. A 3D Product Preview or designer would benefit much to further augmented feeling of designing and engagement as well as customer love. Happy online designing!

 

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.

Shopping Cart Integrated iPad Ready Online Product Designer Tool

The overwhelming growth of personalized product sales leads to the fact that more people are looking for ways to personalize and purchase goods from their mobile devices. At LiveArt, we are providing LiveArt HTML5 online product software that is fully iPad compliant and would please your customers with the ability of mobile personalization. There are several reasons why mobile online product designer is more customer-oriented than non-compatible one.

ipad compatible online product designer

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1. Mobile users will be able to order your personalized products. Finally.

Visitors that are coming to your website and not seeing immediate ability to personalize their product would be likely to quit it within a split second. Providing ability to open product personalization tool from ipad is essential to retain such users and converting them to your customers. If your present product designer is based on Adobe Flash technology, ipad users will not be able to load it.

2. Mobile users are more likely to checkout.

The more simple, the better. Our iPad compliant designer is made with simplicity in mind leaving only the most basic and required features for website visitors. Using the tool users can quickly select personalization products, add text, modify its options, upload or add artwork images from the gallery, review the order details, and save the order. Saving user design takes just a few seconds and they will be ready to checkout and pay!

3. Mobile is the new sexy.

Paraphrasing the popular meme “smart is the new sexy”, mobile users nowadays constitute over 20% of overall visitors of the common eCommerce website. It becomes up to shop owners whether to gain access to this audience making them part of their customers. According to Gartner 2013 prediction reports, the audience of mobile users will continue to rise up to 40% in the next few years.

Taking into account the above reasons and additional concerns we hear from our customers, we have designed a product that is open source and customizable than ever. For instance, you can easily change labels to a different language, hide features if you don’t need them at the moment, and integrate easily with sample PHP code. Don’t waste your time on custom development, grab a demo from us, and learn how you can reach your mobile users easily.