Differences between online store and web-to-print
From the beginning of my work in Key2Print I came across many companies that began their online sales adventure with universal online shops (such as Shoplo, OpenCart, etc.). This is not a bad solution, but it is certainly very inconvenient for both the owner and the customer.
The key is that sale of printing products requires a custom-made system. Universal solutions are sufficient, but only for less complex issues.
Entering the products – Time is money
Business owners that are using universal solutions have problems with adapting them to their specific business. A wise man once said that there is no glue that sticks everything, but there are many that do not stick anything. Problems start early on, during adding the product, because this process requires a lot of patience. Universal systems do not have any features to expedite the entering of printing products. It is easy to imagine how much time you would spend to enter a booklet in dozens of configurations manualy. And remember that time is money. In Web-to-Print software case, process of adding the product is simple and fast. Key2Print software includes tools to simplify entering prints of all kinds, from business cards to large format, book labels, t-shirts and other gadgets. These tools are tailored to the specifics of printing and they fully automate the process of defining the printing house product range.
Presentation of products and the possibility of their parameterization is extremely important for every printing house customer. For some it must be easy and uncomplicated. Others, advertising agencies in particular, know their stuff and expect many choices. Imagine that the agency is seeking for a contractor of complex advertising materials. If the printing house and its online customer service system does not meet the requirements of the agency, it will lose the agency as a customer forever. Why is that? It happens, because in this agency responsible for the order is a statistical internet user! He can and want to spend no more than 8 seconds to decide whether to make a purchase on the site, or go to another page. Therefore! Let us all remember about the comfort of our customers first.
Most Web-to-Print systems has features that define the production process. This is not included in a universal solutions. The entire production process is monitored by the Key2Print system. At the beginning the system starts with the Preflight system that validates uploaded files. This feature checks whether the project complies with the specification and is suitable for production. In the following steps, the order goes into production. Key2Print software monitor the implementation process and inform the customer about the next stages of the process, until the last phase of the process, when the finished product gets into the hands of a courier.
For the opinion on the differences between universal online store and a dedicated solution, also about the future of W2P we asked the co-founder of Key2Print company – Dominic Szulim.
1. What Web to Print software features will be particularly developed in the future?
It is very important that the implementation of the Web to Print software does not change the chosen course of action and strategy of the company. Therefore it is essential that the software features not only allows us to gain new customers but also to better the servis of the old ones. Certainly working on new Web to Print solutions should proceed in the direction to simplify the orders circulation. I can not imagine working with individual customer (b2c) based on file transfer and exchanging emails. Therefore, one of the features to which we pay special attention is Online Graphic Designer. In Key2Print we watch the mobile market very carefully, because we know that new applications offer interesting opportunities and create entirely new markets. Key2Print has very extensive plans to implement a mobile application.
2. What we should pay attention to when choosing a W2P software?
For me, Web to Print is not only a software, in Key2Print we pay enormous attention to support in the implementation pocess and business-marketing assistance. Even the best software is not enough to guarantee the success of a printing house. Cooperation between the Web to Print development company and a printing house is a necessity. Web to Print software should also be ajusted to mobile devices. The ability to instantly and conveniently check the prices at any time is very important.
3. Which integrations of W2P system are most important for printing houses?
Printing houses should mainly consider that integration which is implemented in their own company. If a printing house is using the ERP or MIS software to manage their business then they must choose a Web to Print provider that provides the possibility of integrating these systems. From the experience of our customers, we know that this is the most important level of integration. This integration makes it easier to succeed. Combining all systems into one will facilitate the production and sales.
4. What is (in your opinion) the most important difference between W2P and a universal online store (shoplo, home.pl etc.)?
At first it may seem to us that a universal online store will be a sufficient solution. However, very often a universal solutions can discourage both the business owner and customer. The deeper we go into the subject and the more we spend time configuring the more clearly we can see that the universal solution has many shortcomings. Web to Print must be a direct transfer of company’s offer and it’s philosophy.
Summary of the above considerations I present below in a tabular form:
|software implementation||flexible, full support||difficult to fit, no SUPPORT|
|offers implementation||fully automatic, unit calculation, thousands of configurations||manual, no parametrization, limited space on the server, standard products|
|order processing||uploader checking files – Preflight, customize order statuses, order monitoring||standard status|
|production management||full production process monitoring||no link to production|
|additional features||Reseller Option,, service orders offline, WeeZee wizard on-line, the integration of ERP and MIS,|