Print Marketplace – The Holy Land for Printers, Print Brokers and Customers
As per market forecasting studies, the global printing industry is expected to reach a value of $980 billion by the end of 2018. The digital share of the whole market is anticipated to double in terms of value from 9.5 percent in 2008 to 19.7 percent by 2018. Around 50 percent of print providers have invested in web-to-print solutions, numbers which represent a growth of 68 percent. Also, 70 percent of print service providers in U.S.A. have invested in a fully functional e-commerce system.
Let’s understand what Web-to-Print is exactly. It is a way to offer B2C (retail) and B2B (corporate) clients easy ordering and personalized services. A majority of the growth in this industry is driven by digital printing rather than analogue printing. Although there are definite signs of the digital revolution having wormed its way into the technical foundation of the industry, the influence of the online medium in the upper reaches are just slowly becoming visible.
The way in which e-commerce platforms are emerging as the new and advanced launch-pads for print service providers, Web-to-Print is becoming the next big trend in the economy. The importance of Web-to-Print is rising on a consistent basis in today’s technology-driven world. More than a need, it has become mandatory for survival. Over time, this business has become quite popular among consumers and the reason is understandable. Web-to-Print is a domain which thrives on improved accessibility to better printing services for customers. Add a bit of magic dust to the mixture, and you find that print service providers are using e-commerce marketplaces to develop new and improved printing techniques.
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Why Should You Use Web-to-Print Solutions?
Web-to-Print or the digital print marketplace in general is a network that brings print re-sellers, graphic designers, vendors, and print service providers onto a single centralized platform. These platforms act as a common middle ground between customers and printers, while also providing major benefits such as cost reduction, service reliability, mobility, and end-user productivity. Let’s go beyond the anticipatory statements and get right to the core of where all of this goodness comes from.
From the Printer’s Perspective
Simplify Print Orders
Web-to-Print marketplaces take away a lot of pressure from businesses. One of the main reasons for this alleviation of pressure is the fact that service ordering can be made much simpler and convenient through these platforms. Imagine placing the reins of the ordering process directly in the hands of the customers, enabling them to directly choose the type of design they want and personalize it according to their preferences. The online interface on these marketplaces cum portals can allow them to choose from multiple templates, designs, campaign types, banner types, promotional materials, and many more activities. This way the customers can ensure complete control and consistency in their orders. The best part about this process is that does not involve printer at all. This can allow the printers to focus on exploring new opportunities on the business front and improve core functionalities strategically.
Increase Business Productivity
Before print brokers starting peddling their trade, the printer and the client wasted a lot of time in coming to a mutual conclusion as far as the specifications of the print order were concerned. The process was time-consuming and required constant effort from both parties to reach the desired result. There was a lot of friction between the client and the printer, mistakes were blown out of proportion, miscommunication was rife, and all this negatively affected the overall potential of the process. The emergence of print vendor solutions means that every process can be taken online. Print order and delivery is the only physical process conducted in today’s time, when platforms have pushed away individual brokers and offline stores, taking their place as the go-to solution for print service ordering. All these changes in terms of overall effort put into the process, has the improved the likelihood of businesses increasing their profitability and efficiency to large extent. Therefore, the use of Web-to-Print solutions has improved workflow, increased online visibility for printers and simplified client-printer transactions as well.
From the Customer’s Perspective
Make Use of the Convenience
Web-to-Print solutions are all about convenience. Customers no longer have to arrange meetings with printers and explain them their needs and ideas. Digital printing stores avail potential customers with an online catalog of products. This allows them to easily order their design from home or office, making the selection process around the design much more direct and efficient. The process is flexible and convenient as customers can choose the design of their interest and place the order online while hinting at the urgency of delivery as well. The other best thing about printing marketplace solutions is that they can help in changing and altering their order even at the last moment. Imagine the nightmare born out of doing this with traditional printer solutions! Customers can monitor the progress of their order online and reap the benefits of the flexibility that comes with being able to adjust quality, shipping locations, and delivery dates.
An implementation of Web-to-Print solutions can double or triple the sales of the business depending on the industry. The e-commerce system has the possibility of considerably improving Web-to-Print sales and profitability for printers from all walks of ink. What this means for customers on the other hand, is a high degree of customizability as well as affordability in terms of payment. The cost for order processing is comparatively cheaper for an e-commerce system. The average online cost for a single print order is $3.80 while a retail transaction can be anywhere upwards of $21. The main reason behind the change in costing is the competitive advantage that these platforms offer to printing companies. It is said that the e-commerce business has grown by six times in U.S. since 2000. If we look beyond the mere placidity of this statement, we can reach towards the reason behind why this sector has managed to garner such momentum. Statistics suggest that 66 percent of print providers who use e-commerce systems have inculcated the power of automation and streamlined workflow to a large extent.
From Print Broker’s Perspective
Whether it is 250 business cards or 10,000 flyers, traditional print workflow is time-consuming. On the other hand, a Web-to-Print marketplace has the chance to complete the same work in just a few stages. Hence, the time between order submissions to final delivery is reduced to a large extent with Web-to-Print services, making it ideal for tight deadlines. Moreover, with trade printer solutions, print brokers can seamlessly navigate through the vast maze of competition by allowing the customers to enjoy the best solutions at customizable rates. In today’s world, smartphones and tablets have become the standard form of communication. This increased accessibility allows customers to design and order marketing material from their mobile device on-the-go.
Evolution of Technology
In a sector where the previous scenario involved development of a customer base by ruthless expansion, print brokers had to opt for the traditional route of coordinating with wholesalers. But, with the evolution of technology, Web-to-Print solutions create a platform for printing businesses and customers where customers can efficiently coordinate for their desired printing service. The Internet has bridged the gap between online and offline printers. Here, the print broker get commission from both the parties and the better the quality they provide is, the more they are profited from this business. In the next five years, it is expected that there will be business growth of over $100 billion and every printing business will become a part of this system. The growing awareness of the internet and willingness of customers and businesses adds much more value to the print broker program.
Web-to-Print marketplaces are here to stay, and why not? It is going to revolutionize the printing service for both printers and customers. Web-to-Print solutions imbue the entire ordering process with a sharp hint of simplicity and subtlety. Web-to-Print solutions are converting print shop portals into e-commerce solutions, removing complexity on one hand and advancing the scope for innovation and technical expertise on the other.