Even though web-to-print software is often looked upon as a need of the printer looking forward to sell his products online, it is not meant for the printers to use it themselves, first hand. It’s their customers who are to use the web-to-print software to design their desired products. There are three parties typically involved around the web-to-print software whose perspective you need to understand to able to succeed in the web-to-print industry.
What does the customer want?
Customers don’t care about technicality behind the software as long as it works for them. Most of the bulk orders come from companies ordering their marketing merchandise, so their employees just care about the product, their business requirements, promotions, and other priorities. All in all, they want their work/order process to be easy, cost-effective, convenient, and timely.
What is your role as printer?
As a printer, you are responsible for ensuring that your customers are getting all that they are looking for. You need to create more differentiation in the market and be efficient in all terms.
What does the software provider want?
Pretty much obvious, their job is to sell as many software as they want. They are selling their product to the printer so they emphasis on all the features their software has to offer. Printers often get carried away by the lure of features and lose focus on what their customers really want.
If you also plan to plunge into web-to-print business, it’s important for you to know whether or not your customer is able to use the software as best as they should. When you are set to invest on web-to-print software for your store, you need to be in the customer's shoes to decide what works best for them. For that, you will first need to understand web-to-print from customer’s point of view. In the rest of the blog we have tried to cover the aspects you need to look at to understand customer needs better.
What are the Customer challenges that need to be taken care of?
To find the solution to any problem, you need to figure out the glitch first. Try to understand what problems your customers are facing. Don’t guess problems and blindly launch the solution for it. Customers’ feedback can be useful in figuring out the shortcomings. Try to involve your employees and close family and friends to point out where you are lacking or what might be done to make the work easier. Make sure that every day functions are easy enough for your customers, which includes the ease of ordering and tracking order history even when it’s a personalized item.
Is the software user friendly?
Now the most important point, how easy is your software to use? Would your customers be able to design their products without going through a manual or a set of instructions? Don’t get hundreds of features into your product designing tool without checking if your customers even want or can use those features. Designing a product shouldn’t be posed as a challenge in front of them. It should be easy, fun, and interesting at the same time.
Customers are the ultimate source of your income, hence it doesn’t matter how you find the web-to-print software or how the vendor advertises it. The only thing you need to keep in mind while you invest in your web-to-print software is the requirements and capabilities of your potential customers.
Shopping trends of consumers have witnessed a drastic change in the last few years. Lately, as people are more comfortable buying customized products online, web to print technology and process is getting more popular with ecommerce business owners. But without proper knowledge and experience of both the technology and the printing process, business owners are more prone to making mistakes than they realize. Sometimes they buy the wrong software, sometimes get into the wrong product category without understanding the complete printing and fulfillment process and the costs involved.
In this blog, we have come up with the top 5 web-to-print mistakes aspiring web-to-print entrepreneurs generally make and how to avoid them.
PLUNGING INTO IT WITHOUT STRATEGY
There is no business without a well planned strategy. It is difficult to attain business objectives without specifying why you are investing in that segment. Your strategy should clearly include your specific category of product, how you are going to arrange the buying and selling, and what results you expect at the end of the day, month, and years to come. When you know the answers to these, you can weave your business functions around these to focus on your business goals and achieving them systematically.
GETTING A LICENSE FOR SOFTWARE AND HOSTING IT YOURSELF
Though businesses start with an aim to build something great and unique, they fail most of times and result in wastage of useful resources which could have been exploited elsewhere. Building good software is a challenge which might divert you from your actual business goals. A SaaS based web-to-print solution may solve most of your problems and eliminate your requirement to manage a critical IT project.
INVESTING IN THE WRONG SOLUTION
Your web-to-print solution is a vital part of your online store. If your customers are unable to design their products effortlessly and are left with a few options, your business will be affected drastically. To ensure the smooth functioning of your business you need to invest in an effective web-to-print tool which not only is easy to use but also provides an array of options to your customers to design their desired products.
PURCHASING OUTDATED SOFTWARE
Exactly the thing we started with, but with a different perspective. Technology is changing and coming up with new variations everyday so whatever you are buying for your business ensure it’s the latest version but not something that isn’t available yet but promises to be available sometime later with tomorrow’s technology. You cannot forecast anything called ‘tomorrow’s technology’. Invest in a web-to-print software that is available at the moment instead of holding your business operations.
WRONG TARGET MARKET
The market or the section of customers you are targeting online forms an important part of your business strategy. Moving online doesn’t mean you have to change your target customers. You can keep it business to business if you are dealing with that offline as well or keep it open to any customer who might be looking for a similar product you are offering. In both cases, know your customers well and plan your promotions and marketing relevant to them.
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Personalized products is undoubtedly an emerging trend in ecommerce and judging by the positive response it has been getting from customers around the globe, it’s not something that is going to fade away sometime soon. With the popularity of online shopping and people getting more confident buying online, personalized products are now much easier to design, order and receive. If you haven’t yt considered adding personalized products to your store, now is the best time for some action. So, what should you start with and how? How about targeting mobile or laptop users? That’s about everyone you can say. People love to personalize their gadgets and there’s a brilliant scope in letting them design their own skins and covers. In this blog, we have covered up in brief how you can sell custom designed skins and covers online.
STEP 1: SETUP YOUR STORE/SEGMENT
If you have a traditional printer, you just need to setup an ecommerce store to market and sell your products. Showcase your range of products with pictures and other information and let your customers order directly from the online store. If you already have a store, you can just launch a segment to sell customized skins and covers.
STEP 2: MANAGE YOUR LOGISTICS
If you are sourcing the products from other manufacturers and printers, you need to manage how much time they will take to customize and dispatch a product and how you are going to redirect it to your customers within the promised time. If you are producing the goods yourself, just invest on an efficient shipping partner and you are good to go.
STEP3: INVEST IN A PRODUCT DESIGNER
If you have a Magento store, your work gets simpler. You just need a Magento Custom Product Designer to let your customers design the products of their choice. It should have a commendable user interface and a whole lot of features to let your customers design unique products. You might decide to further expand your personalized store, so make sure you invest in a product designer which works for other products too.
A products designer forms the foundation of a personalized products business so you need to be most careful about this one. It shouldn’t complicate the process for your customers, just after designing the products; it should be followed up by the same checkout process as for other general goods.
Three simple steps and you are ready to earn some extra revenue from your online store. The benefits of selling custom skins and covers online do not only include this. You have more buyers to reach compared to your traditional business and the operational costs is reduced to a significant level as store maintenance and related expenses are almost cut off. Additionally, your business gets recognition and you can expect to be a brand in the market if it goes well. If you are an online store owner or plan to indulge into some ecommerce selling, you should take this decisively and plunge into it before it gets more competitive.
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It has not been very long since the advent of ecommerce but within a very limited time, it has managed to establish itself as the first shopping option for many people around the world. With each passing day, more and more people are moving towards online shopping and making it an integral part of their lifestyle. In spite of the popularity it has gained, online shopping is still an urban trend and a sector which has seen the trend at its peak is the gifting segment. Urban people are increasingly moving towards ecommerce as their first choice for sending gifts. In this blog, we will try to extricate and discuss the points that revolve around the trend.
Why online gifting is feasible for urban people?
Lack of personal time
Urban lives revolve around work and a whole lot of work. People have very less personal time in which they want to rest, be with very close people, or plan for more work. So they find it feasible to buy online gifts as it doesn’t require them to invest time to go out and search for a nice and relevant gift.
It’s cost effective as they get to save their time and efforts and still get the best possible gift online. They can browse through different stores within a few clicks and get the best deal.
Geographical barriers between people
Urbanization has certainly increased the physical distance between people. People often move in search of jobs and work so even though closely related, people live far from each other. Ecommerce comes to their rescue then. No matter where in the world, customers can send online gifts to their loved ones.
How the gifting trends are changing?
It’s only that people prefer online gifting, that happened quite a time ago. Now the trend has moved to personalized gifts. Let’s try to understand the reasons behind it.
People prefer customized goods to ordinary ones
There’s some psychology behind this. There was a trend when people liked to gift handmade gifts to each other that was because of the idea of a personal touch to the gift. Now that people have no time to make handmade gifts and have technological options which can let them do so, they prefer it to other ordinary gifts.
Customers want to make up for personal absence
It’s difficult to meet the person concerned the same day that is supposed to be special for them for multiple reasons. But people want their gifts to reach them the same day and online gifting provides them the facility to do so. Therefore, they prefer online gifting. In case of personalized gifting, getting a gift get done from the traditional printer and send it to the concerned person is hectic while online gifting makes it really easy, affordable, and full of options.
How you can benefit from it?
As a store owner, you can bag this trend as an opportunity to earn more revenues. If you already have a Magento based online store dealing in gift items, you just need to add a segment that sells personalized gifts and you will definitely see your sales graph rising significantly. All you need to do is to manage logistics if you are to source the products from another seller and invest in an efficient Magento personalized product extension. And hola! You are all set to give a whole new dimension to your ecommerce business and fill up your bags with additional revenues.
Mr. Pratik Shah is the Creative Head of Brush Your Ideas, a Web-to-Print technology solution offering consisting of magento product designer extension and readymade Web-to-Print Storefront. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid blogger and writes about ecommerce and web-to-print industry.