Web-to-print technology has been available in the market for quite some time. However, there is still some amount of uncertainty and hesitation amongst printers and traditional eCommerce players when it comes to adopting print commerce. This is majorly because there are several vendors offering this solution with different variations in the technology. Some providers sell the software packages at high prices while some offer SaaS solution, again at high prices. The price range for the same can fall anywhere between US$ 99 to US$ 6999. This creates a lot of confusion amongst the printers as to how to make the right choice.
But ingrained in the above problem are two more fundamental problems which are the real reasons why web-to-print business model is still not mainstream. In this blog we understand these problems and suggest some ways to overcome them.
Technology HurdleNot all web-to-print solutions available in the market are easy to use. Most of them have a steep learning curve involved and thus, become a major roadblock for offline printing businesses who are new to technology. Also, the sales professionals in these companies are reluctant in learning web-to-print technology. They are more concerned about printing and boosting the sales revenues the way they have always been doing. This creates issues making the business owners wonder whether they should invest in a web-to-print solution or spend time in expanding their business.
Investment HurdleNobody likes to buy the solution for the sake of it. When the ROI is not clearly outlined by the technology solution providers, nor understood by the businesses adopting the technology, it gets difficult for the such businesses to invest in this technology simply because someone else is or because it the up-and-coming “thing” in the market. Adopting web-to-print means you have to invest lot of money and resources and possibly even change your business processes radically. And not many would be willing to do it if they don’t see much gain from it.
Overcoming the HurdlesTo overcome the above hurdles you need to focus on some important points. Check whether you have done the needful before you decide to go for any web-to-print solution.
1. Know the fees: Do not buy a solution for which the rates are not clearly mentioned on the website. Zero down to the providers who are upfront about the charges of the solution.
2. Read the features: Know all about the features being provided by the software. Also think as to whether you will be able to work around the software based on the given features.
3. Get a demo: A live demo of the solution is must before you end up buying it. Say “No” to the providers who do not offer a demo of the software. Once you get a demo, you will get a better idea about working of the software.
4. Keep away from fraudsters: There are vendors who provide editing software solutions in the name of web-to-print and coax you into investing US$ 6999 for a lifetime. When you start using it, you get to know that it isn’t even worth using for a day. Save yourself from getting into such scams.
5. User-friendliness: It shouldn’t take you more than a week to understand the Web-to-Print solution you have purchased. It must recognize the basic language of print. If you think that it is too complicated, it is not a good idea to invest into it.
6. Ensure proper Training: Even before you purchase any solution you should have a training in place for your operational team. This training can either be provided by the technology provider or you can provide on your own. But be aware of the costs involved.
7. Align Your Processes: If you are adopting web-to-print, you should also modify your business processes to make the new system work. A new technology will not work properly with old systems and processes.
When it comes to choosing a web-to-print solution for your business, identifying a good one from bad is very important. It is necessary for you to have to have a basic overview of web-to-print technology and how it can help your business. Make sure you buy a solution through which you can actively manage and support online printing tasks.
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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.