People were hardly getting used to the fever of the web when another wave struck them quite unexpectedly. Yes, we are talking about the use of mobile devices which spread like a wildfire. It not only affected practices on the part of the users but all those business owners who migrated or launched new businesses on the web. The popularity of online businesses as a whole is quite obvious now and not something we are going to discuss here. In this article, we will talk about the transition of the print business and try to understand what will be more popular in the future: Web-to-print or mobile-to-print?
Online shopping became a trend quite within a short span of time. Almost all kind of businesses can now be seen on the web and they are doing pretty well. It’s not until recent that the print businesses also made a transition online to tap into the huge network of customers connected through the internet. But before it could even reach the acme of its success, other businesses started to migrate to mobile applications. Quite a few printers are also trying the formula of mobile applications to provide personalized products to their customers. So now a printer not only has competition on the web, but will also need to compete with mobile applications as well. But is it just a fad or do mobile-to-print apps have a better future than web-to-print websites? Choosing between web-to-print and mobile-to-print can be quite difficult and confusing.
There are many technologies introduced everyday that claim to offer mobile services for print merchandise. But the truth is that nobody actually understands the print businesses as the printers do. Printers have firsthand experience of clients and their expectations. But now is the time they can’t avoid knowing about the web-to-print technology and how the market is changing in its presence.
A web-to-print software generates print-ready files that can be modified and sent out for processing and printing. It doesn’t require the customer to know any designing or software usage. On the other hand, mobile-to-print is similar but the web-based-application is replaced by a mobile based application. A good number of businesses are doing really well with the help of mobile applications but can one size fit all?
Counting the limitations of mobile apps, the first one is that they work differently for mobiles running on Android or iOS. Also, it’s difficult to design as well as check proof of the final designs of large formats prints including flyers, brochures, and other large prints. Apart from these hurdles, there are some other points to consider as well. The size of the file, bandwidth, the battery life of the device, and internet connectivity plays a great role. And a mobile device cannot match up with bigger devices like laptops in this case. Though every store owner wants consumers to have their apps, it’s practically impossible to keep running so many apps within the device. Hence, consumers are selective about the apps they keep in their phones. They either use it for social networking or a communicating device. At most, they will have a couple of shopping apps from the leading brands.
As a printer, if you are considering additional platforms for your customers to order merchandise, first judge yourself on how well you are already doing. If your web-to-print is implemented well and attracting a lot of orders, then you can mull over the addition of one more technology. But if it’s not doing great, then we suggest you to not divert your resources to other things. Rather, work upon offering a good web-to-print service and increasing your revenues as a priority.
To sum it up, mobile-to-print can only be successful as a branch of your web-to-print technology. Mobile revolution may work for other businesses, but for print business, web-to-print will be the first choice for a long time to come. Once you are done with exploring your web-to-print and earning enough customers, you can move towards mobile-to-print for added benefits.
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.