Web-to-print for commercial printing: your game-changer for the digital age

The printing industry rarely stands still. Many factors are always in a state of change. New technologies, services, products, and market models are constantly emerging. There is another variable that we shouldn’t overlook: customers. Their needs, expectations, and loyalty are also changing to adapt to the growing digital transformation.

The trend of buying products online isn’t bypassing commercial print buyers. These companies are ordering business cards, promotional materials, catalogs, labels, and other print products for their business purposes.

This blog post will walk you through the demands these companies have for printing and how web-to-print can meet these demands.

The traditional ordering process requires an astronomical amount of work from both printers and businesses. Imagine a large company with a request for a thousand business cards for every employee, from John in marketing to the head of operations and everyone in between. It can get messy. What if you serve dozens of companies with similar requests? Well, things just got messier.

Shifting to web-to-print is a significant strategic move in transforming a printing company. Not only does it allow you to build a fully automated ordering process, but it also serves your clients evolving needs. The challenge to a printing business today isn’t just to meet these rising needs, but to continue to exceed them.

We’ve highlighted some common and important customer demands and invite you to delve into them.

Get orders faster

Everyone appreciates speed when ordering a product or service, whether it’s buying a pizza, applying for housecleaning services, or placing an order for printing business cards. When it comes to the latter, companies ordering printed products will prefer the provider that can execute this work in the shortest possible time.

Web-to-print caters to this demand through automation.

Web-to-print reduces the turnaround time during the printing process. Most providers will gain a ton of time and labor savings by automating the prepress and order processing stages.

Automation remains one of the best ways to reduce time, human error, and downtime. When implementing a web-to-print solution, print companies allow clients to order printed products on a self-service basis. W2P enables customers to create designs, save them, and make edits to them at any time. There is no need for prolonged interaction with print service providers. The process can be automated to place an order, create artwork, and even pay online. You can also save your clients’ designs in their private storefronts for reordering in the future.

Web-to-print automation

In one case, a web-to-print integration helped a commercial printing company save more than $50,000 per year through faster processing turnaround times, which led to increased productivity and reduced overall client project costs. It also significantly increased the level of customer satisfaction with the printing experience.

Help your clients with branding consistency

You’re sitting in front of the TV when your show cuts to a commercial. A man is running a marathon and overcoming obstacles as the text “Just do it.” flashes on-screen. You automatically know this is a Nike commercial. This is a vivid example of brand awareness.

Every company wants to be immediately recognized by its customers. This can be achieved by building brand consistency. Companies want to make sure that print marketing collateral, branded merchandise, and signage adhere to branding guidelines.

This is a crucial requirement for franchise owners. For these companies, it’s not enough to replicate the operations model that its parent company has implemented. They must also ensure brand consistency.

Web-to-print addresses this request as well.

You can help your clients preserve their unique brand identity by adjusting the behavior of design elements. Web-to-print solutions allow you to set up template restrictions.

Imagine that your client is a company in the fast-food industry that wants to boost customer loyalty and brand awareness through branded labels. The company doesn’t have a professional designer, so they need predesigned templates with restrictions. The positioning of the design elements is locked and the only options available to the company are uploading a logo to a pre-set placeholder and personalizing text areas. Implementing these types of restrictions makes it easier to achieve a professional-looking result and reach marketing goals.

Web-to-print for branding

It’s also possible to set restrictions for templates that will be used by your clients' subsidiaries. Let's say that your customer has a business in the restaurant industry with 100 franchisees. A company can have customized portals with individual logins for each of its franchisees. Moreover, you can provide the company with a user-friendly interface for ordering products based on predesigned and customized templates.

Give your clients the wow factor

We previously discussed brand consistency and its importance for brand awareness. Another way to draw in customers (end-users in this case) is to set your business apart from the competition by amazing them. Brands want to bring the wow factor to their customers. This is a tangible effect that has a significant impact on revenue growth. Companies that order printed products for their marketing purposes are no exception.

Web-to-print inspires creativity in customers with extra finishing options.

You can offer your customers even more opportunities for personalizing printed products online by adding post-press options like finishing and embellishment.

Let’s say that you sell brochures. A company visits your store for trade show brochures. This is a great marketing tool that should grab their prospects’ attention. The first essential element of a trade show brochure is its cover. The more vibrant and unique it is, the greater the chances are for success.

Foiling and embellishments

Increase your clients’ chances to stand out even more with foiling or other special finishing techniques. During the product personalization stage, companies will not only be able to add unique text and images but can also choose a gold or silver foiling option. The web-to-print solution will automatically pass this information on to your e-commerce platform with print-ready PDF files.

You can also inspire your customers by creating completely unique template libraries. Web-to-print empowers you to create, upload, and customize templates that fit every taste in advance. Companies can manage the template libraries in their private accounts. This reduces the time it takes to place an order since companies can simply repeat their previous orders and make any necessary changes independently without going back and forth with the printer.

Save your clients’ management resources

Let’s revisit our previous example where a company visited your store with a request for a thousand business cards for everyone from John in marketing to Sue in HR all the way up to the CEO. This is no small task and it can become further complicated when the company begins to scale its business by opening franchises.

Web-to-print provides opportunities for variable data printing.

Give your customers the power to manage the printing process. With variable data printing, you can open up new opportunities for your customers to implement mass print product personalization workflows.

Before variable data printing, if you wanted to send out a personalized print marketing campaign or, in our case, prepare individual business cards for employees, the pieces of mail would have to be customized individually. This took far too much time and the ROI was usually not worth the trouble.

VDP for business cards

A web-to-print integration helps companies focus on what really drives the business instead of wasting time ensuring someone’s email address is correct on one of hundreds of business cards. This saves tons of resource management hours.

Conclusion

Your customers want and expect the very best, and if you come up short, they’re happy to move on to the next option. B2B clients are pickier about choosing a print supplier and place high demands on quality and quick turnaround for printing. A web-to-print integration can be a winning solution that helps your company meet your current customers’ expectations as well as draw in new business.

If you feel motivated to elevate your workflow and draw more attention to your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information. We’re happy to help!

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