Powering up a turn-key online business for a startup that sells printed artwork

18 November 2019
Powering up a turn-key online business for a startup that sells printed artwork
See how a Canadian startup “Off the Wall on the Fence” utilized Customer's Canvas integration to kick-off online store based on the Shopify E-commerce platform.

The idea: Launch a turn-key online business

Off the Wall On the Fence company founders had an idea for a new business that was based on their own expertise in the areas of marketing and large format printing.

Our idea was literally conceived in our own backyard. Because we had access to high-quality printing presses, we were producing printed artwork to decorate our bare, boring fences. When people would come over to visit us they would comment, saying that they had never seen backyard art like this before. And what really resonated with them was the fact that we were reproducing our own iPhone pictures of vacations, family, etc. and that the prints themselves were weatherproof. They could stay out in all four Canadian seasons with all of our weather extremes, and they did not have to be taken down to be preserved
Lisa Hartley, Founder and CEO at Off the Wall On the Fence

Lisa and her team had a vision for a turn-key online business where customers could upload their own images, or choose from an image bank, then edit and send them for printing. The end product would be shipped to their door with simple hanging instructions.

About the Company

Off the Wall On the Fence is a Canadian company, founded in 2018 and built on a foundation of over 30 years of experience in brand and marketing strategy, printing, production and professional installation.

The challenge: How do you build something like this?

In the beginning, they thought they could work with web developers to build something like this themselves. They briefed and interviewed a number of web developers, but it soon became obvious that it would be prohibitive for them to try to build it from scratch. In the interim, their printing partner had a relationship with a major printing company who had some of the digital elements they were looking for.

However, after extensive exploration, we realized we needed a more robust, user-friendly solution that would also integrate seamlessly with Shopify, our chosen e-commerce provider
Lisa Hartley, Founder and CEO at Off the Wall On the Fence
They asked a lot of questions of different web developers and experts in the field, but ultimately, it was through an online search that Lisa found Customers Canvas. Everything that they were looking for and that represented their vision was there - from features like uploading, editing, and access to an image bank to an easy user experience. The fact that Customers Canvas also had a small business solution and could integrate with Shopify sealed the deal for the company.

Artwork collections gallery
Artwork collections gallery

The solution: The online editor with Depositphotos image gallery

The Off the Wall On the Fence online storefront is based on Shopify, meaning that the project required tight integration with the e-commerce platform in order for customers to use the online editor without leaving the website. Customer’s Canvas has a special connector that enables the online personalization workflow on Shopify-based storefronts and eliminates the need for creating a custom integration for each project.

Custom outdoor artwork
Custom outdoor artwork
An option selector was embedded into the design editor to make customization more user-friendly. Each change that a customer makes is immediately reflected on the canvas, giving them instant visual feedback. In addition to different product mockup options (rounded corners, standoffs, frames), users may choose the product size. The online editor automatically changes the design template and adjusts the image dimensions.

To boost the client’s creative freedom, a Customer’s Canvas integration with Depositphotos was implemented. Users may select an image from millions of stock images that can be accessed with a quick search.

Online editor for custom outdoor products
Online editor for custom outdoor products

The main challenge of this project was to make the whole process seamless for clients. Customer’s Canvas UI Framework technology was implemented to configure the user interface and create a two-step wizard to create the design and approve the final result.

After the personalization process has been completed and the order has been approved by a customer, the online editor sends the order’s details back to Shopify along with the print-ready file.

Word from the client:

Since we were building our infrastructure at the same time as finding Customers Canvas, we really built our site around the Customers Canvas solution. The integration process overall has been quite seamless. The team has been highly responsive both to us and our web developer. As with any new process, we encountered issues along with the way but this is to be expected.

If we noticed an editing element missing we would reach out to the team and within a few days or less, the issue was fixed. Because the team there is focused on solutions, we have never encountered a situation where we have been told “no”. We have always been able to work with the team to solve any issue. Our web developer has also commented several times on the high level of responsiveness and willingness to work with us. For a small business, that kind of service level is essential to help us achieve our goals.

Would you recommend Customer’s Canvas web-to-print software to someone else?

Absolutely without question. It really has been an amazing experience.

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