Blog: 5 myths about web-to-print

Posted on

5 myths about web-to-print which could be damaging your business

There’s a tongue in cheek mantra we use about the printing industry: the best time to invest in web-to-print was 10 years ago, and the second-best time is now. Because if there’s one thing that we’ve seen over the past 18 months, it is that printers using web-to-print were able to quickly react to the turmoil of Covid.

That’s because there has been a steady shift to e-commerce for both the B2B and B2C sectors over the last few years – a trend that’s massively accelerated due to the pandemic.

However, despite forecasts that 80% of all B2B sales interactions will take place online by 2025 and a 9.5% increase in e-commerce transactions over the last year, there are a number of reasons printers give for not investing in web-to-print.

In this blog, we bust the myths around web-to-print, so you can see how you can massively reduce production costs and increase sales across your print operation.


Myth #1: We are too small to need a web-to-print system

Have you heard of Gymshark? This gym-wear provider generated full-year revenues of £268 million last year. The company was formed in 2012 by two 19 year-olds as an e-commerce store with minimal start-up costs.

The company’s growth can be attributed to two factors – spotting the increasing demand for gym-wear and knowing that their target audience were increasingly buying online.

We can’t take credit for the success of GymShark but we have helped startups, such as Print My Smile launch and scale. No matter the size of your operation, web-to-print enables you to take orders 24/7, from anywhere in the world.

This means you can grow sustainably – as you expand, you can invest more in your web-to-print software, so it scales with you. Many of our clients have grown from offering a handful of products online to entering completely new markets– whether that’s personalised gifts or packaging for the artisanal food sector.

All through an investment that is significantly less than taking on extra staff.


Myth #2: Web-to-print means a high cost for our business

We may be biased, but web-to-print is an investment, not a cost. By integrating with other systems (from your MIS to your shipping provider), you can automate large parts of the workflow, which significantly reduces human interaction and production costs.

For example, a simple business card can be ordered by a customer, sent to print (after automated pre-flighting and proofing) and be ready for shipping, all while you’ve been sleeping or spending the weekend with your family.

With increased orders and reduced costs (which tend to build over time) an investment in web-to-print pays for itself, sometimes within months.


Myth #3: Our staff are busy now, we will look at web-to-print when we have more time and resource

There’s a saying that if you have six hours to cut down a tree, you should spend four of them sharpening your axe. The same could be said for web-to-print. A few months dedicated to investigating and implementing a system will reap huge rewards over the long term.

As your customers can easily place orders online, laborious tasks, such as responding to calls or emails, can be greatly reduced. Meaning that your teams can focus on more profitable tasks that need their expertise while the overall efficiency of you print operation is massively improved.

Many of our clients report that manual touchpoints in the workflow are reduced by at least 50% per order. Which is why our clients were able to keep the presses running, with less staff on the shop floor, despite social distancing and lockdown measures.


Myth #4: We like doing business our way, a web-to-print system would be a disturbance

Yes, it takes some experience in implementing and learning how to use web-to-print, for both you and your clients. While, admittedly some customers may prefer to use more traditional means of placing an order, these tend to be in the minority.

We are now in an environment where web-to-print is seen as standard, and printers who can’t offer an e-commerce solution are lagging behind. Obviously, you don’t want to alienate long-term clients, but you can identify which ones may be more inclined to order online and get them on-board first.

Or you could start by offering an e-commerce solution purely to new clients.

Either way, a reputable web-to-print provider will not only give you all the support and training you need, they will also help you sell the concept to clients.


Myth #5: We can’t have a storefront on a web-to-print system because we don’t have the skillset in house to build it

Common feedback we get from clients is how easy our web-to-print platform is to use. However, we provide dedicated training, whether it’s one person using the software or an entire team, to get your first storefront up and running.

Generally we advise that you have a ‘product champion’ who takes the lead on this. Often after the first build, self-confessed technophobes are able to set up additional storefronts unassisted.

We also provide ongoing support, training and a wide range of helpful articles through our help centre.

And if you really need us to, we can build the storefronts for you.


What are you still waiting for?

E-commerce is not a fad and as more millennials enter the workforce and have disposable income, it’s the preferred method of buying and selling. So get in touch to find out how you can gain a competitive advantage through web-to-print.