Don’t let The Grinch steal Christmas: why choosing the wrong web-to-print provider could result in a bleak mid-winter
While it might be the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas can be stressful for many of us. There are the Christmas lights to put up, presents to buy and wrap, as well as preparing for a visit from the in-laws.
And those are just the jobs that you need to get done at home! On top of that, for many of us in the print, packaging and label industries it’s the busiest time of year. It seems that every customer suddenly needs their print jobs completed before the holidays, purely because it’s an arbitrary deadline.
Christmas stress rather than Christmas joy
Typically, you’ve got staff off either on annual leave or unwell in bed, fighting winter flu. In short, it can feel that demand soars precisely when you’re least able to cope with it. Rather than feeling seasonal joy, you’re feeling more like The Christmas Grinch and can’t wait for this time of year to be over.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With an integrated web-to-print solution, you can automate your entire workflow. So rather than rushing around like Santa, trying to get orders out right up to the wire, you could relax with a glass of eggnog, in front of a roaring fire, enjoying ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.
But what’s that you say? You asked Santa for a web-to-print platform last year and rather than getting a seamless workflow, that would make the elves jealous, your production line is dominated by gremlins.
So, when writing your web-to-print wish list, what exactly should you be looking for, to ensure The Grinch doesn’t steal Christmas?
Get your workshop up and running
With the most advanced web-to-print platforms you can quickly create online storefronts, even with limited design experience. These can be easily populated with products and design templates for practically any printable surface.
With our powerful editing tools, customers can design and order personalised mugs, t-shirts and packaging; while Santa can even design his own go-faster decals for the sleigh.
For corporate clients, you can lock-in design elements to ensure brand consistency, and for consumers, you can offer maximum personalisation flexibility.
With the SEO capabilities of the leading web-to-print platform, you can ensure your B2C storefronts are easily found online, from London to Lapland. With B2B portals you can make it easier than ever for your corporate and franchise clients to re-order products, while having complete control of budgets and branding consistency.
Make automation the new Christmas tradition
By integrating with other systems (from pre-flighting software and MIS, to your CRM, to payment gateways and shipping providers) there is no need to re-key data.
At Infigo we offer a number of dedicated and generic APIs, through our Connect modules. This means data is passed to and from all systems and hardware in the workflow. So you could be taking, proofing and printing orders, even on days when you’re off the shopfloor, opening presents with the family.
Embrace The Ghost of Christmas Future
The fact is, our shopping habits have completely changed. Not only are we shopping online in greater numbers (whether we are buying groceries or graphics for our business) but we all want greater control in all aspects of our customer journey.
We want a tailored experience (seeing a web page that has products based on our previous buying habits for example), we want to be able to personalise whatever it is we’re buying.
When it comes to print jobs, we’re seeing a shift to greater individual volumes rather than large volumes of the same print job. We call it “1,000,000 x1 rather than 1x 1,000,000”.
So, to make sure The Grinch doesn’t steal your Christmas, when assessing web-to-print providers, consider:
- Is the platform integrable with all the other systems you need it to connect with to provide full automation?
- How secure is the system? What processes and systems does the vendor have in place to protect yours and your client’s data?
- Is the platform scalable? Can it cope with the inevitable growth generated through e-commerce?
- Is it flexible? Can you create a range of portals and storefronts for different types of clients with different products and customers?
- Is it simple to use? Can you easily replicate storefront structure and design for similar clients?
- Does it have strong branding capabilities, whether that’s creating eye-popping B2C brands or creating a portal that’s indistinguishable from a client’s other assets?
- Does it have easy-to-understand SEO capabilities so customers can easily find you online?
- Does it create mobile responsive sites that not only look good on a smartphone but are also as intuitive to use as the desktop version?
Enjoy The Gift of Time this Christmas
For a more detailed look at how web-to-print can streamline your workflow, help reduce overheads, increase profits, and create new revenue streams, download our white paper: The Gift of Time.