We’ve established in a few of our previous posts that having a website with ecommerce capabilities is an important part of being a successful printer provider in 2021. In brief; buying habits are steadily shifting, with more and more retail and business purchases being made through web to print storefronts. These capabilities will allow you consistently acquire new leads, impress prospective corporate clients, and improve retention of your larger accounts. You can read more about that here.
However there are a lot of other features that as a print provider your website must have in order to make life easier for you and your clients.
1. Ability to easily manage file uploads
Having a consistent and easy to understand method to manage file uploads is a key part of any web to print endeavor. Providing this functionality directly to your clients means you and your staff can always instruct people to visit your website when it comes to providing large artwork files. Stop directing new and prospective clients away from your website!
The file upload process must be intuitive, with clients and your staff able to upload and associate files with order items before checkout as well as active orders. You want your prepress team to have access to up to date and correct files today, with the confidence that they can easily reference them on a reorder years down the line.
A great web to print system will give you links you can share with a client to upload files directly to an active order, and will make it easy for staff to attach files a client has provided via another source.
2. Provide a robust process for Custom Quotes and Estimates
Print jobs are often custom by nature, and although a good web to print system will provide a price engine capable of delivering live price rates on complex products, a great web to print will make it quick and easy for your clients to purchase custom estimates online. Making it easy for a client to request and receive a custom estimate for their project is and always will be an important part of the web to print process.
At the advent of the internet these needs started to be served more and more through forms hosted on the printers website. Today you’re not getting the most out of your website if you’re serving prospective and current clients a long “catch all” form; a custom quote form will get more requests if it is smart, and has fields automatically filled based on the client and what product they were interested in.
it’s important that your custom quote form is versatile, and just the beginning of a more robust quote and estimate system. Custom quotes in your web to print system must make it easy to quickly respond with a variety of automatically calculated estimates, with clients able to download and share a PDF of their quote, in addition to proceeding with their purchase immediately upon receipt.
Quote requests should be easy to view in a dashboard, easy for you to track win / losses, and even automatically attribute them to specific salespeople if necessary.
3. Downloadable artwork templates
Getting print ready files from new retail clients is much easier if you have a variety of artwork templates available for them to access. Giving your clients artwork templates to adjust will make the entire ordering process more streamlined.
Having artwork templates set up to your specifications available will:
- Reduce errors
- Reduce prepress time
- Reduce processing time
- Reduce inquiries back and forth
- Make sure you receive files that are setup to your specs
You can provide a page which contains all of the artwork templates you offer, in addition to offering them on your product content pages. The PressCentric system already comes preloaded with hundreds of different artwork templates for your clients to download and use immediately.
4. Online price calculators for simple and complex products
Being in a position to offer live pricing on certain products is an important part of ecommerce for printers. We hear often that printers don’t want to open themselves up to those making price comparisons, but giving live price rates will simply cut down on the number of dead end inquiries while opening up purchases from online clients who prefer to buy local.
If you are still against publishing your pricing online, you can easily make it private and available to registered, or even selected / approved clients. Our system gives you the flexibility to set up whichever way you want.
The final price of a print product can be hard to calculate ahead of time, and this can often limit an ecommerce print site to offering only watered down versions of their product line. A good web to print system will allow you to also offer complex products, with a variety of finishing options and media to choose from.
Multi-page, large format, different binding options and cover stocks; giving live pricing on complex products can really increase sales and free up your estimator's time to focus on larger projects.
There will always be customers that want to shop around, and compare prices. Your web to print system should give you control over who can see pricing, and ensure your website is in line with your overall pricing strategy.
5. Exhaustive FAQ section
Your FAQ section is an important resource for prospective clients, and should explain everything from file submission guidelines to turnaround times. Here’s a couple of reasons why having an exhaustive FAQ section will help you succeed:
- Clients will be far less hesitant to order if they know what to expect.
This includes not only letting them know about turnaround times and other details, but also what happens if something goes wrong with an order, what your refund policy is, how to get the best artwork to you etc.
- You will have a much higher chance of resolving disputes in your favor.
Your FAQ page should contain as much useful content as possible, be easy to navigate and also SEO optimized so search engines are likely to drive curious clients your way.
The PressCentric web to print system makes sure your website is delivering all this and more. We’ve got a wealth of tools and resources available to print service providers looking to improve their web presence, and make ecommerce a healthy part of their business.
Contact us today for a free demo and consultation with one of our web to print specialists.