4 min read

Websites for Printers: Why every printer needs a web to print

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There are three principal reasons your printing business needs a web to print system:

  1. To improve customer retention
  2. To improve customer acquisition
  3. To improve productivity

Today we are going to discuss how to improve customer retention. We will be expanding upon these points in future 

Have you ever lost a large client to a competitor? We are often contacted by companies who have recently lost a client, a client that was responsible for a substantial portion of their business. And we hear that this client was tempted to give their business to the competitor because they had been offered additional services.

The mistake that the losing company has made here was treating their large corporate client like they were any other client. Essentially they would attempt to provide so-called “personalized service”, which meant that for each inquiry, for every single thing the large client needed to do, they would be forced to contact their printer by phone.

So whenever they needed the answer to simple questions such as:

  • “Where is my job”
  • “Can I get my invoice”
  • “Can I reorder this”
  • “How much would it cost to reorder 5000 of order 95, and 2000 of order 135”

They would have to pick up the phone and contact the printer directly.

This approach doesn’t work for larger print buyers. Larger companies will often have several people purchasing at the same time, with each individual requiring information immediately. These companies want to buy things at their own pace whenever they have time, and require a system that is very flexible and allows them to do business their way.

Large corporate clients require the ability to order 24/7, customize artwork, check the status of their order, access order history, reorder, etc. and can often have complex business rules. It seems obvious to say it, but treating a corporate customer with the same level of service as a walk-in customer is going to quickly become untenable. The printer might be used to this relationship, but it wouldn’t take much to convince the purchaser that there is an alternative that suits them better.

There is a danger of losing clients if these services are not provided, and in our experience, this happens very often - either because the client was not offered w2p, or the printer could not offer it fast enough.

The needs of this kind of clientele are best met by an all in one system. One where you can allow many members of an organization to order independently, and also place orders on their behalf; efficiently serving those who prefer to order via phone or email in a way where they can easily reorder in the future.

An effective web to print will make it possible to truly cater to the needs of a specific business, empowering those in charge of print purchasing, and make it simple to ensure that each agent is getting exactly what they require. 

To deliver unbeatable service to these larger accounts, you will need to offer a branded or even white label web to print storefront that can have per location user experience, product listings and pricing. One which makes it easy for designers to submit artwork, and new hires to personalize their marketing collateral while meeting brand guidelines. An effective web to print will give managers and administrators varying levels of control over their agents, with the option to approve submitted orders, or adjust credit limits for their purchasers.

Let’s take a look at web-to-print from your clients perspective; now that they have a storefront setup for their company, they have one place where they can:

  • Choose items from a personalized product catalog
  • Upload files and order on any type of device
  • Personalize designs from company branded templates on any type of device
  • Check the work of their employees, and approve orders
  • View job status, invoices, and order history for all of their employees
  • Request quotes, and purchase custom estimates

And of course If there are any additional questions, any additional service required, they can always call you. Your team can handle these inquiries in a way where the client's order history is up to date, and their storefront continues to be the easiest place to manage their company's print.

So that expunges the myth that B2B web-to-print storefronts are supposed to be a replacement for customer interaction or personalized service. Giving clients the ability to do all of this on a website doesn’t decrease personalized service, it only serves to improve the quality of service. Clients can now spend more time talking to your staff about the meaningful parts of their work, rather than the mundane. 

And that’s how you keep your clients for longer; provide a truly great service that’s still personalized, where you continue to make yourself and your employees available to your clients, but you give them all of these additional tools, tools that are very difficult for your competitors to replicate.

Once your client begins building an order history and starts saving time using the tools you’re providing, they’re just not going anywhere. Your competitors can easily start replacing so-called “personalized service” the first time they receive a phone call, and if all they need to do is make themselves the first printer to call, well then you could be in trouble. But to exceed expectations and compete when a large client is used to the convenience of ordering from a storefront, well that company is going to find it much more challenging to poach them.

In following articles we will see that these benefits are not just for larger corporate clientele. Whilst focusing on your process to cater to your larger clients, the steps you take to streamline proofing, payments, imposition, shipping and file management will allow you to be more competitive, and lead to higher returns from smaller clients and orders.

At PressCentric our web to print specialists have decades of experience in the industry, and have helped hundreds of print providers gain newfound success in the online market.

Interested in learning more about what PressCentric offers its customers? Check out what our web to print storefronts can do on a demo.

Let us know what you need out of your web to print.


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