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What is W2P to you and how exactly are you using it?

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  • What is W2P to you and how exactly are you using it?

    Hi,

    I have found the term web2print to cover quite a large range of services and just wanted to get an idea of what you are all using it for...

    I have built my own web2print system specifically for generating PDF files ie. The customer picks a template, adds in text and images and gets an online proof which then gets sent to the printer as a print ready PDF file...

    I built this system at the last place i worked in my spare time to 'plug into' their existing system that was just a product catalogue of already printed material that the client could 'pick off' some of the stored product (print and store). The website would manage stock levels and send alerts when new stock needed to be printed...

    So is the main use of web2print out there the first type (templates) or the second type (product catalogue of pre-printed material) ???

    We never had online payment as they were all existing customers so we will post-bill as usual... is this what is commonly done still ???

    Also our system never did online estimating or custom job submission... I understand that this is also web2print and some people are using it just for this purpose ???

    Just wanted to get an idea of what people are doing because as we built all of our own software we have never really looked at what is commerically available and what it can do....

    And please no comments from people trying to sell their system i am not looking at buying a solution i am more interested in comments from people who are using the systems and what services they like or use most... And also what services they think are the best selling points when it comes to their customers...
    Last edited by natty; 07-11-2010, 06:51 PM.

  • #2
    Web to print is all of the above and more, Natty.

    It encompasses both B2C storefronts for those doing "retail" business with the general public, and private B2B storefronts for those doing repeat business with corporate accounts.

    Regardless of B2C or B2B, most involve order entry, estimates, file transfer as basic functions. Shopping carts, integrated shipping, payment (cc or open terms), pricing (simple or interactive), inventory control, order approval, automatic imposition, xls merges for personalized items, order status, and reports are often part of the web to print solution as well. JDF and XML support, integration with outsource vendors, brokers, MIS, production bar code statuses are just some of the other options.

    The components of a good W2P software solution depends on the print shop needs and those of their customer's. Of course the devil is always in the details. If you go shopping, I recommend making a list of what you need, see a demo, and see how the back end works. Every system has pros and cons. It's a matter of finding the best fit for your needs.

    Steve Ciesemier (cease-my-r)
    Aleyant Systems
    Aleyant Systems Web-to-Print Software
    Pressero - Empowering Web-To-Print

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    • #3
      What is Web to Print?

      Where do names and definitions come from? If we were to step back and say, what do printers need to do online vs. what is web to print?

      I think you hit on a very good point that the web to print definition has been narrowed down into what I call private B2B portals for customers who need variable products + static catalog products. I have seen this definition in action with print providers actually using that terminology, "we offer web to print!" Yikes what customer would understand that?

      I am more interested in talking and hearing others opinions about what web to print should be! Lets admit that the mass adoption and engagement of the web as a new way of doing business is pretty poor in our industry. Web to print should be about embracing eCommerce as the primary way of doing business.

      This means that printers should strive to migrate all order entry to the web no matter who the target market (B2B or B2C), no matter what the product type. If printers want to compete in the digital economy, they have to be offering their goods within in the digital infrastructure - meeting their customers where they are.

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      • #4
        W2P Implementation by Print Shops

        I agree that web to print technology is basically about putting the print business online in every way. However, I wonder if we are concentrating too much on the nuts and bolts and not enough on the print buyers needs?

        As you point out, a classic mistake is talking to a print buyer about a "web to print solution" as if they had complete understanding of the implied benefits TO THEM. My hunch is 9 out of 10 print buyers (though likely higher) have no clue what W2P is or how it could help them. It's not like "Web2Print" is understood by the general public the way a "drive-through window" is. If the print shop is not focused on selling the benefits, they will not reap the extra sales and production efficiencies that web-to-print software can provide.

        Steve Ciesemier (cease-my-r)
        Aleyant Systems LLC
        Pressero - Empowering Web-To-Print

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        • #5
          Who is web to print really for?

          Natty - I think you struck on an important point. Web to Print is an order entry tool and who is entering orders? Buyers. So whose needs should be considered first? Buyers?

          Because web to print is sold with other workflow products, I hate that all the manufacturers group web to print solutions with production workflow solutions. I think the hype is over - the web and the revolution in how customers interact is here to stay. The web deserves its own category and should not be lumped in with pre-press tools.

          I think this is the reason so many web to print solutions are more backend heavy (focused on production needs) and quite honestly a bit light on the front end eCommerce tools (buyer's needs). See my recent blog post about this Web to Print: Please more focus on the Web!

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          • #6
            Thanks for your comments...

            I was recently asked by a trade printer to build a front end for their trade clients... for getting a price, uploading artwork and tracking order statuses (it would have plugged into their exisiting in-house system)...

            The main reason for this was because they saw that most of the other trade printers had such a system and it would save them (the printer) some time...

            The problem with automated systems however is 1) there is always a certain degree of inflexibility and 2) Someone (a human) always has to check it at some stage to make sure it is right ie. does the artwork they have supplied match up with the job they have specified etc...

            This particular trade printer spoke to a few of his customers and they actually said they preferred to submit jobs via email or phone him... They said that they didn't like the web front end ordering systems and they use him mostly because he doesn't have this !!!

            He told me one story where one client who was using another printer wanted to order 20 type of business cards (printed in a gang run)... The particular web system did not allow them to just zip up all the files and submit it as one order... they had to go through the whole process 20 times! ... hence they now do not use that particular printer...

            I have a web front end that does pricing, job submissions etc.. but this is because most of my customers find me initially on the web as this is my number 1 marketing tool and i drive traffic to it.... Once they are regular customers most of them do not want to use the website... they want to pick up the phone and call me...

            That said... i think the online catalogue of pre-exisitng items is definately better for the client and the printer... its a win-win...

            So it is interesting to keep in mind who's needs are being serviced... the printer or the print buyer...

            Comment


            • #7
              the webtoprint is the key for printers. We must not delay!. I invite you to watch the Elite Print component that can be integrated on different platform (Magento, drupal, PrestaShop ...) for b2b, b2c. More information and demo: Web to Print - Web2print Component by Elite Print

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              • #8
                Built in flash, good luck with that

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Akumaownz,

                  Can you give me a technology which provides better penetration today?

                  Knowing that HTML5 is not yet supported by many users.
                  Web to print shop is to do business and provide service to users. If HTML5 does not supported by all browser, is better to wait.

                  We started developing a HTML5 version. But today Flash is the best technology for users / browsers equipment.

                  On mobile platforms, the interfaces are totally different (no rollover, multi touch, etc ...). We need to develop other types of application to optimize the user experience.

                  If you wait for HTML5, it will be too late to get started in web to print. competitors are not waiting

                  Manuel

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                  • #10
                    In my mind, a better use for W2P is to allow Franchise or Corporate headquarters, that have many branch locations or franchisees, to maintain total brand control over their printed sales or mail products. Each location can log on to the storefront, select their coprorate-controlled template, upload their variable information (mailing list, different paragraphs, etc.) then order a print, or print & mail, job. Corporate can upload and add new templates, make updated changes to the existing templates due to changing legal requirements, new products or pricing, obsolence, etc.

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                    • #11
                      You can get the information of Simple, flexible & Cost Effective Web to Print solution for SME printer by visiting OnPrintShop.

                      Moreover, do read definition below about phenomena called Web to Print

                      Definition:

                      Web-to-print, also known as Web2Print, remote publishing or Print e-commerce is a broad term that refers to the practice of doing print business using web sites. Companies and software solutions that deal in web-to-print often bleed into more standard e-commerce and online services like hosting, website design, and cross medial marketing.

                      The growing popularity of the internet and the world wide web has opened up opportunities for commercial printers to communicate with their partners and customers to do things like submit print jobs, do online prepress reviews/previews, design things like postcards directly on a website using rich user interfaces, direct cross media marketing and offer services such as variable data printing, photo printing, booklets, marketing campaigns, etc.

                      Web-to-print sites are available for commercial users or to the general public. A common offering from print houses is public or private online storefronts or catalogues.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by onprintshop View Post
                        You can get the information of Simple, flexible & Cost Effective Web to Print solution for SME printer by visiting OnPrintShop.
                        Please see my other reviews/comments about this application which is closer to spyware than web2print in my most humblest of opinions of course. If you don't care that Radix/Onprintshop will get copies of your orders (without your permission), go ahead and check them out ... but me, after a year of using their spyware app, I'm glad I found a way out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          W2P stands for “Web-to-print” or “Web2Print”. A solution that makes printers works easy and user friendly outputs. By the years of researching and developing the software module that allows users to personalized the product and then buy online.
                          BrushYourIdeas, Provides Web to Print Software Solutions and Web-to-Print storefront for print shop, print resellers, commercial printers and print brokers. Get a readymade Web2Print software and store now!

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                          • #14
                            Hello Natty, I thought you wrote "And please no comments from people trying to sell their system i am not looking at buying a solution i am more interested in comments from people who are using the systems and what services they like or use most" but most comments here are from web to print providers..... However, if you want me to connect you to with some print providers in Australia and the region who use web to print solutions please email me at amir.avni@b2cprint.com

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                            • #15
                              Natty what ever you come up with Must be simple for the customer to use. A couple mouse clicks and typing minimal info.

                              Comment

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