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Made the jump to an online print shop?

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  • Made the jump to an online print shop?

    Just curious if anybody works for a print company that was all brick and mortar and then opened up to an online print shop. Meaning that the customer could point and click and no calls (in most cases). I understand the website aspect of it - what sort of things did you need to do for your internal teams (eg. getting a printer to print online orders, getting a scanner to scan bar codes to email clients tracking numbers etc.) Any insight would be highly appreciated - thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Hi, As a Web To Print solution providers for many years we have seen many companies that have been going through this proccess. You are most welcome to send me an email to amir.avni@b2cprint.com and I will provide you with more details. Thanks

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    • #3
      We have done this to some extent. The overwhelming response from our largest clients has been that they don't want to mess with our website, they just want to call us up and place an order. They don't know all the details of ordering and want someone to hold their hand. We don't deal much with individuals, mainly other businesses.

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      • #4
        Depends what your aims are, what print work do you want, customers using online templates or submitting their own artwork, how you process, preflight, and track jobs through the system, how big you want to be etc. etc. etc.
        You will probably find existing clients are happy to deal with you as they do at the moment, you will be going after new customers in a very tough market. You will find everybody wants their job yesterday and pay nothing for it and expect top quality, which is very hard to achieve. I work for a print company in the UK that does commercial work and has a web 2 print site amongst other channels, commercial customers and web 2 print customers don't seem to mix! We built our own website not cheap, and have our own software which we developed that tracks all the work through the company, which we now sell as a third party product around the world. You need to look at the whole process and see if its viable, if you are happy with just a few orders a day then you wont make much money out of it, we do thousands a day! Put a plan together and see if its right for you.

        AjR

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kdw75 View Post
          We have done this to some extent. The overwhelming response from our largest clients has been that they don't want to mess with our website, they just want to call us up and place an order. They don't know all the details of ordering and want someone to hold their hand. We don't deal much with individuals, mainly other businesses.
          LOL this is exactly the saving grace in local printers. How many of us can honestly raise our hands and say that our customers do all the work for us, we just hit the print button?

          I think we have maybe a couple customers like that...but even the trade customers most of the time need hand holding all the way through.

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          • #6
            hi
            i want to make my shop paper automated to print xcmyk

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KelvynPress View Post
              Just curious if anybody works for a print company that was all brick and mortar and then opened up to an online print shop. Meaning that the customer could point and click and no calls (in most cases). I understand the website aspect of it - what sort of things did you need to do for your internal teams (eg. getting a printer to print online orders, getting a scanner to scan bar codes to email clients tracking numbers etc.) Any insight would be highly appreciated - thanks in advance.
              Have you got any? Nowadays there are many available which can fulfill your requirements. You just need to ask them for a demo as per your requirements.

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              • #8
                We set up a handful of portals for big customers. They wanted employees to be able to order most items from template so that everything adhered to brand standards. Govt/schools are big on this. Real estate offices like it too. Most others just want to call or email.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KelvynPress View Post
                  getting a printer to print online orders, getting a scanner to scan bar codes to email clients tracking numbers etc.)
                  Getting the storefront to then inject the order as XML or JSON with PDF ( or, a URL within the XML or JSON where the print system can fetch that PDF ) is one thing, but you probably need to look into a Print MIS system to be able to build the workflow rules ( auto batch, auto impose, auto queue ) and generate barcode, etc...

                  DISCLAIMER - I work for a software developer ( SmartSoft ) and we market / licence a Print MIS system ( PressWise )

                  https://see.presswise.com/home-ebook/

                  Best of luck in your search !


                  Michael Jahn - Slightly used PDF Evangelist
                  Simi Valley California

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                  • #10
                    We have few of our customer achieved the 100% orders through Web-to-Print, www.55Printing.com & www.printpps.com
                    You can read their full story here - 55printing & PrintPPS

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                    • #11
                      I did this for a medium sized print shop I worked at. I originally just setup a website with a listing of our services and an upload file section. I then upgraded to the next tier to allow customer portals/login for our top customers. This helped to lock them in as our customer because they could easily login and place re-orders, typeset their own business cards, submit new PO's, etc. We made it very clear on the site that people could still call us and get ahold of a human being because we didn't want to lose that customer service touch. I then looked at what items had a low profit margin, required too much work, or we couldn't do in-house, and made those available completely automated on the website. This included greeting cards, business cards, and promotional items.

                      A company called Birchcraft (which I believe is now called DFSonline and you can setup here: https://www.dfsonline.com/dfs/holida...ifts-Calendars) offers a generic website that you can customize with your logos/info. The customer can login through a link on your original website and it takes them to the site where they can browse through selections of holiday cards, wedding invites, etc, and then typeset it themselves, see an instant proof, pay and submit the order. You get an automated message to confirm the order before Birchcraft starts processing. You can ask them to ship to you or blind ship to your customer and you get paid.

                      There was another company (easycarddesigner . com) that did the same thing for business cards where customers could browse thousands of templates and typeset online. The great thing about this site is they would send us a hi-rez version of the business card so we could print ourselves if we wanted, or have them print if the customer requested UV coating since we didn't have this in-house. At the time, their pricing was competitive with companies like 4over or gotprint, not sure about it now.

                      There is another company for promo items (asicentral . com) that links you up with all sorts of vendors for imprinting on anything like pens, keychains, coffee cups, etc. They also provided a generic website that you can brand for yourself and your customer can browse through a large library of items, upload their logo, see a proof, and place an order...and you just collect the check!

                      The rest of the items we listed under services such as 'brochures' for example, all linked back to our own quote request/place an order page where they would fill out contact information and upload a file. They would get an automated email that their request was received and someone would be contacting them shortly...and we really would contact them right away. It's all about customer service!

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