Web2Print Results...

kdw75

Well-known member
We are a small shop, in a small city of 100,000. We have setup a Web2Print website, and have given access to some of our clients. We sat down with them, showed them the benefits of it tracking their expenditures, letting them see how pricing is changed by the quantities, and how easy proofing was.

That was a year ago, and virtually none of them used it for more than a few months. They all said they preferred calling me up and placing an order over the phone, or sending an email, because if was faster, or more personable. The few that do still use it, are customers that give us very small orders, and tend to nitpick about pricing. They like being able to see the price immediately. I feel like the Web2Print model, attracts buyers who treat printing as a commodity, and have no loyalty to you. They just want a cheap product.

Has anyone else experienced these lackluster results?
 

Shawnd

Well-known member
We have been holding off on doing a portal for this very reason, most of our customers call us and email us with orders and want the hand holding. We are in a smaller market with a majority of our customers being small mom & pop shops that do not want to deal with ordering through a website. Not a single one has said they want the ability to order online.

I went with Printer Presence for our website so we could turn on a portal and turn it off if it doesn't get used, who did you use for yours?
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We are using Rocketprint software's package. It also includes job tracking software, and quoting software. Both of which have been much more useful than the Web2Print features.
 

Laurens

Well-known member
My 2 cents: web-2-print stores need continuous promotion once they are launched. I think the best way to do that is to have a store newsletter to promote new products, remind people of seasonal needs (New year cards,...) and show creative use of the products in the store. That newsletter should only be sent once every fortnight or month - so that it is not conceived as spam and doesn't cost you too much time. People should be able to subscribe to it from the store pages. If you don't promote the store like this or with other types of advertising, it will indeed gradually fade away.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
My 2 cents: web-2-print stores need continuous promotion once they are launched. I think the best way to do that is to have a store newsletter to promote new products, remind people of seasonal needs (New year cards,...) and show creative use of the products in the store. That newsletter should only be sent once every fortnight or month - so that it is not conceived as spam and doesn't cost you too much time. People should be able to subscribe to it from the store pages. If you don't promote the store like this or with other types of advertising, it will indeed gradually fade away.

What your saying though sounds like you are targeting individual buyers, with small orders. While money can certainly be made there, if you have enough volume, our bills are paid by clients that give us jobs average $500 and up. Our experience with individuals, has been that they are higher maintenance, and lower profit. The people willing to pay a premium want personal service.
 

Laurens

Well-known member
No, I think a newsletter can also work towards business customers, without affecting the regular personal service that those customers expect. It is just a way to regularly remind them of your services as well as the web-to-print service you offer. As long as the content is the right mix: 80% information, 20% sales talk it will also be perceived as a service, rather than a pitch.
 

xcelprint

Well-known member
We are a small shop, in a small city of 100,000. We have setup a Web2Print website, and have given access to some of our clients. We sat down with them, showed them the benefits of it tracking their expenditures, letting them see how pricing is changed by the quantities, and how easy proofing was.

That was a year ago, and virtually none of them used it for more than a few months. They all said they preferred calling me up and placing an order over the phone, or sending an email, because if was faster, or more personable. The few that do still use it, are customers that give us very small orders, and tend to nitpick about pricing. They like being able to see the price immediately. I feel like the Web2Print model, attracts buyers who treat printing as a commodity, and have no loyalty to you. They just want a cheap product.

Has anyone else experienced these lackluster results?

We are considering a web2print site also. We too are a small printer. Your points are exactly what I have been concerned with. I do think the estimating/pricing will help our staff be more consistent and quicker with quotes... and the online design will be attractive to some buyers. My main focus is on finding an affordable system that does not require all of my time in managing it.
 

MailGuru

Well-known member
True Story:

Many years ago, long before there was any idea of Web2Print (back in the 1990's) a large prominent list company (R.L. Polk) developed a web site that would allow a General Manager of a Chrysler/Dodge auto dealership to go to their site, select their mail piece, modify it with their own dealership information, select or upload their mailing list and order a promotional mailing.

It failed miserably.

Do you know why?

General Managers of automotive dealerships (just like the owners of any other business) have a lot on their plate just trying to run their business. There's the P&L, personnel issues, bank issues, tax issues, government compliance issues, contracts, etc. It's soooo much easier just to pick up the phone and talk to the person who normally does their mailings and tell them what they want and they handle everything from there.

There's a place for web2print, but, it's not at all like printers think it is.
 
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amir

Active member
Many years ago we all used to walk in travel agancy to order flying tickets, hotels and cars , How many still do?
It's all going to the web, also printing. Those who advertise and promote their online shop are getting the required results. The same way they advertise and promote their physical shop/business.
As Web To Print solution providers since 2005 we know how it works. more info can be found here www.b2cprint.com .
 
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Justin M

Active member
I also work for a small printer that uses web to print for some of our customers. We are currently using PageDNA and it's been great. Web2print allows our customers to submit those repetitive jobs such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes. Oftentimes ordering it that way is just as fast as placing an order over the phone. That allows us have more time to take care of customers that have the more complicated/custom print/mailing jobs.

I would think that customers won't change unless there's an incentive. So if you lower your prices slightly for web to print stuff that might entice them to place their orders online. You're saving money by the time that you save in customer consultation. That time allows you to focus on other sales so the price difference would be justified.
 

dabob

Well-known member
We have been using OPS for a while now. We got it in response to a large customer "suggesting" that they would only patronize a vendor with that capability . . . got it - implemented it - 2 months later a shake up in that companies management and they left us anyway. But we persevered and are currently using it for a half dozen customers, offered it and set it up for a couple of others who chose to just email or fax us their order rather than use that service. Currently we are about breaking even on what it costs . . . .

So I guess as the old saying goes, you can lead a customer to the web but you can't make them order . . . . :)
 

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