Is Retail Print Ordering Method Going Online?

Transacting online is commonplace. Be it online banking, shopping of accessories, electronics items, real estate, jobs, even matrimony and so on. Every business must offer an online mode of ordering their products or services.

Thanks to web-to-print technology that helps offer printing services online, now clients can order prints online – be it printing of their corporate stationery (business cards, letterheads and envelopes), promotional material (brochures, flyers and standees) or personalised printing (mugs, t-shirts, water-bottles and so on).

We interviewed our own clients (digital and offset printing companies), using our web-to-print tool to understand if they are generating orders from existing customers or they are getting orders from new customers. We also tried to know the quantity ordered, ticket size/ order value, location and item.

Findings were interesting and helped us understand why end retail customers want to shift their print ordering from offline to online. Results were motivating and encouraging as they indicate indirectly that just like other products and services; it will be very common practice for end customer to order printing online.

Here are the findings/ reasons why client is shifting from offline method to ordering print online. As of now, we are not focusing on the cost as in most industries, to acquire customers, costs are heavily discounted.

In case of printing, we noticed that customers are more cautious of the facility initially and tend to order small quantity (say even 100 business cards in place of traditional minimum 500 cards print-run required for offset printing). They are looking for small quantity and fast delivery, and they want to avoid going to the print shop and save time. Another major finding was that in few small towns and cities, clients are very quality cautious but printing companies in their local area are using not so high quality printing machines.

An example of interesting use of online printing: A company marketing executive was travelling to a city for an exhibition and he found one of our clients using web-to-print store located in the same city. He orders standee, large format print online and has it delivered directly to the exhibition venue. This saved him from the hassles and cost of carrying material with him while travelling.

One more client said huge printing order been acquired by his online store. A multinational company started their branch in the client’s country and they wanted a centralised printing facility so that on order from this multinational company, delivery can be done to all local branches in the country.

To conclude, when you don’t have an online store you might not generate the kind of orders referred above. This also indicates clients are changing ordering method to online to

  • Order small quantities.
  • Speedup delivery.
  • Save their travelling time going to physical printing store.
  • Orders for exhibition.
  • Orders from international client having their branches in your local area.

Needless to say, by setting up an online store you are adding value to your existing retail as well as corporate clients by letting them order online at the same time. You are opening a window of opportunities and can generate new orders from unknown first time customers.