Being in the website designing and development industry since 1997, we have seen many ups and downs of the industry, and very closely observed the “.com bubble” burst in the year 2000. Usage of web and online world was spreading like wildfire; every industry was struggling to gain knowledge about it and was trying to be the first on web.
During this period, what it was noticed that people with financial power with no background of a particular industry were jumping to create a so-called portal. They thought “money can buy everything”. Yes it can buy a fancy non-functional website! Most ventures failed as they been produced as an idea that money can implement, without considering the need of it or a proper implementation plan.
Is the same now happening in the world of retail printing? Look around and you may find several online printing sites running in your country. If you study them, you will know the facts.
Maximum enquires we receive for web-to-print solutions are from graphic designers, print consultants, investors and technology consultants who want to start an online printing store. As a matter of fact, most of them don’t possess any kind of printing machinery and want to outsource the same.
We do get lot of enquires from offset and digital printing companies also, but they don’t see W2P as a valued added service which is a must for their business but treat online printing as a new digital venture which requires high-end technical infrastructure/ knowledge, and thus directly connect it with ROI (Return On Investment).
Are we moving towards the conclusion that running a web-to-print online powered printing store requires technology expertise and not print expertise? Or is the importance of online printing being judged by non-printers rather than the printing industry. The whole point is why printing companies are treating it as technical venture and non-printing companies are taking it as a new opportunity.
If software companies can learn printing why printing company just can’t learn using the software? Most of the online printing ventures start with a heavy investment on digital marketing, become popular, generate volume and then buy a printing machine. Till then, they outsource to real printing companies.
Vice versa, printing companies, who already have a good volume can easily adopt the technology and then learn digital marketing to generate more business. Refer to our blog post “Is running web-to-print too technical?”
There is no harm in a non-printing company bringing business by outsourcing to someone in printing industry. But at the same time, printing industry should also start learning the technology and implement the same. Retail printing business is huge for everyone to claim reasonable share, given that you adopt the technology.
With the increasing popularity of online printing and web-to-print, more and more solution providers are taking responsibility to present you with easy-to-use solutions, while maintaining heavy IT infrastructure required by these solutions, for a very nominal monthly fee. Most of the time, it’s like the cost of running a utility bill for your printing press. Read the post Setting Up Web-To-Print – Is it an Additional Investment or just an incremental Operational Expense?