W2P-Web to Print or Web to Promote?

What exactly is W2P (web to print) – Is it a platform to promote your printing business or is a way to manage your printing business using the web?

It is high time that instead of treating webtoprint technology as an additional promotional tool, we start understanding its real application (online printing) and learn about its benefits – generating additional business by automating time-consuming tasks!

“Web to Print technology is an engine, which allows online generation of print ready files that can be individually modified and delivered to printers for processing and printing.”

Its components are focused on displaying print product design, allowing customer to edit the same online (existing templates or their own design), checking digital proofs, placing orders and making payments.

Instead of focusing on this very core of high-end technology that eases the order generation process, most of web to print buyers expect it to be a magic wand that will bring them additional business the moment they go live.

Once you understand this webtoprint technology, you need to understand how promotion works. Free traffic comes to your site by optimizing your web to print storefront for search engines. This, in-turn, needs a lot of keyword-rich UNIQUE text on the home page and all the inside pages where web2print is an engine and not just plain pages of text.

Most of the web to print solutions available in the market are SAAS based. This is for the obvious reason – to share the heavy infrastructure cost (on a monthly basis) among the users (refer Hosted vs. SAAS in one of our previous article).

When you are using a SAAS based solution, it means that a common backend (engine), hosted on a common server and having a common module, is used by different printing companies. The risk associated with this is that when a search engine crawler senses that almost all the sites on that server have the same product (online printing), it might consider it as spam. However, since the backend is a complex engine, it is better to be installed on a common server to save cost.

So what is the way out?

It is a combination. You need some common resources (to share cost) and some unique components (to differentiate and promote yourself) built into the system.

Ideally, one should let the web to print engine run through the SAAS provider while the static pages should be hosted on your own server. This will help you add new and unique content like case studies, portfolio, a blog, etc. for customers who are unique to your w2p storefront (covered in the next set of articles).

While selecting a web to print solution, most of buyers focus on CMS, the so-called search engine friendly tool, to add new pages. However, they look at the thousands of templates, without realizing that these are not unique to them, but form the core of the web to print system. Hence, these are not a point of promotion or differentiation!

Having said that, when you opt for a tool, ensure that this flexible option of “Use Common Component” along with the facility to add unique content is installed on your own server.

Flexi Web to Print understands these practical and strategic challenges and we have already incorporated the required facilities into our system.

Refer to http://www.flexiweb2print.com/flexible-store-features.html to know more.

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