While investing in an information technology / web / Internet related product or service, printing companies need to be on an extra ALERT!
For w2p market, it has been seen that products/ services which are not originally developed for the printing industry, have been hard-sold on the pretext of web 2 print software. If vendors can't convince a printing company to buy the product, they confuse them.
Instead of understanding the function of printing companies and what their clients expect from web to print storefront, whatever is already developed, gets sold forcefully.
There are several instances of vendors selling t-shirt printing or personalised photo printing solutions as commercial web to print software. Whereas the fact is that the complete process changes with print-ready artwork file having CMYK separation, cutting mark, and imposition.
W2P solutions are being offered to printing companies as ready-made e-commerce platforms like Magneto, and an online editor, JAVA script editor, DHTML editor Plugins been referred as web to print. Shockingly, clients are being charged as much as US$7000 for plugins (as they developed it and their agenda is to hard sell) with the free open-source e-commerce platform Magento.
Nobody ever explains printing companies about an Online Editor / JAVA script editor / DHTML editor . Do clients visiting online printing stores have enough time to design their own business cards? Or any other print product? Do end customer really understand technicalities like Node, Curve, Fit to Path, Bring-to-front, Layers, High Resolutions, 300 DPI, etc.? No.
These are tasks for professional graphic designers, operating desktop publishing tools. It takes a lot more than just uploading a photo on a photo gift item. It's altogether different printing process requiring offset/ digital printing. Hence, using a basic, forcefully sold online editor / java scrip editor or DHTML editor does not help anyone.
Printing companies are made to believe that online printing is Do-It-Yourself design for their printing clients, and they must offer online designing tools to their customer. But our experience shows that 9.99 out of 10 clients don't understand cutting marks, bleeding area, transparent image for logo, and alignment required while designing a print file. They cannot be expected to design.
Nobody paid focus on the real-world retail as well as corporate printing situation where in client never comes with their own design but expects the printing company to do it for him. Meanwhile, corporate clients have their artwork ready with strict corporate guidelines set by their designing agency.
Web to print solutions, designed with a facility for users to select pre-made designs instead of giving them a pseudo editor and expecting them to design. What users simply expect is to select ready designs, key-in their content (in a textual format), use pre-available fonts and select from a set of colours.
Corporate clients are anyways not expected to design anything as they have fixed and strict corporate guidelines and what's not shared to printing companies by editor selling vendors is they have to re-create corporate client' design using their pseudo editor which is practically impossible.
Yet, printing company end up paying a huge amount for an online editing feature which is neither helping retail customer nor the corporate clients. The whole point is that no end customer of existing printing customer is going to use an editor. What they simply want is an online print ordering tool with a facility for them to make minor textual modification check digital proof.
They want ease of ordering, reduction in wastage and most importantly, they want to cut the lead time for getting their print product delivered.
And most importantly, web to print technology is a lot more than an online editor / online design tool. It is a technical tool which has been built by considering the pre-print and post-print process that every printing company follows. Including Admin, Creation of Design, Digital Proof, Online Payment Collection, Invoicing, Pre-Flight, Online Artwork Creation, along with Complete Track of Printing of Job, To Delivery!
Most of the things have been automated or made into an online process so that the printing company saves a lot of time on non-printing jobs and focuses on printing more - Where The Actual REVENUE LIES!