What Worries the Printer Most While Implementing Web to Print Solutions? Technology or Investment?

Adaptability of web to print solutions (W2P) for setting up online printing shops is still low even after many years of its introduction. However, the awareness about the benefits of W2P is constantly increasing. Although printing companies are now more aware, they are also apprehensive.

This option works well for Digital Printing, where jobs are smaller and prices are fixed. It also works well for scenarios where you do not want to offer too many products options.

What really worries printing companies is how to shortlist the right Web to Print solutions from the flooded market with multiple vendors providing variations in the technology. Rather than making selection easy, it creates confusion.

While some vendors sell at very high prices, some only charge for hosting. The range varies from US$ 99 to US$ 6999 per month for a single-time use of the online editor. Vendors selling ERP for printing try to merge Web to print and vendors selling online editor merge it with standard e-commerce template and present it as W2P solution at nearly US$ 9999. What to trust and how to make the right choice, muse printers.

Some of the solutions involve exhaustive amount of time and effort to be mastered. The printers have to pay more attention to learning the web2print technology than printing, which takes away the focus from the trade and the main income source which is printing.

Printers are also offered SAAS-based w2p solutions with setup fee, monthly fee, support fee, payment gateway fee, per print fee and heavy cost of customisation. Some vendors want to earn fast and they only offer dedicated web to print solutions that cost a fortune to printing companies.

Especially when the ROI has not been clearly defined, printers are unsure whether they should focus on mastering the online printing technology or simply pay the vendors and have W2P merely for namesake!

This post might not offer solutions on ROI or explain what is right, SAAS or dedicated web2print solutions. Neither does it cover W2P – web to print vs. web to promote. These have been covered in earlier blogs.

The point we are covering here is that web to print might be presented as a highly technical solution, which requires huge investments. However, in reality, with the technology advancement, it requires neither. What’s important is a basic knowledge to differentiate between real and fake, and an idea about the actual cost of running it.

Consider the following points before making a decision

  • Ask for a Live Demo – Exclude from your list those web2print vendors who don’t offer a Live demo.
  • Consider the Pricing – It is necessary for w2p vendors to publish their rates on their website. Filter out W2P providers who ask for upfront setup fee.
  • Decide between SAAS Based and Dedicated – When making this decision, never opt for dedicated solutions. The SAAS-based technology might come as a surprise after you already spent a fortune. Why invest huge amounts upfront when you can run the same solutions by earning interest out of capital investment reserved as fixed deposits with banks? In this case, there is no risk involved if you decide to close online printing store.
  • Don’t Restrict to Editor – There are several fake web to print providers who sell editor in the pretext of an online editing tool; they’ll convince you to invest US$ 6999 for life, while you cannot even use it for a month.
  • Run the solutions vs. know how to code – Find a solution that is ready to use in a week's time and one which understands the basic language of print. Your focus is on printing and not on running a software company.

We can safely conclude that the simple knowledge on how to filter out the best Web to print from hundreds of solutions will keep you protected. Together with possessing technical knowledge, you will now be able to run, manage and support the online printing store at basic cost. Your monthly expenditure would only amount to nearly the cost for a month’s utility bills like telephone or electricity.

So, bury your apprehensions by gaining the right knowledge. Ensure you don’t invest huge sums or get into in-depth technical knowledge to run W2P powered online printing store.

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