Digital is disrupting every industry. The way we undertake and promote our printing businesses online is changing fast. The writing is on the wall - Adopt the change or be ready to lose business to those who move faster to embrace digital, and started implementing digital way of selling; web to PRINT!
We now live in the world of ‘Digital First’ where technology providers run the industry without directly investing in the industrial infrastructure. What they really invest in, is Technology and Promotion.
For Example, Facebook, the Single Largest Human Directory on this planet, never adds content on its own. It is users from across the world, who keep adding posts, pictures, and videos every second (User Generated Content). This in turn brings more users, and hence advertisers, and eventually the revenue to Facebook.
Similarly, UBER connects taxi owners to passengers - without owning a single vehicle! AIRBNB, the largest bread and breakfast house provider does not own any real estate, and ALIBABA connects businesses and consumers without having its own inventory!
The point here is, no matter which industry you are in, adapting to digital technology in doing business as well as for promoting, will play a huge role in your survival in the digital-first world!
When it comes to the printing industry, the digital way of ordering seriously entered in 2008 with theme of DRUPA (Largest Printing Exhibition In The World) was Web To Print! Almost a decade has passed since. Eventually, the importance of online printing was first noticed by the end-consumer and then the industry.
While switching from Offset Printing to Digital Printing for short run was already bringing in a change, web to print added another feature for customers to order smaller quantity of prints, from anywhere! What helped the transition was that fact that the logistic ecosystem was in place (thanks to the e-commerce boom). This is why small printing companies are no longer catering to the local market alone. With online printing their reach has already been extended across the country.
Slowly and gradually, multi-location corporates, through web to print software, started identifying the power of online printing. They realised that this could cut their lead time and wastage drastically. For example, it brought ease of ordering business cards for thousands of employees, along with different print products for their multiple branches.
These days, Corporate Print Procurement Requirement demand that the vendor be able to provide a w2p software for online editing and for ordering print. At the same time, online Print Market Places are contracting to printing companies listed online with them.
The digital medium is not affecting the actual printing industry because people are still printing on paper, and the demand is huge. However, business is shifting to printing companies who adapted to web to print / online printing. Consequently, companies that still rely on traditional method of ordering prints for their clients are missing out!
Some printing companies are gaining business, while others are losing. This shift in the print business is due to digital first adoption by adopting to w2p powered online printing. This is what every printing companies need to understand before they ask Who Moved My Print!
The trend is also fuelled by the significant drop in the investment that W2P demands. Yes, adapting to web to print is no more a huge investment (just about US$200 a month) but promoting it is! If printing companies want to safeguard their market shares, it is high-time they start thinking about going DIGITAL FIRST for their PRINTING BUSINESS!