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What is web-to-print software?
You will have likely heard of the term ‘web-to-print’, but you might not be clear on what it is, how it works, and if it’s something that your print business can benefit from.
In this article, we aim to answer your questions and also give you insight into what the future might hold:
- Print ordering; a brief history
- What is web-to-print software?
- What other terms are used for web to print?
- What advantages can a web-to-print platform deliver for my business?
- What does the future hold for web-to-print services?
Print ordering; a brief history
In today’s connected age, it seems almost impossible to imagine a time when artwork would be hand delivered to a printer; but before email and then eventual file transfer protocols became the norm, that’s exactly how the print order process would have started.
As the adoption of the internet grew and eCommerce became more common, this in turn affected the evolution of the ordering process within the print industry, and along with that came the term ‘web-to-print’ along with the sophisticated web-to-print systems we have today.
What is web-to-print software?
Web-to-print is a broad term that refers to a solution that facilitates the online ordering and customization of print materials.
Modern print shops allow users to complete orders end-to-end through their storefronts; this covers price generation based on their requirements, through to making a payment for that order and then delivery. Web-to-print systems typically provide a user-friendly interface that allows customers to choose from pre-designed templates or create their own designs using various customization tools.
More sophisticated web-to-print solutions also allow users to generate and preview personalized products online, such as business cards, stationery, brochures, promotional products, and more.
What other terms are used for web to print?
Web-to-print can also be referred to as:
- Remote publishing
- Print eCommerce
While the phraseology is slightly different, these are all different words for essentially the same thing.
What advantages can a web-to-print platform deliver for my business?
Web-to-print technology offers printing companies many benefits, notably time and cost savings, but here are some other ways it can also benefit your organization:
Improved client satisfaction
Offering clients an easy-to-use interface that is easily navigated, simplifying the ordering process, and reducing the likelihood of errors can in turn drive client satisfaction. The real-time functionality of web-to-print systems also enables instant order processing, providing customers with timely updates on their print jobs and enhancing overall satisfaction.
By allowing customers to submit print orders online, the entire ordering process becomes streamlined, reducing the need for manual input and minimizing errors. This not only saves time but also cuts operational costs.
Broader customer base
Additionally, web-to-print solutions enable printing companies to reach a broader customer base by breaking down geographical barriers. Customers can access and place orders from anywhere at any time.
Clients can utilize templates and standardized options through the online design software. Web-to-print solutions incorporate advanced design tools that empower users to customize and personalize their print products. This flexibility allows for creative input while ensuring that the final output aligns with brand guidelines.
Overall, web-to-print solutions empower printing companies to improve customer satisfaction, boost operational efficiency, and stay competitive in the rapidly evolving print industry.
What does the future hold for web-to-print services?
According to Statista, there are projected to be 7.49 billion mobile users worldwide in 2025, making a strong case for mobile first becoming the de facto method of ordering products and checking the status of orders.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Data from Exploding Topics highlights a very lucrative near future for the AI market, the upward trajectory already seen is forecast to continue year-over-year - increasing by at least 26% each year until 2025.
With content creation through AI already becoming more commonplace, future basic web-to-print design could also be achieved through AI. For example, a user could use a simple spoken prompt to fulfill and complete an order.
With intelligent systems connected, this will likely lead to more diversity in what W2P shops can offer. For example, a ‘printer’ could offer services such as website design, creative marketing, and the on-site installation of graphics. Interconnectivity will be the key to unlocking this future and minimizing touchpoints for end customers.