By DPS Staff
Having and maintaining an online presence is essential in today’s competitive market. Print service providers (PSPs) are no exception, and many leverage web to print (W2P) tools to offer better customer service and improve efficiencies. Those that haven’t already implemented W2P are late to the game, and those that haven’t recently re-evaluated their ecommerce strategy should do so soon.
According to research from PRIMIR produced for the Association for Print Technologies, the global W2P market is valued at $23.8 billion of print sales in 2018 and will grow at an average 5.1 percent compound annual growth rate to $30.5 billion by 2023. We discuss how print providers are leveraging W2P for ecommerce strategies, along with the benefits and challenges print providers face adopting this technology in the October issue of DPS Magazine.
Here, we highlight core functions of W2P solutions on the market today.
Agfa’s Apogee StoreFront and Asanti StoreFront are cloud-based W2P solutions. StoreFront provides W2P automation in a scalable, easy to deploy, and user-friendly package. With StoreFront, PSPs set up graphically rich and mobile responsive online stores, from which their customers can order any product that the printer offers, whether print, non-print, digital, or virtual. On the production side, StoreCenter acts as the PSP’s web dashboard used for creating and managing stores and orders.
Aleyant creates W2P, estimating and production, and prepress automation workflow software for graphics professionals. Its software solutions work together to create an efficient and automated print workflow. The flagship product, Pressero W2P, is a complete W2P solution with a focus on providing MIS and ERP integration capabilities.
B2C Print offers a range of W2P offerings. B2C Printshop handles online product ordering, includes new templates, features, and look, used for streamline orders from private and B2B customers. B2C books features online pricing for all type of jobs, including books and manuals printing. Customers can choose the job specifications and get an instant quote online. B2C Wide is an online ordering system for wide format products, including canvases, posters, and stickers.
CloudLab provides browser-based publishing and packaging W2Psolutions. CloudLab printQ automates online order processing for a company, from first contact in the online shop to workflow-optimized print production. Additionally, the printQ 3D Packaging Design extension offers dynamic variability and on the fly instant preview.
Customer’s Canvas by Aurigma
Customer’s Canvas is a set of components that can help a business build an ecommerce site or any other website involving any type of design or product personalization. It’s geared toward printing companies developing online storefronts, software platforms working in the print field, and any type of software solution that requires online design personalization. The cornerstone of the software is the online editor and a set of APIs that enable virtually any kind of online ordering workflow, including variable data printing and packaging applications.
EFI Digital StoreFront is a flexible ecommerce solution. With StoreFront, ecommerce sites can be branded for a specific client, company, or department with custom colors, logos, and products. Further, streamlined job submission is designed to integrate with an EFI MIS system to provide end-to-end business integration. Also available, EFI SmartCanvas powered by MarketDirect is a web-based product design tool that enables administrators within Digital StoreFront to create templates for a variety of products such as greeting cards, flyers, business cards, brochures, stationery, and banners. SmartCanvas is 100 percent HTML5 compatible, ensuring it works across the widest range of browsers making it easier than ever for clients to submit customized print orders online.
Konica Minolta provides several options for W2P based on the needs of its clients—whether on premise or cloud based, its solutions can drive fulfillment, variable data typesetting, all forms of print and finishing from small to wide format, and real-time 3D renderings of document, packing, or labels that are to be embellished with foil or textured UV. Pricing models can be cost plus or price grid based and PCI/SOC2 is fully supported.
Mediaclip develops white-label W2P software for the creation of personalized products including photo, business, promotional, home décor, stationery, and gifting. It delivers a rich user experience with amazing photorealistic previews, making the product designs more tangible for end users. The company’s flexible infrastructure allows customers to access images located anywhere and enables the use of merchandising techniques such as sharing, upselling, and cross selling. The solutions are available as hosted or self-hosted options.
Mediawide offers an end-to-end creative management platform that allows brands to use contextual content while talking to its customers. This platform can be applied across media from print and web to direct personalized videos and enables brands, agencies, and publishers to build, scale, distribute, and measure their digital creative. Mediawide’s creative management platforms simplify the process of campaign execution while ensuring that communication to the customer—even in a distributed marketing environment—is never compromised.
Presswise by Smartsoft has addressed the increased complexity of print workflows. It is a single browser-based print management system that automates the entire workflow—including online orders, custom walk-ins, or orders entered by representatives in the field. It is an end-to-end, SaaS-based MIS and print workflow automation solution complete with features like unlimited web storefronts, estimating, quoting, order processing, workflow management, complete shipping integration, fulfillment, and the ability to integrate with most other third-party storefronts and existing back-end accounting systems. PressWise allows users to process an entire job from order to delivery with minimal human touches. Sales representatives, customer service representatives, and even customers are able to easily generate quotes that are then turned into job tickets.
PrintPoint is a comprehensive cross-platform print shop estimating and management software solution. Users purchase a single-user core system or a multi-user version to run on either/ Macintosh or Windows computers. With a multi-user system, all clients access the same database in real time. Add-on modules allow users to expand shop management to include visual scheduling, product fulfillment, shop floor data collection and job costing, W2P storefront, and messaging.
Propago brings the physical and digital marketing worlds together in a single, cloud-based platform that enables marketers to better manage the complexities of distributing brand and marketing materials. For service providers, the platform provides a tool they can present to customers as well as handles all of the operational needs that come from demand generated from those marketing portals. Features include production and procurement management, forecasting and planning, complete warehouse management, and a high-volume fulfillment engine.
Racad Tech offers W2P Shop and W2P Cloud. The W2P software is designed to achieve ultimate flexibility through a modular infrastructure. PSPs publish products on their own website, using WorkPress, Shopify, or on the W2P cloud. The system allows printers to leverage multiple product editors so they can provide the front-end user experience that best suits their client needs. Ideal for any level of print and graphics infrastructure, the W2P Shop and W2P Cloud online printing solutions have a strong track record in helping printing companies display their online ordering portals and improve production workflows, profitability, and efficiency.
RedTie offers an excellent support staff and ease of use for the printer and end user. The company offers advanced functions such as an XML editor that allows customers to do their own integrations without the need for developers; ‘edit print’ functionality that allows users to drag and drop, rotate, or do text editing when enabled; and complex approval chains including the option to give specific approvers the ability to edit the order basket or make changes to the products being ordered. RedTie is available as a pay-as-you-go model where there is no upfront costs or monthly costs.
Rochester Software Associates
Rochester Software Associates (RSA) offers WebCRD, which the company says stands out in several ways. For one, it is a single-solution designed specifically for in-plants. Since in-plant priorities are different than those of commercial printers, RSA focuses exclusively on these needs, which include internal user, a need to be IT friendly and highly secure, the ability to allocate costs/change back for services, integrate with corporate and enterprise systems in addition to other print workflow tools, and to automate workflows to control costs and reduce the need for staff. It is also designed to drive efficiency. It does this by enabling print jobs to print directly on all production printers without reticketing. Single-page ticketing saves time and eliminates multiple steps for repeat users. It offers multiple variable data publishing (VDP) options and solutions to meet almost any need or budget.
Vpress provides affordable, intuitive, dynamic ordering W2P solutions for the print industry. The system is configured around production, but is easily utilized by print management, office products, and creative agencies as well as brands directly. Vpress not only creates and builds its range of solutions, but integrates into every other platform needed both upstream for end clients and downstream into any production environment. Solutions are truly globalized with currencies and languages giving a true around-the-clock engagement platform for any kind of product. Additionally, assets such as imagery and data can be easily and securely managed to complement any job that follows strict rules regarding brand compliance or an open array of options to support the product. From dynamic editing to instant request for quotes, digital asset management, and VDP, the feature-rich Coreprint W2P product is an SaaS secure platform. No software is needed as the platform works in any browser on any device and can be configured and deployed in as little as 20 minutes. Full product training and support is available.
W2PSoftware provides small to mid-sized print providers ease of entry and an affordable W2P solution. The only requirement users need to support the software is PTI Fusion Pro desktop.
XMPie, a Xerox Company, offers PersonalEffect StoreFlow v.10, an all-in-one W2P solution for launching ecommerce sites and marketing portals. At its core is XMPie’s document composition engine, PersonalEffect, which when integrated with Adobe InDesign offers unparalleled personalization capabilities. With the latest version, customers have even more control, they are able to expedite storefront launch times, personalize storefronts to meet unique band requirements, and offer advanced VDP and omni-channel campaigns from a storefront workflow. Also new is an interactive theme editor that makes designing new storefronts intuitive and launching them faster than ever. For uses with advanced programming skills, HTML code access offers the freedom to add even more personalization and directly change all site content, behavior, and logic. StoreFlow Version 10 provides a superior experience for both administrator and consumer by automating and streamlining the workflow from order to fulfillment.
Web-Based Print Ordering
W2P tools offer a myriad of benefits to the modern print provider—from small print for pays to large commercial operations and in-plants, a properly implemented W2P leads to improved efficiencies and improved customer experiences. Read more about ecommerce strategies in our October issue.
Sep2019, DPS Magazine