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If you're a printing company or a distributor selling customizable products and looking to grow your business, then setting up an online presence seems like a good strategy. However, simply setting up seller profiles on ecommerce platforms or building transactional websites won't guarantee success.
To compete in the online marketplace, such businesses need specialized tech solutions known as web to print software.
The software helps in setting up interactive online storefronts with the help of built-in design tools. Additionally, it comes with functionalities such as order management and billing, which help businesses cater to the unique needs of their diverse clientele.
This buyers guide introduces common features, buyer groups, and other considerations companies should understand before investing in new software.
Here's what we'll cover:
- What is web to print software?
- Common features of web to print software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Key considerations when buying web to print software
What is web to print software?
Web to print software is a tool for processing print orders online.
Such tools are used by marketing companies, print shops, and distributors to create online storefronts where customers can select, customize, and order a diverse range of products for printing.
Common features of web to print software
Web to print solutions can combine different capabilities, such as digital designing, file sharing, website management, and order management.
|Online design studio||Allow customers to upload desired images/designs or edit existing templates using built-in tools—clip art, brush, crop, etc.—to create custom product designs for printing.|
|Online storefronts||Build separate online stores with different process workflows and privacy options for retail and corporate clients.|
|Order management||Capture online and offline order requests, track order statuses as they are pushed into production, and generate invoices and shipping labels for completed orders.|
|Approval workflows||Set up rule-based order approval workflows that automatically alerts the right stakeholder for reviewing order requests.|
|Integration||Improve the capabilities of the solution by integrating with third-party tools such as payment gateways, customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain solutions.|
What type of buyer are you?
- Small businesses: Typically, their requirements are limited to establishing an online presence and selling products. Tools that offer the stated common features at the least can satisfy their needs. Since their business processes are not as complex as larger counterparts, they can explore integrations that are essential for the online marketplace such as payment gateways.
- Midsize and large businesses: Given the size of their operations, the important thing for these buyers is the integration capabilities of a software tool with other business applications such as CRM and accounting software. Integrations ensure that business and customer data don’t get lost within wide-ranging and complex business processes. Further, features directly off-the-shelf might not fit midsize and large business process requirements and may require extensive customization.
Key considerations when buying web to print software
Before purchasing a web to print solution, buyers should carefully examine the tool's support provisions.
- Trials and user support: While software solutions are significantly more intuitive than what they used to be, their usability translates at each individual's level quite differently. To ensure each user can operate the software without hassles post-implementation, ask the vendor for trials or demos before making any commitment. Also, explore the support provisions, such as on-call executives or chat support, to know what steps to take if the tool experiences any issues and/or downtime.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They were obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.