Has Web to Print Lost Its Mojo? No!

Articles that ask if a company such as Apple or Amazon has lost its “mojo”, are asking if those companies have lost the magic that propelled them to success. Often it is their technology that drives this perception. This is true in print production too. Over the years we have seen many technologies get hot or cold (gain or lose mojo). Today inkjet production printing and large format printing (signage) are hot. A few years ago, it was QR codes and Purls. But what about e-commerce or web to print? Although not as flashy you may be surprised to learn that web to print remains hot and has not lost its mojo

For a technology to lose its mojo, it had to previously possessed mojo or in other words been considered a hot technology. The first question is: has web to print ever been considered a hot technology? The answer is yes. While working for NAPL I worked with Andy Paparozzi on several digital studies. Seven years ago, we published the Digital Services Study 2nd edition and reported that 52% of companies reported that web to print increase sales and 36% reported it increased profitability.

Source: NAPL Digital Services Survey 2012

Web to Print Technology an Important Technology today

Keypoint Intelligence /InfoTrends has been tracking web to print usage for years. In their U.S Production Software Investment Outlook, InfoTrends, 2015 they reported 39.5% commercial printers offered online ordering and in their 2019 study, they project that number will increase to 57%. In the 2015 study an average of 29% of commercial print volume was ordered with web to print and their latest projection is that will increase to 45% in 2021. That means that web to print has remained one of the most important technologies for a decade, which is longer inkjet production printing and large format printing.

3 Reasons Web to Print Has Not Lost its Mojo

1. Customers appreciate ordering any time day or night, the convenience of ordering online, and the automatic responses informing them that files were received and products were shipped. For customers, it can enhance their experience. The ability to offer online estimates also improves the customer experience.

2. As a service provider, web-to-print can automate manual steps in the print production process such as estimating, design, job ticketing, preflight and billing. The most common bottlenecks we see in our consulting assignments are front end tasks such as estimating, job ticketing, and preflighting files. In a recent assignment, we calculated that a staff of 2.5 people could save 347 hours a year – a value of $107K with the Web to print solution.

3. There is also a feature that speeds up the production of stationary products such as business cards letterhead and envelopes. Often referred to as a templated based feature, it provides customers with templates of standardized products such as business cards that allows them to fill in their information and automatically see the PDF proof that they can approve immediately. This also results in increased compliance of branding for the parent organization.

While other technologies remain the hot technologies, web to print has not lost its mojo. I challenge anyone to find a technology that offers more than these 7 distinct benefits: increases sales, enhances the customer experience, helps maintain corporate identity standards, increases profitability, is responsible for more volumes, is growing in adoption, and reduces manufacturing time and costs.

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Howie Fenton is an independent consultant focusing on measuring and benchmarking performance. An international presenter and trusted advisor, he helps companies use best practices and workflow strategies to streamline operations. For more information visit howiefentonconsulting.com.
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