Web-to-Print: Easy Does It for Customers
"We are at the mercy of the browser wars between Apple, Google and Microsoft all choosing different standards," he says. "That has to play out for our online designer to get to the next level."
Sourcing Print Products
Many traditional printers use W2P as a customer-facing, password-protected vehicle for print procurement by clients with multiple retail franchises or firms with a network of sales representatives/offices spread around the country. A prime example of this is Cockrell Enovation, of Fort Worth, TX, which boasts client verticals in banking/finance, health care, life sciences, event planning and publishing.
Cockrell has been using a RedTie solution for the past three and a half years. Ryan Crist, who heads marketing and client services for the firm, notes it is one of three solutions used by the printer, but is the preferred choice for a "glossy, easy-to-use interface." Crist is proud of the fact that orders aren't touched by human hands until they come off-press.
Cockrell has customized the RedTie solution with a live chat application and customer support call center feature. The idea is to massage the W2P solution to resemble a B2C-type platform which, incidentally, appears to be in the cards for the Texas printer.
"We have around $5 million in B2C revenue in our other lines of business; we're pretty robust on e-commerce applications," he says. "We're evaluating the (printing) market potential for B2C, because it's so saturated with all of the companies offering print. We're asking ourselves, 'What's missing from the market and how can we be different?' "
Naturally, as long as W2P has been around, there have been clients angling to have printers set up customized sites gratis. Proving the value proposition to customers hasn't been as difficult, according to Crist.
"Once they see what other things we're offering them, far beyond what they can get for free from Printer XYZ, they see the value in the investment," he says. "We've been successful in overcoming that." PI