Web-to-Print Portals Lead to Profits, Efficiencies
A user of EFI's OPS, Data Print USA has developed around 20 W2P sites for medical, banking, insurance, clothing, textile and recreational vehicle markets. In addition to the B2B sites, Data Print has ventured into consumer sites, including quickclickprint.com, which addresses marketing needs by vertical.
One of the drawbacks, especially in the case with early Website launches, was their lack of creativity. Brands were not readily apparent, and it was easy to identify the scaffolding of its construction. Customers, especially those whose brand identity is critical, require an interface that reflect its originality.
"We just picked up an insurance company that is doing a promotion with a well-known cartoon figure," Foster says. "We are branding the site exactly the way that they want it. They feel comfortable with it. So it's important for us to have the ability with our W2P technology to create multiple brands easily."
One of the beauties of using OPS, Foster says, is its flexibility. Users can take the off-the-shelf, simplified route to creating sites, or can drill down and develop more customized solutions. And, as client needs continue to evolve—particularly with modern touches such as personalized URLs and cross-media campaigns—OPS has "adopted them and married it into the product."
Committing to W2P, from the top down, is essential for printers to enjoy success in this area, Foster notes. Equally so, assigning the right staff members to quarterback installation and ongoing use is paramount. For companies that have not delved into W2P workflows, Foster recommends hiring educated, experienced personnel.
"You just can't grab someone out of the prepress department," he says. "You need to have the analytical thought process to make it work."
One of the most dynamic printing companies in the marketing space is Daytona Beach, FL-based DME, which has a storied history when it comes to online storefront platforms. Its first offering was OPS, but in recent months DME has cultivated its own custom W2P platform, which was released in January. The application features content management tools that allow DME to white-label the storefront for its customers.