Implementing a Custom Web-to-Print Solution for Personalization Workflows
If a printer hasn’t adopted a web-to-print solution at this point already, they’re probably at least thinking about it. As with any technology that becomes normalized —cars, smart phones, coffee machines—some are better than others, depending on your needs. Perhaps your shop sees a lot of custom short-run jobs with a heavy emphasis on personalization. It’s highly likely that the average packaged web-to-print system is not robust enough to handle your project parameters once they venture outside of what is considered an “average” job.
Fortunately, there are 3rd party options available that can provide you with the flexibility you need to deliver for your customers. Customer’s Canvas from Aurigma (Booth 251) is a web-to-print editor that can integrate into any website and allow you to create personalization workflows of almost any complexity for nearly any print product. It’s the answer for many printers whose jobs fall outside the scope of a normal web-to-print solution’s abilities.
Mike B. is just the sort of printer mentioned above. He runs a family-owned business in the UK that his father built from the ground up. Mike’s shop thrives off jobs like gift personalization and labeling, so every job is a custom job for him. He needed a tool that would allow his customers to create their own designs, as well as personalize existing templates, while maintaining an intuitive online ordering experience that would deliver conversions. Let’s take a look at how Customer’s Canvas enabled Mike to achieve these goals with an example of a job that his shop sees quite often.
Our phones and computers can store thousands of photos, yet it’s not quite the same as holding and touching those memories in print form. Many of Mike’s customers agree, and have made personalized photo books a hot item for him. Putting one of these books together can be exceedingly complicated if the end-user doesn’t have the right tools, so the printer must also have the capabilities to easily create an effective template. In this example, anyone in Mike’s shop that’s familiar with Adobe Photoshop can create a template that is compatible with Customer’s Canvas. Let’s start there.
Any multi-layer Photoshop template that contains text, photos, shapes, and smart objects can be uploaded to the Customer’s Canvas online editor. These layers can then be edited by the end-user. A system of markers developed specifically for Customer’s Canvas can be added to Photoshop layers as a string of text, and allow or disallow certain permissions for the end user. In the photo book template, we can allow the user to upload an image into an image placeholder, but lock that layer so that they are unable to move it. Alternatively, Mike can loosen restrictions in the editor for more design-savvy users, allowing them to move photos around, change the template’s background, or use a wide range of font style options. Once the customer is happy with their pages, the wizard-like interface will lead them to the cart, and can prompt customers to bundle their order with other items if they wish. It’s as easy as that.
The best part about all of this in Mike’s case is that he was able to receive all of these benefits without interrupting any of his existing online infrastructure. This is because Customer’s Canvas acts as a web application, and can be injected into any website’s code without damaging or changing the hard work it took to build it. The result is a powerful web-to-print personalization engine that can handle even the most specialized jobs, painless integration and implementation for the printer, and the convenience of customizing products at home for the customer.