Web-to-Print Portals: 12 Steps for Getting End User Buy-In, Boosting Utilization
You've sold a Web-to-print (W2P) solution into one of your key accounts. Now what? When it comes to online document portals, it's not "build it and they will come." Depending on the complexity, there can be significant costs associated with setting up the portal, creating the templates and working through the back-end workflow issues. Once the client makes the investment, you want to make sure that they are using it.
According to "Web-to-Print: The Promise, the Potential, the Reality," a 2013 survey conducted by Epicomm (NAPL) and sponsored by Xerox, 58 percent of W2P implementers reported a client utilization rate of 5 percent or less, and 92.8 percent reported a rate of 20 percent or less. The average rate was just 11.3 percent, or a little better than one in nine clients. At the same time, more than half of Epicomm's respondents indicated that W2P has increased their sales—58 percent, up from 52 percent the prior year.
One wonders. With so many respondents saying that W2P has boosted their sales, what might profitability look like if their average user implementation rate were higher?
What can be done to increase your implementation rates? When we look around the industry, we see best practices implementers doing a great job of getting user buy-in and boosting utilization. Here are 12 steps that can be learned from them.
1) Charge for development, template building and execution. When something is free, it is perceived as having less value than something that is charged. This was one of the lessons learned by Darwill, a Hillside, IL-based shop that was "creating W2P portals before W2P came in a box."
"In the beginning, there was this dream that you just have to centralize the artwork and decentralize the execution, and you'll get money pouring in. So, many printers would do the development for free," says Mark Pageau, vice president of sales for Darwill, which built its own POD storefront, ForSite.