Web-to-print: Unlocking the W2P Potential
All told, the campaign increased ClubReps’ membership by 10 percent, greatly exceeding the customer’s expectations. “One of the benefits of using this program is we’re not just printing postcards or commodity print jobs,” Jais notes. “We’re acting as a marketing service for these small- and medium-sized companies.”
So far, Graphics Plus has done seven campaigns, two of which were self-promotional initiatives aimed at raising awareness in regards to the printer’s capability. Jais is hoping to double that figure in 2015.
Some companies have cultivated a number of sources for e-commerce platforms. Included in this group is Edward Rothschild, the owner of three AlphaGraphics franchises in the Denver market. Recently, Rothschild obtained EFI’s Online Print Solutions (OPS). He also has a consumer online ordering site, posterdog.com, which runs on a different platform.
“We were looking for a better alternative with a broader range of capabilities—where we could add modules to it as we needed them,” Rothschild explains. “So far, we’ve done well with the basic structure of OPS and that’s been sufficient for us.”
According to Rothschild, his set of franchises has about 100 customer-facing Websites. One of the more robust sites that his company has developed through OPS is a W2P portal designed for—coincidentally enough—a franchisor in the high-end executive office business. The client wanted certain information available to some members, but gated from others, lending to a lot of variability. Franchisee payments are made through the site, and Rothschild considers it the most well-rounded site.
“Initially, it was pretty straightforward, and took two to three weeks to put together,” Rothschild says. “One of the challenges with these portals is that as the customer becomes more enthused, you (get more input into) what needs to be done. We’re still growing the site.”
Educating Customers Is Key to Usage
Rothschild attended a meeting of his customer’s franchisees in Las Vegas to educate them on getting the most out of the Web portal. One of the keys in getting maximum usage out of the site was keeping it simple for the end users to use. Under-utilized W2P sites can be a fact of life, but Rothschild points out that there’s marketing value in sites when a printer can produce them quickly and cost-effectively.