W2P Industry in 2022: Challenges and Opportunities
For the past few years, the print industry landscape has been facing digital disruption. There are many reasons contributing to this transformation. Hardware commoditization, the rise of customization, and Covid-19 are a few of them.
Out of this, Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst that has boosted this digital transformation. With lockdowns and restrictions on all kinds of mobility, even the staunch supporters of traditional printing methods had to look for Web-to-Print solutions. W2P made it simple for all the users to place their printing orders straight from their homes.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for W2P is projected to reach the revised size of US$1.5 Billion by the year 2027. It will grow with a CAGR of 6.6% for 2020-2027. These stats show the upward trend of W2P in the coming years. 2022 is a year that comes with many challenges and opportunities for the W2P industry. In this article, we look at a few of those major challenges and opportunities.
Print Industry Moving Towards Platform Economy
E-Commerce, coupled with wider adoption of Web-to-Print solutions, is ready to transform D2C sales. It also means that there will be a smaller number of intermediates and sales contact relationships in print order in 2022. By the year 2030, experts believe that the entire world will depend on online specifications. This will make online ordering a norm for printing.
Thus, more and more companies will invest in Web-to-Print Software Solutions. This will result in the print industry moving towards the platform economy. This means that W2P will become as segmented as ride-hailing apps. It will enable customers to make service and price comparisons.
There is also a complementary trend from eCommerce where orders are shorter. But there is a great expectation of faster turnaround, which includes next-day deliveries in some cases. These trends will enable the rapid adoption of efficient workflows and automated print.
A platform model economy is possibly the biggest opportunity for manufacturers for building an ecosystem for MFPs (Multifunction Printers). This enables them to support digital transformation initiatives. Although there are already many embedded app platforms, only a few of them have been able to build a large developer community.
Xerox ConnectKey is the biggest name when we talk about established platforms. It offers completely integrated cloud-based solutions. With this, users can print from anywhere and from any device.
HP Workpath is another name that promises to develop and deploy customized digital workflow apps. It has developed a bunch of apps that facilitate efficient and secure workflows. They can also integrate with the existing platforms like SharePoint, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
Automated Workflow Management
Having a Web-to-Print solution means that you are going to receive a large number of orders. That is a good thing, but it also means that there will be a higher cost of fulfillment. If print owners decide to reflect this rise in cost, it may increase the prices, causing them to lose out on their customers. To avoid this situation, printing brands often look for print workflow automation.
Print workflow automation uses software, interconnected devices, and specific hardware to automate those processes of printing that were earlier done manually. The main aim of workflow automation is to cut those physical touchpoints that need human intervention.
Automated workflow systems can streamline the workflow process. This reduces the cost of fulfillment which in turn reduces the final price. Apart from that, workflow automation offers benefits like:
Better Management of On-Demand Work
Nowadays, customers are looking for companies that can deliver shorter print runs that are customizable and complex in nature. Integrating smart workflow automation processes can help companies deliver the same; thus, increasing their revenue and customer satisfaction.
Improved Job Turnaround
According to NAPCO Research, automation in the print workflow can significantly impact the job turnaround. The research involves data from around 201 commercial printers with a prime focus on workflow automation.
High automation is a clear winner in the bracket of 4 hours or fewer, 4 to 7 hours, and 24 to 47.9 hours section. This is because printers with highly automated workflow save more time due to lesser chaos and confusion.
Other key benefits of workflow automation are:
- Boost production speed by printing more jobs per hour
- Increase job capacity and reduce delivery time
- Identify and eradicate any potential job errors before beginning print jobs
- Increase profitability by reducing cost with workflow automation.
The web-to-print industry is an emerging one, and emerging industries have more scope of experiment and improvement. Two of the ways in which the industry can enjoy growth is workflow automation and platform economy. These have the potential to transform businesses substantially, in terms of switching up and making the workflow more efficient and error free. Print business will benefit greatly the sooner they get start investing in Web-to-Print with these two areas in mind.