“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.
This quote, famously attributed to Charles Darwin, came to mind as I reflected on how different Print Providers have fared through the Covid pandemic.
Thankfully and despite the hardships, many of our customers have not just survived but thrived. Not because they’re the biggest and can withstand the market swings, but because they had the right tools at the ready and were quick to adapt to the new normal. They understood the potential of their XMPie StoreFlow Web-to-Print software and knew how to maximise its value above simply producing business cards and flyers.
The global Web-to-Print software market is growing at an annual rate of 8.41% and is expected to reach USD 867.76 million by 2027 (360iResearch). Let’s look at why web-to-print continues to be an essential ingredient for success, especially through hard economic times, and why you should consider a Web-to-Print investment that offers many more revenue opportunities than an elementary print-on-demand eCommerce system.
The Move Online
The pandemic hastened the inevitable move online for all industries, including print. A digital presence with a workflow that reduces physical human interaction wasn’t just critical for saving time and money and reducing errors. It became an operational necessity as all physical access was restricted.
Across every industry from education to retail, brands adapted their messaging fast to demonstrate solidarity and increase awareness of public safety warnings. Our web-to-print customers served their clients with fast turnaround branded floor decals, room capacity messages, wide-format posters, and more to grab attention and circulate covid safety information.
A Web-to-Print store can be used to sell much more than just print. At the beginning of the pandemic, our customers launched storefronts for selling non-print products such as covid face shields, facemasks, sanitiser labels, and acrylic sneeze guards. One education InPlant even added groceries to its storefront for students trapped in their student accommodation to order their essentials.
Adaptability at Scale
As the pandemic has demonstrated, manual order fulfilment processes are unscalable, and print buyers’ needs, feature requests, and integration capabilities will always change. With an advanced web-to-print system, printers have choices and flexibility. They can grow at their own pace, add new stores, add capabilities, offer new products, and protect their investment all the way.
Our customers have been adding Web-to-print services to their XMPie configurations to streamline the ordering process and reduce operational costs. I’ve seen that covid has accelerated this push for automation and tested the resiliency of trusted workflows. But more than that, printers need their staff to concentrate on higher-value creative tasks like complex design work, improving customer relationships, and selling profitable services like omnichannel communications. Gone are the days when staff talent can be wasted on manual, repetitive chores.
From personalised brochures to customised proposals, the ability to deliver on increasingly complex personalisation requirements has become essential for any online ordering system, and a single vendor might not always fit the bill. Some of our customers use the XMPie personalisation engine to manage document handling, personalisation, customisation, composition, and pre-press automation workflows for storefronts built with other eCommerce technologies such as Magento, Shopify or BigCommerce. Now, just like before the pandemic, solving your clients’ problems must be your number one priority and vendor collaborations like these create win-win outcomes for everyone.
If you’re considering web-to-print options, don’t invest in a one-trick pony. XMPie is a platform that offers so much more than print ordering. With its advanced personalisation capabilities, fast variable content rendering, multichannel capabilities, and integration options, StoreFlow customers can position themselves well above the competition.
Most printers would prefer to adapt their business during calmer times, but as we’ve learned the hard way, some things are out of our control. To succeed, printers need to be quick to understand and act on signals of change. It’s been humbling for me to witness our customers using their XMPie platform as an opportunity to evolve, diversify and adapt their services to overcome such a monumental challenge.