In the fourth episode of our recent Podcast Conference, The Future of Print: From Physical to Digital, Philip Gaskin and Felix Blackburn from XMPie, along with XMPie Users John Conroy, Managing Director at Claremon and Scott Williams, CEO at Rocket, joined Deborah Corn to discuss combining Print and eCommerce, growing small business through online orders, and the impact that the right kind of Marketing Asset Portal can have at your company. This conference was presented as a Podcasts From The Printerverse Conference Series.
eCommerce has become one of the best ways for a Print Shop to be competitive; a way to market your products, company and automate the delivery of your services. If you’re still treating it as an afterthought and are yet to bite the bullet, here are some of the most valuable benefits for you to consider –both for you and your customers.
Differentiate Your Business
“We call it our Marketing Assets Portal… It’s very much a bespoke build that we do for each of our clients.“
– John Conroy, Managing Director at Claremon
eCommerce, Web-to-Print, Online Ordering System, Marketing Portal, Marketing Assets Portal… it doesn’t matter what you call it. Allowing your customers to interact with your print business online is becoming almost mandatory in today’s business environment. With an eCommerce function, you can open your business up digitally for your B2C customers or create dedicated secure stores or portals for your B2B clients to order their communications material- safe in the knowledge that your brand assets are locked down. Using a digital entry to your business rather than any traditional legacy entry is faster, efficient, and more convenient for both buyer and seller.
XMPie’s eCommerce solution, StoreFlow, includes both catalog and production elements: interactive and automatic personalization capabilities as well as pricing, delivery, and analytics functions. At its core is XMPie’s document composition engine PersonalEffect which, integrated with Adobe InDesign, offers unparalleled template-based personalization capabilities, and supports the complete Adobe InDesign workflow from set-up through preview and composition. This ensures the highest quality custom printed products, including those requiring special brand representation features such as custom fonts and colors. It also allows for unlimited scalability to match the end-users’ requirements, however large or small.
Keep Your Sales Team SELLING
“[StoreFlow] allows us to get the right people doing the right process, performing the right function, and at the right time. It’s just another step along that journey.”– John Conroy, Managing Director at Claremon
Salespeople inadvertently tend to waste their time taking print orders. In fact, with an online ordering system, rather than shifting that task to another staff member, your customer will be responsible for the ordering process.
An online ordering system keeps salespeople selling, approaching high-value clients, and offering efficient and effective print marketing solutions.
Print shops must aim to improve efficiencies at every turn by reducing the time spent on each job and increasing profit margins. Perhaps you’re hesitant to minimize face-to-face customer interaction but increasing speed-to-market and offering customer convenience must be the goal. Your staff should always prioritize time spent having higher-value conversations with clients; building long-term customer relationships isn’t predicated on having multiple telephone calls over a single business card order.
For Big Shops and Small Shops
“All [you] need is an online storefront with an API that calls into any trade printer out there, or any printer that they can make a relationship with, and essentially open up their own business, become entrepreneurs.”– Deborah Corn
Small shops might even be the future of printing, because the online space is where smaller businesses can compete with larger players. Rather than focusing on a commodity model putting ink on paper, small shops can feed the larger companies and bypass the need to invest heavily in the hardware themselves.
Online Print ordering is just one application available to all regardless of business size; others include digital and omnichannel marketing services and any service that doesn’t require significant equipment investments.
“I love the whole stickiness of the portal.”– Deborah Corn
An online ordering system builds success by design. It is essential for those sectors, such as financial services, that must adhere to complex rules regulating business practice in their jurisdiction(s). Users ordering online can customize certain sections, such as contact details, and branding and corporate content can be locked down.
By focusing on optimization and functionality to address each customer’s unique requirements, you are offering a high-value benefit to generate repeat usage. Your service will be integrated into its daily operations, improve efficiency, and overall work experience. It won’t even matter if your customer has a high staff turnover since everything is already pre-set.
You can also scale up or down depending on the client and its changing feature requirements over time. Any product can be added to these ordering portals, including merchandise, static print items, fully personalized items, on-the-fly document submission, labels and packaging with 3D preview, or complete multi-touchpoint omnichannel marketing campaigns.
Attract Young Staff
“It truly is [the] younger people that we’re bringing in [who] truly embrace this technology… it’s actually brought some energy… that otherwise wouldn’t have been there… Since the introduction of XMPie, we’ve actually been able to hire those Gen Zs, the millennials, and they embrace it,”– Scott Williams, CEO Rocket.
Printing might be a comparatively mature industry, but today’s technologies are far from it. With new software like XMPie, Print Shops now find themselves in the enviable position of being able to attract young talent to transform their businesses and stay ahead in a fast-changing environment.
Gen Zs and Millennials are digital natives with little or no comprehension of life without digital tools, and your print shop can attract them with new digitally integrated technologies. Grab the opportunity to put your programmers onto tasks that fit their skills rather than wasting time programming the laser dots on the paper!
Is eCommerce an essential part of your business yet? Get in touch below if you want to remove the obstacles created by human-led sales, ordering, preparation, and production processes with XMPie StoreFlow.