The world of web-to-print has two types of printers and storefronts. B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C (Business-to-consumer). As B2C web-to-print has expanded in the retail space, it is used by online store owners to attract new customers and offer them with a personalized shopping experience. A B2C business typically includes a print ecommerce tool using which the customers can design, edit and print products before adding them to the shopping cart.
Once you start with a B2C venture, you will be making daily transactions with strangers. But before that, you need to ask yourself certain questions and make some considerations. In fact, there are a lot of them. Let us take a look at some of them.
Superior technology offering is not enough
You might have developed an excellent web-to-print storefront. But unfortunately, technology is not the only aspect that will help you to succeed with your business. The first and the most important thing needed for any business to be successful is a robust marketing strategy and the way in which it is executed.
The most renowned brands in the field of web-to-print are not flourishing just because of their tool or web-to-print technology but due to the ability to make their online presence felt. Do all it takes to occupy a glorious spot in one of the ten places on first page of Google Search Engine. So before mulling over the type of web-to-print tool to use, think about the online marketing strategy you will use.
Create an online marketing strategy
When you want to thrive with your online printing business, always remember that you need to make your presence felt. If customers cannot find you on the internet with the first few searches, the whole point of being online is futile. Your web-to-print solution has to be structured for search engine bots in such a way that they can index your website properly. Prioritize the important content available on every page. Give them suitable headings and provide a pleasant user-experience through responsive design.
Drive the right kind/amount of traffic
There are two ways in which you can drive traffic to your web-to-print store. One, in an organic way and two, by paying. If you choose the pay method, you can easily calculate the return on investment as a part of which you can pay Google per click and count your ROI based on the conversions you make. And in the organic method, you attract customers to your website through marketing efforts like writing blogs, promoting on social media, conducting email campaigns etc and get organic results for targeted keywords.
After making the above considerations, you need to ask yourself certain questions. Given below are some of them.
Whom should I target?
Choosing the target audience is crucial. Consider aspects like customer type, age, vertical market, geography etc. Be as specific as possible if you want to be found online. Otherwise, there are chances that you might get lost.
How should I make my online presence felt?
Have you thought about the strategy you will use in order to be found online. Will you use content marketing, paid search, social media or some other way? Deciding this will help you to work on your marketing budget.
Which products should I sell online?
Ask yourself what products do you want to sell? Photo products, template products, ad hoc items, gift items etc. Also decide whether you will be providing the facility to personalize all or some of them. It will bring much clarity as to what you want to offer and in which way.
Who will help me to apply the marketing strategy?
If you want to be successful online, it is important for you to attract traffic through impressive content and well-directed social media promotion. So you must know who will help you in executing the marketing strategy. You might have to invest in a knowledgeable and skillful marketing professional.
Is my business compatible with the web-to-print tool?
You need to know how your business can be integrated with your Print MIS. Make sure you do not spend on integrating the software unless you have created curiosity and demand for your brand through marketing efforts. Put your thinking cap on and consider long term feasibility before deciding on the web-to-print platform.
How will I know if I am successful?
Online businesses don't work like brick and mortar stores. You can measure, track and analyze all your activities and transactions. This helps you to make further improvements. But before that, you need to decide your threshold or baseline which you need to reach every month/year. Make sure that there are metrics which notify you as to whether you are heading in the right direction or not.
Which web-to-print solution is right for me?
This is a tricky question. With so many web-to-print extensions available out there, you need to choose a tool that is user-friendly, responsive, intuitive and offers hassle free customization to your customers. A systemized approach as the one given below might help you to make the right choice.
1. Know your purpose
There is a specific purpose behind every investment. So before deciding on a tool, you must have clarity on why you need a particular tool. Have an idea about the kind of products you are going to sell and how will you deliver them. Once you have an idea about these things, you can move ahead.
2. Conduct research
Spend time in finding out about different solution providers and try to know what they offer. Make comparisons based on their services, experience and prices. You can also seek help from a person who has a knowhow of technology and can give his opinions on different technologies along with their pros and cons.
3. Read through the customer reviews
Once you have shortlisted the web-to-print solutions of your choice, you need to visit the website of each of them and know what the customers have to say about their products. Analyze and evaluate their experiences, try to know about their popularity in the printing business and ask for a demo of the product. It will help you to reach a conclusion as to whether you should buy the product or not.
4. Know about the features and functionalities
You need to study about the functionalities and features of the web-to-print tool and find out it is compatible with your business requirements. A superior quality web-to-print solution is the one that has ample amount of personalization features, readymade templates, cliparts, text modification facility etc.
5. Find out if you will receive customer support
When you invest in a web-to-print software, it is likely to come with a ‘How to Use' guide. However, when you configure the tool for the customers to use, they might face hurdles while designing a particular product. You also may have glitches managing the back end of your software. This is when you might want the providers of web-to-print tool to help. Make sure that your solution provider offers you with support effectively and promptly. Consistent support offered by the providers will help to run your website in a smooth and seamless manner.
6. Make sure it is cost-effective
For startups, it is important to ensure that when they make an investment into a particular product, they get a good return on investment. It is advisable not to go for a cheap software. Instead, you should choose software that offers superior quality services at affordable rates.
In a nutshell, it is advisable not to overlook the SEO and marketing strategies if you want to run your B2C web-to-print business successfully. Once you are acquainted with the ecommerce ecosystem and know about how it works, you will definitely be able to draw more visitors to your B2C storefront. So what are you waiting for? Follow the above mentioned steps wholeheartedly and you will definitely flourish!