Web 2 print : Differences between B2B & B2C solutions
The term web 2 print has been around for a long time, but many printers still do not know it. The origin of the term web 2 print is largely unknown, which means that many resources date from the late 1990s. True, it was only 28 years ago, but in technology, it's an eternity.
Google was launched in 1998, LinkedIn In 2002, Facebook 2004 and Uber in 2009. For technology, time goes fast and so for every human year, technology makes a good 7 years ahead.
Technology not accessible to the general public, the web 2 print remained for a long time an ambiguous term. This print-on-demand technique can mean different things to different people. To avoid mixing apples with oranges, we will first try to support the meaning of this rather complex term. We will address the essential concepts to remember about the meanings, advantages & disadvantages of the web 2 print in the rest of our article.
We do not think the copy is dying, but it is changing. Print quality, turnaround time, cost and service are now major issues for the game. They do not differentiate, they are needed.
The impression is in our lives and customers are demanding quality services. This is valid whether it is complete marketing solutions, including a variety of physical assets, such as; paper printing, promo, apparel, digital resources such as; central libraries of artwork, emailing campaigns or a full supply chain supply for inventory management, production, purchasing and execution. All these issues are of interest to web technology 2 print
Web 2 print : Definition
What is the web 2 print or web to print ? What is it used for ? As I said above, this term cherished by modern printers and reprographers is really ambiguous. In a simpler way, a web 2 print solution makes it possible to take orders on the Internet with standard web browsers and to be transmitted to the manufacturer for production and shipping. It is now extremely simplified, but it is the general joke. We can say that web 2 print solutions fall into two broad categories: Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B).
Each category has its own advantages and disadvantages, and this article aims to tell you what suits you best, obviously with an indirect approach because we do not know your real needs before you communicate them. To detail the two categories of web 2 print solutions, let's review their advantages and disadvantages. After that I'll let you decide how to go. I will say that these are two completely different animals and that it would be difficult for a single solution to properly manage both segments. If you need tailor-made web 2 print solutions, do not hesitate to contact the Techtoprint team for a free quote or try this demo.
Web 2 print : B2C solution
The B2C web 2 print platforms are designed to be completely open to the public. Which means that the target customer is anyone who wants to print something. These platforms are usually accompanied by a library of predefined templates that customers can edit, customize, and then order. The printer largely ignores customers and is usually small businesses or individuals. The web 2 print platform needs to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in design patterns, product offerings and advanced navigation technologies.
Web 2 print : Target customers
In general, B2C solutions will be optimized to achieve sales with unknown buyers. They will be able to create or download their own white label articles online without the intervention of the producers.
This implies user experience requirements : A good and intuitive user interface for a B2C platform - this point cannot be emphasized enough. When you contact a person with a web browser and try to convert him into a customer, you must have a nice site to look at and, more importantly, your web 2 print platform must be ux optimized to offer smart ordering experience to your customizers.
If you are an online printer, your B2C web 2 print platform should reduce transactional friction in as many places as possible so that once you find leads on your site, it is extremely easy for them to place an order.
Web 2 print : Large library of predefined templates
Some of your potential customers will come to your site with illustrations by hand and simply want to download and order them. In our experience, this is not the case for the majority of customers. Many of your potential customers will ask you to provide predefined templates that they can customize before ordering. Just make sure your web 2 print solution has a rich library of cool and glamorous templates.
Web 2 print : SEO optimization-search engines
Although SEO is not the only way to get traffic to your site, it's certainly an important step for long-term success.
If you want to drive up your revenue, you will need to clearly define how to manage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how often it is updated to support the evolution of Google's tide (and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing).
Your skills in Search Engine Marketing-SEM must be mobilized to make the case- It is easy to create a B2C web 2 print showcase. The most difficult part will be to generate traffic to the site, that is to say this set of prospects that will be converted into real customers. You will need a wide variety of traditional marketing skills, as well as search engine optimization skills commonly referred to as SEO and pay-per-click search engine marketing or paid search engine optimization-SEA.
Web 2 print : Ability to handle a large volume
B2C Web 2 print platforms will usually help you to capture a large number of low value orders. You must be able to handle the high volume of all sides - production, accounting, customer service, execution, etc. When you target the consumer directly, you find that you are receiving a wide variety of customers. These range from advanced technology to small local businesses, to Joe Blow who wants to print an article. Be prepared to support all types.
On most web 2 print online shops, customer service is a part of the sales process often overlooked but that is very important. Your B2C site is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, yes it's good but it's not enough! What hours can I contact someone on the phone for help? Do you issue refunds? What if I do not like my business cards? Here are some of the questions that may arise in your customers! The list can last forever and I do not propose that you have the answer to everything, but you must have a global plan.
Web 2 print : Benefits of B2C solutions
It's a fast sales segment : Once your storefront is up and running, you can start driving traffic to the site immediately and, in theory, convert it to a paying customer.
Autopilot: If you manage to find the right balance between marketing, product offers and prices, your web 2 print showcase could place orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Naturally, it's not something that you can configure and manage for a year but instantly.
Web 2 print B2C : Disadvantages of the segment
High competition: You will play on a field with some big players - Think of Techtoprint, Vistaprint, etc. They generate revenues of about $ 1 billion a year, they have vast resources for marketing and software development, as well as the ability and automation to produce products at very low prices. Be aware of your competitors.
Generally low margin: B2C systems really target individual consumers or small business owners who do not have the buying power to negotiate favorable rates. The result is lower average control values that must be compensated for by a very large volume amount to reduce production costs. Prepare for tighter margins, especially if you increase your volume.
Low Value Relationship : The beauty of B2C is that the world is your oyster and if you market well, anyone can become your customer. The disadvantage of B2C is that the world is also the oyster of your web 2 print CLIENT. It's extremely easy for the customer to be frustrated, not because of the price or the designs, and to turn to Google's next supplier for "custom t-shirts".
Web 2 print : B2B segment
B2B web 2 print platforms are designed to provide corporate customers with a private online portal for all their brand assets. These "portals" are created for each of your customers and contain customer-approved marketing assets / guarantees.
In addition, the portals are protected by a secure identifier while your client decides who can enter and what rights he has after. Please note that in the next section, I can use terms such as marketing portal, marketing solutions and marketing management: these are terms related to B2B web 2 print platforms.
Web 2 print B2B-Target client : Companies
Think about your top 25 current customers in terms of turnover. It is usually the candidates who can justify a need for a B2B web 2 print platform to host their marketing assets. Plus, if you dive deeper into your customer list or prospect list, you can search for companies that have a lot of employees, distributed sales forces, or many sites. All these criteria make it interesting to implement an online web to print solution.
Web 2 print B2B : Flexible Business Rules
Your B2B customers may want to limit the products a user can see, control the dollars that can be spent per week, route certain orders through multi-step approvals, and much more.
In order to meet the complex needs of end customers, you need a web 2 print platform that can support and enforce flexible business rules defined by your customers.
Corporate customers will need to put controls in place to ensure that the products are brand-compliant, that orders are on budget and that lead times are on schedule. Remember that one of your customer's main selling points is the ability to centralize your documents in a single repository and protect your brand, budget, and inventory.
Web 2 print B2B : Ability to handle all types of products
Marketing departments use today a multitude of different media and tactics to convey the message of their brand to their targets. Providing your customer with a business-friendly marketing portal will also require a platform that can elegantly manage all types of products, including physical, such as : print, promotional, apparel and digital, such as: digital asset management, email marketing, purchase pages and others.
Web 2 print B2B : Essential marketing skills for success
To succeed in your online printing business, you need to be able to look beyond printing. Your company's marketing departments receive a daily heavier workload. They must support a number of different physical assets such as printing, promotion, clothing or anything else related to your brand, while managing multiple digital channels.
To stand out from the crowd of competing suppliers, give your customers a real solution that makes their lives easier. Help them focus on tasks that can affect their business, more than looking for links in a complex marketing supply chain.
Selling a print software to a company is quite different from trying to sell a marketing solution to a company. I would not suggest that you try to turn your entire sales force into big sellers of solutions, but you will need a few people to carry the torch. They must be able to solve problems that disturb a customer and understand how and what web 2 print solution to offer to overcome it.
Web 2 print B2B : Benefits
Generally high margin: When you deploy complete solutions for your customers, you benefit from higher margins. I am not trying to say that you can increase the prices of all your products and you will always have losses. That said, overall, you should be able to get more margins from your big customers.
To do this, increase your volumes and reduce your costs, improve the combination of products ordered with higher margin product lines, by charging for services such as hosting the web 2 print portal, etc.
Of course, if you are trying to take advantage of your customers, you will not be there for the long term - but if you provide web 2 print service and features that help your customers on a daily basis, it's not just about the price 500 business cards or 50 T-shirts but an everlasting business for you.
Increased revenue stability: When you move your B2B customers to a platform that can streamline their marketing operations, they are much less likely to move. You will not always find that you are bidding against 3 other suppliers, you will be able to maintain the relationship once your favorite print buyer moves into a new company, and so on.
With the marketing portals, your B2B web 2 print clients put their end users directly in touch with your platform. The time, expense and hassle of switching to a new supplier will put the benefits at your side to keep you old customers, as long as you keep in mind that the customer is KING !
Web 2 print B2B : Constraints
Complex sales cycle: The transition to a complete solution sales process is not an easy task. The sales cycle is usually longer. You must make sure you are in touch with the right people in your target audience.
You need to understand what your target customers are doing and the challenges they face (whether they are aware of it or not). Finally, you must provide solutions, you cannot wait for them to ask you, be proactive, be part of their team and think about the long-term vision of your web 2 print solution.
Required Relationships : Unlike B2C web 2 print models in which the most important aspects are to drive a visitor to your site, enjoy an exceptional user experience and offer good prices and optimum quality, B2B web 2 print templates requires you to build relationships with your customers. Your team must demonstrate that they have knowledge and creativity.
Knowledge of customer issues, industry, products and marketing tactics is essential. Knowledge of marketing supply chains, multiple production options, inventory management, forecasting, kitting and execution. The creativity to be able to paint a picture of the future state and the utopian vision and, above all, of what it takes to achieve it. The key to having your voice heard is to have a relationship with the customer because you are considered a partner and not a seller and a trusted advisor.