Web to Print
Web to print is a service that offers to print products online, which is also known as “remote publishing”, “print e-commerce solution” or “Web2Print”. Web to print allows companies to maintain their printing activities a lot more efficiently. It allows for people to order a product online using technology that generates a print-ready file which is sent directly to the print business or production.
Web to print sites are usually available for commercial users or to the general public, depending on their target audience, and customers may submit print jobs, do online pre-press reviews, or print things such as postcards directly from the website. Some web to print sites may even offer a simplified editing software to edit your images, and host a library of templates such as postcards, posters, flyers, etc.
How Does Web to Print Work?
Web to print works as an online ordering platform or service, which is accessible through your normal web browser. This platform allows you to upload any of your images, or even business’ branded files to then simply order. Businesses can use desktop publishing software to create pre-defined templates, which are then posted on their websites for consumers to use.
You gain control with web to print, ordering exactly what you want and whenever you want it. The process of this can not only save you time but also money, as you can do it without leaving your desk. The files sent can also be sent back to you digitally for final approval before them being sent, which provides assurance that you’re going to be getting what you need, and the best possible option.
A Brief History on Web to Print
Printers have been selling their services online for longer than the term “web to print” has been used, and no-one knows the exact origin of the term. However, the first time it was properly recognised was in an article on Desk Top Publishing by a man named Jim Frew, in 1999.
As technology evolves, so does web to print, as it’s now no longer just associated with the process of printing online, it has also evolved into something a bit more complex. You can now edit your products, print your images or branding onto various merchandise, and many companies have used the term to name software or certain departments that specialise in it.
What are the benefits of Web to Print?
- Reduces costs: Web to print lets you order on demand, which lets you order products as you need them and cuts design approval stages, saving you time and money. The cost is reduced without compromising the quality, which can also allow less focus on having to restock.
- Wide Market: You’re not restricted to one location, or local consumers. Having an online presence enables access to a global audience, and it means more than one person can order at the same time.
- Fast and automated process: The process of printing can be much faster when it is managed online, as the printer receives the order, prints it and you can ship it to the customer straight away.
- Brand consistency: You can have your own templates to make sure all your printed products stay on brand and cohesive throughout. Templates van be pre-configured with customised designs and personalisation to your brand.
- Easy transaction: Ordering online with web to print eliminates the need to take time off to go to the printer’s office, you can order from wherever you like and get your order within a few clicks.
- Data collection: Reports for a user, company or item can be generated on-demand. These can allow analysis of your business print activity, giving you insight over order patterns, trends, concerns and popularity of products.
- Control over users: You’re able to choose the amount of users with access to the web to print store, as well as their limitations and permission. You have control over it, which can allow you to stay in control over the ordering process so you’re on track with everything.
Are there any limitations of Web to Print?
- Simplified products: The process including the products on offer has to be simple, as it is easier to estimate the cost and make it user friendly. Selling simple products such as postcards, pictures, mugs, t-shirts and more makes these companies more successful and easier to manage.
- May not suit small scale printers: Web to print may be less effective for small scale printers due to it being less cost effective for them.
- Less of a professional touch: Web to print misses out the expert designer who adds their touch to the product, and makes it more consumer controlled, which may miss out professional editing.
Is Web to Print for you?
At Integrity Connect, we are UK leaders in data driven web to print solutions and we are more than happy to help you with any queries you may have by contacting us. However, if web to print is something you may not be interested in, we offer more expert solutions, such as Outbound, Document Automation, Clarity Mail, Inbound and Software Development which you can read about on our services page.