Web to Print is seeing massive growth. This technology is aiding printing businesses to create significant opportunities in the online world.
Without the need for the traditional and complex process of developing a website, businesses can leverage Web to Print Stores to launch their estore. These ready stores come with all the essential features businesses need to start selling custom products online.
Additionally, businesses can integrate Web to Print Design Tool to enable product customization in their store, thus improving the shopping experience.
While the technology assists you in achieving all your business goals, you need to keep up with the current developments in Web to Print to stay competitive.
As we step into the new year, this post will help you get a complete overview of the trends that are going to stay relevant in 2022 and the years ahead.
1. Print Automation Is Not a Luxury but a Priority
Automation has been on the list of the latest W2P trends for quite some time now. And it’s not going to fade away anytime soon. More and more businesses are realizing the advantage of automation to make their processes more efficient, and productive.
Automation in printing is all about workflow automation. But why is it so important? As a printing business owner, you need to take care of multiple things. For example, short lead times, good print quality, zero errors, on-time shipment and delivery, etc.
To successfully handle all these aspects, it is important that you optimize your business processes. Failing to do so leads to significant human errors, waste of time, and ultimately delay in your desired business goals.
Automation helps you to reduce potential errors and reduces repetitive tasks. That helps in improving efficiency, and you and your employees get additional time to focus on what really matters. Successful automation results not just in high productivity but also profitability.
The process of print automation doesn’t have to be complex. To begin with, you need not automate your entire production line. Even the slightest degree of automation can result in better results. For example, consider the process of artwork proofing.
The manually controlled way of checking artwork is tiresome. It involves endless loops of feedback, emails, messages, etc., before generating a print ready file. That delays the printing and order fulfillment process, which isn’t a good thing.
However, if you have Web to Print Solutions like an artwork proofing tool, you can optimize these processes and improve efficiency. In the market, there are different Print ERPs available that not just provide you with an artwork approval tool but also help streamline other processes.
Having a Print ERP software will enable you to keep an eye on all the crucial business operations on a single interface. You can take care of everything, including order management, print job, artwork, user management, inventory, quotes, and a lot more.
2. Integrating Web to Print Store with a Fulfilment Partner
Web to Print technology has made it easy for printing businesses to conduct online operations. Customers can browse and place an order online with a Web to Print store. However, you need to ship and deliver the order on time.
Having either in-house shipping or a fulfillment partner is necessary for fast order shipping and fulfillment. Businesses turn to third-party fulfillment to save time and resources and increase efficiency.
Print fulfillment companies cover everything, including packaging, shipping, delivery, and more. Popular print fulfillment service providers are Printify, Printful, Gooten, Zazzle, RedBubble, etc.
When partnering with these services, you need to consider a few things. Some factors to consider are quality standards, ease of use, customization, competitive pricing, and flexibility.
3. The Tremendous Rise of Product Customization
Printing businesses need to look beyond ways of providing generic products and instead cater to the unique preferences of every customer. They realize that every shopper coming to their store wants a personalized product that best matches their requirements.
And that is why businesses have started offering customizable products to match their customers' expectations. Offering product customization comes with many benefits like increased user engagement, better customer satisfaction, improved customer loyalty, and more conversions.
Web to Print Software like a Product Designer Tool helps you get started with product customization on your online store.
Once you integrate the tool with your eCommerce platform, end-customers will be able to use the tool to customize their products. For instance, if you have a website on Magento, you need to look for a Magento Product Designer that’s compatible with the platform.
Both B2B and B2C businesses can leverage the tool to offer customizable products. There are many tools in the market that you can choose from. But for great results, it is always a good idea to do in-depth research.
Before we talk more about the tool, let’s look at a few examples of brands that offer product customization.
The biggest example is retail giant CustomInk that sells an array of products, including apparel, promotional products, etc. They have a dedicated design lab where shoppers can use their imagination and create unique products.
Bluesky is another example of personalized stationery products like notebooks. Using their tool, customers can add images, customize frame styles, change fonts, colors, etc.
It is important to invest in a tool that is feature-rich yet easy to use. A tool with a great UI/UX will help you deliver successful customization. In less time and error-free manner, end-users can finish designing their product and move ahead with the purchase.
Typically the tool will include features like text and image editor, dynamic pricing system, custom image upload, background manager, artwork and templates, object and layer management, and so on.
4. The Rise of 3D Printing Technology
3D printing is going mainstream. According to Smithers's report, the 3D printing market is set for high growth. It is likely to rise from $5.8 billion in 2016 to $55.8 billion by 2027.
In the most basic sense, 3D printing is a process of creating three-dimensional objects based on a predesigned digital model. It is kind of a layering technology where you manufacture products by printing layers upon layers until you get the final product.
3D printing is popularly known as additive manufacturing because in this process, you build an object from scratch as opposed to the subtractive method of cutting or drilling a material.
The process of 3D printing starts with making a graphic model of an object that needs to be printed. The object is designed with the help of Computer-Aided Design Software.
The next step is to export the file into a slicing software which slices the design into different layers. Then you export the new file into a 3D printer, and it shall handle the rest.
Now let’s talk about the benefits of 3D printing. The biggest advantage of the technology is that it saves time. You get results in as little time as possible with the required quality.
And that is why this kind of manufacturing process is also known as rapid prototyping. It is a one-step fabrication process that minimizes process time and delivers the final product with precision.
3D printing also gives you freedom and ease of customization. Manufacturers can modify the shape and design of products to meet each customer's specific requirements.
An example of 3D printing is Nike. It is one of the forerunners to leverage technology in the footwear industry.
5. Internet of Things is Becoming Popular
The fourth industrial revolution is changing how companies manufacture and distribute their products. The Internet of Things has touched the printing market as well. IoT is the key enabling technology in Industry 4.0.
It focuses on technologies like the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Cloud Computing and Analytics, and more.
Just the way the fourth industrial revolution is relevant to self-driving cars, it is also relevant to the print industry. Industrial devices, for instance, printing presses, are connected to the Internet. They can transmit data that the cloud automatically analyzes. You can get insights on predictive maintenance, etc.
The Internet of Things combined with 3D printing helps in building custom-made products with the help of data collected from connecting devices.
To remain competitive, one needs to keep a close eye on the latest developments in the market.
Automation seems to be growing at lightning speed. Businesses are optimizing their operations to be more productive and efficient.
Secondly, if you have not considered customization, now is the right time. With customizable products, you will be able to deliver more value to your customers and improve customer loyalty.
On the other hand, 3D printing and IoT are also slowly gaining momentum. We hope this post has helped you get a clear understanding of current trends in Web to Print technology.
Mr. Pratik Shah is Creative Head at Brush Your Ideas, a top-notch Web-to-Print technology solution provider that offers Custom Product Design Software as well as web to print storefront software. He has been a creative and driving force in the success of our Product Design tool.