This is an interesting topic, largely because it’s assumed that everyone knows what eCommerce is, and that there isn’t much to say about it.  Right?  Wrong!  Getting your print eCommerce working correctly is pivotal to effective customer segmentation and maximising order quantities and values.  Let’s see how.

What’s eCommerce?

We’ll start with the simplest possible definition: eCommerce is selling something online from a web site.  That’s it.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, or clever, or provide a fantastic customer experience, or indeed anything beyond being able to transact.

For printers it’s exactly the same: printer eCommerce means selling print online, although as we’ll see there’s more to it than that.

B2B v B2C Printer eCommerce

The segmentation we mentioned is an important consideration.  In the classic definitions, Business to Business (B2B, e.g. Cisco) and Business 2 Consumer (B2C, e.g. Amazon), the workflow of the transaction differs significantly in the timing of the mandatory login.  For a B2B transaction, clearly this is immediate, giving the user access to a private branded client area with specific products and pricing; in the case of print eCommerce this might also include templates i.e. we now have a fully fledged web to print solution.

For a B2C transaction, however, we want the registration to be as late as possible – encouraging the user to continue to browse and only requiring personal information when it is necessary (i.e. at the order/payment stage).  In print we might simply call this a print webshop – products and prices are available for all to see.

Of course printers can, and often do, provide both B2B and B2C functionality, in which case the website needs to be organised correctly.

Landing pages

Imagine someone searches on Google for “Business Cards Nottingham” and your company is fortunate enough to come high in the rankings.  If a potential customer clicked through and arrived at your home page, where they would then have to search for “Business Cards” again, they might very well give up.  You want them to arrive at a specific Business Card “landing page” where they can immediately see what they were looking for, this is one of many seo techniques printers can use to achieve higher search engine rankings. Google will naturally like the content of a specific eCommerce landing page as it will be naturally optimised for a selection of specific searches.

Artwork – template, file upload, or in-house design?

As we’ve discussed, you want the print shop site to be as straightforward to navigate as possible.  You also want it to maximise your chances of getting an order, so if the client doesn’t have their own artwork to upload then giving them the option of selecting from well designed pre-existing templates is well worth the effort.

Print ready or not print ready?

Any printer will agree that even if your client tells you that their artwork is print ready, it may not be.  Managing factors like bleed, resolution, and text too close to the edge is time consuming and uneconomic for small orders.  That’s where print templates come into their own – providing great designs that appeal to clients but constraining the parameters that might make it unprintable.

Creating quality print eCommerce solutions is what we do, and we’re good at it.  Come and talk to us and find out how we do it.

Flex 4 have been providing best-in-class W2P solutions and digital marketing services for print and graphic design businesses since 2004.  We have numerous satisfied customers right across the country.  We are UK-based – all of our team work out of our office in Kendal.  We pride ourselves on our customer service, flexibility, and desire to please – we would love the opportunity to show you what we’re capable of.

If you’d like more information on our company please click here, or here for our contact page and as always we will be delighted to answer all of your questions and give you all the help that you need.