Printers instinctively change gears to take orders for different print products offline. The online world needs to mimic this flexibility – the ability to ask the customer only relevant questions pertaining to their desired product or service. Online you can’t rely on instincts or CSR’s, the software has to guide customers through the different procurement paths based on the unique requirements of the product.
73% of Americans use the web to find products and services, your customers are online, being online with a static brochure like website doesn’t cut it anymore. Customers expect to be able to engage and transact with you online. Ecommerce matters.
The in-plant is unique because it services what I call a “captured community.” Servicing a captured community online has the main advantage of being seen as part of the community and knowing a lot about the community. Embedding that knowledge into the web to print solution further increases the value of the in-plant.
Targeting consumers is a different game online. You have to understand how these consumers think about your products and services, e.g. what terms will they type in search engines? In addition, because you’re targeting anyone who hits your website, you are now doing business with people you don’t know, unlike B2B where you establish a relationship first.
More isn’t always better. Software features can potentially add additional value but they also add complexity to the solution – even if they are never used. Ease of use and picking the partner (the people behind the software) is more important than the number of features. Avoid the trap to try and do everything.
Do you want to know what’s most important about the transition we’re going through? Its data. The more you have access to, the higher quality it is, the better you can leverage all the tools available to make information products (both print and digital) more effective.
If you have a web to print solution that has failed, this post tells you how you got here, what to do to avoid it, and most importantly how do you get out of the situation.
Just finished listening to Jeff Hayzlett at SES San Francisco, he says his job is to create tension. Move people from the center of the table to the edge. Translation for our industry – off the production floor and into the brains and browsers of our customers.