Out of Date, Out of Sight – Out of Pocket


When your average Web2Print platform runs anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000, I confess that it can make me quite emotional to discover new adopters who have let theirs lie basically untouched for so long.

Many of my customers purchased their Web2Print platforms over 5 years ago, and when their end-users log onto it to order print, it shows. Clunky user interfaces. No digital asset management library. Not even much in the way of personal branding. Bleh.

If that was their home page, there is no way they would let that go live, let alone permit a customer to use it.

Out of Date

Users have choices, nowadays. Competition between print shops is at an all-time high. The industry isn’t suffering (thank goodness), but individual printers are having to dig deep to find a unique selling point that retains customers and builds revenue.

Ignoring your end-user’s experience is a danger to both these concerns. Take a browse at some random shopping sites – you know the ones – where you can customise a product to within an inch of its life. The people who order print from you will also order this stuff, more likely than not, and those are the kinds of interfaces they are used to using.

If yours does not measure up, you will lose customers, because why should they spend time trying to figure out how to use your antique interface when your competitor has one that they instantly recognise and understand? 

Out of Sight

Most shockingly, to me, is how many platform owners I have spoken to who say, “oh, I haven’t really visited my Web2Print site since it was set up, ages ago.”

This is an “out of sight, out of mind” problem that won’t go away, I’m afraid. And the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. I hesitate to use a bold medical metaphor here, because I don’t want to put you off your lunch, but I hope you get the inference… Rot. Fester. Bleh.

Don’t let your Web2Print platform fester. Take a look at it. Try and order something on it – pick something your customers order frequently, but manually and repeatedly. Now ask yourself why they aren’t using your Web2Print platform to place that order.

Perhaps your platform is functionally adequate, but lacks personality and simple branding. Or perhaps it could do with a lot more back-end work. Only you can know – and you have to be honest about it, because this is just as valid and valuable an asset to you as each and every member of your print team, design team and sales team. Combined.

Out of Pocket

I get it. You don’t want to spend on your platform because it isn’t really earning enough to justify it.

This is a circular problem, the root of which can be tricky to break without evidence, for a lot of platform owners. After all, a track record is hard to dispute; if your platform hasn’t been earning much, investing more into it is difficult to defend.

Its lack of revenue, however, may be due to the lack of investment. Your bleh-interface may be the reason that your end-users are being turned away.

With a responsive interface, user-assistance such as mouseover descriptions and breadcrumb trails for easier navigation, and with a decreased number of mouse-clicks and an overall-improved UX, your Web2Print platform may finally start to attract users to it and give you that ROI that you’ve been seeking.

Otherwise that $100,000 investment you made – what was it for?

Well, when you purchased your Web2Print software, it was similar to starting up a new WordPress blog. You get the framework. The shell. It’s up to you to decide on how it looks, the content; the substance is yours and yours alone. It can be anything you make it. You don’t have to leave it looking like it was, when it came out of the box.

Every day you ignore this problem is another day of loss against your Web2Print investment. 

In With the New!

It’s a new year. I’m sure you have resolutions for your new you, too. While I may be a touch biased, might I suggest you place a new look for your Web2Print platform at the top of your business to-do list, while formulating your resolutions?

You don’t have to come to us, although obviously I would prefer it if you did! But do something. If you’ve found yourself using any of these arguments to justify inaction, I am prepared to predict that there has been insufficient customisation performed on your Web2Print platform and it could be turning off your customers, altogether.

A slick interface and easy-to-understand site presentation has been proven over and over to increase customer engagement, and shortened purchase processes have tested positive time and time again as having a direct link to increased revenue.

Don’t leave your platform looking dated and feeling neglected. That’s just taking money out of your own pocket.