Otherwise referred to as remote publishing, web-to-print services have rose in popularity over the past few years. With the ability to create, change and authorise printed material at the click of a button, web-to-print has made a huge impact on the print industry as a whole.
If you’ve ever purchased a custom t-shirt or poster from any online store on the internet, the chances are it was created using the web-to-print model. Companies such as VistaPrint and Redbubble adopt this practice to provide custom printed merchandise to customers, with other online printing services following suit. So how does this process work and why has it become some effective?
The Web-To-Print Process
Most web-to-print service providers will create any custom print designs using a digital printing press, which makes every print impression unique to the customer. Customers will place their custom print order by uploading an image or design through a secure interface and then select the type of product they want their printed design to feature on (this can be anything from clothing to household items depending on the type of company used). This interface also allows customers a great amount of control over how their finalised print products will look. Customers can manipulate and edit the size and placement of their image alongside any extra text or graphics they wish to include. This amount of customisation allows customers to receive products they feel suit them best. Once the customer has finalised their product request, the company will then dispatch and distribute it much like any other online retailer or service.
Benefits of Using Web-To-Print
The simplicity of ordering customer printed products provides a key benefit for customers and businesses using web-to-print services. Some other benefits that come from using the model relate to its convenience, consistency and waste reduction. As most of these services are websites and online portals, customers can log in at any time to place an order. This means that whether it’s late at night, on a weekend or during a special event, customers are able to create and receive custom printed items on a convenient basis. For businesses, it also allows for greater brand consistency. Should specific brand requirements need to be met on custom promotional items; these can be easily assigned through the web-to-print model. Most services also utilise a ‘recently ordered items’ option, meaning that the correct design is adhered to every time an order is placed.
One final and major benefit of web-to-print as a service is the ability to save businesses money and reduce product waste. As the process is something that is ‘on-demand’, it lessens the reliance for businesses to buy custom promotional items in bulk quantities. Web-to-print allows for smaller runs of customer items to be created, dispatched and delivered to companies and customers for a much lower price.
An Industry on the Rise
It’s not just opinion as to why web-to-print has become an effective service throughout the printing industry. Official statistics state that the web-to-print market is set to reach $1.3 billion (approx £1.1 billion) by the year 2022 globally. Contributing factors to this are the rise of e-commerce, entrepreneurship, the advancement of the internet and the rapid progression of digital technology. Initially a niche print purchasing method, it won’t be a surprise if we see a greater amount of retailers and online businesses adopting web-to-print to provide greater levels of service to customers.
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