Time waits for no man, and no one has to time to waste in brick-and-mortar stores complying with the time-consuming no-touch policies the COVID-19 measures impose.
The rising e-commerce trend is forcing entrepreneurs to prep their online stores sooner and better than they anticipated. On-demand, ad hoc, personalization - the imagination of the consumer knows no boundaries. That calls for a web-to-print setup that’s up to par and suits your business now and well into the future.
Our pre-sales manager, Sylvain Westerloppe, laid out your options for you. Luckily, others have done the groundwork for you and mapped out an ecosystem of options. DIY or DFY – how will you roll?
As in, do your research.
Many web2print solutions come in package deals, making it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to create online stores. Each solution comes with its advantages and particularities. All in your benefit, but equally challenging your decision-making process.
The basis is pretty standard. Each merchant or entrepreneur will work with an administration interface to keep his shop alive - product catalog updates, stock management, you name it. And most platforms will operate on a monthly subscription system. (We have the same in place for CHILI publisher Online.) That is a setup they all have in common.
But to make your web2print genuinely stand out, please understand there is a multitude of technical and commercial concepts to be grasped, and decisions to be made, on top of wading your way through the proliferation of service providers. Ludovic Martin, the renowned web2print expert, lined up some of the most common pitfalls.
For now, let’s assume you’re all set. You did your homework; you know what you want and how you want it.
Depending on your project outlines and budget available, you’ll have numerous platforms and providers to choose from. But only two routes to go:
Let’s explore, shall we?
This is your best bet to differentiate yourself from the competition, especially from the classic and well-known web2print portals on the market. DIY will allow you to define the customer path you envisioned and fully integrate your web2print solution into your existing portal or match with the company flow.
A bold move for the eager and skilled entrepreneur who wants to do things his/her way, not blindly following the norms and standards the market dictates.
Advanced B2C-style user experiences have become the norm, and today's customers are more demanding than ever. The answer resides in neither building nor buying a complete solution.
Assembling an integrated workflow with best-of-breed components will let you move forward quickly, without burning much budget.
Download our free business report and discover how you can support your growing business.
So, you know your route. If you’re not a developer/designer/entrepreneur like Jason Frueh at MyCreativeShop (and even that was no walk in the park) or if your overall budget comes with limitations, you’ll most likely go DFY. Rest assured, you’re in good company.
The majority of our customers went DFY and pretty successfully, too, if I might add. Over my nine years of POC-ing, I picked up on a few things I think we can all learn from.
If you don’t have a developer profile in house, might I suggest you check out the CHILI e-commerce plug-ins available on the market? And even if you have a developer, ask them to analyze the e-commerce plug-ins out there. They’ll be surprised when comparing the plug-in cost to the time it will take to develop and integrate CHILI publisher into an e-commerce platform.
The easy way is to explore your options within a standard e-commerce platform like Magento, Shopify, Woo-commerce, or others. If you selected your platform of choice, check out the CHILI e-commerce plug-in that comes with. If it matches what you had in mind, you’ll have yourself a jump-off.
How far does your imagination stretch? I would recommend you slowly grow your user experience. Start with something simple to expand customization possibilities later on. Like a business card they can personalize through a form first to creating a full VDP batch in a later stage.
Not everyone is a designer, so we crafted our workspace concept to create a basic and oriented interface for the non-professional on your team, alongside a complete interface for a designer profile, all within the same document.
It sure does. The software relies on an HTML canvas component that frees us up from any web browser compatibility issues.
Every story is different, but there are some common denominators, of course. Here’s my general advice depending on your size:
Choose your partners wisely. They'll be the components of a web2print that lives and breathes your DNA.
Avoid transplant rejections; match your ingredients. Mind you. Size doesn't matter unless you have to prepare a setup tailored to your size & ambition. And location. Every business has its DNA, but I have spotted some regional similarities. In my experience, these are the most common partnerships in:
Operating worldwide? We’ll have to talk, that calls for an in-depth analysis.
Take your pick – there are few e-commerce platforms we don’t have a connector with or can’t find an easy way for to integrate CHILI publisher. In the end, we always find an e-commerce connector for any web2print challenge thrown our way. Here are some of the standard tools we worked with on the market:
If you want to minimize project costs, enable a quick market launch, and benefit from existing web2print experiences, we recommend you assemble and turn to one of these connectors. Proven expertise guaranteed.
We have a robust REST API that will enable you to create your integration with CHILI publisher and your E-commerce tool, to generate a specific customer path. Just a heads-up that this will be much more demanding in terms of resources, competence, cost, and time. (We’ll have your back nonetheless, though.) Maybe some of our integration partners can help you out!
If you're considering reaching out to vendors to help you design your best web2print route, you'll need to provide them with some guidance and the essential information to get off on the right foot.
If you're looking to get the best POC for your business, here’s what we need to know.
What business process should it reflect? Clear guidelines help to adapt to the POC's nature and bring in the little extras that could make the difference in the final selection.
We want to be aligned with your customer’s expectations.
Help us understand your ecosystem so we can find the proper environment for you; we might even suggest appropriate partners.
We’ll define referential use cases.
Export to print, calls for a PDF or IDML export, digital calls for an HTML export. A mix of both? Yes, we can. Good agreements make for better proposals.
Got your ducks in a row, and all of the above is nothing new for you? Good for you, frontrunning your way in e-commerce.
If you already are doing it right, you might still be interested in doing one better, right? Check out this business report on your Web-To-Print Strategy with some optimization recommendations.
Whether you’re starting, growing, or maturing, there’s always something we can learn from one another.