Choosing the Right Platform for your Web to Print
Printing industry is huge and so is the change and development in it. The printing industry has seen major changes from its foundation to the current solutions. Where everything is going online then why should the printing not be the one. The demand and need is equal to the regular shopping. This is where the web2print started. Where there are printing demands from industries, there are printing demands from customers too.
As per a recent study by BigCommerce it reports that 51% of Americans prefer to shop online and 96% of Americans have shopped at least once online. Ecommerce is growing by 23% every year and still 46% of Americans who have small business still don’t have a website.
Same goes for the printing business too. When everyone prefers to buy online why not give them the option to print their designs online. It’s time to go online, it’s time to spread your wings when you know more than half the world is sitting on the internet searching for something or shopping something. It’s time to join the web-to-print herd. But before that do you know what is web-to-print? This is a very broad term which in short means practicing your print business through website. This allows you to give your customers a platform where they can add their print demands online through the web-store.
For Example: You have a T-shirt printing business online. Earlier your customers would buy the T-shirt from your shop and you had limited options for them to choose from to print. But if you choose a good platform like Magento or Prestashop to build your e-commerce platform then your customers can purchase the t-shirt online, personalize it and you deliver it. Isn’t this an amazing way grabbing more customers? But what do you need to have in your web-store? There is a checklist you need to go through before you select a platform for your web2print business.
Why do you need an E-commerce Platform for your Print Business?
- So that you can sell more and get more loyal customers
- You don’t need to proof read documents every time
- No need to waste time in reprinting
- Increase the production
- Decrease the production cost
How do you choose the right platform for your business?
Deciding alone that you want to go online is not the end of the discussion you need ponder over your decision and first ask yourself what platform you want to choose? It may sound very easy and simple to have an online portal. First you need to understand if this platform will fit perfectly in your printing business. Will give you the options you have been looking for. Can you achieve your sales and desired goals with this platform for your business? Will your printing business grow with the use of this platform?
There are 4 major platforms that can work well with any web-to-print business- Magento, Opencart, PrestaShop and nopCommerce. But all have their restrictions depending on your needs and requirements of the business. Let’s take a look at each individually.
Magento for Web-to-print
For any business creating an Ecommerce platform is a challenge in itself. You may want a fresh website, or you may want to update the features, etc, or you would like to implement new technology. Reason could be any but your prime concern should be to build the website on a strong foundation or platform that will not restrict you. Since its inception in 2008, Magento has seen an amazing growth in the ecommerce platforms.
Pros of Opting for Magento Platform
Fully Customizable Interface
Magento provides back-end-management which makes it different and better than other e-commerce platforms. This allows you to tailor the interface as per your site’s requirement empowering your business. Magento is an open source solution for the ecommerce platform where you have the liberty to select hosting of your choice based on your business. It allows you to have a multi-lingual site depending on what countries you are targeting.
When in the web2print business you have to keep stock of multiple items. Here with Magento you can upload a whole of products to the site in one go. You don’t need to do the entry like you did in past. You can also add your products description, their images, SKU Number, etc in one go. Along with this it gives you the ability to add various pricing options too. Which means discounts and coupon codes can be active immediately after the product is uploaded.
Enhanced Customer Engagement Features
Customers always have a wish list, when they are stock or at better price option sending them notification can boost sales, you need to be sure to have this feature added to your platform. Magento is known to have best features to help increase engagement and give customers a rich shopping experience.
Cons of Opting for Magento Platform
Investment is Huge
Magento is known for offering world-class features with customization and scalability but it comes with huge investment. A small businessman may not understand the need to spend so much money. Where some will be able to invest the others will not be able to because of the high prices.
Magento requires special in-house developers with in-depth knowledge of Zend to be able to give you customizations. So that’s why it’s a little complex because all developers would not have an experience of working in the Zend Framework. To hire someone especially for this will make you spend more money.
Magento is a known platform that will give you a website with multiple customizations but incurring a certain cost for those.
WooCommerce for Web-to-print
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WooCommerce is just the perfect platform for small business owners. It is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress that gained popularity for its customization, easy to use and base product features.
Pros of Opting for WooCommerce
Easy to Use Features
As I have already said above that WooCommerce is a plug-in for WordPress that has an amazing content management system along with multiple functionalities. It is best for those who cannot afford Magento or PrestaShop. The features are easy to use and you will be quite familiar with them. Since WordPress has been into existence for long there is a possibility that your customers are also familiar with it and they will be able to use it with ease.
Quick & Free Of Cost
This is absolutely free of cost- the biggest benefit for most of the business owners who don’t have huge budgets to spend on an e-commerce site. It is easy to install and use.
Prevents Cybercrime with High Security
When doing online business it’s important to have security to avoid cybercrime. The sale-system of WooCommerce regularly updates the web2print software to avoid any glitches or bugs that will impact your sales or leave any of your secured data to open sources. Your data is completely secure with WooCommerce.
Cons of Opting for WooCommerce
Coding Experience Required
Though you can make updates yourself, but you might face problems if you don’t have knowledge of HTML.
Extra Plugin Cost
It is easy to configure WooCommerce with basic features, but if you need some additional features or plug-ins then you need to pay extra for them.
PrestaShop for Web-to-print
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Prestashop is an open-source platform for e-commerce websites. With PrestaShop you can create a free website form the scratch all you need to do is purchase a theme. Hence it comes with high recommendations. It is perfect for large businesses. If your web-to-print business is from medium to large and you have a flexible budget then you must go for PrestaShop.
Pros of Opting for PrestaShop
Add Unlimited Products
You can add as many products and categories you wish to. You can do it easily from the Admin without anyone’s help. It is easy to use and navigate.
Easy to Install
PrestaShop is very easy to install. You have to just download and install it. You can refer to the demo site to download and install the same.
Sleek & Organized Dashboard
It is very easy to navigate through the admin panel. It is well defined and organized as per your requirement. You will not find any difficulty to use it.
Amazing Reporting Tools
From the dashboard itself you can view the sites performance. It will give you an overview of the number of orders, sales, etc.
Cons of Opting for PrestaShop
PrestaShop web to software allows only few customizations specially related to graphics.
Prestashop does have some compatibility issues. Your developer needs to see if it is compatible with your system or no.
nopCommerce For Web-to-print
nopCommerce is an open source ecommerce software. It comes with a lot of features such as customizable catalog frontend, shopping cart and admin tool for managing and monitoring. Because it’s an open source e-Commerce platform you can customize it to meet your business needs.
Pros of Opting for nopCommerce
Quick & Easy Set-up
Since its open source it allows the user to install easily. You can easily configure and make improvisations to it with some added tools.
Your site will be fully functional and mobile optimized to get more benefits.
Multiple Stores in Single Installation
The biggest benefit of nopCommerce is that you can run multiple stores by installing single nopCommerce.
Cons of Opting for nopCommerce
Additional Cost for Extension
If you want o have more extensions and third-party applications you have to pay extra.
It does not have a lot of features, so you will have limitations.
Only for Small Businesses
This platform is not for big businesses. It is applicable only for small businesses that don’t have a flexible budget.
Depending on the type of your business you can choose the platform. You also need to see what features you will need and which platform can accommodate to them to give you your choice of portal. It is important that you study all the aspects of your web2print business before finalizing the e-commerce portal.
Abhishek Agarwal, CEO & Co-Founder of Design’N’Buy comes with more than 14 years of experience in Web-to-Print Software, Print eCommerce with Product Design Software Tool & IT. He hold his expertise in delivering innovate and unique ideas in w2p. He has...