E-commerce Made Easy
The digital print market is expected to grow from $131.5 billion in 2013 to $187.5 billion in 2018, according to dazeinfo.com. That's an annual growth of 7.8 percent, and if U.S. e-commerce keeps trending the way it has—Internet analytics company comScore reported 15 consecutive quarters of positive year-over-year growth for retail e-commerce sales as of Q2 2013—it's not a stretch to say web-to-print will be at the center of it.
"For us, business has continued to increase every year," said Dan Doron, president of Zoo Printing Inc., Bell, Calif. "The industry in general seems to be both growing and consolidating. There are fewer printers and more print brokers than ever before, as print sellers find it more cost-effective to outsource their work and focus on sales."
Zarik Megerdichian, CEO of Glendale, California-based 4over Inc., agreed. "This segment of the print industry is reaping the growth rewards of the shift from traditional legacy printers to the ease, speed and quality of standardized print," he said. "It's expensive for any printer to invest hard-earned capital in fixed-assets every year in order to keep up with market expectations for speed and quality at competitive rates."
In other words, if you're not already selling online print solutions, now's the time to start. Here are three things to consider when seeking out a web-to-print supplier.
1. Product Selection
A survey by Continuum, a business consulting group, found that 43 percent of online shoppers do so because it's convenient, while 29 percent do so because it's easier to find what they need. Essentially, these numbers tell us what we already know—one of online shopping's biggest draws is the sheer number of products, all easy to locate and order.
Online printers know this, and as such, they've made product-line expansion a top priority. "Since we are a trade printer, our focus is to provide a complete line of popular products and offer quick custom estimates if our clients need something unique," said Doron. "If there is a large demand for any product, we add it to our line as fast as possible."