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10 Web to Print Mistakes To Avoid

Carlfred Giles - Monday, December 05, 2011

Mistake #1: Lack of Online Strategy – She’s not talking about a 50 page business plan, but planning so you know what you can predict. Have to be realistic and know what  you can sell online. You can’t just “build it and they will come.” The web is like real estate, if you have a main street in your local community, you will get good traffic versus a dead end alley. Your web site starts in a dead end alley and you need to push people there and promote. Also, go after people you already know.

Mistake #2:  Focus on a single customer – If a single customer says “they want web to print.” Who is creating the strategy? The customer. You need to decide and strategize web to print.

Mistake #3: Built it Yourself. There is no faster ecosystem than the web…every time a browser changes, your product needs to be compatible. This problem alone will be problematic.

Mistake #4: Lack of internal resources – What’s critical to the success of a Web To Print Implementation is to make you “own” the platform. Make you you have a resource that becomes the resident expert besides relying on the vendor…so that you can determine your destiny. Often times, the customers become more experts that the resources with a vendor.

Mistake #5: Too production focused. When evaluating, make sure the customer’s experience on the web is tested. Make sure you find an outsider to try the system. The experience on the customer’s desktop is more important than what’s happening on your desktop.

Mistake #6:  Configuration paralysis. Don’t worry too much about “What color that banner is.” Get your first order through the door. That is critical.

Mistake #7: Purchase the future. Software moves so quickly but don’t get caught up on what is coming. Focus on what exists now. If you purchase the future, you may wait longer due to the software development process. Focus on present functionality in a product.

Mistake #8: Lack of ownership. Once you purchase, make the web to print solution part of your business. Own it and make it part of your culture.

Mistake #9: Too focused on technology. Sometimes we get glazed over with technology but stay focused on the boring

stuff of making money. Focus on the strategy and ROI.

Mistake #10: No sales involvement. Sometimes direct sales folks see this self service model and think, “I’m out of a job.” Sales reps aren’t selling print jobs now, they’re selling “ATMs” in your customers that pay you! Web To Print removes all the drag behind a buying decision and “inserting that ATM” machine does just that.

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