How Mobile Printing Works?
People have been looking for ways to make their lives easier and easier ever since our evolution. In fact, the world we see today is the result of our urge to make life comfortable and easy. Even in modern times, be it handling our personal lives or businesses we seek out gadgets and software products that can help us do the task easier and faster.
The print industry has not restricted people from embracing the modern solutions that make printing easy. People can today print from various devices. But there was once a time when people used only their laptops and hunt for the printers to get a simple print. Just for a single print, they needed the right driver, ensure connectivity and compatibility with the printer and then after so much hassle they would get a print.
Today, we have evolved from that shell and now we can get a print through mobile devices. Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. We carry them all the time, we are inseparable from our phones and as time passed, we have the technology to use them for getting a print. They can be used to develop designs, create new documents, and now even get a print. You don’t have to connect them with wires, you can wirelessly get a print with an active internet connection. The operating systems of these small and smart devices have grown incredibly. In this blog, we would be discussing mobile printing and how it works.
Mobile Printing: Basic Components
A lot of businesses use a basic version of mobile printing without knowing they are using mobile printing. The Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN is commonly used by the employees to print from their laptop to a wireless printer from anywhere in the office, all it takes is – for the devices need to be connected to the same wireless network. But it does not work when you are out of the office and need an urgent print.
Mobile printing works one the same pretenses – it is a generic term given to the products and services which allow people to print stuff when they are away from the traditional network or local printer. Mobile printers are wireless, they use Bluetooth or 802.11 networking (radio waves) to communicate.
Key characters of Mobile Printing
- Printing documents when you are away from the printer, you give a print wirelessly.
- A printer that is wireless and recognizes your device
- A device that can print a document, with added software or on its in-built capabilities.
The mobile printing setup depends largely on the capabilities of the devices that are communicating with the printer. Like using a laptop that has a ton of applications that you can use to develop documents, designs, etc. The operating system also comes with built-in capabilities to connect with the printer and give out print. Mobile printing with laptops is fairly easy.
Now coming to the modern world, what about smartphones and laptops? The new smart devices come with in-built capabilities to create documents, connect with wireless devices and fulfill your print needs. They have a larger memory now, they are constantly improving and many apps support printing. These printing applications are perfect for processing document and getting the print and doesn’t overwhelm the device’s memory.
What is a Mobile Printer?
A mobile printer is a device that can wirelessly connect with smartphones and complete the print requirements. There are print servers that can be used to make printing wireless. These print servers can process the documents and prepare them for printing.
The newer devices can automatically discover nearby devices that can be connected. Discovering mobile printers has become very simple with the smarter and better technology that seamlessly connects to other smart devices. Most importantly, we should not ignore mobile and tablet adoption in the market. Although there are some restrictions with respect to features that you can use of the printers, the advancements in the technology would soon cross that barrier too.
For people who travel frequently, or are field employees in a company they are very much benefitted from this advancement. Now they can process things faster and they don’t have to depend on the availability of the hardware. Plus, apps and mobile-based business management and enterprise mobility solutions are becoming too common in small and medium-sized businesses, which was previously only seen in large enterprises.
Printing bar codes, labels, small marketing materials, memos, and office documents can be printed on portable printers. They are very handy, light and travel friendly. They are also cost-effective. They also connect seamlessly with wifi and are compatible with a variety of devices of varying operating systems.
Is mobile printing the future of the web to print?
If you are a print business and are wondering if people use mobile printing, the answer is yes. The adoption of smart devices has been tremendous. Smartphones are shaping our future and the human race cannot get enough of the convenience smartphones are providing. It is like carrying a world in your product. Not trying to be an advocate, but the truth is yes, people that are wanting the convenience of being able to access everything through their phones. Smartphones have penetrated into every industry and they are directly and indirectly impacting the decisions of the businesses in turns of customer experience, scalability, business operation flexibility and so much more. Here are a few facts which will convince you even more:
- Apps account for 89% of the media time spent on mobile phones and only 11% on websites.
- 88% of customers search for local business on a mobile device and make an instant call for an inquiry. Having an online business presence makes your business open for 24 hours.
- 83% of b2b marketers are using mobile apps for content marketing and content management.
- 40% of mobile searches have local intent.
It is pretty clear that mobile apps and smartphones have taken over the traditional ways of operating the business. So, what are you doing about it as a business? And how does it affect the print business?
Mobile to print is a reality now and the trend analysts are seeing tremendous growth in it. According to research, 83% of organizations are interested in deploying mobile printing capabilities for their organizations but only 14% have done it so far.
The reason behind this is there are some big challenges and obstacles. You see, employing technology for print businesses is not that easy. It is not like a regular ecommerce site, a print business needs a lot of extra when it comes to allowing a seamless print experience, order processes, order approvals, print approvals and so much more. And the list of challenges on the customer end is even bigger.
When employing a web to print software, you have to think about the customer journey. They would not be coming to your store-first thing. They would be sharing their artwork with you and they would want to create their design on your platform or upload something. Then on your end, you have to check orders, get the final print approval process orders and send them to your customers, it is quite a complex process. It has at least 5 extra steps than regular ecommerce shopping, hence more challenges. Here is a list of challenges that arise with web to print.
- Artwork approvals and Customizations
Customization is the key. The print industry works on personalization. People have their own needs with respect to print you need to get aligned with their needs, rather than offering them a generic solution. the biggest challenge of the web to print industry is the communication that is required back and forth to get the print approval. also, customizations in the product can be complex for some of the customers that do not have a design background. Hence, you have to think of all the possible scenarios where you can lose a client and optimize their experience on the go.
- Size and type of artwork
The size and type of artwork can cause a lot of delay in processing an order. Sometimes people would not give you good resolution artwork. Sometimes the file size is too big. The file type may not be supported by the system. Storage capacity, while ordering from the phone can be a challenge. People ordering from mobile phones would have some restrictions. Laptops may be a more convenient product when making customizations and uploads, but that you cannot suggest to your customers. You need to respect what they choose. Hence, you need a web-to-print editor that fulfills these needs.
- Mobile to print apps
Mobile-to-print apps are not a very popular segment on the app stores. Ecommerce, games, social media, healthcare apps, lifestyle apps, etc. are more popular. There is a huge chance that people might not even know that mobile-to-print apps actually exist. Hence they go to the websites. And if you are not maintaining a good website, you can forget about the experience and sales. Also, real-time communications with the customers become difficult. Mobile apps have to push notifications, and email communication options where people can get in touch with you and you can get in touch with them.
How to make mobile to print a success?
Though challenging mobile to print is going to pick up a huge pace. This can give you a first-mover advantage in the market. Also, having a mobile-ready print solution would help you divulge your business into the digital landscape. You can generate good leads and earn more customers with mobile-to-print solutions. Here is how you can achieve growth.
- What are your business goals?
First things first, know your business and understand where you want to take your business. Mobile to print is a fairly new concept and not a lot of people actually know about it. Having mobile-to-print solutions would work as a good extension to your web-to-print solutions and give you more edge in the market. It would be better if you invest in web and mobile print solutions both initially, at least unless you see some major adaption to the mobile-to-print.
Depending on your market size, priorities, budget, and business forecast you can make a better decision. You can slowly start creating your mobile–to–print solution a huge hit, rather than focusing completely on it as the market size is small.
Also, understand your customers, if your customers are not so tech-friendly, adding another channel would be confusing. Do a survey before making any decision. You can also run mobile-to-print solutions as a pilot program, talk to your service provider about creating MVP for the software and see how people perceive it in the market.
- Market and customer segmentation
Market segmentation can be a big factor. Understanding your customer base would give you an idea about the needs of the customers, what types of services they look forward to and how they want to use your solution. this analysis would help you prepare your initial product while prioritizing the features for the app modernization. Pitch your customers by sending emails and push notifications informing the customers about the mobile-to-print solution and allowing them to download apps and use them for understanding if they are loving or hating it and also why.
- Mobile to print solution technology
Remember when web to print sounded like a challenge, well – mobile to print is a feat. Most of the web to print service providers don’t really understand what is meant by mobile-to-print solutions. They may claim to give you a great mobile-to-print solution, but they may miss out on a lot of technical details which might affect the functionality of the application. You can also see the mobile apps of the most loved mobile-to-print solutions and check for the important features you can incorporate into your app. It is important that your app is competitive, modern, and user-friendly.
Also, you can choose to go with WTPBiz, we are a highly experienced web-to-print solution provider where we can help you build a custom editor for your mobile-to-print application. We are experienced, reliable, and cost-effective.
Mobile printing is a new trend around the corner and it is very important that your business starts buckling up for some new changes in the industry. As we know, the early adopters win the game. Connect with our technology experts to know more about mobile to print and how you can make it profitable for your business.