How to start personalized gift business with Web to Print?
2020 has ended with a sad but a hopeful note. Many of us have lost people we loved, many of us are restarting our lives by establishing a new business or taking up a new job. In short, it is not easy for anyone, and thus sending a personalized gift to someone can lift their spirits.
People understand that and are always looking for a way to personalize the gift. But as much as we know not many people have the right skills, equipment and time to do that. And then comes the web to print solutions. Web to print is a new way of printing that allows people to go on the website, and use available tools to develop a design, order it for a print and get it delivered to the desired address. If you are looking forward to starting a new printing business, provide the best web to printing solutions and here is a complete guide to doing it the right way.
- Target audience
There is no age to get a gift, and when you start a personalized gift business, you must have a very clear understanding of your target audience. Having clarity on your target audience gives you a better shot at offering relevant services or products. What types of products you want to sell and what audience you would like to cater depends on the business model. Typically, your business model would either be b2b or b2c, but there are other business models. As the acronym suggests, b2c or business to customer model means direct dealing with the end customers. Meanwhile, b2b or business to business means dealing with diverse business segments. As you can see, the service and product offering can vary vastly as per the business model.
- Creating a business plan
The best way to ensure long-term business success is by having a plan that gives you a clear understanding of work and budget for the next few quarters. You must not ignore the possibility that the business would not pick up for a first few months. It means you would have to allocate the budget that keeps the operations running and push your web to print business until it has a stable cash flow.
As a business owner, you must gather insights on different verticals of the business where you would have to keep pushing a large sum of money. It will help you understand the following things:
- You would know the flow of investment
- It would decrease the overhead expenses
- You would have more clarity on your business verticals
- You would be more prepared to adopt future trends.
- You would successfully attract the right investors.
Some of the things in which you would have to invest initially would be:
- Developing website
- Setting up an offline store (if necessary)
- Buying the equipment and some raw material to start the operations.
- Salary of your employees etc.
Proper planning would help you get a better understanding of where your attention should be. It would also give you time to learn about customer needs and act upon it.
- Legal work
Starting a business means getting necessary licenses and registrations work too. You would be required to complete all the formalities.
Next, you must not forget just setting up a store online, or the brick and mortar one is only a start. You would have to engage vendors and logistics companies to fulfil the demands of your customers.
- Setting up a personalized gift business online
- Selecting an ecommerce platform
To set up an ecommerce platform, you would first have to select a superior technology to support your business website and its functions. Some very reliable platforms such as Shopify, Joomla and Drupal can set up a store on your own. And if you know a little bit of programming, you can even customize them.
But if you want something built right from scratch, you would have to allocate a bigger budget for it. You would have to hire resources proficient in web development and also the maintenance. Furthermore, the website’s deployment would require you to pay for hosting to some leading service provider. But in the end, you would have the liberty to design a website of your choice and taste with top-notch functionality.
Customizing a website gives you the power to customize your web’s features to print solution provider website. You can then finalize the necessary components required in a website. The more complex features you develop on the website, the costlier would be the development and more would be the developers’ time to build it. It is recommended to start your website with necessary basic features, and as your business grows, you start introducing new features and make improvements in your website.
- Choose a development partner
If you are developing a website right from scratch, you can outsource your work to a software company or freelancer. A freelancer might not have all the necessary resources and knowledge to build the website’s front-end and backend. Usually, a freelancer is either proficient in backend development or front-end development. It can hinder the progress of your project and also the quality of the site. In that case, you can even choose to go for a full stack developer. But still, it would take a lot of time to build a website, and they too would be outsourcing the web design to someone in their contact.
Choosing the right software development thus sounds more practical. The company would have all the necessary resources you need and would even offer you maintenance services on the site. Also, they would use agile development practices that would speed up the development process.
- Necessary Tools
The tools needed to print the designs on different products are necessary to buy, but there are some of the tools that you must add on your website to keep your customers engaged on the site. These are:
- Multilingual Support
Being online means, you would be approached by people from different regions. Having multilingual support would help you translate your website content in other languages to help your visitors have a better surf experience on the site.
- Feature-rich library
You must ensure that your website/ application provides a wide assortment of font types, a variety of images, a clip art support, object handling and more. The more personalization people can do to their designs, the more fun it is, and the better is the customer experience.
Choose technology that supports different APIs you would be adding later to make your website/application more trendy. You would not build a website right from scratch every time you need to add a new feature. You would be creating different components and then integrating them to an existing website. Thus, your technology stack must be compatible with it.
- Support thousand plus products
Customization at all levels is necessary and so should be the products that you offer. Your site should offer multiple products to design, and thus, it helps you make sure that your product design can provide numerous products to your customers.
- 3D preview
3D preview is one of the most common things nowadays on any ecommerce site, and your website should have it. You must show a 3D preview of the products to your customers to enhance their experience. It would help your customers make an informed choice about the product and would add up in their shopping experience.
- Select the right product supplier
Once you are done setting up your eStore, your hunt for the right suppliers begin. A good product supplier is the one that provides you with quality stuff at economical prices and the right time. A good supplier understands your needs and suggests new products and trends that you can use to enhance your business and benefit from it. Meet different product suppliers check out their portfolio and reputation before establishing a business.
- Selecting printing methods
There are majorly three types of trendy web to print methods. That is
- Screen printing
Screen printing is a very commonly used printing method. It is the best web to printing solution for t-shirts and taking bulk orders. The primary benefit of screen printing is the print quality is excellent. The print lasts longer and provides very consistent printing which helps you give satisfactory results to the clients. But it also takes a lot of time to print.
- Digital photo mug printing
As the name suggests, it means printing image or design on mugs. The process includes the use of a specially coated paper. It offers full-colour and permanent artwork look, and it is an excellent way to personalize things that you use in general daily.
- Embroidered printing
It is one of the oldest ways to personalize a gift. And to be honest, it has still got the same charm. People prefer these personalization options to make gifts look more regal and rich, and having this add on in your web to print solutions would bring more traffic to your site.
If you are unwilling to make that significant investment, you can always outsource it to the printing vendors. But most of all, you must make sure the vendors are reliable, and you can trust the quality. When you find a reliable vendor sign a business agreement with them. You can even give them some credit on the website.
Having a full-proof marketing plan is vital to the success of any business. Once you have established your web2print storefront, it is now time you start reaching to the target audience.
A good marketing plan would utilize all the different marketing channels. There are many methods by which you can reach your customers. You can try organic and inorganic marketing methods such as; SEO, PPC, influencer marketing, collaborating with brands, SMM and more.
Most importantly, keep your website up-to-date. Add testimonials and product images to build the trust of your site visitors. Focus on customer service.
Starting a web to print business is going to be difficult, but using this comprehensive guide, we are sure you would meet all the challenges quickly. All you need is to understand your target audience well and find the right partners to help you develop ecommerce site and vendors that can support your business throughout your business journey.