Digitalisation of print

A quick guide to building a successful e-business print service

A quick guide to building a successful e-business print service

There’s no such thing as a guaranteed success in business – but you can give yourself every chance of a fruitful outcome by following best practice and adhering to implementation principles. There are some elements of an e-business print business model that, if ignored or overlooked, can cause an offering to fall flat.

In this quick guide to building an e-business print service, we provide some tips and tricks on how to stand out with an offering the keeps customers coming back for more.

It’s important to stress that online printers are not just printers, they are service providers. In other words, the e-services that complement the print offering must all be up to scratch, with a clear focus on functionality and making it easy for the customer.

It’s all in the planning

Before you start putting all the pieces of the puzzle into place, you’ve got to the plan who, where and how. No successful business was ever built on unsound planning. So, it’s time to ask yourself some questions about who you want to target and what you want to offer them.

To get you started, here’s a flavour of some of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself:

Target group
· Do I want to reach new customers or strengthen existing customer relationships?
· Are their needs and expectations known?

Product portfolio
· Should the current product portfolio be offered, or should new products be produced?

Business model
· Is there a need for the product idea I have in mind?
· Do I want to implement the business model by myself?

Talent
· Does my company have professionally qualified employees who already have online skills?
· Does the company have technical staff who can take care of an additional technical unit?

Bringing your business to life

Once comprehensive planning has been undertaken, you can start to think about bringing your business idea to life.

To increase the chances of making a success of your e-business print service, here are seven tips:

1. Avoid overstretching yourself

If this is your ‘baby’, it can be difficult to give up too much responsibility to others. But that resistance to delegate or seek outside help needs to be abandoned immediately. After all, nobody can be a machine operator, ERP specialist, marketing professional, etc. at the same time – there are specialists for every field and, if you want to create the best e-business print service you can, you should use them.

2. Work with long-term customer loyalty in mind

Every decision you make should be done so through the prism of what the customer wants and expects. Analysis tools should help to understand the buying behaviour as well as the needs of new and returning customers. Use them to full effect, to design a business that keeps customers coming back for more.

3. Make payment easy

In the beginning you are already well positioned with PayPal, credit card payment, payments on account and direct debit. If there is more demand for other payment systems, these can be retrofitted. For the time being, however, customers should be offered an appropriate and practicable choice that doesn’t exclude anyone looking to make an order.

4. Optimise delivery times

In times of Amazon Prime and guaranteed delivery dates, internal and external order processing must be carefully calculated. After production, the now widely accepted standard of two days should become the rule. Any longer than this and it could put customers off re-ordering.

5. Optimise your platform

Your website/platform needs to be optimised with user experience in mind. General advice is to keep click paths short and usability high. Even if you have a lot to offer, you shouldn’t want to show everything all at once, because it is too much for the customer. The less content your customers have to consume to get to their destination, the better.

6. Increase reach with social media and SEO

When trying to gain customer trust, having a strong online presence is crucial. When we talk about web search, we usually mean Google. Nevertheless, the other search engines should not be neglected. An appropriate and regularly updated presence on social media platforms is also important for registering on people’s radars.

7. Bundle matching products

The principle, which is also called bundling, has been used by big names like eBay and Amazon for quite some time. If products are offered that actually fit the customer’s primary buying desire and, in conjunction with this, offer real added value compared with the separate purchase, this means increased sales.

Final word

This is far from an exhaustive list of tips, but should set you on the right road for success in the e-business print world. But don’t expect success overnight – to become a key market player requires patience as much as a solid offering. And don’t be afraid of seeking specialist help from the start.

Next article: Strategising towards E-business print

You might also be interested in