Print companies who want to stay relevant in a fast changing business environment can now consider the latest offering from the country’s largest print partner and it’s called ‘Websites by printing.com’.
The new initiative comes partially as a response to the results of research that printing.com commissioned into the local web market. Dave Bell, chief executive of printing.com says, “Our research has identified a number of factors affecting the way the market is going”.
“As always the consumer drives the market and websites are simply higher in the consumer’s hierarchy of needs. We see a lot of younger people coming into business who have grown up with a laptop or a tablet. They have a higher level of expectation of their business and it’s interaction with the online environment”.
“With most new business owners, their first question is, ‘How am I going to get my web site together?’ not, ‘How can I get business cards?’
Middle-aged business owners also show a much higher appreciation for online opportunities. But, like a number of consumers in the market, they will likely have had, or at least heard of, a poor experience with a web provider.
Bell sees the movement into more digitised commerce as similar to the advent of digital printing. He says, “Many people said initially that digital printing would never become mainstream in our industry, but that was a value that the printer held; and that was probably a misplaced value. Digital print is now mainstream, has been for some time simply because it serves a purpose which is important to the customers.”
So what does all this mean for a print business today? He says, “The addition of a web offering is as important for businesses today as it was for many businesses to add digital printing to their businesses 20 years ago. We firmly believe businesses entering the space today will benefit from better, and stickier, relationships with their customers.”
Bell backs his opinion with research-based statistics. He says, “41 per cent of businesses have a web site. You might say we see an opportunity for the 59 per cent who don’t but, of those 41 percent who do have web sites – most of those are not transactional, the websites are not responsive and likely don’t have booking system capability (where applicable). And often they are not up to date. You often find they have a new logo but they haven’t updated that on their web site.”
The cost of setting up a web site can deter businesses. He says, “We have interviewed people who have used web studios and a common theme is that the build and experience is simply too expensive. Most web studios tend to provide a quote, which turns out to be just an approximation. So the average starting price for a transactional website of $6,500 gets closer to $10,000 once it is running.
“Often, businesses find that the web studio is more interested in the initial build rather than ongoing support. The reality is that building a website is step number one in terms of aiding a business to have a more successful online experience.
“At printing.com, we have graphic designers who now build beautiful, responsive, transactional web sites; and that is what the marketplace needs. This is about using existing resource without hiring expensive ‘code writers’ to simply achieve what’s important to the customer.
The websites by printing.com offering allows a customer to dip their toe in the water. For example a business could pick their 10 most popular products and sell them through their new/updated website. This costs around $3500 and affords their customers the ability to purchase on mobile devices.
Bell says, “A printing business doesn’t need to build a bespoke website and that’s not what most customers require. The printing.com business model makes it easy for customers to market to and transact with their captive audience.
“So, it’s not just about building the website, that is just stage one. Stage two is helping that business get the most out of its website. We can meet with the customer and talk about their products, message, social media, monthly specials etc. We offer complementary ongoing services. That needs to happen for a website to be successful.
From a demographic perspective, New Zealanders rank alongside the world’s busiest in terms of using the internet to browse and buy products and services. They use their smart phones and tablets. Bell says, “Having a web offering that talks to all of those things is a must do for any business.
He adds, “Becoming a printing.com partner is strategically sound if a printing business wants to extend its competitive space and provide another opportunity to remain relevant in our ever changing environment. This is about what the customer requires, which should always be at the forefront of what we as operators in this industry see as most important to our overall success.