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It is no surprise that the digital era has completely changed the world. This is especially true when it comes to reliance on e-commerce for getting goods and intangible services. Businesses are turning to social media platforms to increase their social media presence and reach to their potential customers.
Online printing has become a reliable and straightforward way of ordering your business' printing products. You might be curious as to why this is so. The answer is simple: using online printers is easier, cheaper, and faster than using traditional printers.
Commercial online printing has many benefits, including a more comprehensive selection of standardised print options, easy online ordering, and reduced printing costs.
So, what are the different ways online printing can benefit your business? This article answers this and any other questions related to this topic.
What Is Online Printing?
This is the process of making and printing hard copies of images, documents, or other media via the internet. Online printing involves uploading digital files to the website of a printing service provider. The files can include images or text documents, or just design decisions among other media types.
Once the files are on your printing service provider's website, you can review, edit and customise them according to your needs and preferences. You can utilise the website's design tools to add text, change colours or adjust your file layout.
Once your design decision has been achieved, it is time to place an order and have the product delivered to your doorstep. The delivery time can vary depending on the order's complexity and your service provider’s turnaround time.
Different Types of Print Methods in the Web-To-Print Industry
If you are a business owner that has integrated web-to-print software into your store, it is essential to learn about the different ways of printing used in the web-to-print industry for a successful business.
Here are the most common ones:
This is one of the most popular forms of printing. Digital printing works by mapping out images onto chosen surfaces. This could be a mug, bag, hat etc. It then uses ink droplets to transfer that image onto the surface.
Because of its simplicity and minimal use of equipment, digital printing is one of the most cost-friendly forms of printing. You can also use it for small batches of products. This puts it on the list of the best print-on-demand service options.
It encompasses a vast range of techniques, including:
- Laser and Inkjet Printing: This is the most common digital printing technique.
- Solid Ink Printing: This is ideal for larger-scale printing operations such as graphic design.
- Digital Press Printing: The technique is perfect for high-volume orders such as brochures, business cards, and labels.
- Dye Sublimation Digital Printing: This can be used in conjunction with heat transfers to print images onto fabrics for clothes and merchandise. Are you looking to print t-shirts for your team at work? Sublimation is the way to go.
The Digital Printing Process
The digital printing process no longer requires transfer stickers or printing plates nor advanced design skills on photo editing tools. All that is needed is to connect specially designed printing machines, and the computer prints product photos directly onto the selected media material.
The process comprises the following easy steps:
- Image Creation: The product photo is created, and digital artefacts are removed. It is then cropped to a bare minimum size of the object. This ensures it comes out clean without losing quality.
- Image Sizing: The product photo is adjusted to fit the selected material. This also ensures no quality is lost during the printing process.
- Image File Formatting: The image files are formatted to the correct file type for the machine used. These files are then sent to the printer. High-quality file formats are used to ensure the final image is crisp and clear.
Digital printing can be used for various material and media types such as linen, fabric, folding cartons and thick cardstock. Because of its versatility, it is the go-to option for all your business mass production needs and is cheaper as far as project expenses are concerned.
Digital printing is ideal for printing postcards, menus, flyers, business cards and newsletters, among other print materials.
Commonly known as flexo, flexography is a printing method commonly used for packaging. Look at it as the modern version of letterpress printing. This form of printing is ideal for items with continuous patterns.
You can also use flexography for rough surfaces and expansive areas with a solid colour. This is why it is the best choice for wallpapers, gift wraps and food packages. It uses water-based inks and rubber plates that dry very quickly, making it ideal for mass production.
This printing method is widely used to print on cloth, wood and canvas, among other materials with coarse surfaces. Offset lithography uses printing plates usually made from aluminium.
Each plate holds an image of the content that needs to be printed. This content is then transferred (offset) onto blankets or rollers. And what happens next? The inked blankets transfer this image onto paper.
Offset lithography gets its name from the concept that the ink first transfers from the plate to the blanket instead of transferring directly onto the paper. The content that needs to be printed never comes in touch with the plates, which explains their (the plates) extended lifespan.
This form of printing consistently produces top-notch images for both high- and small-volume print jobs. However, because of the high costs and several hours involved in setting up, it isn't the most economical choice for small jobs. Because of this, it is recommended only if you need to print large volumes.
Offset lithography printing is ideal for books and stationery and is more preferred by most loyal customers.
This printing technique has been around since the 20th century. It uses mesh or fine materials to transfer an a product photo onto another material and is ideal for printing graphics onto clothes.
The first step in screen printing is transferring your desired image to a fine mesh. The blank spots should be concealed with a substrate. The mesh then stretches out, acting as a screen. Next, the ink is forced to the end material via the mesh openings.
Again, screen printing requires a lot of time to set up and advance design skills, so it is only suitable for bulk printing. Thus printing in bulk would reduce on your project expenses on your marketing efforts.
It is ideal for:
- posters for social media channels, email lists as well as email marketing campaigns.
- fabric banners for email marketing campaigns to potential customers.
- printing graphics for stock photos, product photos and logos onto screens
Are you hearing about embossing for the first time? So are many others. Embossing is a printing technique that creates a hollow or raised design on metal, paper, and other materials.
The embossing process involves creating an impression of the design on the product's surface. Next, pressure is exerted on the objects, and when released, it leaves marks. Of course it uses design elements that require advanced design skills.
You can choose any of the two types:
- Blind Embossing: The embossed mark bears the product's colour.
- Foil Block: After embossing the design, it is filled with gold or silver paints.
Different Ways Online Printing Can Benefit Your Business🔥
Here are some printing services offered by online printing service providers that can change the course of your business:
Customised Business Cards📇
Your business can significantly benefit from printing business cards online.
In this era, giving someone your customised business card may seem a little old-fashioned. No, I mean a lot old-fashioned. But the truth is that this is a fantastic way to leave a lasting first impression, a marketing tip that will not only increase your presence on social platforms, but also increase your customer base without much design skills.
Think about this:
Everyone today is so digitally-minded that a person handing you a physical card is memorable. However, business cards aren’t just memorable.
They also give recipients a quick peek into your brand, giving them details they require to contact you when the need arises. This will ensure there's customer feedback and customer loyalty since you can address their concerns.
However, if you are looking to convey the right message with your card, it is essential that you get the design right. It should first express your business' unique personality and then display your contact details.
Here are easy steps to create a personalised inexpensive design of your business card:
- Select the Desired Shape: Opt for traditional rectangular cards or think out of the box. The die-cutting printing technique lets you cut out any shape and print in bulk. You can search for designs on stock photos to give you an idea.
- Select the Size: Different countries have different standard sizes for business cards. For instance, a standard European card is 85 x 55 mm, while a standard North American card is 88.9 x 50.8 mm.
- Incorporate Your Logo and Other Graphics: Once you have dealt with the shape and size of your card, it is time to think of its visual elements. While other graphics are equally essential for your business card, your logo should take centre stage.
- Add Necessary Text: What your business card says paints a picture of you to prospective clients. A successful business must have a mission statement. You could also include this mission statement on the design. If you have a physical office, consider indicating your address. You can equally add your social media channel handles if you are keen on maintaining an online presence. A typical business card has your name, organisation name, job title, email, mobile number and address.
- Select Your Typography: Typography is essential to business cards because you have limited space to work with, and all your text has to be legible. Select a font that best reflects your personality and is good for social media algorithms. As for font size, consider 8 pts. and above for legibility purposes. Also, go for colours that are an accurate representation of your brand.
- Consider Special Finishes: Certain printers offer special finishes that create a lasting impression that will not only increase customer loyalty, but also customer base for your brand. Depending on your project objective, consider techniques such as embossing, letter pressing, foil stamping and spot UV coating
- Finalise Your Design: The last step is uploading your file to your online printing service provider's website. While here, you can still edit your file. When everything is done, place your order and have the service provider print out the business cards for you and deliver them. Boom! With little design skills, you have your business cards! Now go steer your successful business.
Brochures and Flyers
Your business can benefit from brochures and flyers from online printing companies. These tools help enhance your brand awareness campaigns, maintaining loyal customers and driving more sales.
One of the marketing tips you can take advantage of is brochures and flyers. After stationery and business cards, brochures and flyers are the most popular printed pieces.
So, what exactly are flyers? Typically, a flyer is a single printed sheet or product photo used to draw attention to a product, service or event. It contains a simple message that is easy to convey without much attention to social media algorithms.
Printing is usually done on only one side, but that doesn't mean this is the law. On the other hand, brochures are similar to flyers in many aspects. One significant difference between the two is that brochures are mostly printed on both sides.
Also, unlike flyers which are unfolded, these contain folds that create several pages of information.
Brochures and flyers are still powerful marketing tools that communicates your project objective while going slow on your project expenses, even in the age of digital marketing. Here is the non-exhaustive list of the benefits of using flyers and brochures to create awareness of your brand:
Distributing Them Is Easy
You can position flyers and brochures anywhere, for instance, to communicate your product launch. This way, your company relays information to more people and draws new audiences to your products and your brand's social profiles.
You can also place them in promotional giveaways you send through the mail on your email list.
They Are Cost Effective
Brochures are cheaper than some inline marketing solutions that can easily increase online purchases of your products and services. Your business can benefit more from these inexpensive design elements.
In addition, no matter your budget, online printing companies will always ensure you get the right fit for your company. You can also buy them in bulk and enjoy enormous discounts.
They Are a Comprehensive Advertising Tool
A standard brochure has sufficient space for you to include important information about your venture before sending it to your email list, such as:
- Your company summary
- Your price catalogues
- Your project objective
- Contact information
- Mission statement
- Company logo
- Why potential customers should choose your company
Brochures Leave a Lasting Impression
Do you want to reinforce your message and leave a lasting impression? A brochure can do this for you. Let’s say you are attending a sales meeting and are getting ready to wrap up. Just before walking out, you can hand brochures to potential clients.
Further, you can also deliver it digitally on your email list and social profiles saving you on project expenses. A brochure gives you one more chance to market your enterprise.
They Are Attention Grabbers
A well-tailored brochure is sure to grab and hold people's attention. Here are some tips to keep your target audience's attention glued to your brochures:
- Highlight the advantages of buying goods or services from your company
- Use short and precise sentences
- Use tangible ideas and action words
- Incorporate lists and bullet points
- Ensure the graphics reinforce your message
Another way online printing can benefit your business is by producing customised packaging. Come to think of it, any business offering products must package them before sending them out to their clients.
Customised packaging is packaging that is tailored to your company's specific needs. It doesn't compare to standard packaging, whose only requirement is that the product fits in.
Customised inexpensive design packaging undergoes several processes, such as design, engineering and mock-up. All this is to ensure the packaging fulfils its goal of achieving your project objective while reducing minimising project expenses.
You can customise your packaging with design elements such as product photos, logos, or anything else that reflects your brand. Here are some of the ways customise design elements for packaging can help grow your business:
Packaging protects the product itself. It holds and protects the product inside, ensuring it stays intact during transit. Although several pre-made packaging solutions are available on the market today, very few will fit your product perfectly.
This is why customised packaging is the "it" thing. It can be considered as a marketing asset that is specifically tailored to fit your product perfectly.
Say you use a pre-made box that doesn't match your product dimensions when shipping. The result? Possible damages and a furious customer on the other end of the line.
What if you opt for customised packing instead? Any fragile contents will be shielded from any damages during delivery. Happy customer, happy business!
While packaging's main objective is ensuring the safety of your product, it also provides customer protection. When transporting food products, for instance, it is common practice to display vital information such as:
- Before dates
- Nutritional value
Even for non-food products, it is essential to list product ingredients and any toxins the product may contain. With this information, your customers can handle the package with care.
You may wonder whether listing harmful substances is detrimental to your brand. The answer? A simple no. On the contrary, doing so only shows your transparency and commitment to ensuring safety.
As a result, you build a vast clientele base that has customer loyalty and trusts your brand with their safety.
Building Brand Awareness 🎗️
Walking around market centres, you may notice people carrying branded shopping bags from various stores. While this may seem like an insignificant gesture, it is the easiest way to create brand awareness.
This is a marketing asset that you cannot wish away. Packaging is a powerful marketing asset you can utilise in advertising and building brand credibility.
Because you're facing several competitors, ensure you go for a custom package with design elements that encapsulates your brand. Inexpensive design customised packaging enables you to be in total control of your brand's reputation and your project objective.
Grabbing Customer Attention
One way to attract customers and maintain customer loyalty to your product is by tailoring your packaging to fit and elevate your product. This automatically gives your product and brand more credibility.
Why is this so? The packaging is like the door leading to your product. The more impressed potential customers are, the more the customer loyalty and the more likely they will walk through that door and make that purchase.
With more and more people organising environmental awareness campaigns, consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious regarding their carbon footprint. This is why environmentally-friendly packaging solutions are essential for your business's success.
Put simply, the more eco-friendly your product and packaging, the more desirable it will look in your customers' eyes on product launch.
Customised Gift Cards
Online printing can also produce gift cards; we all know their role in customer and staff motivation. Over the years, customised gift cards have garnered popularity as the most preferred gift item for people of all ages.
It is one of the inexpensive design marketing assets that will, in the long run, increase online purchases.
Here is how customised gift cards can help grow your business:
There’s no doubt that gift cards are the ultimate sales magnet for eligible purchases. If you want to sharpen your gift card strategies and give one to your customers, go for it.
After receiving the cards, many recipients will likely visit your store to redeem their gifts. Often, they perform many online purchases more than the value of the gift card.
It is important to remember that gits cards are a two-fold sales booster. First, you can sell them to generate revenue for your brand. Second, recipients purchase more items when they come to redeem their cards increasing eligible purchases at you store..
Bringing in New Customers
As indicated in the first point, digital gift cards can boost not only online purchases but also eligible purchases in your physical stores. However, the primary reason for this is that gift cards also generate new leads for your business venture. It isn't uncommon for customers to buy gift cards for their loved ones.
When they do, the people visiting your store will likely be doing so for the first time. As a result, you get new customers for your store thus eligible purchases.
You can also surprise your old customers with enticing gift cards, so you don't lose them as well as get customer feedback, a very strong marketing asset.
Building Brand Value and Identity
Gift cards carry your brand name wherever they end up. Think of them as an extension of your store. Incorporate product photos in them to show to your prospective customers what you have in store for them.
Advice them whether they can make online purchases or if eligible purchases are done in their your physical store. Sometimes, gift cards may be resold, thus penetrating more potential markets. As a result, more and more recipients become aware of your brand, which may drive up sales and profits.
Customised Promotional Items
Promotional items like mugs, t-shirts and water bottles are also online printing products. According to statistics, promotional items have the highest advertising recall compared to other forms of advertising.
These items create lasting recognition for your enterprise. If you want to create awareness of your brands and boost sales, consider incorporating this advertising mode into your strategy.
Here is some insight into the best promotional products:
Water Bottles and Mugs
You can never go wrong with custom mugs if you deal in drinks. And I bet your customers will think of your brand every time they use them.
Whether you are in the retail or manufacturing sector, custom drinkware guarantees improved sales. The key is to make your items durable, unique and conspicuous. Put a lot of thought into the design and opt for bold colours.
For fitness centres, branded water bottles are ideal. This gift idea considers that your customers need to hydrate after intense workout sessions.
If you deal in stationery, pens are a great promotional item idea. However, any business can work with this strategy as everyone inevitably uses paper.
A business that deals in gadgets can use flash disks as promotional items. But ensure the flash disks you give out are of high quality. Handing your customers malfunctioning devices can make them lose trust in you, and consequently, sales will go down. Nicely-branded high-quality flash disks will keep your customers coming back for more.
These have sufficient space for advertising your brand. You can print your company logo and even throw in a few details about your business. Ensure they are stylish so your clients always feel comfortable in them.
Another promotional item you can use to drive up sales when you are in the fitness or wellness industry is stress balls. Your clients will surely enjoy squeezing them to ease their minds.
Batteries that drain so fast are the absolute worst! This is where power banks come in. the highly portable gadgets allow you to store up charge and transfer it you your phone whenever you like.
Power banks are a hot promotional item gaming several companies, especially those in tech. When selecting power banks to give out to your clients, go for those with high quality, high capacity and sleek design.
With printing techniques such as flexography and screen printing, mass printing of documents such as training manuals is possible. People are always looking to learn something new.
Most business owners do not have much time to design, organise and print training manuals for staff training. Therefore, they opt to streamline the process by outsourcing the services to a web-to-print company to manage their printing requirements efficiently.
A good employee training manual outlines instructions to be followed to improve a job, task, or process quality.
Here is how a training manual can help improve your business:
- Informing Employees about Training Policies and Programs: A good employee training manual answers all employees' training-related queries. So ensure you include a list of available courses and describe them in detail. A training manual also teaches employees the procedures to follow when the need arises. As a result, their performance improves.
- Organising Training and Maintaining Transparency: Besides helping put everything in order, a training manual ensures everyone is aware of relevant training courses and any events.
- Streamlining Onboarding: A training manual simplifies things for HR when new members come on board. They will simply formulate a training plan that matches the employee's position and experience.
Customised Stickers and Labels
Custom stickers are a unique way to market your business. Here is how they will help your marketing efforts:
- You are in control of the designs, images and texts to include
- You can tailor them to fit your products perfectly
- They make your packages look professional and appealing
- They build brand awareness
- They strengthen customer relations
Posters and Signs
Another powerful marketing tool that is a product of online printing is printed posters and signage. Posters and signage easily stand out and therefore reach bigger crowds. Besides, they offer continuous exposure. As long as they remain hanging, people will always see them.
Trade Show Displays
Attending trade shows and exhibitions can expose your business and entire team to new clients and opportunities. But the key is standing out from the rest of the exhibitors.
This is what will pull crowds to your stand. So ensure you get top-quality and aesthetically pleasing banners from reputable online printing companies.
When organising events at the workplace, one of the most effective ways of conveying your brand is by mailing postcards. They have a high impact on your customers as they are short and precise.
Additionally, they attract more customers, and postcard branding campaigns are easy to launch. Postcards also increase customer feedback. Customer feedback is very important in addressing gaps and some of your brand's set backs.
You can also print customised calendars to use within the organisation. This way, you can keep track of critical upcoming days and ensure you don’t miss deadlines. You can incorporate pictures of individual team members or snapshots of recent projects you have worked on.
Custom Invitations and Announcements
Are you planning to host a business event at your workplace? Perhaps you are looking to do a product launch a much-awaited-for product soon? You can print out custom invitations and announcements incorporating product photos and send them to your customers.
Online printing is the process of printing physical documents via the internet. It is basically delegating your printing needs to a third party. This way, you can focus more on other essential workplace duties.
Surprisingly, online printing can help your business in many ways. From postcards to promotional items such as product photos and invitation cards, you can use online printing for most of your business printing needs.
These products play a significant role in driving up sales, reaching new markets and even retaining your old customers. If you have been wondering how online printing can help grow your business, we hope this article clears up any concerns you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Online Printing Take?
It is essential to understand that most online printers use batch printing and automated processes.
As a result, you can expect to get your printed designs delivered after a few days. This applies to simple products like business cards and photo prints. You will have to wait up to two weeks for complex items like large canvas prints.
How Much Does Online Printing Cost?
Online printing costs vary widely depending on the company and your product. Often, it is based on the quality of the final product. Expect to pay less for smaller orders and more for larger orders. Keep in mind that shipping charges may affect this price.
How Do You Select a Reliable Online Printing Company? For Your Business Needs?
Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing an online printing company:
- Transparent Reviews: Go through a company’s customer reviews to see what others are saying about its services. Customer feedback can help you make informed decisions. Positive reviews mean the company is doing something right, while negative reviews may be an indication to run. There is no point in going for a cheap service when the end product is trash.
- Communication Is Key: Consider an online printing company you can contact via email, phone and chat. This way, if you need some adjustments, you can easily communicate your needs.
- Transparent Pricing: Go for a company with transparency in its pricing. F it indicates its prices online, the better.
Other factors to consider when selecting a suitable online printing company include convenience and availability of online design tools and resources.