Print Shop Thoughts: Online Product Designers

When you started your print shop, you probably had big dreams of automating everything through your website with an Online Product Designer tool, like the ones that are featured on the big online print companies websites. “This will be no problem. Customers will design their own stuff and I won’t have as much to do”. Once you started looking around for a way to implement this, you likely realized the highly technical and workload heavy effort it would take to make it work effectively. Online Product Designers can be great if you have a design that is easily editable and repeatable. However, how many of your clients want the same design options over and over? If you’re a graphic designer, setting up these tools would likely be pretty easy for you to get working, but you will be limited on what you are able to create given the limited abilities of most Online Product Designers. This is more than likely going to leave you with designs that are unappealing to your eye as a designer, and leave you with design work still left to do on the backend to make the design printable and aesthetic. Rest assured that if a client is given the freedom to design a product, they will make it look terrible 90% of the time. You’re then not able to use this as quality example of your work. Quality design is a key factor in print shop growth.

Another thing that most small print shops don’t plan for when implementing an Online Product Designer into their website, is the non tech savvy nature of most of their clients. The majority of business for small print shops will come from local businesses. Other business owners come to you because they want your expertise to create their products  or they have other things to deal with operating their own business. There are big online players in the game already. If they wanted to use a system like that, they would have went to those providers to begin with.

This is not to go without saying in certain situations, online product designers can be very beneficial. If you are doing any type of digital printing, you can take advantage of these tools in different ways. If you are printing vehicle wraps; you may have some sort of abstract design templates that you use for backgrounds on your wraps, then allow customers to choose different colors and add their logos. In these cases, you will have to do some design work on the backside to accommodate the many different variables associated with wrapping a vehicle. This process can give you and your client a good starting point, which then leads to getting products out the door faster. If you are printing business cards or other paper products, you can create templates that are fairly easy for customers to customize. Once again you will be limited on the capabilities of your design, but if the goal is to print more you will be aided in that. These tools aren’t always as friendly to screen printers. However,  simple 1 color designs can be easily repeatable. Deciding if an online product designer is going to be beneficial to your business model comes down to asking yourself; “What kind of product do I want  to sell?”

That then begs the question of what you can do to better serve your customers online experience without having this functionality. The point of e-commerce is driving sales, right? Our simple and intuitive website system for print shops has solved that issue.

• Allow your customers to price out your print shop’s products on your website. Our calculators are capable of figuring numbers through several different methods.
– In the modern era of convenience, if a customer has to go out of their way to ask for prices, your chances of a sale goes down.

• Allow customers to submit their order inquiry without having to input their credit card info immediately.
– Most print shop orders don’t receive their first initial deposits until  production is about to begin)

• Have a simple and organized way to send proofs and communicate with your clients.
– This process allows for much higher quality design possibilities. Nobody will want your products if they don’t look good.

Your print shop’s website doesn’t need to be as technical as you think it needs to be. Simplicity,  in many cases, is the key to being effective. With our system, you won’t have to know a single line of code. Your a printer not a web developer, you have a prints due out. You don’t need the headaches that comes with dealing with a super technical website. We have been in your shoes and we get the many difficulties that come with running a print shop. Our website system is built to ease that stress and make the day to day easier.