Well, we finally ditched our e-commerce platform. After several years of growth in transactions conducted entirely through our website, we analyzed the most important issues surrounding web-to-print with our business and decided to make a change.
What we found is that web-to-print brings the potential to produce weak customer satisfaction numbers. Poorly designed art, the wrong colors, incorrect materials … basically bad customer choices. It wasn’t that our customers were unhappy with their projects. It was that we weren’t able to help improve them. They could have been better. The e-commerce process essentially took our staff OUT of the design/print process, and this impacted overall job quality enough for us to make this change.
So for now we’re going to wait and see what happens with e-commerce and web-to-print. Until someone comes up with a better system — a system that incorporates all the paper stocks, weights and finishes that we carry; one that properly prices design time, custom sizes, unique finishing requirements, etc.; and one that helps each customer choose the right materials and configuration for their specific needs — we’re going back to assisting each customer directly with their unique projects. Yes… interaction and collaboration has beaten out automation, for now.
We can still do all the back-and-forth online — requests/files/inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can even open a chat session to start the process — but to get a project finished here you’ll have to deal with us humans for the foreseeable future. Of course you can pay online but you’re stuck with getting personalized service!
Your odds of creating a great project actually just went way up. Sorry!