From web to print, or Web-To-Print

This new concept is increasingly present in the web’s and printer’s universe. It is also becoming more familiar to clients and to both individual and professional customers, not to mention brands that are also getting involved. Web-to-print is everywhere, but what is it exactly? To make it easy to understand, we can say that it represents the interactive processing (applications or software) or various printing jobs through the Internet. With Web-To-Print applications, we can create visuals, place orders, modify them, control the printing and delivery flow, and it is even possible to get a proof of the print. Each one of these actions are made with a significant saving of time. It is truly revolutionary for printers and consumers. Thanks to Web-To-Print, they will no longer have to travel to work together. Even people in the most remote areas will easily be able to complete their printing projects! Why so? Because everything happens through the amazing and ultra-connected space of the web. Web-To-Print was born in the 90s. According to Ludovic Martin’s words “It was a company named Belmak Inc. that registered this term on October 7, 1999”. Web-To-Print has come a long way since its creation with ups and downs, successes and failures. Five years ago, the printing industry was not ready for online business. At the time, the lack of maturity from the majority of e-commerce solutions available was probably the reason (…) Nowadays, Web-To-Print is emerging and intends to grow, develop itself and gain market share, explains Aurélie Marillier and Pierre Achard in their report “Veille Technologique” : Le Web to Print” (2008). The gamble appeared to have paid off as this method has been able to improve, grow and thus establish itself in the world of new applications and technologies. It is a real solution to a strong demand from users and customers What benefits ? When we dig in the Web-To-Print universe, it does not take us too long to discover all the advantages as there are many. For example, clients can have access to Internet portals, to applications or software at any time of the day, every day of the week. Web-To-Print, Internet and software have no days off. Each user has an online customer area. All the information related to his or her order can be consulted and modified at any time and any place with one click. As we mentioned before, Web-To-Print solutions are very popular because the customization of even the most diverse objects is one of the biggest trends of the last few years. Everything can be personalized. Of course, brands and clients know and want this. Web-To-Print is also more economical, because with a software like CustomDesk, whose control remains in the hands of the users, it is possible to avoid some costly tasks. The ordering, production and delivery processes are shorter and more reliable. For all these reasons, it is difficult to find any disadvantages to this flourishing business, as the advantages are quite obvious. Case Study : a revolutionary Web-To-Print software For the past three years, the Wobz Technologies branch of the Wobz Group has been developing a software program called CustomDesk, which allows products to be customized on an industrial and international scale. This solution helps to maintain production rates and costs, without increasing the payroll. This software offers its customers an E-Commerce Content Management System, a 3D experience, an API solution, a Enterprise Resource Planning, a Material Resources Planning application, Warehouse Management, HelpDesk support and Business Intelligence, among other solutions. It is a unique experience that combines technology and know-how. With a Web-To-Print software like CustomDesk, the customer can manage his projects independently. According to his needs, he can consult prices, make a quote and plan production and delivery times. Thanks to its connectivity and its high level of automation, CustomDesk makes every customizer’s dream come true, namely: the production of short runs with high added value and low margin. But CustomDesk is also able to answer all user requests. As it is a highly-connected software, the customer will be informed of all the steps of his order, either by email or phone, or directly in the dedicated online space. This software is adaptable and scalable. It is composed of a set of independent modules that can be adjusted by the user according to his needs. Thus, he can create new functionalities. It is a complete solution focused on the customer. “We want to pursue its development before it goes on the market and specially to continue to test it under the conditions of the Wobz group. This way, we will be able to ensure its excellence when it is open to the general public. We hope to reach this level in this quarter of 2023”, assures Benjamin Demay, COO of Wobz Technologies. CustomDesk is without a doubt, a revolutionary solution integrating all the necessary resources needed to run a business. A promising market Several experts agree that it is difficult to find official figures for the Web-To-Print market. However, Ludovic Martin gives trends on a macro-level, in his article “Gratuit: l’étude de marché du web-to-print en Europe 2020”. Martin estimated that in 2019 “the global turnover of online printing brought in 2.5 billion euros in Europe”. It represents “an evolution of + 59% since 2012”. In terms of projections, Martin envisages that “the growth of online printing will be 3.4 billion euros in 2025”. To propose this rate, the specialist takes into account “the context of global recession in commercial printing and the evolution within the online printing market of majors and independents.” Compared to the ranking of the most successful European countries in Web-To-Print, among the most remarkable are France, Germany and the United Kingdom, explains Ludovic Martin. He adds that “the French market is experiencing the emergence of new players, with marketplaces and “small”, very agile online printers.” Nevertheless, we cannot forget about the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the world in 2020. It is wise to ask the following question… Will the crisis have an impact on the Web-To-Print market projections ? If so, how ? The answers from the experts and new studies will be coming soon. Web-To-Print has been slow to make a place in the printing world, but it is here to stay.