Having the ability to offer online ordering and virtual storefronts for enterprises with distributed sales and marketing departments is fast becoming a requirement for printers of all sizes. Fulfillment is a value added capability that many print service providers have most likely already added to their core offerings. It is embracing the electronic aspect—managing the fulfillment of physical items such as marketing collateral and promotional materials in real time and in a Web-based environment—that offers tremendous benefits for your customers and will help you easily set your business apart from other print providers.
The emergence of both digital print and increased web usage has made electronic options simply part of the closed-loop marketing environment. Web-based technology allows your customers to create localized materials on-demand while ensuring that brand integrity is maintained. And today, with the quality of digital print virtually at parity with traditional offset and technology developing at such a rapid rate, the cost to implement these programs is plunging quickly.
The key to adding Web-based solutions to your mix is finding the right technology solution to effectively and affordably offer this convenience to your customers. The following capabilities should be considered when selecting the automated solution right for your business:
One-Stop Shopping Abilities
Making it convenient for customers to do business with you is of primary importance. Offering online ordering and virtual storefronts allows your customers with distributed sales and marketing departments to access all types of communication materials through one portal. Customers should have the capability to access the materials needed without logging in and out of multiple databases; minimizing the amount of effort needed to fulfill orders.
The good news is that when your customer experiences how online ordering and virtual storefronts make it easy to place orders, it will help increase the number of transactions created. Additionally, your customers should only have to manage one inventory system and monitor one page for updates throughout the day, thus saving time and resources.
Reporting that Results in Rapid Follow Up
Providing online ordering also offers convenience when it comes to the management of a marketing campaign, from lead acquisition to close. Finding a software solution that offers a dashboard that tracks the entire lifecycle of the campaign provides the ability to measure and analyze results based on contact history that tells when materials are viewed, downloaded, or displayed. Using a single, unified system to track each effort will allow your customer’s sales reps to act upon inquiries and responses immediately.
For example, if a sales rep wants to follow up on the latest email blast sent, he or she can instantly garner information regarding the outreach, including exactly who received and opened the initial email. If it contained a personalized URL (PURL), they will know if the recipient clicked through or responded to the PURL, and have access to any answers provided by the recipient. This provides a clear view of the success of both the outreach efforts and consumer responses. Marketers can now establish a standard for measuring each aspect of the campaign, allowing them to improve or use what worked on the next one.
Real Time Access to Materials
With any chosen online ordering or virtual storefronts system, your customers should be able to see materials in real time, as well as have the ability to customize them to ensure relevance and timeliness upon delivery. It is important to find technology that allows individuals to personalize materials to meet each client’s specific needs, and then, based on the recipient’s response, tailor them further.
A major benefit to Web-based fulfillment systems is the ability to meet the informational needs of thousands of individuals, one person at a time. Providing a solution to better connect customers with their prospects can’t help but solidify you as a valuable partner.