Since we launched in 2010, we’ve seen an unprecedented rate of change in demand for our services. The web-to-print market that we originally established ourselves in, has evolved from a mere, online print ordering service technology, to become a crucial aspect of the martech solutions that businesses are realising they need to develop if they are to remain successful and relevant to the digital generation.
At the forefront of this revolution has been the role of the consumer and the rate of change in consumer behaviour as smart-phone based technologies are embraced. The role of technology in driving consumer behaviour has been led by companies such as Uber, AirBnB and other mobile app-based services. This ‘uberization’ has demonstrated the possibilities of 24/7 access to on-demand services that are easy to use, instantly accessible and that provide personalisation options unique to each user time and again. Businesses across almost every sector now realise that unless they can keep up with this evolved consumer expectation, then their business will fail to remain relevant and soon loose profits to their competitors. For example, think of the threat to the black cab industry posed by Uber, and how that industry adapted by creating the Gett app.
Our founder and MD, Douglas Gibson, has driven our growth by remaining ahead of the curve when understanding the demands that businesses face, ahead even of the businesses themselves. Such foresight has enabled us to identify other software solution providers that through close collaboration and partnerships with, we have evolved our solution to always exceed the expectations of the uberized, digital-first generation.
This mobile access to products that consumers have, may determine a simpler purchasing process, but it has exponentially increased the methods and opportunities for interaction between the consumer and the brand. If these new avenues are recognised and managed well, the opportunity for business growth has never been greater; the increased competition mobile technology has enabled, is matched, if not exceeded, by the opportunity for increased sales it enables too. It is widely understood that now the majority of internet searches are made using a mobile device as opposed to a desk top; the consumer is literally on the move, able to purchase, read reviews, rate service and even empty his/her shopping basket at the click of a button from anywhere at any time.
Printers have, like all other industries, had to adapt. No longer can they solely offer large print run based pricing structures but need to instead be able to cater for small print runs and even unique, bespoke one-offs. This creates pressure on budgets and profits, as profit margins are inevitably smaller on smaller print runs; when considered alongside rising costs to the business, substrates, ink and delivery, it is critical that the business adapts.
The technology that has driven this revolution by the consumer, also provides the solution businesses require to survive. Digital technology has allowed for the collaboration between software providers, alongside the ability to automate and consolidate work flow, driving down costs and driving up ROI. A fully integrated print ordering service now has the capability to automate entire work flows, from instant, 24/7/365 live pricing, to job submission and specification; from product mapping, imposition, stock management, to billing and shipping. Parallel to this is the ability to automate artwork submission, ensuring error-free artwork: proofing, pre-flighting, printing and archiving are taken out of human hands, reducing labour, the risk of human error, and saving on endless printing of proofs. Personalisation options and the ability to lock-in important design elements mean that businesses can de-centralise work, safe in the knowledge that key branding messages remain locked and fixed.
Digital technology now allows print service providers to remain firmly in the martech arena, as they can now demonstrate new products they can enable their clients to drive to market. The technology may be the driving force behind changing consumer behaviour and expectations, but it also provides the solutions that businesses must adopt and integrate with in order to survive. At Infigo we understand this well and know that investment in development, partnerships and integrations are the most effective way to future proof our business and that of our clients.