Web-to-print empowers international print recovery

Web-to-print is the new normal

Web-to-print -photographers choosing woman's portraits at the working place with two computers in the studio
Web-to-print -photographers choosing woman's portraits at the working place with two computers in the studio Photo Vpress

Tens of thousands of print businesses worldwide are contending with the challenges from declines in demand and how they can produce their products with resource shortages. Another problem is to engage with customers, and in this situation, Vpress is witnessing a very surprising, or perhaps not so surprising, trend international trend.

“What we have witnessed across our international customer base is nothing short of astonishing,” comments Kelvin Bell, sales director at Vpress. He adds, “There has been an intense and sustained migration for print businesses towards web-to-print and eCommerce as they adapt their offering to be purchased, specified, and personalized online.

“This really is a massive acceleration of the trend towards print businesses embracing digital platforms to add value to their customer’s businesses.”

Indeed, recent weeks have seen two substantial print businesses in South Africa turn to Vpress for support, as they have been especially hard hit by a Government lockdown that far exceeded what has been experienced in Europe.

Bell continues, “All our sales consultations were done via web conference. Our products were reviewed, evaluated, and qualified by the teams at Printafoil and Lithotech (part of the Bidvest Group) in Cape Town. Both are substantial print businesses supporting both lithographic and digital work, which has already started to be generated online.”

The teams at these two substantial print businesses both specifically highlighted the need for an eCommerce and web-to-print solution that was fully cloud-based and offered very rapid deployment, full technical and remote support as well as long-term implementation training.

A digital revolution

Bell explains, “These technology investments in South Africa are typical of a much broader global trend we are experiencing. In the UK, we have seen a spike in new inquiries as business owners take time to assess their technology infrastructure, but the approach is very different.

“Very few companies here are buying web-to-print for the first time, as most of our new business are companies looking to change their existing platform to one that offers better return-on-investment and a more sustainable business model.

“Many of our customers in overseas companies are coming to this technology for the first time. It is very gratifying to see how passionate they are when they realize the growth potential it represents.”

Surfing the wave

Having been founded in Cheltenham more than eighteen years ago, Vpress continues to live by its motto of ‘partnering customers to success.’ It has also witnessed a period of seismic sector evolution, branching out from being defined by ‘web-to-print’ to becoming a full and independent developer of eCommerce technology solutions.

With its New Zealand operation having opened a second office in Sydney, Australia, along with the recent appointment of Jean Lloyd as Business Development for the MEA (the Middle East and Africa), Vpress are confident about the future and surfing a new tidal wave of interest in its product offering.

Bell concludes, “To be honest, no one is shocked as we are in the amount of new business coming through, we really thought things would slow down. But many print businesses have been forced to stop and evaluate what they are doing now and adapt to a rapidly evolving new normal.”

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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