There are several “newer” print companies succeeding on all fronts; revenue, top line growth, and market share. VistaPrint, Moo.com, Zazzle, Blurb, CafePress, etc… What do they all have in common? Ecommerce is their primary way of doing business.
What’s broken? There are more than 30,000 printers in the United States, most of which are not growing on all fronts. What is their primary way of doing business?
I just watched Seth Godin’s entertaining speech titled, This is Broken. Its worth a watch and a laugh but it made me think about how reluctant our industry has been to embrace the digital economy even when newcomers have entered the print space and shown incredible growth during a recession and a major transition in the information business.
Ecommerce isn’t a fad, its a critical component to your online business strategy. America is more web-centric than not, 73% of Americans turn to the web as their first option to find more information, search for products and services, and ultimately transact in a self service manner. Ecommerce is a critical component of your overall participation in the online ecosystem.
Local and regional printers can and must compete online, but it requires you to change your strategic approach from “push” direct sales to “pull” conversational marketing.
Similar to the offline world, the sales cycle of “Know Me”, ”Like Me”, “Trust Me”, then “PAY ME” operates online, but in the online world the entire sales cycle can be self service! The direct sales equivalent online is consistent, compelling content and an engaged conversation with your customers.