Having finally set up an online shop, the main thing is to be able to compete successfully. That this is no easy task was evident from a visit to the 6th Online Print Symposium (OPS) in Munich.
E-commerce is a completely different world, one that printers first need to familiarize themselves with. The biggest challenges revolve around time, budgets, IT expertise and personnel and, not least, developing expertise in areas such as e-commerce, digitalization and automation. The changes that an online shop brings also require a fundamental shift in culture. This is because for many printers online production must be integrated in current production channels, which doesn’t make things easy.
However, printers will not be able to avoid online printing in the future. For customers under the age of 35, there are no products that don‘t have information available online – and that includes all types of printed materials as well. But launching an online shop takes time – the process cannot be rushed. Clear positioning is important in order to be able to compete with online shops that are allegedly too large and too powerful to take on. This can be done, for example, through customization, environmental aspects, personal appeal and specialties. The printing industry must adapt to the new era and not swim against the tide of change. Online printers will even be able to define the market in certain niches in the future and have better opportunities to compete successfully.