Not even close. W2P (the generic term for web-to-print) services run the gamut from “plain vanilla” to gorgeous, comprehensive platforms where users may not even realize they’re no longer on a company site.
Some confuse e-commerce with W2P because both happen online, but e-commerce is generally a “generic ordering platform”whereas sophisticated W2P services provide a User Name/Password-protected platform where customers can see all of their print and related needs, can enter only variable information to proof and order anything from a brand image business card or digital printed brochure with variable text options.
The “flip side” of custom branded online catalogs is that they come in several ‘flavors.’ One model is purchased software which printers buy and tweak for each new customer they add. Another model is “co-op” where those running the actual system are 3rd party resources who may take a small piece of each transaction. Not every system or platform offers all the same advantages. Most offer good ordering and proofing tools, but the best offer sophisticated usage information which makes future budgeting easier, enable “direct oversight” of “who can purchase what, in what quantity” and do not permit deviation from brand image standards.
It pays to ask for a W2P demonstration when a printer offers these services. Know what you want, understand the reliability and security of an offering before you commit.
If you’re interested in establishing a custom branded online catalog, you can contact us today about getting started! If your employees regularly purchase the same branded products in volume, it’s worth consideration.