Are you into branded apparel, customized merchandise, invitations, posters, banners, or even books? If so, anything that requires changing text or uploading images directly to the website and integrating with your products could be easily done with web to print technology a.k.a. web2print. This functionality enables your customers to create, edit, and sign off on computer-based artwork or personalized products without leaving the comfort of their homes.
By implementing web 2 print solution on your site you can benefit in many ways:
- reach broader audience;
- save up time you would spend on personal meet ups and negotiations with potential customers;
- streamline the approval process;
- speed up repetitive orders (e.g. business cards, marketing materials etc.)
And, this list with benefits is far from being complete.
How do things work?
Though the whole thing sounds a little bit cumbersome, it is not at all. To give you an idea and illustrate what we are talking about just have a look at the examples below. For instance, we wanted to create a branded T-shirt for our team and decided to order it from UberPrints.com. This website is a great example of user-friendly web2print functionality implementation and usage. The creation process is comprised of several simple steps we were to take – everything intuitive and easy to follow.
This kind of solutions can be very basic allowing adding just text and adding an image, or on the contrary – very complex that are as powerful as some popular visual web editors. Often times there is a number of pre-defined products and templates available where customers can alter some certain components such as typeface, images, or layout before checking the preview of their efforts – the final look of end product they have tailored to their needs. But it is also possible to give them the option to create them from the scratch, to use their vivid imagination to the extent they want and using the skills they have. One of the options that we really like about web2print solutions: after the design process is complete, customers can easily share their final pattern with e.g. friends. In our list below you will find the most popular web2print features incorporated on the ecommerce sites:
- Management of fonts, cliparts, colours etc.
- Image editing tools
- Templates upload and online creation
- Dynamic imaging
- Products/designs storage in the customer area for the latter purchase
- The created template download Sharing of the created products images in social media or via email.
Apart from user tools, various admin options are there that allow adding new fonts, restriction of certain areas of product image, enable or disable particular products in the catalog for customizations.
It is a really good practice to have in-house designer who would do all the magic and polish customers’ design patterns that are too raw sometimes and of poor quality.
How to find the right technology to implement web2print in Magento?
Magento does not offer web2print out of the box. However, if you want to implement it on your ecommerce site, you can consider one of the three scenarios. First option is to install an extension adding nice web2print features to your site (we have presented some of them for you to consider, see below) or integrate it with the 3rd party software or services. The drawback of the latter scenario is that you can barely customize it, so you will need to deal with the features as it is in the initial version. Third option is a bit more sophisticated; thus, it will cost you more: you can hire Magento developers to create a business-specific web2print solution for your particular ecommerce site.
When it comes to extensions: do not expect a lot. There is likely to be just a couple of them that could offer that range of options web2print online software does; we cannot promise either that the extensions will work smoothly as it is specified in the support documentation. But if you need web2print functionality incorporated on your site and your budget is small – this scenario is for you. At the most basic level, web2print options include changing color palette and adding text to certain area defined by the admins. You can easily cover this functionality with the help of these few extensions:
For a bit less than €300, this extension offers you all the basic options. Supporting many kinds of products, Product Designer could be the right choice if you plan to present your shoppers an opportunity to add the customizable areas of their choice – as many as they choose and at any place they like. However, what we do not like we have seen on the demo: the creation process takes several steps and though there is a progress bar, it’s sometimes not really obvious what you have to do next.
The team of Polish developers has crafted yet another product designer extension to address customers itch for creativity and self-expression at your online shop. A bit pricier than our previous pick, Go Mage has a decent range of options to play with a selection of colors, rearrange objects order, and change text effects etc. Customers can even store the progress and get back to what they have made prior in case they plan to place another order for the same or similar items.
Milope helps shoppers create personalized merchandise by adding text buyers want to appear on e.g. their tees, grooming it after, and adding up cliparts or other visuals on top of what they wrote up. As an admin, you are allowed to pick the area for customization and save the design patterns created in zip folder. Milople offers an upgrade option free of charge throughout the year after the extension is bought and guarantees free support for several month as well as the previous manufacturer.
If you feel like these 3 extensions are still missing something, check out this more advanced option that is rich in features and offers a way more options to stay ahead of the curve:
Custom Product View by Aitoc
Aitoc allows shoppers choosing among a handful of graphics types, options to rotate and reorder objects as well as format text style. Regardless what your customers want to order, this add-on is likely to boost the chances of your store to be a creative spot – be it a flyer or a greeting card etc. Offering easy change of default product samples, Aitoc’s extension is for merchants that look forward to growing customers’ loyalty by creating more room for self-expression.
Before making the final decision on which extension to pick, you might want to consider the payment option. As a rule you pay once for the extension and get email support as well as free upgrade option during a certain period of time after purchase.
Integration with Web2Print services
Whatever floats your boat – flat fee or monthly based pricing option – the solutions specified below have connectors to Magento that can be used to suit your particular business need.
Pixopia is a comprehensive web to print solution that comes in three flavours as a hosted ecommerce storefront, standalone HTML5 Design Tool and a plugin for Magento. As a Magento store owner, the third option is exactly what you need: you install it on your server and use it independently. On top of all the features that the above-described extensions include, the tool allows you to apply plethora of image filters it has (hello Instagram lovers), adjust text inward or outward if you are into round products such as e.g. chips or coins, and make the most out of eyedropper color picker that allows choosing color shade from existing design pattern.
Like our previous choice, this is another HTML 5 based software can be used as a hosted solution as well as integrated with your site. Among all other options, Design’n’buy enables you to offer on demand quotes for customized design in real time and respond customer queries in a blink of an eye. Supporting all main features such as text, clipart, fonts, and even QR codes, this extension offers a 3D preview of a merchandise that is been customized by your enthusiastic shoppers.
Having extensions for both Magento 1 and Magento 2, Brush your ideas offers plenty of opportunities to turn your online store into a comprehensive design studio. This design tool is there for customers accessing the ecommerce shop from any type of device. Starting from $375, Brush your ideas helps shoppers add more personalization to the items at your web store by printing on slogans, personal pictures as well as text they choose on merchandise you sell.
We hope we have given some useful tips and food for thought in our article. Explore your horizons and grow revenues building customers’ loyalty. Add vamade-to-oriety of rder options to your ecommerce store in a few simple clicks your clients will make to create unique merchandise and personalized products.