Gosh, aren't things getting busy in the world of web-to-print?
Most intrigued to read about Tangent's plans to create some sort of B2B print supersite (or should that be superwebsite) with its Printed.com offering, which will replace the Digital Print Partnership. The bit of Tangent that includes the print ops grew sales by 27% to ?17.6m in its most recent results, wonder what sort of growth they can put on with this revamped offering?
Over at ?17m turnover Printing.com (anyone else get the feeling there could be some sort of imminent SEO/Google adwords war viz printing.com and printed.com?) they are rolling out new online trading channels including Flyerzone.co.uk, Flyerzone.fr (France) and BrandDemand in France with plans to roll that out in the UK too.
And that juggernaut of cheap printing via the internet, Vistaprint, has just become even bigger with the acquisition of Albumprinter. No doubt the folks at Photobox, which paid ?120m for Moonpig.com less than four months ago, will be watching that move intently.
Printcos who don't have ambitions to set up an online mega-brand may think "but what's this got to do with me?" The answer is two-fold, you only have to look at the size of Vistaprint ($817m turnover) to see how much bread-and-butter print work can migrate to such a provider. Secondly, web-to-print isn't all about the sort of public shop windows exemplified above. It can also be used to fantastic effect for creating private web-to-print sites for specific clients, a useful way to help printers create stronger links with key customers.
Sure, it won't be for everyone, but this type of web-to-print application really should be on the 'need to know' list of most printcos if it isn't already.