TradeDigitalPrint.co.uk is a new standalone website exclusively for trade customers, launched on Monday as a sister site to Northside's DigitalPrinting.co.uk, which was awarded ‘Best Use of eCommerce’ at the Digital DNA Awards in Belfast on 8 June.
The awards celebrated companies and individuals who continuously push the boundaries of technology to achieve measurable and significant business results.
The business-to-business site was started in 2013 by commercial printer Northside Graphics in Belfast and has since grown to a turnover of £1.7m with more than 12,500 registered customers.
Now the company hopes to repeat the success with its new trade printing site, which it said has “attractive trade pricing options, pre-press checks, unbranded Indigo swatch books, free white label delivery, and instant reward discounts for loyal customers”.
Chief executive of all three companies Gary White calls both sites “upload-to-print” rather than web-to-print because he said customers can upload print-ready PDFs, rather than having to use templates. That and printing everything digital, on HP Indigos, within 24 hours is the site’s USP, he said.
“On DigitalPrint we do have some trade customers. At the moment some of them seem to be nervous we might get the white label delivery wrong, although we never do.
“They also thought they should be rewarded more if they are buying more. One of the biggest bugbears is that some sites aren’t really a trade site. With ours, you’ve got to tell us who you are, what you’re doing and we want to ensure you're trade.
“We want trade buyers, we want people who are going to use us over and over again. We want to be a trusted supplier. We only do digital print and we have no interest in doing litho. We are very good at digital.”
He said his site could compete with rival online trade printers because they limited options so they can gang up work, while TradeDigitalPrint will have "massive substrate availability” with free unbranded perfect-bound swatch books for clients to show their customers.
“We’re saying what we’re here to print is what you and your client want not what suits us. That’s our USP in my opinion. We’re going to do what the end-client wants.”
The site will also reward customers with lower prices for bulk orders. All orders are completed in 24 hours and clients can then choose a range of delivery options at different prices. It is trialling a click-and-collect service using the UK’s extensive Post Office network.
The company runs a battery of HP Indigos, a 5000, a 5500 and a recently-purchased Indigo 7R. It expects to get a fourth Indigo in the next six to 12 months.
It also runs Enfocus Switch software, the HP Production Centre and a raft of JDF-compatible finishing kit.
White said he thought the new venture would turn over £500,000 in the first year.
“Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised and it will do more. If the trade likes it we should do well. I genuinely think it will.”
He said last week’s award was particularly welcome because it was judged by Google and Deloitte representatives, who gave useful feedback.
“It’s always nice to get a pat on the back especially for the whole team, they do work really hard and they do really care."
Northside Graphics was established in 1988 and moved into digital print in 2013. White said the company expects to turn over £4.7m for the whole business and £1.7m for DigitalPrinting by its year end on 31 August.