Vpress and MWB partner to get print match fit online

Darryl Danielli
Monday, March 29, 2021

Web-to-print specialist Vpress has teamed up with website developer Making Websites Better (MWB) to create a low cost one-stop-shop service that can give printers a fully-fledged e-commerce website from a standing start in a matter of days.

The platform offers e-commerce for less than £400 per month
The platform offers e-commerce for less than £400 per month

The new CloudtoPrint.co.uk offering soft launched earlier this month.

It came about after Vpress approached MWB, which it has worked with for number of years, following the first lockdown to look at collaborating on an out-of-the-box solution for print SMEs needing to get online with a low cost, but fully functioning e-commerce solution.

“So, we started to look at ways that we can provide something essentially off the shelf as a starter,” said Vpress sales director Kelvin Bell.

“Fundamentally we are just trying to give people a way to engage with their customers differently, because if you’re not online now you have a real problem reaching your market because this [Covid] is going to be with us for another year, if not for ever.

“So, there are lot of companies out there that need to get match fit, and this will help them.”

According to Bell, CloudtoPrint is ideally suited to SMEs looking to either get their business online for the first time or launch a new business-to-consumer or -business (B2C or B2B) product line aimed as a standalone offering to target a new sector or vertical.

“The conversations we are having with printers is that the solutions that are currently out there on the market are aimed at much larger organisations. Specifically, they are not suitable for a ‘little and often’ business-to-consumer print business model," said MWB business development manager Richard Downham.

Bell said another barrier to entry was the cost in time and money of a business going from no or minimal web presence to a full online store, making the low fixed price model of CloudtoPrint attractive, especially as users can potentially get ROI within weeks.

There are two basic structures, both of which feature a one-off onboarding fee plus a contractless £395 per month, which includes hosting and support. The package includes 2,600 jobs per year (around 50 jobs a week), after which Vpress usage fees will apply.

The Standard onboarding fee is £2,995 for Vpress customers and includes a theme-based website build and the Coreprint WooCommerce Plugin, or £5,495 for non-customers which also includes build and WooCommerce, plus additionally Coreprint and basic training, Coreproduction back office, and Coreprint for B2B use.

“You get an awful lot for your money, you can’t get salesperson for that, some people will really run with it, others will use it to take a punt on something new and neither’s the wrong approach, because if it brings in 50 or 100 orders a week it’s more than paid for itself,” said Bell.

“When Kelvin approached us it just made so much sense as we didn’t have an offering that was ready made for e-commerce, in fact adding e-commerce would typically be between £12,000 to £20,000 for a ground up build,” said MWB managing director Paul Warren, who founded the business after starting his career in print.

“But by doing it this way we’ve pre-built all of the modules that make up an e-commerce print site and bolted in tried and tested Vpress.”

The platforms are built around what Warren describes as the “Lego bricks” that MWB has created for previous builds as well “hundreds of hours of developer time” to make them into around 150 pre-built modules for CloudtoPrint.

The MWB team then works with the client to identify which bricks they need for the front end functionality, locks down the site’s look and feel and then passes them back for Vpress to identify what Coreprint training they will need pre-launch.

“Essentially you’re getting the whole backend of Vpress, with a B2C front end designed by MWM,” said Bell.

“Between us we handhold clients through from ‘why are you doing this’, to getting them live, and that’s free consultancy basically, but if they want we can then also help SEO and marketing services, but that’s entirely optional,” added Warren.

He said that if the client already has the content, images and products ready, then “we could easily get a site live within days” although he added they often advised clients to take a more steady approach “to make sure they have the right strategy behind the site.”

Bell said that while the service only recently soft launched, a number of discussions are fairly advanced and the first SME sites will likely go live “in the next few weeks”.

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