Star product: Gateway3D

Simon Eccles
Monday, May 16, 2016

A cloud-based product-personalisation service.

What does the system do?

Gateway3D is a cloud-based product-personalisation and on-demand fulfilment service for printers, retailers and other e-commerce traders. It can be thought of as web-to-print but works with anything that can be personalised by other processes too, such as engraving. 

It can work through web storefronts but also retail kiosks. Alternatively, resellers can set up sites and order personalised goods on-demand from other members of the supplier network, including printers. 

The company says its users implement more than 5,000 personalised products per day, with more than 1.2 million print jobs processed in the past year. There are almost 43,000 print-on-demand products listed online. 

The company will have a stand within the Drupa Innovation Parc (DIP) later this month: Hall 7 stand D6.

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?

Gateway started up as a web development agency in 2009. After its team saw a prototype spinning 3D mug in 2010 it changed direction, renamed itself Gateway3D and spent 12 months on developing personalisation software, called Easypromo 3D. By 2011 it had launched a personalised products website and by 2013 it added the Custom Product Platform and Order Management System. 

In July 2015 it moved to a new site in Macclesfield. It also held its first Create Sell Print networking event in Manchester for suppliers, retailers and “lovers of personalised products”.

Chief executive Andrew Talbot says the target market is “any B2B or B2C market that wants to adopt the principle”.

How does it work? 

To get started a printing company sets up templates for the personalised products it wishes to offer. These can be created from scratch using the Custom Product Platform app, or they can be adapted from an existing library of several thousand blank templates. Alternatively Gateway3D will set up new templates for a fee. 

“Templates take on average about 15 minutes to set up or can also be imported from PSD files,” says Talbot. “There are hundreds of configuration options that can be added to your template.”

Templates can then be presented in web pages within storefronts, or in-store kiosks and the like, with a choice of many standard layouts. Alternatively users can modify their own pages, or set up bespoke pages themselves using HTML5 and CSS. 

As the creation and management software is cloud-based, it is controlled and updated by Gateway3D itself. “It is updated almost weekly as technology evolves and markets change,” says Talbot. 

He says that PSPs can market their templates to more than 500 website owners via the Gateway Supplier Network or add them to their own websites, or offer them to their existing customers as a “white label” service. 

What is the USP?

Talbot says there are four main USPs: easy set-up; a global network of suppliers to help source products (if producing mugs or t-shirts, for example); multiple file format options for artwork; interface options includes 3D viewing. 

How easy is it to use?

It’s easy for printers and resellers to create products and integrate them into websites, says Talbot. “With cloud-based resources, PSPs can be up and running in days.

“Likewise there are hundreds of apps available that are quick and easy to customise so the end user experience can be tailored to the product and market.”

What support is on offer?

The Gateway3D website includes online tutorials and a knowledge base. There is also a developers’ site. Telephone and e-mail support is offered. 

What’s the cost basis?

Most printers will want the Supplier or Enterprise level subscriptions for the Custom Product Platform. These allow the creation and production of items as well as buying-in from other suppliers. 

Once a personalised order has been placed, Gateway3D generates an artwork file in the appropriate format, for a modest click fee (typically 10p to 30p). Talbot says that this costs so little that almost everyone opts for it. There are no percentage fees on transactions and users can use their own payment collection services. 

How many licensees are there, worldwide and in the UK?

There are more than 2,000 customers’ websites offering personalised products via Gateway3D. At present there are 113 printers in the Supplier Network. 


SPECIFICATIONS

System requirements Anything running a web browser

Apps and services Custom Product Platform; Order Management System; eCommerce Websites; Product Creation Services; Artwork Creation Services

Pricing Custom Product Platform (CPP) & Gateway Sites Licence £199/month (Supplier); £299/month (Enterprise) Order manager Lite is free, Order Manager £99/month, Order & Workflow Manager £199/month. Template creation £10.95 (2D), £35 (3D) Personalised artwork generation typically 10p to 30p on a click basis

Contact Gateway3D 0330 500 1522 www.gateway3d.com 


ALTERNATIVES

DirectSmile Integration Server

A long-established variable data and web-to-print developer, still best known for its variable imaging features. Integration Server is pitched as a self-hosted personalisation solution scalable for very high volumes, mainly for automatic generation of images and documents for print. It is used by a good number of the larger online personalisation suppliers. 

System requirements Locally hosted multi-servers and infrastructure

Hardware platform Windows 2008 Server and later

Price Licence from £24,995

Contact Transeomedia 0845 6437490 www.transeomedia.com

Infigo MegaEdit 

A relatively new system pitched as a higher-end enterprise level complement to the Catfish web-to-print system. There are two levels, Pro, largely for personalised documents and the new Photo, mainly for photo products and giftware. Both are mainly aimed at B2C. MegaEdit is completely cloud-based. 

System requirements Web browser to access cloud-based system

Price Set-up: £25,000-£50,000. Monthly cost from £650 with transaction fees

Contact Infigo Software 0845 658 6469 www.infigosoftware.com

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