Stimulus Australasia
ENTERPRISE DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Web to print software

The complete list of web to print software solutions available in Australia

Web to print software is any product or system that enables you to submit orders for printing. Many of these systems and apps can handle any printing needs you have for your business-both big and small print jobs.

Here we have a closer look at some of the most popular and versatile web to print solutions that are commonly used in Australia, and give some food for thought in terms of selection of a solution that is best for you.

 

What is web to print software?

Many businesses use web to print tools in favour of operating printers in house, or sending standalone job to local commercial printers.

Web to print solutions often offer more than just a printing service; many have capabilities that allow you to create and design the documents from within the system. Some web to print software can also enable file sharing, website content management and order management.

 

What can web to print software do?

As the name suggests, the key intent of web to print software is to take care of your printing needs: brochures, flyers, postcards, reports, shareholder documents, promotional offers, business cards and more. Some of the systems we look at also enable you to conduct other actions such as:

  • Document design- to create your materials that will be printed, through editing and formatting tools
  • Online storefronts- to build separate online stores with different workflows
  • Order management- enabling you more control and information about the status of orders and jobs
  • Approval workflows- so individuals in the team can complete the actions required of them and let others know where they are up to
  • Integration-improving your technological capabilities and giving you better systems performance and the chance to provide a higher level of customer service

 

Choosing web to print software

Each enterprise business will have different requirements when it comes to selecting the best web to print software.

This article will help you get a sense of some of the most commonly used systems, and help identify both strengths and weaknesses of each of the options. Many of the systems described can be obtained for a trial, which means you don’t have to sign up to something before you know it will be right for your requirements.

 

Web to print software service

Another key consideration before selection will be the level of support that the solution can offer. You’ll want to pick a system for which there is an adequate level of support- and customer service, response time and availability all matter.

You’ll also need to a bit of an audit about the existing skill and experience level of your staff who will be using your web to print system. There is quite a difference in the implementation requirements of the various systems, so don’t over commit yourself or overstate your capacity to conduct a detailed set up.

 

Establishing web to print software solutions

One issue common to all web to print services is that it takes time to set up a repository of documents, files and templates.

While customers will love being able to peruse products and customisable options, there is often a significant investment required in set up and to be ready to roll with your selected web to print software.

 

EFI MarketDirect Storefront

This print service is popular with marketers because of its capabilities with regard to marketing collateral as well as business stationary and direct mail. It has been designed with the ease of use for the user as a key priority.

MarketDirect Storefront also claims to have the widest selection of templates, product types and customisable print combinations than other web to print systems on the market in Australia.

MarketDirect Storefront is one of the systems on this list which also enables the creation of ecommerce sites, which many companies find useful when seeking to ensure consistency across all print and digital communication collateral.

Another unique feature is its capacity to support multiple languages and currencies.

 

 

MarketDirect Features

  • Web-to-Print Editing
  • Website Builder
  • Approval Workflow
  • Custom Branding
  • Product Configurator
  • Quotes/Estimates generator

 

MarketDirect Pros

  • Handled in Australia by reputable Konica Minolta Australia
  • Creates job submission which can integrate with other systems
  • Pleasing product display and capacity for customers to view how orders will look
  • Inventory features are well designed and highly functional as a stand-alone system out of the box

 

MarketDirect Cons

  • Product set up can be time consuming for less experiences users
  • May need external or extra support to take full advantage of customisable site features
  • Some customers report integration issues with other stock and inventory systems

 

Web2Print (W2Print) Shop

This system was conceived in the late 90s and is now a popular choice for small, medium and large Australian businesses.

A unique selection feature of this system is the way it can collate and manage print services across multiple sources, such as business websites created in systems like WordPress or Shopify.

The powers W2Print cloud has the capacity to combine and aggregate multiple order sources and display and handle them from a single central dashboard.

For this reason, the system is used by print shops, trade printers and commercial printers. It can also handle non-standard print jobs such as signage or wide format.

 

W2Print Features

  • Shipping management
  • Shopping cart
  • Single sign on
  • Template management
  • Order history
  • Design management
  • Coupon codes
  • Email receipts
  • Order confirmation

 

W2Print Pros

  • Can handle a variety of languages including French, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, English and Russian
  • A company commitment to the provision of excellent customer services
  • Capacity to integrate with existing content management systems

 

W2Print Cons

  • Some plugs ins are not compatible with other systems, causing integration issues in some cases
  • Requires third party file upload connection through Amazon S3 which means another associated account to be managed

 

DocketManager

A high degree of flexibility and mobility has helped establish Docket Manager as one of the most widely used web to print software systems.

DocketManager is a cloud based solution that helps businesses to streamline print orders and workflows, and provide a high degree of information to the customers through reporting and accounting modules.

There is also an inventory management module which provides insight into stock levels across any number of sites and locations. We also love how DocketManager integrates with Google maps to enable detailed location and order tracking.

 

DocketManager Features

  • Approval Workflow
  • Discounts Management
  • Multi-Store capacity
  • Pre-Press Estimating
  • Product Configurator
  • Quotes/estimates

 

DocketManager Pros

  • Hosted externally and no internal hosting required
  • Features online ordering store functionality which enables the creation of unique custom online portals for traders
  • Multiple job templates for common products
  • Works well to enable remote staff to be involved in job print and production

 

DocketManager Cons

  • Primarily focuses for B2B print jobs rather than direct B2C
  • Some customers report issues with invoicing and accounting modules

 

Lucidpress

Cohesive brand management is one of the best benefits with Lucidpress. If you have staff generating orders from multiple sites and offices, or even from within large operations, it can be hard to ensure a degree of consistency on what is sent to print.

Lucidpress enables you to create lockable templates, which make it just about impossible for anyone to send out files which are working against brand guidelines.

Systems like this one enable staff from anywhere around your organisation to get in and get quality files created and sent for printing without the need for approval which can slow everyone down.

 

Lucidpress Features

  • Accessible content
  • Digital publishing links
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • High-quality templates
  • Print export options
  • Robust backup
  • Secure data centre
  • Sophisticated data encryption

 

Lucidpress Pros

  • Intuitive drag and drop interface for the creation of documents
  • Ability for contributors to collaborate on files and designs
  • Design can occur outside of Office or Adobe suites

 

Lucidpress Cons

  • Fewer existing templates that some other solutions on the market- this includes limited or no charts, graphs and infographics
  • Users report ongoing bugs with viewing, scrolling and enlarging documents
  • Some users indicate that file handling and storage is problematic, and that the system does not handle versions well

 

Bing

This web to print system is becoming increasingly popular in the not-for- profit and government sectors in Australia, and that is because of Bing’s inherent flexibility.

Focusing on the print and sending of letters and postcards, Bing uses on demand processing tools to get jobs of any size, from a few to a few thousands, started as soon as they are submitted.

The fact that they have postal mail services in most states in Australia, which enables them to send locally, also cuts down on transit time for important correspondences.

The system can also send emails, SMS and voice messages and provides great reports about receipt and read levels.

 

Bing Features

  • No set up costs
  • Developer APIS
  • No minimum job size
  • Documents can be distributed using Bing’s Easypost® Printer
  • Predefined profiles for different production options
  • Upload ZIP files
  • Automatic address detection

 

Bing Pros

  • A high degree of document security, with files being 2048 bit AES encrypted, or transmitted via HTTPS/SSL
  • Commitment to green and environmentally friendly print systems
  • Ability to report on status of print jobs; even to the degree of individual letters
  • Inbuilt queries for recent print uploads, returned mail and failed correspondences
  • Capability to distribute by postal mail through print services, but also email and SMS

 

Bing Cons

  • Limited to the print of letters and postcards only
  • Interface can appear antiquated to modern users

 

Propago

Progago have a particular customer base, acting as a web to print solution for commercial printers to enable them to effectively handle their enterprise customers.

Based in the cloud, this system supports printers by enabling them to create templates, print ready files, direct mail correspondence and other digital files. Users of Propago really rate the system for ease of use, describing it as intuitive and modern.

Products can be showcased in an attractive storefront, allowing printers to put their best foot forward with larger scale customers who expect a sophisticated and capable ordering system.

 

Propago features

  • 100% Cloud-based
  • Returns management
  • Powerful inventory optimization
  • Automated inventory alerts
  • Intelligent demand forecasting
  • Third party logistics (3PL)
  • Total production management

 

Propago Pros

  • Enables printers to be available around the clock via the virtual shop front
  • Offers good economies of scale for customers due to the system structure and capacity
  • Can handle large volumes of data from printers
  • Handles payment, shipping and inventory well

 

Progpago Cons

  • Users report that the interface can be ‘rigid’ and that a higher degree of flexibility would be useful in terms of how products are displayed
  • Most suitable as a service for printers rather than software for a company directly – is intended as a B2B solution rather than B2C

 

Vistaprint

You might be under the impression that Vistaprint is a company that services individuals rather than business needs. However, this isn’t the case.

From humble beginnings in 1995 when Vistaprint was focused on the print and production of business cards, this international company has now expanded their service offerings.

Many small to medium size businesses choose Vistaprint for their print requirements, and praise the level of support that is provided during design, order and production phases.

 

Vistaprint Features

  • Approval Workflow
  • Customizable Templates
  • Order Management

 

Vistaprint Pros

  • Can integrate with existing ecommerce systems
  • Allows you to monitor and track activities and jobs across a range of metrics
  • Existing repository of images, videos and other digital content that can be used to fill out templates and designs
  • Enables consistent marketing approaches across variety of campaign elements

 

Vistaprint Cons

  • Customers report that the printing services are great but that there can be challenges with web content design and design
  • Product range could be considered to be limited in that it handles standard sizes for cards, leaflets, banners and other materials

 

Canva

They might be best known for design templates that are used to create resumes, infographics and social medial content, but Canva do also provide print services.

The quality of templates and resources within the Canva system make it very popular in all kinds of businesses.

But after noticing the opportunity for growth, Canva now allows you to send your beautifully designed documents direct to the printer. They even often free delivery!

 

Canva Features

  • Diverse range of layouts, templates and assets- can handle wide range of documents
  • Photo editing and resizing
  • Shared folders and documents
  • Capacity for collaboration and to upload customer fonts
  • Drag and drop editors
  • Asset sorting through colour coding

 

Canva Pros

  • High quality and range of templates
  • Intuitive
  • Free delivery on print orders- a company keen to secure print jobs
  • Uses high quality and environmentally friendly print stock

 

Canva Cons

  • Some features not available in free version- a premium subscription is usually required for most businesses
  • Documents created within the system are designed for in-house printing and will often not be set up properly for other printers to be able to use
  • Photo editing tools not as sophisticated as within some other systems

 

OnPrintShop

This cloud base solution can help any size business with document design and print. It has one of the more versatile design systems, enabling users to import and handle pictures from any source.

It comes equipped with a wide range of standard templates for labels, signage, cards and other products.

 

OnPrintShop Features

  • Pricing/approval management
  • PDF templates
  • Branding resources
  • Workflow automation
  • Order placement and client registration support
  • Shipping and payment gateway integration

 

OnPrintShop Pros

  • Has the ability to automate tasks like invoice generation
  • ophisticated jobs management, ticketing and tracking systems which are useful for reporting and status monitoring

 

OnPrintShop Cons

  • Some customers report storage, file size and server space problems
  • Is worth checking security levels the system offers are suitable for your business

So that’s our list of the most commonly used web to print software solutions used in Australia. Many businesses from all industries are still reliant on printed documents and marketing collateral, or promotional material as an integral part of their marketing mix.

Despite the shift towards ecommerce and online businesses, just about every business today has at least some print requirements. Because of this, many businesses are now working smarter in how they handle their print requirements.

There are some other emerging new systems we haven’t considered here, but you might wish to check out. These include:

  • Printful Software
  • CHILI publisher
  • Customer’s Canvas
  • Catfish
  • Pressero
  • PrintGizmo
  • Papercut
  • OnTrack Workflow
  • PixlPark

And we also wanted to mention Snapfish as a good choice for home or small business use.

 

Choosing the right web to print solution for you

There are so many web to print software solutions on the market that it can be daunting to know where to begin.

Yet for so many Australian companies, web to print solutions have made it much easier and less time consuming to carry out every day activities like marketing, brand management, asset control, document sharing and of course, printing.

By learning about the options and conducting a skills audit and a needs assessment, you will put yourself in a better position to determine which is right for you.

 

Know your requirements, know your customers

If you’re totally new to the world of web to print then why not ask some contacts how they handle their print requirements?

Despite often requiring substantial investment during set up and start up, you will generally find that a web to print solution saves you time and effort in the long run.

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