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By Pageflex Marketing • February 25, 2013

What's In Your Storefront?

Today's Web-to-Print Sites are about a lot more than print!

We talked some Pageflex customers who have used web-to-print to go beyond print and into a whole new range of services. Their experiences are described in the blog post below.

When Pageflex introduced Pageflex Storefront, printers embraced the technology and how it enhanced the way they did business. They immediately began establishing web-to-print sites that were largely devoted to print - offering things like business cards, stationery, and forms. Over time, printers - and the clients they serve - started to see that the value of web-to-print might not be limited to print.

They started to ask questions. If we can order our business cards on a web-to-print site, then why not also order customized brochures? And if we order brochures at these sites, then why not all of our marketing materials, including email marketing campaigns?

That's the journey that many of our customers have taken- or are in the process of taking.

Metzgers Printing and Mailing is an example of this type of evolution. They purchased Pageflex Storefront in 2004, using the technology to set-up the traditional stationery type of sites. It wasn't long, however, before Metzgers began to utilize more of the variable data capabilities in Pageflex, serving an even wider range of clients with direct marketing services.

Eric Leslie, CTO at Metzgers says, "Metzgers has always been an organization focused on serving the needs of our customers. To do that, the range of services we offer clients has had to expand over the years. Pageflex Storefront was a great place for us to start, and provided a way for us to grow and serve these evolving needs."

Joris van Drunen Littel of Anderson Brothers agrees with the client-centric approach to innovation. Anderson Brothers works with a wide range of customers and has leveraged these long-standing relationships to create storefronts that serve as complete online ordering solutions. Included in these storefronts are a range of both print and non-print items such as static documents, webinars, memberships, and inventory tracking.

One particular customer is a non-profit organization who needed a solution to enable its 550 centers across America to order fully customized products online. Anderson Brothers created an online customizable ad builder that creates high resolution PDF output. This year, they’ll be adding more products to the site, including banners and posters.

"What made this partnership successful," says Joris, "Is that we didn't go into the endeavor to only sell print. We also sold them on our ability to provide a software solution, and that's what makes this a rewarding relationship for us and for the client."

Providing a one-stop shop for clients is a trend that many other Pageflex customers are seeing. Bill Nicholson of e-Integrity and Chris Wright of MSP Digital faced this challenge on a grand scale when they took on a project with The DoubleTree Hotel chain.

As Bill says, "Our client, DoubleTree Hotels, had a history of unsuccessful attempts hosting document customization portals for their properties. They really wanted to make the new portal a success, and knew that to do that, the site would need to be a valuable resource for their users. It would need to include all the information and resources a property would need. And I mean everything a property would need!"

Their solution was to create a "toolkit" for the client using WordPress and Pageflex Storefront. The WordPress portion of the site provides properties with up to date information about things like promotions, advertising and public relations. The other part of the site included all the documents and materials a property would need: menus, brochures, key cards, door hangers , etc. There are literally hundreds of items available in the toolkit, some static, some customizable. The printed items are sent to MSP for production and the non-print items are sourced to another vendor.

A Powerful Combination

Each of the customers highlighted here have very positive working relationships with their clients. They listen to their clients' needs and proactively worked to develop solutions to meet those needs.
Each of these customers also says that their ability to meet the demands of their clients comes from the flexibility that is built into Pageflex. Our extensions and our robust APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are instrumental in helping them develop these solutions.

It's the flexibility of Pageflex technology and the creativity of these customers that enable these customers to move beyond print and into success.

Pageflex recently held a webinar on this topic. To get a link to a recording of that webinar, simply send us an email.

(Please note that we have had some technical glitches with the comment section of our blog, so if you request the link in the comments, it may not get to us!)