InfoTrends uses the term “Web-to-print” solution to refer to an Internet-based application that facilitates commerce, collaboration, and/or customer service interactions between those who buy print products and those who sell them. Considering its relatively short history and the setback that occurred in 2000 and 2001, Web-to-print is still in the early adopter phase. Overall, only one-third of all respondents to a recent InfoTrends survey in Western Europe indicated that they had deployed a Web-to-print solution, and another 20% were considering deploying a solution within the next few years. If all of these respondents did in fact deploy such a solution, this would result in a 68% increase in installations over the next 5 years.
If we look at the adoption rates by company size, the larger companies seem to be leading in the adoption of Web-to-print solutions. About 45% of respondents with 50+ employees have deployed a Web-to-print solution, and another 16% reported plans to deploy one within the next few years. In contrast, only 25% of respondents with less than 50 employees had deployed a Web-to-print solution, and only 21% reported plans to deploy one within the next few years. Very small companies with fewer than 5 employees had an adoption rate of less than 7%.
When adoption rates were examined by company type, digital print specialists and respondents from prepress service bureaus/marketing communication service companies had higher adoption rates than other respondents, as 39% and 45% of each respective company type stated that they had deployed a Web-to-print solution. At the same time, however, 29% of all commercial printers indicated that they already have a Web-to-print solution.
Today’s document owners and print buyers expect to have the option to conduct business using Internet related tools. This expectation will continue to drive the adoption of Web-to-print solutions by print service providers. The majority of respondents that have deployed a Web-to-print solution agree that offering Web-to-print services is an important part of meeting their print customer requirements, improving customer service, expanding geographic reach, and enabling revenue growth. Most of them also agree that Web-to-print has helped them streamline their operations with the use of features such as automated estimating, job templates, automated file generation, and e-commerce options.
The Western European Web-to-print market represents a significant growth opportunity. Print providers are facing increasing costs and competitive pressures, and we believe that Web-to-print will be a key enabler of new services and increased efficiency. Print buyers will continue to utilise Internet-based tools as they become more sophisticated and easier to use. Procurement in a modern business world is shifting to Web-based services, and print will be no exception.
The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends’ report entitled “The Web-to-Print Opportunity in Western Europe.” To learn more about the report or to make a purchase, visit our online store or contact Robyn Wuori at +1 ext. 103 or .