Web-to-print specialist Vpress has partnered with website and marketing agency Making Websites Better (MWB) to offer a complete business-to-consumer e-commerce package for print companies that are keen to take advantage on online purchasing trends for personalised and short-run digitally printed items, but unsure how to go about it.

Called Cloud to Print, the service is based around the Vpress Coreprint web-to-print engine plus ‘off-the-shelf bespoke’ website design and implementation by MWB based on a ‘lego set’ of pre-built modules such as help centres, file handling tools, blogs and product galleries, that are selected to match the client’s needs and aims and then integrated and commissioned.

MWB founder Paul Warren has run MWB since early 2018 to support printers’ marketing efforts. He explained the move, saying, ‘I understand what a challenge it is to go from a culture where you are a factory focused purely on efficiency savings, to where you need to be a specialist creative agency that can then facilitate production as well.

‘One of the most important parts of this equation today is having a very strong and dynamic online presence. Your customers not only want to specify, design, order and pay for your products online, they also expect a much higher level of ease of use, and professional design than ever before.’

Vpress sales director Kelvin Bell commented, ‘Printers need to fundamentally understand that e-commerce is now their shop front, their sales team, marketing engine, automated account management system and revenue generation platform all rolled into one.’

Mr Warren also told Digital Printer that the Cloud to Print service offers ‘candid and helpful’ advice about how the e-commerce sites should be structured and presented, noting that ‘printers often need hand-holding’. He suggested that the more tightly focused or specialist a printer is, the better the service will work, as potential customers can be more precisely targeted. As well as avoiding print marketing clichés such as featuring print equipment prominently on the site, MWB will be offering additional SEO (search engine optimisation), pay-per-click online ad placement and social media management services from May this year.

Part of the appeal of Cloud to Print should be a fixed-price setup, which starts from £2995 for existing Vpress Coreprint customers, to £5495 for those new to it, providing access to one WordPress-based B2C storefront driven by Vpress technology, plus £395/month ongoing usage-related charge. Mr Warren noted that MWB’s bespoke service for a complete website would typically start from around £20,000.