Itâs natural when business gets bad to look for something to blame. If youâre a printing company, these days an easy target for blame is the Internet printers. As their name suggests, Internet printers advertise with banner ads on the Internet and offer easy ordering, competitive prices, and multiple options for shipping. While many complain that itâs their lowball pricing that is driving their customers to these Internet printers, itâs really the combination of convenience, pricing, and shipping. But the most important question is if Iâm losing work to Internet printers, how do I compete with them?
Itâs always easy to point to pricing as the issue. But all the surveys done with print buyers show that pricing alone is not the determining factor. Therefore, we also have to consider ordering convenience and shipping options. Ordering convenience is fairly self-explanatory; as you would suspect, itâs a combination of getting quotes fast and being able to order quickly.
It would be too easy to say ordering convenience is only associated with web-to-print solutions. Thatâs not true for simple kinds of work. Customers can easily call a CSR and reorder work. That leaves one last competitive advantage, which is better shipping. When I think of competitive advantages, shipping is not usually something that jumps to the top of the list. But there have been some interesting articles lately from UPS talking about the competitive advantages associated with better shipping options.
Summarizing some of the facts from these articles shows that:
- 75% of people say it’s important to offer tracking information
- 70% added more products to the cart to qualify for free shipping
- 67% say that they choose the most economical delivery option, but still want to see all the choices
- 54% say they leave because the estimated delivery date is too long (5 days or more)
- 41% said receiving their product when expected led to a recommendation
- 24% said they abandoned their carts because the delivery date wasn’t provided at checkout
What do you think?Â Do you think your shipping options increase, decrease, or have no effect on your value?