How to protect and even increase margin using on-line technology like web to print – chapter 1 “Introduction”
First of all a very Happy New Year to all of our clients and readers.
In last month’s article we started to look at the problem of protecting margin in an on-line environment. When there is no direct human interaction, the ordering and delivery process is all automated, the customer service and training is largely if not exclusively remote (i.e. over the telephone or computer based) … how can there possibly be any mechanism for positive differentiation? And if there isn’t, then the only differentiating factor is price. And if the only differentiating factor is price, then the only way margins can go is down
… as competitors use the only weapon in their armoury.
Is this really true?
Well, we don’t want to give a politician’s answer but to a very large extent it depends how you define “true”. The reality is, all of these things can be true – and often are – if insufficient care isn’t taken in the design and implementation of the entire on-line service.
Leaving aside questions about tax revenues and employee satisfaction, there is little doubt that Amazon provide an exemplary on-line service … yet there’s no human interaction at all. (Ever tried actually speaking to someone at Amazon? I managed to, once, to discuss a billing problem, but it wasn’t easy – their website tried every conceivable way of handling the query on-line before finally conceding defeat). But in a way that just proves the point, surely? It’s a fully automated service yet we all keep going back – and their financial results (over $25 billion in Q3 2015) bear that out. Why?
- well designed web site
- easy to navigate
- easy to order
- you tend to get exactly what you ordered …
- … and quickly too
So is that it? Is it as simple as that? And is it possible in the Web to print world?
No. And yes.
The questions you meant to ask, which we’ll answer … sorry, no more politician’s answers, we promised.
No, it isn’t as simple as that, and yes it can be achieved in the Web to print world. And we’re going to be revealing how in our next few articles, starting with what we mean by a “well designed web site”.
By the time the clocks go forward (27th March) you will know all of the Five Golden Rules which, if followed, will help you improve your profits through Web to print. But, as always, if you can’t wait, then our experts are on hand to help.
We look forward to discussing with you how to keep your profits up!