September 7, 2022

The Three Types of Print eCommerce Teams

By Xan Poulsen, Marketing and Steven O'Brien, CEO

September 7, 2022

The Three Types of Print eCommerce Teams

By Xan Poulsen, Marketing and Steven O'Brien, CEO

Through our many years of experience, we’ve begun to notice that are three different categories of Print eCommerce Teams. Working closely with print eCommerce teams over the years has given us insights into the structure of different printers' eCommerce departments. We’ve seen how our role as a software company integrates into these teams to fill in the gaps, allowing us to share what we notice is working for each type of team and how they can play into their strengths to grow the eCommerce portion of their businesses. During these past few years, as we’ve been managing these eCommerce stores for printers, we’ve begun to notice that each team we’ve seen can be put into one of three different categories of Print eCommerce Teams.

Built from Within

This team was formed quickly by grabbing people from various relevant departments to fill new roles that appeared as the printing company made the decision to license a Web-to-Print platform. This is a small team that is most likely made up of two or three people from pre-press or technology management. They may also still be balancing their other roles on top of this new eCommerce workload.

While each member has skill sets from their previous role that they can bring to the team (ie, knowledge of design, pre-press, or machine operation), they are completely new to creating and maintaining websites. This team has little to no knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, so they are only able to use the surface-level functionality of the platform their company purchased. Their Web-to-Print sites fulfill the printer and clients’ basic necessities, but they don’t fully utilize the more advanced capabilities built into the system. The advanced features that this team glosses over are what really set Web-to-Print services apart from other forms of ordering.

In addition, the members of the “Built from Within” team may be familiar with design for print, but designing for the web is a different animal. And the tech experts who were imported into the team know exactly how to keep the printers running smoothly. But now they find themselves lost in a world of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and various template builders included in Web-to-Print platforms.

This team’s previous experience in other roles gives them a great understanding of how their eCommerce solution will integrate with the company’s pre-established workflow, but any skill sets needed for store administration will have to be learned on the fly. Many teams like these have no training period, because everyone involved is just as unfamiliar with their eCommerce platform as the newly assigned team.

Although the low cost of a small team may be appealing to business owners, using a “Built from Within” team means throwing people with less experience into a new field to run an integral part of your business.

Jack of All Trades

Our next type of team is a solo project run by the "Jack of All Trades.” Jack is great at web design and coding, outlines project management for himself, and he’s eager and energetic about the idea of store set-up and Web-to-Print. Hiring the Jack of All Trades is appealing because if he can do what an entire team does for the price of one employee, you’d be getting the most done for the lowest price.

But there are a few budding issues with the Jack of All Trades that won’t come up until later down the line. The Jack of All Trades is a great addition to the team, but his capabilities give him opportunities beyond the print industry. He’s likely to use this experience as a springboard into a tech position in a few years. This is something we have seen happen again and again to commercial printers’ tech teams.

The Jack of All Trades may be able to do everything himself right now, but running this whole operation solo is like a ticking time bomb for burnout. Any other tech-job he is offered will sound much more appealing than working night and day to complete an entire department’s worth of work.

The Dream Team

The Dream Team can be set up one of two ways: hire a full internal team made up of qualified, experienced professionals or contract an external team of Web-to-Print software experts like Devia.

Hiring a full internal team would require at least 3 people:

Project Manager - they keep tabs on tasks/costs and provide communication and transparency to both external clients and internal stakeholders.

Template Builder - they are the template building expert who creates customizable products within InDesign and the eCommerce Software.

Web Designer - they can draw up the plans for the store and make it happen with code.

This team also needs to have a close relationship with the VP of technology or CTO who has a deep understanding of software development practices. Cyber security and agile software processes are way beyond the scope of a web designer, but are important considerations within the eCommerce store set-up and maintenance.

If we don’t factor in the CTO making executive-level decisions, your team of three would cost $135k-150k per year.

However, there is another way of getting the dream team without that hefty price tag. Instead, you could contract an external team like Devia who manages print company’s eCommerce solutions. Working with Devia is up to 80% less expensive than hiring an internal team. This is made possible by our clientbase, including a variety of printing businesses who let us manage their storefronts. Our team includes a mixture of project managers, template creators, developers and designers.

Ultimately, we’ve seen our eCommerce team become an integral part of many print companies. Contracting a team like us is easier than training a new team, and we’ve found this collaborative method works for businesses of all sizes, whether they prefer individual contracts for store set up/changes or our monthly plan.

About Devia's Web to Print Solutions

Your printing service needs an online platform that will connect your clients to the products they need to order. Printing clients need a simple, easy to navigate webpage that lets them upload a PDF or a photo and order marketing materials and custom products, including business cards, stationery, letterhead, envelopes, flyers, pocket folders, brochures, signage, calendars, sell sheets, buckslips, note pads, and more.

Devia provides support to your team of printing professionals by helping manage and create individual eCommerce stores for each of your clients, tailored specifically to their brand. Using Infigo's software, Devia will develop and manage these branded storefronts for you, so that you can get back to what's truly important: running a fantastic printing service.

Devia's partnership with Infigo lets us provide unmatched support for Infigo users. Our direct collaboration with Infigo's team gives us insider information on new updates and features of their software. Devia also specializes in the management and development of online stores hosted by other various eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Pageflex, Squarespace, and Magento.

Devia's years of experience building customized storefront solutions allows us to create the best solutions for connecting commercial printers and their clients. Schedule a meeting with our team using the button below to start a conversation with Devia. Our team is always happy to give your business a free demo of our software and provide consultation as to the best possible solution for your printing business.

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