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Technology Guide for Printers

E-commerce / Storefront

Your e-commerce storefront is a space to display your product catalog online and allow your customers to place orders, upload artwork, and make payments. By integrating your storefront with an MIS solution, this functionality increases significantly.

If you’re looking to add a storefront to your website, you could either start with a simple CMS solution like Shopify or Wix that allows users to easily build a website, or go for a more specialist Web-to-Print solution that’s designed specifically for the printing industry and offers more superior customization and functionality.

Common alternatives for this type of software are:

  • Print storefront
  • Print store software
  • Web-2-Print
  • Web2print solution
  • W2P software
  • Web-to-print storefront solution
  • Web-to-print e-commerce solution

How an MIS connects to storefront and web-to-Print applications:

By integrating your web-to-print solution with your print MIS, you can provide benefits to both your customers and your business. How much benefit they get depends on the scope of the web-to-print software and the connection, but as an example of best practice, your customers could get the functionality to create their own live estimates through the estimating engine within your MIS software, change different specifications such as substrate type, size, and colors to see price variations, and place an order for their preferred quote via your website. They will also be able to get real-time updates on their orders and receive notifications whenever their order passes through a milestone.

Creating this connection also provides significant benefits for your business. Using the example above, where an MIS solution like Tharstern is connected to a web-to-print solution such as Vpress using an API, a printing business could receive an order via their storefront, and have their MIS process the job and send production-ready artwork straight to the press. The first time that a human would be aware of the order is when it gets to the press. This would provide significant time savings for a business, freeing up valuable staff members to concentrate on more complex jobs and improved customer service.

Web-to-print software can connect with your print MIS software either by using XML or an API.

Examples of E-commerce/web-to-print software applications include:

More generic storefront solutions like Wix and Shopify can also integrate with MIS software and work with the software using the API also. Examples of simple storefront software used by printers:

  • Wix
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Magento
  • Pinnacle Cart
  • Shift4Shop