Case Study

An Interview with Web2Print Experts: Why Headless eCommerce Platforms Win

January 2, 2018

Category: Digital Transformation Strategy

The following is taken from an interview with Jennifer Matt, President at Web2Print Experts. We explore what it is about headless eCommerce platforms that allows the team at Web2Print Experts to create winning eCommerce experiences for their customers.

Tell us about Web2Print Experts.

Web2Print Experts is a consulting and services company – we don’t sell Print software.  Our services include;  strategic consulting, software implementations, SEO consulting, and custom software development and integration projects.  

Of course, given our name, a lot of what we do is around web-to-print . Whether it’s B2B or B2C, we help companies vet technology options, develop the exact solution they need on the technology platform of their choosing, and then implement it across their business units. We have a team of developers who build custom applications and features on top of the existing platforms. This gives our customers the infrastructure reliability that comes with an existing, customizable platform – and the differentiation of solving a unique customer challenge through customization.

What challenges do you run into today when helping your customers select web-to-print technology solutions?

Historically, the big target in the print industry from a web-to-print standpoint has been the ability to enable self-service order entry using the eCommerce model. The product set varies from personalized products (variable data) to inventory, and print on-demand.

But there’s a much bigger challenge presented to print vendors than just self-service order entry. The customers want you to solve all kinds of other workflow issues that happen both upstream and downstream of the print.

One of our customers recently said, “Customers buy workflows.” That statement really encapsulates how our services are utilized – the printer finds the workflow, teaches us the challenges, we solve it by building them software that provides the printer a competitive advantage. If you’re just thinking about the print project – the ink on the paper – you’re only focused on one small sliver of a much bigger workflow. What we try to help our customers do is to think up and downstream to understand all the pain the customer experiences before and after the actual print job.

What brings you to Four51 and the OrderCloud™ platform?

Software selection becomes increasingly important when we work with customers who have complex operations and workflows that don’t fit into the software solutions that are only designed to solve the need for self-service order entry. You end up running up against the limits of the configurability of that particular solution.

At Web2Print Experts, we want to build solutions for our customers that are differentiating, not things that are expected. And I want to borrow that expected functionality – the ability to automate our customers’ complex workflows, authenticate users, put users in groups, set-up rules and permissions, organize a product catalog, etc. – from a trusted eCommerce platform.

That’s why we’ve been choosing OrderCloud over and over. With OrderCloud’s headless eCommerce platform, we get 100% control of the user experience. We can either expose the existing functionality of OrderCloud or put totally different, unique functionality on top of it. OrderCloud offers a feature, like approvals, but doesn’t demand you implement approvals in a specific way.

“When choosing an online platform to solve a specific workflow, something that is non-negotiable to me is the ability to control 100% of the user experience. That’s why we’ve been using OrderCloud, a headless eCommerce platform, over and over again. ~ Jennifer Matt, President Web2Print Experts

What are some of the complex workflows you are helping your customers automate on the OrderCloud platform?

I always say that the perfect place for finding efficiencies is where you see a lot of spreadsheets, PDFs,  and emails. You can guarantee mistakes are being made, there’s way more human labor than necessary, and no one feels comfortable that this is going to go right.

For example, one of our customers had a workflow that involved five different organizations who all needed to approve different parts of a printed piece. Each organization was given a certain level of autonomy, or permission, as far as the type of feedback they could provide and how they were supposed to provide it. So we helped this customer move this workflow onto the OrderCloud platform to automate the stages of the process, as well as the rules and roles of each organization involved.

We’re also working on building a B2C site for a company in the tradeshow business on OrderCloud. They needed a platform that would allow for a very specific user experience. With OrderCloud, we’re free to select a best-of-breed content management system to integrate with OrderCloud. The combination of OrderCloud’s open API and a powerful CMS provides a technology stack that can be adapted to solve a wide range of workflows. In the future this customer is also considering “private B2B stores” which will of course be easy to deploy on the OrderCloud platform.

It’s hard to find a purely API-driven platform on the market that offers robust B2B capabilities and can do B2C well. We’ve found that in OrderCloud, and will continue to use the platform to deliver custom experiences to our customers across the print industry.