The traditional promotional products market is based on mass production techniques, large volumes of the same product branded with the same design sold at the lowest price with the tightest of margins for all involved. This method is never going to work for today market of instant ordering, very specific individual requirements and the internet driving consumer and business purchases.
Screen printing, pad printing and litho have been the main production methods but with digital now taking up an ever increasing proportion of the smaller volume orders and the digital processes getting quicker and better quality the quantities where digital production is economically viable are increasing and this is encroaching on the quantities usually produced with traditional techniques.
When these factors are combined with consumers demanding individuality, businesses seeing the potential for specifically targeting marketing and the understanding that making your marketing activity personal drives a better response the promotional market needs to be able to respond. Products and pricing structures need to be thought of in a completely different way. No one ordering printed products on a website should need to understand what the “origination” or “screens charges” are that appear in the checkout as they attempt to pay. Mass Production is product centric whereas Mass Customisation is customer centric.
Systems drive the success of eCommerce. Custom Gateway’s Custom Product Platform (CPP) provides the solution to set up products for eCommerce and a method for these products too be posted for sale in distributor and end user websites to route order automatically back to the supplier to take to production.
Data prepared for eCommerce from suppliers is key to the successful roll out of eCommerce promotional products through the established distributor/supplier channel and this needs to be adopted to run alongside the consultative side of the promotional market. The shift to eCommerce has already started and the tools are available to capitalise on this massive opportunity but there also needs to be a shift to embracing the technology and those who do will be successful.