5 Things Online Printing Services Can’t Deliver (But a Local Print Shop Will)
The quality of your business’s printed materials says more to customers than you realize. Whether you are doing a direct mail postcard to prospective clients or producing a quarterly magazine to send to paying customers, the quality of the piece can be the difference between being perceived as a professional or amateur. In recent years, online printing services have become a popular way for businesses to produce smaller quantities of printed pieces at affordable prices. However, there are significant drawbacks to choosing an online printing services company over a local print shop. Keep reading for the top five things online printing services can’t deliver, but local print shops can.
5 Things Online Printing Services Can’t Provide
1. Personal Customer Service
When you opt to use online printing services, the first drawback you will notice is how the company handles customer service — it is all digitally automated. From confirmation that your proof was uploaded to the company’s printing portal to shipping and tracking information, online printing companies use automation software for the bulk of their customer communications because it is more cost-effective (i.e.: cheaper) than hiring an account manager to be your point of contact.
While automating certain parts of the customer service process can help improve communications between account managers and their clients — such automatically sending email or text message confirmations as each phase of the printing process is complete — it is important to remember that online printing services use these tools in place of account managers, not in addition to.
2. Timely Communication
Depending on the online printing services company you are using, speaking to a representative about your project can be difficult. First, you must call an 800 number and navigate your way through an automated message system. Once you do get a representative on the phone, they likely don’t have any other information for you beyond what was emailed to you or is already on the company’s website. Depending on the location of the online printing services company, you might have to wait until the next day to speak to someone that can help you — especially if you are in North America and the printer is in Asia.
3. In-Person Proofs and Samples
The white and gold (or was it blue and black?) dress that took the internet by storm in 2015 proves an important point: a digital representation can look completely different when seen in-person. As any graphic designer, product marketer, or packaging expert can tell you, having a printer that can provide you with in-person proofs is essential to verify that the image you are seeing on the computer screen matches the printed piece.
Online printing services companies rarely provide you physical proofs; instead, you can opt to pay a fee for a “digital proof” which is your file laid on top of their mechanical specs. While helpful to correct sizing issues, digital proofs provide no insight into how colors will look once printed. If you find an online printing services company that provides physical proofs, they will expect you to incur the additional printing costs and all shipping fees. Local printing shops will always ask if you need an in-person proof — and you can rest-assured that they won’t ship a print run out to you if it hasn’t passed the inspection and approval of your account manager first.
4. Physical Samples
Besides providing you with physical proofs, local printing shops will also show you samples of how specific inks and finishes look on different papers and provide you with their recommendations. Local print shops will almost always provide you with samples that you can take back to the office and reference when creating your next project.
5. Printing Expertise (Beyond Digital)
Online printing services have become popular because of the growth of digital printing and are popular with consumers looking to print party invitations, holiday cards, and personal business cards. However, if your business requires a professional printing services company that you can rely on to manage every step in production — from processing prepress images to proofing the final product before it they ship it to a warehouse — Dollco Print Solutions Group can help. Local print shops, like Dollco printing, take the time to understand the specifics of your project, and will recommend the best printing processes, colors, stock, finishes, binding, and shipping methods to ensure the finished product mirrors the high quality you require of your own business.
If you are considering an online printing services company, the team at D0llco Print Solutions Group would love the opportunity to show you how working with a professional printer can make all the difference with your project. Contact Dollco printing today for a free quote that you can use when comparing professional printers to the online versions.