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Customer Case  | Printing Company Bosmans, Lommel, Belgium  | 24 November 2015

Bosmans sets up web-to-print stores with Apogee StoreFront that help them gain and retain business

Printing company Bosmans (Lommel, Belgium) was one of the first to use Apogee StoreFront. Meanwhile they have over three years of experience in web-to-print. We talked to Bern Bosmans, General Manager of Bosmans Graphic Solutions, about his experiences and future plans with Apogee StoreFront.

Why did you initially look into web-to-print?

One of our customers specifically asked for it. Some of the products that we customized for them, such as business cards, were fairly labor-intensive with lots of e-mails going back and forth. They wanted to centralize the ordering process and make it easier to customize print. Our Agfa Graphics dealer, Sagam, proposed Apogee StoreFront. It allowed us to quickly set up a store to meet that customer's demands.

Have the expectations of customers changed since then?

I think they have. Nowadays many of the people I speak to have ordered print online for their personal use — things like photo albums or invitations cards. They have realized that this type of web service could also benefit their business. The increased personal use of the web changes the way people look at their business processes. In our approach to customers and on our web site we now put more focus on personalized cloud services and on going beyond print.

Are you mainly targeting business customers with your web-to-print service?

We are. All the stores we have created up to now have been private password protected shops. We are thinking about setting up one or two open shops, but these would be for very specific niche markets targeted towards a small group of businesses. We have a few domain names focused on specific niches and I've seen that these can be handy for lead generation. I don't intend to use web-to-print to try and compete with large e-commerce shops that focus on the consumer market.

Which is the main challenge you face in such business-focused projects?

Our customers consider their ordering portal to be a 'part of the package' — a service they get without having to pay extra for it. That makes it important for us to be able to set up shops fast and without much overhead. For one of our recent projects, for example, we set up a store for ordering labels. It is used by different customers, without anyone being able to see the labels of the other users. Apogee StoreFront saved us a lot of time by supporting such a setup.

What are the main advantages that Apogee StoreFront offers to you?

We have recently expanded our capacity for digital printing. Web-to-print fits really well into our plans to put more emphasis on short-run personalized print products. The other key benefit is that once our clients are accustomed to ordering online, they are more likely to stay with us because of its ease of use, our understanding of their business and our swift hands-on action. In that case it becomes a 'sticky' service.

What advice can you offer about being successful with web-to-print?

Before you start a web-to-print project, make sure that you have the full buy-in from your customers. Projects only succeed if the customer actively thinks about the best approach of setting up the store and promoting its use. Make it a partnership and then web-to-print can be a win-win for you and your customer.

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