Bottom Line Up Front: Consumers want quick, easy, and customizable buying experiences — and with the Online Designer tool, you can give it to them. Increase sales, customer retention, and process efficiency, just like LA Shirt Printing did by adding the tool to their face mask offerings.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the buying behavior of consumers has changed. They’re looking at e-commerce as their best — or only — buying option, and since everyone and their cousin is jumping on the e-commerce capabilities train, they’re narrowing down where to spend their money based on the experience.
That’s right: the buying experience as a whole. Is it easy? Is it fast? Is it hassle free, and is it customizable to my needs?
Those are the questions they’re asking themselves every time they visit an online store — and their answers determine whether they close the tab, or whether they complete the process and check out their carts.
For one Los Angeles-based screen printer, those questions were at the forefront of their minds as they shifted their supply chains to better adapt to a post-COVID world. They were taking in the new consumer needs — for products like face masks — but they were also taking in the new consumer behaviors.
And that meant taking in the new demand for ease, convenience, and customization — at levels they’d never before seen.
But instead of shying away from the challenge, and instead of continuing on as normal, hoping for the best, this print shop used its capabilities to adapt. It brought on technology, it put consumer demand first, and it created a face mask-centric buying experience that its customers couldn’t walk away from.
Face Masks, But 100% Customizable
LA Shirt Printing, a full-service screen printing and embroidery shop in the Sun Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles, was known for its diverse range of apparel offerings. Selling everything from custom t-shirts to custom mesh security vest workwear, the team was no stranger to identifying new demand and adjusting offerings accordingly.
So, when COVID-19 hit hard and fast and millions of people across the country started needing face masks, they dove right in. But instead of working to offer the face masks the quickest, or the cheapest, they aimed for something else.
They aimed to offer the masks alongside a buying experience that customers couldn’t walk away from. A buying experience that put the reins into those customers’ hands, letting them take full control of their own product design.
How’d they do that? Through cutting-edge technology that integrated an online design platform right into their e-commerce store, enabling consumers to explore, design, and edit to their hearts’ content — with no training required.
That technology is InkSoft’s Online Designer.
The Online Designer Feature
Consumers have always loved customization — which is why, by and large, the decorated apparel industry has seen so much growth. But with the emergence of COVID-19, and the prioritization of e-commerce that came with it, consumers are even more interested in it.
Why? Because it’s available in ways that it wasn’t when they were walking into a storefront or placing an order over the phone. The pandemic has turned even the anti-e-commerce consumer into a consumer that relies on online buying, and because of that, they’re seeing options that they haven’t seen before.
If they’re going to be ordering a product through e-commerce, then they may as well be ordering from a company that offers them that customization — that high-quality buying experience — right at their fingertips.
Big online companies like CustomInk have been offering that experience to consumers for years — but for many smaller businesses, adding that kind of technology to their offerings hasn’t been a realistic option. It’s required too much money, or manpower, or technological expertise — but at InkSoft, we weren’t willing to take that as a final answer. We knew there had to be a way to make design technology within reach for those smaller businesses, and we knew there had to be a way to give them a fighting chance against the industry’s biggest players.
That’s what led us to create the Online Designer. And now, more than ever, are we glad that we did.
The Online Designer is a feature that can be integrated right into your e-commerce store — just like LA Shirt Printing had done. It pulls blanks from your suppliers, it enables you to set your own pricing, and it manages all of your decoration methods and details — so customers can only pick designs that you’re equipped to produce.
From a consumer standpoint, they have complete control over their product. They can choose from the 13,500 vector designs and clipart already there, or they can upload their own artwork. They can add as much or as little text as they want, and they can play around with the different color options and combinations. From start to finish, it’s the customization process of their dreams — and the best part?
It’s accessible to everyone.
No design training, no technological know-how, and no add-on programs or extensions required. It’s 100% online, 100% easy, and 100% hassle-free.
Which is exactly why, when it came to LA Shirt Printing’s face masks, it was such a success.
For individual consumers, the Designer feature meant that they could add personality to the mask they wore in public every day — that they could add something funny, or a smile, or a monogram.
For business consumers, the Designer feature meant that they could add branding to the masks that would be worn by employees or handed out to customers — working to show that they care about their people, while also furthering brand exposure and marketing potential.
The Tool You Need Today
We’re not going to tell you how competitive it is in our industry — especially right now — because you already know that. You already know that apparel decorators and print shops of all sizes, in all regions, are competing to offer the quickest turnaround times, the cheapest products, and the highest number of offerings.
But not enough businesses are prioritizing the buying experience. Not enough businesses are looking at the big guys — like CustomInk — and asking themselves, how do we offer that to our customers? How do we prioritize seamless, easy-to-use technology and customization that gets them engaged — and keeps them that way?
You might be selling 99 cent face masks, and you might be getting it to your customers with next-day shipping. But even if you’re doing all that, how will your customers remember you? Will that face mask see them through the week? Will they forget about it too soon, forgetting about you at the same time?
Give your customers the buying experience they really want. Give them the freedom of complete control over their product design, and give them a reason to be engaged by the process. Because if you don’t, odds are they’ll find another screen printer that will.
The Online Designer won’t just give you a leg up in attracting new customers and securing new sales, but it’ll also increase your customer retention. When they enjoy the buying experience, they keep coming back. That’s why we’re so confident in our technology, and that’s why we’re so proud of the way it’s been used in today’s buying climate — by screen printers like LA Shirt Printing.
It might be a different world, but there’s still a way to succeed. Let our Online Designer help you get there.