Just like the rest of the world – the world of print and imaging has changed dramatically over the last few years, but it has changed at even a greater rate with the advent of Covid19 related concerns. As a result of these changes, the importance of both bricks & clicks becomes even more evident. Bricks are, of course, provide the availability and accessibility of meeting in-person and “meeting” actual products. Clicks, implementing the ordering process on-line, allow nearly 24-hour interactions to occur, and the ability to order and buy from the ease of an office chair or smartphone.
The best of bricks & clicks is to provide both!
Clicks Pros and Cons!
Some of the advantages of Clicks in the print and imaging world:
- Order from office or home or on the go
- Design and proof on-line
- Pay on-line
- Manage inventory on-line
- Structure administrative approvals on-line
- Maintain order history and re-orders on-line
Disadvantages of Clicks?
- You really need to know what you want to order
- Not all variations or special requests can be dealt with on-line
- Shipping may cause delays (and expense)
- Returns are difficult
Bricks Pros and Cons!
Without being too redundant – there are some key advantages of a “bricks” location:
- You can feel the product. The weight and texture of paper, for example.
- There is some instant gratification of actually picking up a product
- The ordering experience can be enjoyable (people and environment)
- You don’t feel you are lost in the “giantness” of the internet
- The AlphaGraphics approach to printing and imaging is consultative. Using the right process and product is critical to your success!
- The culture of the company comes across in the buying process
- A partnership is developed by meeting the people working with you
From a perfectly selfish point of view, here at AlphaGraphics, we find the accessibility to our locations and people are absolutely critical. We find that if a potential client comes into one of our Centers and actually sees the breadth of what we provide and the skill of the people at the Center – they become a client/partner! On the flip side, once an on-going relationship is developed with a client then we often set up on-line ordering portals designed specifically for their products. Clearly, the relationship and trust are built through “bricks” and people, but the ease of use and value provided by on-line ordering seals the deal!
There are an entire population and client base that knows exactly what they want – and don’t need or want to interact with people! For them, there are on-line ordering facilities that accommodate their needs. At AlphaGraphics, we have developed a site for ordering gallery-wrapped canvases, posters, and prints on metal of your photographs and images – www.posterdog.com. Design on-line, proof on-line, pay on-line, and delivery to your door! We also recognized the need for specialized signage to deal with re-opening of businesses (related to Covid19), as a result, we have developed several ordering sites that cover everything from floor graphics to sneeze-guards (www.ag5280.com).