The importance of Web-to-Print and the technology adoption curve: Vivad

As his company prepares for PacPrint in Melbourne, one of web-to-print’s early pioneers, Vivad’s Ewen Donaldson, reflects on the way technology has changed over the years, how the developments of the past are ever-more-quickly being outpaced by today’s sophisticated web-to-print solutions, and why the pace of progress makes the Vivad stand at PacPrint a must-see for future-focused businesses.

Vivad, a large format print service provider, was a pioneer in web-to-print, embarking on a mission a decade ago to build a web-to-print portal which would go beyond a simple web store and allow users to customise the size of their print product.

“They could upload their files and automatically have them pre-flight checked to ensure they were set up to the correct proportions and resolution and the portal would allow the user to generate an approval document with the company’s logo so that they could send it out to their clients for approval before placing their order,” Donaldson said.

“They could select from a range of couriers and freight options based on the delivery address and the theoretically calculated packing dimensions then, after placing the order, the user would be able to track their job through production. It was a revolutionary idea.”

At PacPrint 2017 – just five years ago – Vivad realised that vision with the launch of Vivtrack 2 Web-to-Print portal.

Over four days, Vivad registered 375 new users, giving it the beginnings of a user base.

Donaldson said the adoption rate in those early days was slow, despite the promise the product offered for a better, more productive and more profitable world.

“I think many people were just reluctant to give up on the back-and-forth communication associated with ordering through traditional channels, but not everyone fell into this camp and we saw a small number of innovators who were willing to participate in the ‘bleeding edge’ of web-to-print technology,” he said.

“Having real user feedback from those early adopters was invaluable in teaching us what worked with the portal and what didn’t – and that allowed us to go back to the drawing board to significantly rewrite Vivtrack for its next iteration.”

Vivtrack 3, Vivad’s proprietary large format web-to-print portal was then released in 2019 at PrintEx in Sydney.

Donaldson said it was slicker, more powerful, more intuitive and user-friendly, featuring new innovations like such as trusted groups, which allowed teams to collaborate and track each other’s jobs.

It took the software to a new level, with Donaldson saying, “the advances in Vivtrack 3 saw many of our trade clients discovering how they could use Vivtrack as an extension of their own business.

“Clients can receive instant quotes, pre-flight check artwork and book jobs online, allowing them to be responsive to their own customers and, in effect, turning them into the print service provider.”

These developments drove what Donaldson refers to as a ‘definite paradigm shift’, with Vivad’s user base growing through word-of-mouth referrals from the initial 375 users following PacPrint in 2017, to over 2,500 active users today.
Despite this rapid growth, Donaldson said he believes the industry is still in the early adoption and early majority stages of the technology adoption curve, with many businesses still to benefit from this game-changing technology.

“It will be interesting to see how buying behaviour of print progresses over the next five years and we certainly look forward to showing some of those still ‘on the fence’ about web-to-print just how the latest innovations in Vivtrack can transform the way you do business, making it easier to provide superior service, deliver an outstanding product – and build your business profitability and success,” he said.

“As visitors to PacPrint will see, Vivad continues to push the technology to its limits – and we look forward to continuing to participate in this emerging and vibrant space well into the future.”

Vivad will be at Stand B90 at PacPrint, which will run from 28 June to 1 July at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

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