Print & Mail

What is Web to Print API?

By 16 May 2022No Comments
web to print api

Web to Print API

Businesses or, more precisely, online businesses, are well familiar with Application Programming Interface more popularly known as API. Businesses rely on APIs for executing many of their major business operations. An API is software that basically lets different applications communicate with each other. The salient features of APIs make it an ideal choice for the print requirements for businesses typically used for marketing purposes.

web to print api

Most businesses with a significant online presence or eCommerce capabilities should be already aware of web APIs. What the web APIs do is receive or post data by acting as an interface between applications.

For example, eCommerce websites can integrate the APIs of postal service providers like UPS to show the real-time shipping cost for products they sell. A similar process can also be observed when it comes to payment providers.

By allowing different applications to communicate with each other, APIs can trigger certain actions without directly accessing or altering the code/database of the service you choose. Now, we know that eCommerce has already been using web APIs for its several operations, including shipping and payments. The web 2 print API enables you to meet all your print-on-demand needs in the most convenient way.

Today businesses have access to the advanced web to print APIs such as PostGrid equipped with capabilities well beyond print-on-demand support. An advanced system like PostGrid can automate your entire direct mail process, including address validation, personalization, and more. This ultimately means that your business can have a global print and fulfillment network by simply integrating a web to print API into your website.

What is Web to Print API?

Most businesses with a significant online presence or eCommerce capabilities should be already aware of web APIs. What the web APIs do is receive or post data by acting as an interface between applications. For example, eCommerce websites can integrate the APIs of postal service providers like UPS to show the real-time shipping cost for products they sell. A similar process can also be observed when it comes to payment providers.

By allowing different applications to communicate with each other, APIs can trigger certain actions without directly accessing or altering the code/database of the service you choose. Now, we know that eCommerce has already been using web APIs for its several operations, including shipping and payments. The print API enables you to meet all your print-on-demand needs in the most convenient way.

Today businesses have access to the advanced web to print APIs such as PostGrid equipped with capabilities well beyond print-on-demand support. An advanced system like PostGrid can automate your entire direct mail process, including address validation, personalization, and more. This ultimately means that your business can have a global print and fulfillment network by simply integrating a web to print API into your website.

How to Use Web to Print API For Your Business

There are several applications for web to print APIs like PostGrid, and below, we discuss some of the major applicational uses of web to print APIs.

Publishers

Publishers are without question one of the most beneficial groups of people when it comes to the web to print API, especially if they use a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. All they have to do is connect the web to print API like PostGrid to their system, and you can automate the printing of a book when an order is placed for it. Furthermore, routing the print order to the nearest printer ensures the shortest delivery time for the books.

Mid & Large Scale Businesses

Mid and large-scale businesses, especially those that regularly use direct mail as a part of their marketing or communication channel, can greatly benefit from a web to print API like PostGrid. You can even connect your CRM with the API for better targeting of your prospects. This will ensure that you don’t lose any customer data in the ever complex and wide-range business activities. Furthermore, you can even customize your API to accommodate unique features and functionalities for your business.

Web-To-Print Applications

Software applications that allow you to print canvas, photos, or even postcards directly from the user’s Instagram profile are yet another business that can optimize their operations using a print API. Such software applications get an instant solution for their printing needs with the help of an advanced web to print API. You can connect such businesses to their customers directly with the printers and streamline their operations and service.

Web to Print API vs Desktop Publishing

Web to print API offers an effective alternative to desktop publishing (DTP), especially when it comes to bulk printing and mailing of materials. Below we take a look at a comparison between printing using DTP and a web to print API.

Web to Print API

Desktop Publishing (DTP)

  • You can use templates based on a WYSIWYG for editing.
  • The end-user needs to use traditional design tools.
  • It can be edited and approved by a client/print house.
  • Needs the graphic designer’s assistance 
  • May include print on demand (POD) or pre-printed materials.
  • Has limited capabilities when it comes to print on demand (POD).
  • Supports easy variable data printing (VDP).
  • Does not support easy variable data printing (VDP).

Salient Features of Web to Print API

There are many salient features of web to print API that make it the best tool for your printing requirements, such as digital designing, file sharing, and so on. Below we discuss some of the salient features of the web to print API that you should know about.

Online Design Capabilities

You have the freedom and flexibility to upload an image of your preference and edit it or use an already existing template. This can all be accomplished through an online design studio and its built-in tools, which ultimately facilitate custom designing and printing for your business.

Order Management

The web to print API allows you to capture order requests for the print and even track the order statuses. Furthermore, you can generate invoices and shipping labels for the orders that are completed.

Order Approval Workflows

With an advanced API, you can set up a superior order approval workflow and base it on specific rules. This will not only enable you to alert the relevant stakeholders but also for reviewing order requests.

Advanced Integration

The advanced API integration with third-party tools enhances the solution’s capabilities. This includes streamlining payment gateways, customer relationship management (CRM), and more.

Streamline Your Backend Processes With Web to Print API

Integrating an advanced web to print API to your website can effectively streamline several of your backend processes. One of the noticeable differences it can make to your backend is that the API allows you to better connect with any web applications and can be especially useful for eCommerce businesses. Furthermore, as stated above, you get the flexibility to develop new workflows and personalize them to fit your unique business goals.

You also get superior control over your design assets, allowing you to add your own sources to the online editor or connect with external storage like Google Drive. You can also generate dynamic images or pictures using the API, effectively allowing you to change product attributes on the go. Some advanced APIs even let the users create a 3D preview of a product before they buy it, and these 3D previews can be rendered from 2D mock-ups.

Why You Should Integrate a Web to Print API to Your Website

Integrating an API to your website is significantly different from using the same tool through a dedicated website. Integrating the API to your website gives you greater flexibility and superior control over your business operations. For example, the user data, including texts, images, etc, are cached, and a user is created through an API call following your request. Similarly, templates can be uploaded and managed by your designers and used for a dynamic imaging system for generating previews.

Furthermore, the user images can also be stored and used in templates later. You can even edit these images through the API by using your own code or using the stock editor directly on your website. Finally, you also get the capability to manage your orders via API, or if you wish, you can also manually manage through the portal that is generally provided by most web to print API service providers.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Web to Print API

Advantages 

Disadvantages 

  • Access private or public online catalogs.
  • Has the ability to make last-minute changes to templates.
  • Approve designs without a face-to-face meeting with the printer.
  • It has superior control over content and brand management.
  • It comes with a simplified printing process.
  • It is often cost and time-effective for print houses.
  • It has limited access to software and service system solutions for small to mid-sized print service providers.
  • Most dedicated web-to-print solutions are relatively expensive.
  • It may not be ideal for small print houses as it requires the use of advanced digital systems, which is typically seen within large print houses.

Conclusion

Web to Print API is revolutionizing print media with its superior capabilities. Although there are many practical applications for web to print API, the most significant of them is the printing and mailing of marketing materials for businesses. There is no web to print API that is more suitable for marketing purposes than PostGrid.

The advanced direct mail system from PostGrid is not merely a web to print API but a well-rounded direct mail system. With advanced automation, personalization capabilities, and a super-accurate address validation system, you can boost your conversions and enhance your ROI significantly.

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