Media service provider Sprüngli Druck AG, Villmergen, Switzerland: Web Shop - a key factor in customer retention.

"People will still continue to print, but printing alone is not enough any more". We need to broaden our services, especially in media prepress, to expand our business model and grow profitably." Marco Husistein, Sprüngli Druck AG's general manager in Villmergen in northwestern Switzerland sees a high-performance online print shop as one of the keys to this goal. Sprüngli Druck AG with its 35 employees is not only active in classic commercial printing for corporate customers and agencies; it also provides services such as mail solutions, complete fulfilment and media asset management. Their customers are a broad mix ranging from smaller to large, publicly listed companies in the service provider, industry and finance sectors. "A one-stop service" is the motto of the company founded in 1957 by Walter Sprüngli and which, since 2012, is part of the Merkur Druck Group with four independently operating companies. In 2017, Sprüngli Druck AG also set up a subsidiary in Zurich.

The early stages of Sprüngli Druck AG's first web-to-print shop date back more than ten years ago. In 2015 when they decided to fundamentally restructure the system, Marco Husistein and his head of prepress Markus Keller picked a solution from Heidelberg. "We wanted our print shop to address much more B-to-B as well as B-to-C customers and at the same time we were looking for a solution that could meet our demands without any complications", explains Marco Husistein, who has long been a devotee of Heidelberg products. As the latest company flagship, he has recently invested in a five-color Speedmaster XL 106 large format press with a coating unit as well as a five-color SX 52.

Forty users in three languages

The first business-to-business shop was set up with a dealer network in Switzerland. The customer had stopped generally printing price lists and was on the lookout for fast alternatives for his dealers. Sprüngli Druck AG came up with the solution to publish customized price lists and flyers in a closed B-to-B online shop. The some 40 authorized dealers in Switzerland can automatically order price lists and flyers with their corporate data in this shop - and all this in three languages - German, French and Italian - an essential in Switzerland.

Very easy handling

It was just as important for Sprüngli Druck AG as for the customer that working with the shop was intuitive and practically self-explanatory. Prinect Web Shop has successfully ensured that the ordering process is user-friendly. Administration of the online shop is also simple and therefore faster. "We have had really positive feedback, especially from users who up to now have ordered very little from online shops," says Marco Husistein. The dealers warmly welcomed the system because it made it much easier to source up-to-date, customized price lists and other print products. Sprüngli Druck AG markets its online shop as a service and the print orders are invoiced directly to the buyer.

Sprüngli Druck AG sees excellent potential for opening further shops - as they have already successfully proved. The experience they have gained to date means that implementation is now much faster. "The most important point is that you need to know what the system can do and what its limits are. And you need to go into detail when you talk to the customer to find out what he really wants." When everything comes together, the shop can grow with the customer and the customer with the shop.

"The web shop is an important factor for us in retaining customers", sums up Marco Husistein. Today, all print shop services can be compared with each oth-er so many ordering decisions are based on price alone. "When the customer's marketing management changes and the new boss brings "his" print shop with him, then you're out of the game", says Marco Husistein soberly. However, with a web shop that works, you can offer the customer added value that he is not prepared to give up so easily. The shop can also help in acquiring new customers when they order a typical entry job such as the automatic creation of visiting cards and other office products.

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