How Does Amazon’s Business Model Affect Ours?
For my own reference, I decided I would walk through the sales process with the business card company and see how that could go for my client. They wanted a full-color imprint that is commonly done these days. I knew a full-color imprint was available through the supplier company, but did not see it as an option on the business card company’s website. Calling to check on that took some time. I waited on hold for 20 minutes. (Yes, really 20 minutes.) The representative, who I found out was from Tunisia, told me that wasn’t possible as the company only did one-color imprints.
Not knowing where Tunisia is, I discovered that it is in northern Africa. I pondered how much different Tunisia is from my Southern California life and my distributor company’s U.S.-based support. Ultimately, a price-focused client could care less about the customer-service location, and likely doesn’t know (or care) if the product they buy meets Consumer Products Safety Information Act (CPSIA) standards. They wouldn’t know if the bag they wanted really is available with a full-color imprint. The client probably wouldn’t expect to deal with someone on the other end of the phone who cared about protecting its brand, like a good promotional consultant would. Or understand why that’s important.
The click-to-buy business model works for some shoppers. But many clients do care about these things. It’s our job to effectively help them navigate to the product that best meets their needs.
I continued through the online ordering process for the bags at the business card company site and uploaded my client’s full-color logo to see what would happen. It just turned into a one-color imprint on the proof screen with no option or explanation.
In the end, even though my price was significantly higher than the online printing company, the client never questioned our cost. We needed to modify their artwork and had two artwork proof revisions in the process. My team stayed on top of all the details to get the bag order handled properly. Cookie cutter click-to-buy systems are not set up for that. The business card company is not positioned to provide that level of customer service and handle the artwork issues that are part of many promotional product orders.