Online ordering portals have a lot of names—digital storefronts, asset management solutions, brand central, web-to-print — but no matter what you call them, business efficiency is the name of the game. Not only can your business save time, but it can also save money when you merge all of your marketing assets in one place. You can capitalize on bulk printing rates, skip the costs of multiple set-up charges, and even store and ship with one warehouse. It makes dollars and sense.

Do you want to see a real ROI on your marketing investments? Here are several ways to leverage an online ordering portal to realize actual returns that bolster your bottom line, again and again.

1. Online Ordering Portals and Promo Items: Give the Gifts That Keep on Giving

Client gifts. Just like any gift, they convey a meaning past the items bestowed. They communicate gratitude, connection, and a deeper working relationship. Reliably, they often lead to great referrals and recommendations, calls and thank you notes of appreciation, social media sharing (which is huge and has implications beyond your one relationship) and more valuable repeat business.

But gifts can be difficult to coordinate across multiple locations and among various levels of clients. That’s where an online ordering portal comes in. This online tool can be customized to give your various locations control over which gifts they customize for their clients and how they do it. For instance, one of your office locations may want to provide pens with your logo to their best clients, while another feels like water bottles are a better fit for their clientele. Just upload both to your portal and authorized users can customize the items of their choice with your logo, their location information, and a message that’s unique to them. Ordering is a piece of cake through the site, and fulfillment is simple too. Then it's time to sit back and watch the returns roll in.

Related: 9 Things Your Web-to-Print Provider May Be Missing

2. Online Ordering Portals and Personalization Marketing: Use Powerful Purchase Drivers

Time and again we’ve seen the tremendous benefits to personalizing items, whether they’re postcards, brochures, catalogs, emails, product labels, promo items, tchotchkes, cards, or more. Epsilon tells us that “80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences” and Statista notes that “90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing.” More than 80% of companies personalize their marketing both online and off, and Mckinsey found that they have reduced acquisition costs of up to 50%, revenue upticks between 5-15%, and a marketing spend efficiency increase of 10-30%.”

Related: Personalized Print Products Boost Marketing Efforts

One of the strengths of an online ordering portal is the ability to personalize items for your customers. With variable data printing, you can directly address customers and prospects alike by their name, specific likes, and even their past shopping behavior. With thoughtful messaging that speaks directly to your prospect or customer, this can be a highly effective way into the hearts and minds of your clients. When customers feel seen and heard, they’re much more likely to give you their business, not the business!

Related: Variable Data Printing

3. Online Ordering Portals and Bulk Orders: Score Savings by the Bundle

There are a lot of places where buying in bulk makes sense, and this is one of them. Whether you’re buying gifts for clients, printing out postcards to reach prospects, or creating signage for trade shows, you’ll see hefty cost savings with each quantity price break. Here’s where online ordering portals come in handy. They aggregate your orders across locations so that you can combine your buys and benefit from the bundling. You’ll see significant cost savings and you’ll also skip set-up fees that plague individual run jobs.

4. Online Ordering Portals and Asset Management: Get Customization by Location

No one likes to see larger corporations ignore the idiosyncrasies and personalities of each unique location. The portal can help you control that, too. Each franchisee or location has access to marketing on the macro level, where the look and feel are consistent with the branding umbrella that reaches across the entire business. However, each is free to add their own messaging, whether it’s as straightforward as the hours and location information, or as nuanced as different services available at different locations, different team member profiles, or even different coupons and discounts offered. In this way, locations can achieve the cohesive look of a big overarching brand while also speaking directly to their own local customers. This builds repeat business and loyalty.

In addition, when you consider that the costs of attracting new customers are estimated to be five times higher than the costs of retaining existing ones, it makes sense to cater to your current ones. Studies show that you are only 5–20% likely to upsell new customers, as opposed to 60–70% likely to upsell a current customer. Upping your customer retention rates by only 5% can boost your profits between 25-95%.

5. Online Ordering Portal Efficiency: Achieve Clarity and Consistency

Brand consistency is also correlated to real ROI. Inc. Magazine notes that consistency equates to an average of 23% higher revenue. Whether you’re adding new offices organically or buying other businesses, it can be easy to jumble the message. Marketing doesn’t always scale well when there are numerous cooks in various kitchens. And even if you have a centralized person responsible for marketing efforts, different constituencies can sometimes alter the messaging. Once again, an online ordering portal can help you solve this issue and boost your bottom line. By ensuring a clear and consistent message, your marketing will be better received by both customers and patients. Your credibility will be upped and your message will be amplified. There’s no doubt that a cohesive marketing effort brings impressive, measurable results.

Related: Establish Brand Consistency the Easy Way

How to Get Started

These are easy steps for reaping big benefits. With efficient business technology and your marketing uber-coordinated this way, the ROI is real. Not only do you save tremendous amounts of time and money, but you build your brand in ways that are sometimes hard to measure but easy to recognize. Customer appreciation, retention and loyalty towards your business move the needle for real ROI. And you can’t even put a price on that.

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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