VistaPrint.com is a pretty famous online printer. I think they are best known for giving out free business cards (they put their logo and slogan on the back of these cards. You get free cards, they get advertising – works just fine for some small business owners.)
See my review of VistaPrint below and, more importantly, some Marketing Takeaways…
Shopping Cart – Adding products to cart – Grade: A+
Their shopping cart system is fantastic. Easy to follow and fast. I was able to create four different custom stamps in 10-15 minutes.
Checkout – Grade: E
Checkout is a pain. They make you go through 5+ pages of offers. Other products you might want to buy, offers from various partners, etc…
Amazon is famous for 1-Click Ordering. VistaPrint.com should be infamous for 10-Click ordering.
Shipping – Grade: A+
I used their “Shipping & Processing (Slow 21 Days)” which was free because my order was over $40 (part of the coupon I had.) This “Slow 21 Days” ended up being a total of three (3) business days – Placed order on Tuesday, received order on Friday…. Don’t be afraid of choosing their slow shipping option – it won’t be as long as they say.
Products – Grade: B
I have ordered Rubber Stamps before, they came all ready to go. These came “Ready to Assemble.” Not really a big deal – just had to adhere the stamp, they included the instructions – 4-5 steps and they were ready to go.
One thing I am scared about is future e-mail from them. The fact that they put me through 5+ pages of offers when I was ready to checkout (and the fact that I’ve already gotten a couple e-mails from them in the last week!) tells me they will be sending plenty of offers to my inbox…time will tell and I can probably “unsubscribe” from them – but still a pain.
They sent a “90% off” offer to me – that got my attention and while my first stamp was $1.99 – I ended up buying three other stamps at $17.99/each… The “big sale” got me in and then I bought more…don’t be afraid of making a big offer to attract new clients!
If you paid attention above – I received their coupon inside an order I received from Amazon.com. Strategic Partnership! They work!
Find a company that you can partner with. VistaPrint probably spends pennies to have their coupon in front of each of Amazon’s customers – these are customers who purchase online – good fit for VistaPrint. Certainly there are local businesses you could partner with – get creative.
Don’t overwhelm your customers – especially at checkout! There is nothing wrong with suggesting a complementary product and doing some cross marketing, but don’t overdue it. That was a major turn-off and gives me an idea of what’s to come from them now that I am in their database.
So – I was impressed and depressed with my VistaPrint experience. Would I use them again or recommend them? I don’t think so – there are several better printing options out there online.
At the same time, for budget conscience small business owners, keep an eye out for their offers – you can score a nice deal - You will just have to put up with the “baggage” that comes with it.