Careers at Vistaprint
Vistaprint’s mission is to help its customers promote their business.
Robert Keane was an MBA student at the INSEAD business school in Paris. He observed that the needs of small businesses in Europe were not being met. Specifically, because they often printed promotional materials in small quantities, they had one of two choices: pay high costs through a supplier, or print their own materials. Many simply chose to go without these documents.
Keane responded to the problem by launching a printing business. He published a direct mail catalog titled “Bonne Impression“ for small firms. It offered supplies such as brochures, newsletters, business cards, and software. Keane allowed his customers to order items at low volumes for reasonable prices, while still not compromising on their quality.
In later years, the firm expanded its services to the UK and Germany. In 1998, it launched its online channel, introducing centralized printing, online graphic design software, and eCommerce ordering. Shortly aftewards, Keane patented the concept of “gang printing“, through which software would group many orders into one digital file and print them through one press set-up.
In 1999 Keane’s company adopted the name Vistaprint. The next decade saw a number of milestones. In 2000 it began offering its services in the United States. In 2005 it filed an initial public offering and began trading on the NASDAQ. In the following few years it opened offices in Spain and the Netherlands. In 2014 it reorganized, becoming a subsidiary of parent company Cimpress.
Benefits at Vistaprint
Business model of Vistaprint
Vistaprint has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at micro businesses, which it categorizes as those with 1 – 10 employees.
Vistaprint offers five primary value propositions: accessibility, convenience, cost reduction, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It offers a wide range of products, including business cards, calendars, checks, corporate gifts, clothing/bags, holiday cards/gifts, invitations/announcements, labels/stickers, magnets, marketing materials, phone cases, photo gifts, promotional products, stamps/ink, stationery, and signs/posters. It also offers a broad set of services, including business services, design services, and digital marketing.
The company offers convenience by making life simpler for customers. It provides a set of popular design templates customers can choose from, with the option of personalizing them if they desire. It also provides various useful tools they can use for this customization and related support services.
The company reduces costs in a variety of ways. Its website includes a “Specials“ section featuring discounts and deals. It offers customers a $10 discount if they refer a new customer who places an order. Its Vistaprint Corporate service offers free set-up and no fees, as well as 50% off the price of business cards, 25% off the price of other products, and free shipping for orders costing over $100. Lastly, its Vistaprint Pro Advantage program offers regular discounts for its members.
The company reduces risk by maintaining high quality and safety standards. It offers a free sample kit that potential customers can use to see, touch, and feel sample products (business cards, postcards, letterhead templates, etc.), so they can get a sense of their nature before making a purchase.
It also enables existing customers to see their designs in on-screen simulations of real-world settings in real time so they can get an idea of how the finished product will appear. Lastly, it maintains an “Absolute Guarantee” policy through which it promises to satisfy unhappy customers, in ways ranging from reprinting orders to providing full refunds (while covering shipping).
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It is a leading provider of marketing products and services for micro business owners, serving over nine million companies. It employs thousands of workers in 13 offices worldwide. Lastly, it has won a number of awards, including Best Video for “The Postcard” at the 2016 B-to-B Best Awards, hosted by Ad Age.
Vistaprint’s main channel is its business development team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, catalog, advertising (paid search and TV), and conferences.
Vistaprint’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products and services while having limited interaction with employees.
The company’s website features a section called “Micro Business Insights” that includes trend reports and infographics.
That said, there are personal assistance components in the form of real-time design support seven days a week, and general customer support. Service is offered through phone, e-mail, and live chat.
Vistaprint’s business model entails designing, developing, and distributing its products and services to its customers.
Vistaprint maintains an affiliate program through which it invites third parties to promote its offerings through their platforms (websites, mobile apps, etc.). If the marketing leads to a purchase, the third parties can earn a commission ranging from 12% to 25% as well as free products.
Vistaprint’s main resource is its intellectual property. It possesses more than 100 patents globally. The company also has important physical resources in the form of manufacturing facilities in North America, Western Europe, Australia, and India.
Vistaprint has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is cost of revenues, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and technology/development, both fixed costs.
Vistaprint has three revenue streams:
- Product Revenues – Revenues it generates from the sale of its products to its customers.
- Service Revenues – Revenues it generates from the sale of its services to its customers.
- Advertising Revenues – Revenues it generates from the fees it charges clients to advertise their products/services to its network of customers (through its catalog and other channels).
info: Robert earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Harvard College and a Master’s of Business Administration at INSEAD. He previously served as the President of Vistaprint. He is currently also the CEO of its parent firm Cimpress.
info: Trynka earned a B.A. in Psychology at Cornell University and an MBA at Columbia Business School. She previously held several leadership roles at Vistaprint, including Chief Marketing Officer of Europe and North America and President of the North American Business Unit.
info: Cindy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA at New York University. She previously served as Chief Marketing Officer of Smart Destinations and as Executive Vice President, Managing Director of One to One Interactive.
info: Sarah earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at MIT and an MBA at Harvard University. She previously held many leadership roles at Vistaprint, including VP of Corporate Strategy & Planning, VP of Strategic Partnerships, and VP of Acquisition & Integration.
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