IC Simplicity Direct B2C Service Backed By 54 Card Publishers

The Imaging Centre, the UK’s leading greeting card digital printer has just gone live with IC Simplicity Direct, a brand new print on demand service which is enabling 54 of its greeting card publisher customers reach the end consumer.

“Never has it felt more important to feel connected and be part of a community,” Adam Short, managing director of The Imaging Centre, the Kent-based digital printing business, told PG Buzz. “We were working really hard to come up with ideas on how to help our customers continue to get their designs out, with the vast majority of their retailer customers having been forced to shut their doors – and one idea that gathered momentum was launching a B2C site,” he explained. “It felt important that, at a time of social distancing that we could encourage social interaction through the sending of greeting cards,” he added.

Above: Adam Short (left) with his father Bob, co-founder of the business.
Above: Adam Short (left) with his father Bob, co-founder of the business.

So, encouraged by the enthusiastic response from so many of the publishers which The Imaging Centre works, IC Simplicity Direct was born.

With hundreds of thousands of card designs already in its IC Simplicity system (which has enabled publishers to print cards for their retail customers), finalising the new consumer-facing site was achieved in whistlestop time.

The new service has just gone live https://media.theimagingcentre.co.uk/ICSD_storeFront@home.html offering designs from 54 different publishers, though the number is set to grow.

Above: The new Simplicity Direct service is in addition to the ongoing main Simplicity print to order system which publishers use to send orders to retailers.
Above: The new Simplicity Direct service is in addition to the ongoing main Simplicity print to order system which publishers use to send orders to retailers.

Publishers can feature a maximum of 25 designs which are then placed into one of seven different card categories (birthday, thinking of you, anniversary, engagement and marriage, seasonal, congratulations and others).

There is no set up fee for the participating publisher, who will receive a royalty payment for each card sold. All cards are being sent out with a recycled Kraft envelope by Royal Mail. If the purchaser requires, the cards can be handwritten by The Imaging Centre team.

Above: A snapshot of some of the designs available on the Simplicity Direct site.  
Above: A snapshot of some of the designs available on the Simplicity Direct site.

Adam is keen to stress that IC Simplicity Direct is a temporary solution to a situation.

“The last thing we want to do, is compete with retailers. We have always prided ourselves on providing the best possible service to the retailers within our industry. We are simply trying to continue to get publishers’ designs out to people at a time when we feel it’s really needed. Therefore, when we come out of the current situation, and retailers are open and back up and running, we will close down this site.”
He also clarifies that The Imaging Centre’s main printing operation is still running. “Simplicity Direct is an additional service, not a substitute.

The new service is to be promoted via social media channels using #ICSimplicitydirect and #stayconnectedsendacard.

Top: The machinery at The Imaging Centre is being re-purposed to also accommodate B2C orders now.

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