When Cimpress N.V. invested $29 million last month to take a majority stake in VIDA & Co, an online marketplace for apparel designers and manufacturers, it added to a corporate family already humming with dozens of e-commerce sites.
Cimpress operates more than a dozen businesses across four corporate groups—its flagship Vistaprint for customized business cards and related products; National Pen, which sells writing instruments personalized with client company logos for marketing purposes; Upload and Print for on-demand commercial printing services by several online brands in Europe. Its “All Other Businesses” group is comprised of VIDA and several foreign-based online custom product-printing operations.
But as Cimpress grows its international reach with multiple brands and more than 40 e-commerce sites, it’s determined to “stay small as we get big” and benefit from its strategy over the past year of transferring more control from corporate executives to managers within each of its businesses, founder and CEO Robert Keane says. Based in the Netherlands, Cimpress operates its U.S. headquarters in the Boston suburb of Waltham, Mass.
“These changes placed most of our teams and resources under the direct managerial control of the leaders of each of our businesses,” he says in a letter to investors published with the company’s earnings report for the four quarter and fiscal year ended June 30. “This greatly increased their ability to make progress on (and to thus be held accountable for) key success drivers such as customer satisfaction, the attraction and motivation of talented team members, the delivery of attractive returns on investment.”
That strategy has coincided with an effort started in 2014 to develop what Cimpress calls its online “mass customization platform,” or MCP, which combines in-house software and production technology the company uses to produce personalized products, such as business cards, in small quantities at low prices. Cimpress says managers from its individual businesses are “actively involved in the selection and scoping of new MCP functionality,” covering such features as automated graphic processing steps that reduce per-order set-up costs and self-service, browser-based design tools for customers. The company says it plans to eventually transact all online orders through the MCP.
The Cimpress family of dozens of e-commerce sites includes Vistaprint.com; National Pen’s Pens.com and more than 20 other sites from Canada to New Zealand; several Upload and Print sites across Europe, including Drukwerdeal.nl in the Netherlands, PixartPrinting.it in Italy, and Exaprint.fr in France; and several sites within the All Other Businesses group, including Vistaprint Corporate for large corporate customers, Vistaprint sites for businesses in India and in Japan, YSD.com for China and Printi.com.br for Brazil.
The combined strategy of increasing local management control and building out the MCP played an important role in the company’s double-digit increases in revenue for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, Cimpress says.
For the fourth quarter ended June 30, Cimpress reported:
- Total revenue increased 12% to $631.13 million from $564.26 million a year earlier;
- Vistaprint revenue increased 11% to $357.13 million from $320.82 a year earlier;
- Upload and Print revenue increased 19% to $193.33 million $161.79 million;
- National Pen revenue increased 22% to $65.91 million from $53.88 million;
- “All other businesses” revenue decreased 33% to $19.67 million from $29.39 million.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, Cimpress reported:
- Total revenue increased 21% to $2.59 billion from $2.14 billion the prior year;
- Vistaprint revenue increased 11% to $1.46 billion from $1.31 billion;
- Upload and Print revenue increased 24% to $730.01 million from $588.61 million;
- National Pen revenue increased 22% to $333.27 million from $112.71;
- All Other Businesses revenue decreased 32% $87.58 million from$128.80 million.
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