Which way for street resellers?

Disorganisation and mistrust between channel players can hamper channel alliances

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Which way for street resellers? ((ITP Images))
By  Manda Banda Published  September 21, 2013

Disorganisation, miscommunication and mistrust between channel players can hamper successful channel alliances.

This month, Channel Middle East talked to partners operating from Computer Street, a sanctuary for IT resellers operating in Dubai. While most resellers are optimistic about business in general, many partners expressed concern about the ongoing instability around the Middle East – in Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

Resellers said they have seen modest growth in the first half of 2013.

Those resellers that have been affected by the prevailing business climate say they have had to diversify their businesses and lessen their dependence on hardware sales.

What many resellers are worried about most is not the declining PC sales, but rather the reluctance by multinational vendors to do more in protecting margins and helping authorised channels of distribution to combat cheaply sold products from the grey market.

Resellers have also bemoaned the lack of field engagement on the part of vendors. The deficiency of solid marketing planning and executive managing vendor/reseller alliances, has led many to conclude that vendors are only interested in stuffing products in the channel.

Many have argued that like a map used on a road trip, comprehensive business planning is key to ensuring vendors and resellers get to where they want to be.

From speaking to resellers about life of the street, I came away with the impression that the market seems to still be in limbo even though it has made huge strides from the economic meltdown in 2008.

Declining hardware margins, a struggling PC market, regional instability and the rapid growth of tablets and smartphones has caused major disruptions to IT hardware resellers and traders.

That, coupled with the rise of multi-channels, has affected high street resellers adding more disruptions to an already volatile market scenario.

While that maybe the case, success in the world of resellers is not such a lofty goal, especially if resellers have the power of two organisations [vendors and resellers] working in tandem to bolster sales efforts.

I firmly believe that resellers need to take the initiative in their own hands and take advantage of all the vendor channel schemes they view to be invaluable to their businesses.

Indeed, the market is tough, but that shouldn’t discourage resellers to continue innovating and trying out new untapped markets even volatile ones because the uncertain picture looks set to persist for a while.

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