CHANNEL CONFERENCE: Future of Computer Street
Experts gather to discuss the mindset of Computer Street
"The future of Computer Street" was a key topic discussed at the Channel Middle East Conference held in Dubai today.
A team of expert panelists talked about how high street resellers can diversify their business and embrace solutions selling services to stay relevant in the local market.
One of the challenges discussed that Computer Street faces for the future is the skill set of the employees who work in technology retail. Sherifa Hady, enterprise group distribution director for HP agreed that there are issues with this but believes it is more difficult to become an expert now, she said: "Consumers are much more aware of everything than ever before. They go in to a shop, they know what they want, they have the information on their phone, they know what the product is, how much it costs and what the specs are."
The option and availability to buy tech products online was also mentioned as something that will affect the future of Computer Street. People like well-known brands which are widely available online and allow consumers to purchase from other countries and often provide more options in terms of specs.
The panel discussed how resellers on the street must enhance their services and start focusing on different products and solutions which power retailers or hypermarkets cannot match.
The general consensus was that while Computer Street shops cannot match power retailers on price, they can compete on service/value and will be able provide strong repair and maintenance services.
Khalaf Al Otaiba, Chairman, Dubai Computer Group and group CEO, Al Otaiba Group of companies was also on the panel and believes that he there are a number of SMBs working on Computer Street and they need help to grow.