According to a report from Context, resellers are spurning IT distributors as if they were a rabid dog. More than 7,000 resellers in 14 countries found that a substantial minority of respondents were cutting them out of the loop when sourcing goods.
Some 30 percent of respondents said they bought up to 10 percent of their stock from e-tailers, 16 percent between 10 and 20 percent, and 14 percent between 20 and 30 percent, Context said.
Product availability was cited ahead of price as the most common reason resellers are flocking to e-tailers among the respondents, who were drawn from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Baltics, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey.
The report said that distributors needed to tackle the threat by focusing on value-added services, and solution-driven areas such as cloud, claiming this represents a $34 billion opportunity.
Adam Simon, global MD for Context said the transformation of IT distribution has been driven in large part by the growing presence of major e-tailers and changing reseller expectations. Smaller resellers especially feel increasingly that their interests are not being looked after by distributors, and they’re flocking online as a result.
“It’s not time for distributors to hit the panic button. By focusing on things such as customer service, training and adding value in areas like the cloud and multiple new service areas, they can find ways to differentiate. Reassuringly, distributors continue to invest in infrastructure and skills to support their clients. But we may see price pressures push several players into finding economies of scale via acquisition over the coming year — potentially in APAC and LATAM”, he said.