Tech Data has flicked the switch and turned on an Australian B2B eCommerce site.
The new store, at shop-au.techdata.com, is designed to help the distie’s partners buy products they already know and love, and which work out of the box, to leave both resellers and TechData staff to work on more complex solutions.
Tech Data’s global vice president for eBusiness David Spindler said that while the distie loves it when resellers know its people well enough to call up for a chat when ordering a single simple product like a toner cartridge, the small profit on such a product doesn’t justify the call for either party.
The company therefore hopes that partners recognise that e-commerce frees them to do more productive and valuable work, which is why the site emphasises simple products– think ink, PCs and endpoint software. Products that require configuration will continue to get Tech Data’s full sales treatment because, as Spindler told CRN, “we want our people to be salespeople and use their knowledge, not be order-takers.”
The site does include product information and pricing, because Tech Data recognises that resellers want a shop that replicates their experiences as consumers on other e-commerce sites. It will also feature offers that let vendors dangle discounts and bundling opportunities before partners. Records of past sales are another feature, both to let partners track warranties and to help with record-keeping and making repeat orders.
Making such data available will also help Tech Data partners move more of their operations to e-commerce.
The site’s already been trialled in Australia. Director of sales and operations for Australia and New Zealand Pia Broadley told CRN reseller engagement had exceeded expectations, with Dell and Apple products proving popular purchases.
Tech Data is listed so Spindler had to be careful mentioning sales targets, but he noted that the 76 percent of the distributor’s global business is done electronically, but that Australia lags that figure. Make of that what you will!
But he added his hope that Tech Data’s global reach will make the store compelling, as the company has customised overseas versions of the stores to meet the needs of particular vendors. Tech Data Australia can tap those innovations for local use, meaning the site should evolve rapidly.