Retail distribution specialist Marketing Results is celebrating following the signing of three new product sets to its range.
Artisoft has chosen the company as its distributor for its push into the retail sector. So has IBM's PC Options group, which will use Marketing Results to push its range of roughly 400 devices, including keyboards, mice, and scanners through the retail channel.
The company will also now begin to introduce the Samsung consumer product range into its line up, starting with its wireless FreeD joystick, and adding further products later this year. The FreeD allows users to control 3-D games by using natural hand movements.
"These organisations have got other distributors, but they're focusing on how they can grow their share within the retail sector," said Marketing Results managing director Rod Orrock.
His company was also recently appointed as distributor for the Australian-developed COMMONcents Business accounting software package.
Apart from traditional distribution services, Orrock says the Artisoft arrangement will result in the formation of Artisoft concept areas in eight Harvey Norman stores. These will include selling aids such as information on the benefits of networking, how to assemble a network, network schematics, and other point of sale material.
"We went and did some research on what Artisoft was doing overseas," said Orrock. "Its revenue out of retail in international markets is up around 20 per cent, whereas here it's about 3 per cent. So we saw it as a huge growth area for both ourselves and Artisoft if it's done right," he said.
Orrock says the Artisoft agreement shows how a distributor such as Marketing Results is essential for vendors wishing to push untried products through the retail channel. "A retailer, although a good mechanism to be able to sell that type of product, doesn't have the support structure. So it's really up to us to provide a package that makes it easy for them to do that."
But while the company has built a name in the retail sector, Orrock says it is now looking to push many of its traditional utility software lines out through regular distribution channels. These include utilities from companies such as Microhelp, Starfish, Cybermedia, TouchStone and Kiss. "If you've got a need for a utility, we've probably got it on our price lists," said Orrock. "They're extremely broad-based utilities that not only a retailer has the need to sell.
"We've been very, very successful in selling utilities through retail for a long time. If we look at where 80 per cent of our business comes from, it certainly comes from the retail sector. But every business has to grow, and we're looking at different ways of attracting a wider customer base."
The company is further diversifying its fields of expertise, and has recently signed a deal with ISP Microsplex to provide Internet access through retailers at $1 per hour.
Orrock says his company's success in the retail sector has been the result of serendipity as much as planning, with the company's roots in the field of technical marketing at its birth in 1991.
"But we developed a product portfolio which suited the retail channel, said Orrock. We got involved in it, and started understanding how to work with a retailer on how to sell a product through to a customer.
"We proactively work with both the vendor and the retailer in selling the product to the end user.
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