Express Online plots wider vendor path

Express Online plots wider vendor path

Online-only distributor looks for new product lines and to expand its software licensing business

Express Online is looking to increase software licensing and hardware vendor relationships as part of its new year growth strategy.

General manager, Alison McQuarrie, identified LCD monitors, peripherals and system vendors as key lines. The online distributor is also considering ways to expand its recently launched software licensing division, which covers Microsoft and Symantec product licensing.

"Our strategy is to become a one-stop shop with tier-one vendors in the spaces we have chosen to play in," she said. "We started our software licensing business this year and there's still a lot of opportunity there. Software licensing is becoming commoditised - more people know what they want and are comfortable going online to buy it."

McQuarrie has also set her sights on bringing on peripheral vendors that complement its Apple business.

She said Express Online had seen a spike in sales following Apple's decision to part company with Cellnet in July.

"The iPod halo affect and the Mac space is a great opportunity for offering peripheral products," McQuarrie said. "We already have Lacie, Microsoft and Canon, but there's still more we can do."

Express Online was also in discussions with several LCD monitor vendors in the hopes of securing a distribution agreement early next year, McQuarrie said.

Express Online recently celebrated its five-year anniversary. The company was launched by Express Data as a specialist, online-only distribution business.

McQuarrie, who has been on-board since its inception, said it had grown vendor relationships from seven to 25 and now had more than 25 people on the team.

She said its Apple relationship, which kicked off in May 2005, as one of the company's highlights.

"Another highlight is the fact that we've grown from having hundreds to thousands of resellers on-board - we are getting 25-40 new resellers signing up each week. Given we started with a strong database, this indicates that resellers value our model," McQuarrie said.

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