Altech MD: Resellers must get online to survive

Altech MD: Resellers must get online to survive

Antony Sheen says the reseller market is too tight and calls for them to build a Web presence for customers

Altech managing director, Antony Sheen, has warned resellers to get an online presence if they want to be successful.

Speaking to ARN at a launch event for its vendor partner, Antec, in Sydney, Sheen said the local reseller market was still suffering from an excess of players – a situation being made worse by the Internet.

“Australia is a bit limited. There are way too many resellers already, and a lot of small customers,” he said. “There’s too much competition between resellers. When people started going online, they created unhealthy competition. Online, people look for the cheapest prices.”

However, the managing director was largely dismissive of online shopfront services, which build and link resellers directly to a distributor’s own database.

“Websites today are so easy to create. You can hire someone today to make one within a week,” he said. “If they want to sell online, then they need to either invest some money or buy the ready made etailer site.

“If etailer companies approach us, we provide feeds from our website, pictures, live prices and availability information. We do support quite a few etailers today.”

Sheen expected strong growth and recovery in the Australian market over the next two years.

“The market picked up three to four months ago and is doing quite well,” he said. “Last year was quite good compared with 2008, but I think people were still scared. I think the market is pretty close to being back to normal. Unless something big happens, I think we’re pretty stable for the rest of the year.”

Instead of fighting the trend, Sheen is encouraging resellers to jump on the bandwagon and build online presences as quickly as possible.

“If they’re not online, they must get online now because today, people do research first. Even if they don’t have a big website but they do have a presence - people look for local resellers [online] and even a small site will help,” he said.

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