Distributor Express Data has given its Web site a complete overhaul to offer better functionality and performance to its reseller partners.
Over the past six months, the distributor has improved the site on three levels. The first was increasing its speed and performance, which marketing manager Greg O'Loan said was necessary to cope with the large number of resellers accessing its services.
Secondly, Express Data's technical team went to work on improving the site's functionality. The most fundamental change was an update of the distributor's Software Licensing Expert, a tool that enables resellers to bundle software from several different vendors into one engine to achieve a single quote and purchase order. The team also produced more advanced search functions for resellers seeking products in certain configurations, and created a pre-sales area where resellers can chat online with Express Data's pre-sales staff or request a phone call.
The distributor has also improved its catalogue hosting service, through which resellers can use the functionality of the Express Data Web site to create catalogues on their own sites. It allows resellers to present customers with detailed, up-to-date product information and stock availability from their own Web site without needing to build such a catalogue themselves. Resellers can also download the latest version of the Express Data catalogue according to whatever variables they wish. This functionality is not new -- several distributors offer such catalogue services -- but O'Loan claims the new version has been developed to offer greater flexibility to resellers.
"Rather than most distributors who ask for their resellers to conform to their standards, we are trying to be flexible," he said. "Of course, there are some constraints, but the general idea is to service our resellers the way they want."
The third and final stage of the project was to change the look and feel of the site, which was looking a little "Stone Age". The new menus, created with Macromedia Flash technology, are quicker and more animated. Resellers will also find that they can customise their account so that when they log in, the site directs them to whatever page they most commonly use.
With online purchases making up over 20 per cent of Express Data's business, O'Loan said the feedback on the redesign has been overwhelmingly positive.