VARCentral has launched an eCommerce platform to help IT resellers manage their online presence as well as give them a louder voice when dealing with distributors.
The system, also called VARCentral, deals with two aspects of an IT reseller’s business: At the customer facing end, VARCentral can produce custom websites optimised for an online retail experience. But the backend is what will help resellers out the most.
Catering to resellers of all sizes, VARCentral brings in product information from a swathe of major distributors including Alloys, Dicker Data, Ingram Micro, Multimedia Technology, Simms International and Synnex.
It brings in the product data feeds, which according to VARCentral, are freely available, and aggregates them so resellers can readily compare prices and stock levels of IT products from all the distributors.
According to VARCentral, the platform has more than 120,000 products listed in 3000 categories.
“We don’t see it so much as pitching distributors into increased competition with each other as giving resellers more choice and opportunities,” VARCentral business development director, Stuart Whitmore, said.
But VARCentral’s first reseller client disagrees,
IT Logic moved from its old eCommerce system onto VARCentral in May as part of the system’s soft launch.
Previously the reseller had to log into different distributor websites to compare prices and place orders with different distributors but VARCentral has streamlined the whole process.
Having aggregated distributor information at its fingertips has also changed IT Logic’s buying habits.
“We notice different pricing trends with various distributors,” IT Logic director, Haydn Tomlinson, told ARN. “Before we stuck quite a lot with one distributor but now we pick and choose which suits us the best because it is much easier to do.”
Being a small reseller, IT Logic’s influence over the big distributors would be minimal. But according to Tomlinson, VARCentral is positioning itself as an industry body to unite smaller resellers and give them a greater voice.
VARCentral estimates there are 3500 independent resellers across Australasia.
“A lot of us out there are either just one-man bands or 10 people operations so we don’t have much clout when dealing with bigger distributors; it is hard to ask for better prices from them when they see us as one small company,” he said. “But I think VARCentral is working towards giving us a more powerful voice underneath the VARCentral umbrella.
“That’s sort of what we have been discussing with the company.”
Along with features such as integration with online shopping sites such as eBay, Getprice and Shopping.com, VARCentral also provide resellers with marketing assets along with search engine optimisation (SEO) for individual websites.
Resellers will have to pay a small set-up cost and month subscription fees starting from $220 per month on a 12-month contract.