Victorian-based software developer Trellian is quickly discovering that the quickest way to Australia's retail market is via the US.
Trellian provides a diverse range of Internet software products, from promotional software to e-commerce and graphical and search utility software. Until recently, this software has been distributed via electronic download. But the developer is now expanding into the retail market and finds itself facing the challenging world of breaking into new markets.
Trellian is in the process of moving some of its entry-level offerings to retail shelves, and is currently on the hunt for distributors to cement its deal with retail giant Harvey Norman.
Additionally, retail versions of the developer's software such as SubmitWolf PRO, eComm PRO, Classify98, ImageWolf, Trellian Button Factory and Trellian FTP are now available.
"We are making our more basic items shelf items," said Trellian marketing manager Michelle Warmuz. "For example, we have an mp3 program which we think will work well in retail stores as an impulse buy.
Breaking into the Australian market has been a challenge for Trellian. But the breakthrough came in November last year, when the company signed on with Ingram Micro in the US at Comdex in Las Vegas.
"Find a distributor and you're in," Warmuz said. "I think you really need to go to the US first before they will consider you for the local market. It is one thing to have the Internet but retail is a whole new ball game for us and we are going after that.
"Most of our products were aimed at Web masters and we have traditionally done all of our advertising on the Internet, but when it comes to e-commerce, the market is totally different. We are finding there are a lot of home users that are not that familiar with the Internet and even when they are, they still like to buy their products at the store."
According to Warmuz, the US retail market is far more receptive to Internet software than the local market is, which tends to copy the US market before taking on a product.
"A year ago, Australian retailers were not at all interested in Internet software. That's now changing because the market has seen how well the products are doing over there."
The US deal with Ingram Micro is the first step in the company's international move. Trellian also provides localised Internet software in languages such as Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Korean, Finnish and Czech.
Warmuz added that the Olympic Games shone the International spotlight on Australia last year and this helped the company's profile overseas.
"Ingram Micro says it is really excited to have an Australian company on its books in the US because Australia is the flavour of the month over there."
The company is also looking at teaming up with vendors such as Iomega and LG and bundling its offerings to create more awareness of its software range in the market.