PC vendors will need to have the right balance of distribution arrangements to achieve growth in 2003, according to market analyst Inform.
2002 may well be considered the year of the notebook, but a sound distribution model continues to be the critical element in reaching specific end users, said Inform senior PC analyst Bernie Esner. Take retailers, for example. Notebook unit shipments in the mass merchant channel have increased from 6.4 per cent in 1999 to 22.5 per cent in 2001 and that figure is set to climb higher when the results for 2002 are tabulated. Independent retailers also increased their share, from 2.6 per cent in 1999 to 6 per cent in 2001. Esner believes retailers have been successful because they adhere to a couple of basic principles: the customer is king, and retail is detail.
"They listen to customers and talk to them in a language they understand," he said. "You must pay attention to even the finest details if you want to be successful in retailing. The way to grow any business is to continually focus on the basics of the operation -- pinpointing things such as customer service, inventory, accounts management and store presentation as being at the core of retail success."
Inform reports interest in notebooks will continue, thanks to changes in social lifestyle and the impact of wireless technologies.