5 for 15: Alan Sparks, Cellnet CEO

5 for 15: Alan Sparks, Cellnet CEO

The keys to market success in 2015

Cellnet's Alan Sparks

Cellnet's Alan Sparks

Credit: Cellnet

What are your key channel plays for 2015

Our main focus is to continue to support our retail customers in their bricks and mortar business but also to help them move into the digital age. Australia is a little bit behind other markets in the online space but the shift in the Australian dollar has brought our customers back home. It is also important for our retailers that we offer strong brands to create a solid overall category management model.

What are the key technology trends?

We are seeing a massive emergence of hybrid tablet/computers dominated mainly by Microsoft with their Surface products. There is a struggle at the moment in the retail channel due to restricted distribution of these so we are seeing a strong play by Lenovo with the Yoga series. We will continue to see the battle of Apple vs Samsung in the handset market but again, Microsoft are starting to gain more market share with their Lumia range.

I think consumers will continue to move away from standalone tablet devices as the new larger handsets are filling the gap these products once did. In other areas, the growth of the ‘internet of things’, in theory, will continue but the actual usage cases need to be stronger to ensure these products become part of our daily lives. Home Automation with the Apple homekit platform backing will be one to watch.

What is your key message to the channel?

Strong partnerships, category management and business intelligence will be increasingly important in managing accessories in the future. Technology is moving at rapid speeds and you need to know your space intimately to avoid redundancy and retain margin.

What is your key warning to the channel?

Online is inevitable so you need to be able to adapt. The market is increasingly buying online and supply chain innovation is improving and becoming affordable and efficient. This model will not kill bricks and mortar but it means you need to be flexible.

What is key to Cellnet's company's success in 2015?

Strategic partnerships with our retail channels together with financial discipline to weather the weak Australian dollar and economic downturn.

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