Harris Technology has joined the ranks of Australian distributors on the list of most useful supplier Web sites, coming in fourth, according to the latest Inform research.
Express Data was the under-achiever in the list, falling from third spot in the previous survey to fifth behind Tech Pacific, Microsoft, HP and Harris.
Tech Pacific was rated far and away the most useful site for resellers, capturing around 21 per cent of responses, with Microsoft and HP capturing around 7 per cent and Express Data just 4 per cent.
But it was IT retailer Harris Technology's entry with 6 per cent that offered the surprise. Inform's Channel Trends 2000 analyst and eproject manager Katie Wilkins commented that resellers either visit Harris' site to buy products or use its range and prices as a benchmark for their own product sales.
Tony Prince, managing director of Sydney-based Complus Computers, was one reseller to dismiss the idea of gathering marketing information online out of hand.
"I don't really visit other resellers' sites. I'm too busy to worry about who is charging what. There is no point in me trying to keep up with people like Harris Technology. Sometimes people come to me with a price they have been offered, I match it if I can, but if not there is not much else I can do."Meanwhile, IBM, Hitech distribution and Dicker Data follow Harris in the most useful stakes, each polling around 3 per cent of responses.
The Channel Trends 2000 reports that this is the first year in which more resellers are reporting they access the Internet on a daily rather than weekly basis.
The report reveals almost a third of respondents access supplier Web sites for support issues on a daily basis. Larger resellers, those with a turnover greater than 5 million, are among the most regular visitors to supplier sites.
Understandably, the most frequently accessed data refers to product technical and sales information. However information access does not immediately convert into sales with retailers listed as the channel type most frequently accessing price lists, but least likely to order online.
Complus' Prince confirmed the trends outlined by Inform: "I visit supplier sites once a day on average, for everything from checking price lists to downloading drivers. Customers always tell you they didn't get given driver disks with hardware so it is good to have access to them online."For more information should contact Inform on (02) 9264 0095.