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Westcoast uncovers reseller thoughts about distribution

Channel player asks resellers what they think of distribution and finds there is work to do to support digital transformation ambitions

Resellers have indicated that distribution has a key role to play in helping resellers get the most out of the digital transformation opportunity.

Although distribution comes in for an amount of flak there is a recognition that the support services that are on offer make a real difference for those in the channel looking to get the most out of the current customer moves to embrace digital transformation projects.

The What UK Resellers Really Think research from Westcoast discovered that the vast majority saw digital transformation as the chance to get closer to customers and 89% felt that distribution could assist them in that aim.

High numbers of partners also identified cloud services and machine learning as areas where they could make money in the next few years.

But when pushed to reveal where they were in terms of pitching digital transformation more than half admitted they were ready to act in the area for the next two to three years.

Westcoast found that the gap between understanding the digital transformation opportunity and being in a position to deliver it was one that distribution could help bridge. Its research found that 92% of resellers admitted to being more demanding of their disties than they were two years ago and many looked to their supply partners for customer insights, marketing advice and forecasts.

The research did throw up some challenges for distribution with the vast majority of resellers expressing some frustration over the services provided. There were also criticisms around the lack of total solutions being offered, issues over pricing and product flexibility and a lack of personal contact.

One stat that will be seized on by those forecasting Amazon being the harbinger of doom is the 60% of resellers who admitted that they preferred to buy stock from retailers.

Lucy Weedon, marketing director at Westcoast, said that it would be reacting to the research and making sure that it picked up on the signals being sent by the channel.

 “UK resellers have spoken – and for Westcoast, it provides a real opportunity to meet higher demands, resolve any frustrations and overcome critical challenges. From a marketing perspective we have a clear view of what our customers need and have a strategy to deliver on just that,” she said.

“It is clear that distributors need to provide more value, direction and expertise. At Westcoast we believe that we can offer our partners all they need to strengthen customer relationships, develop skills in emerging technologies and future-proof their businesses,” she added.

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