ED enhances online facilities for resellers

Express Data has added new marketing and product compatibility information to its website in a bid to further assist resellers develop product sets for customers.

Express Data e-business manager, Peter Stein, said a new database engine had been introduced which allowed the company to go to the vendor's website and retrieve marketing briefs and related material. This included technical white papers, specifications, marketing information and images, he said.

"We've basically added a marketing dimension which allows resellers to make up a package to take to their customers," he said.

In addition to the product links, the team had also introduced product compatibility ratings to its site, which provided resellers with suggestions on cross-selling products, he said.

The ratings tool worked similarly to the Amazon website, where users were offered an appendix on other books or CDs purchased by customers also buying their choice of product, Stein said.

For those resellers continually logging on to buy the same product, the system would send out an alert informing them of other products that were interoperable, or had been sold alongside their original choice.

"It's a 'this product with that opportunity'," he said. "For example, a reseller buying a networking product will be alerted to opportunities to cross-sell it with storage.

"Resellers will see that other resellers have sold the same product in conjunction with other products and may use it as an idea for their own business."

The product ratings facility was based on a log of previous product sales across its entire reseller base, Stein said.

The new online features are the latest in a series of e-business improvements Express Data has initiated this year. In August, the distributor introduced a new online Fastquote service, designed to give resellers real-time responses for daily product quotes. It also premiered a new online annuity service for resellers in February.

Stein said the distributor had experienced a consistent rise in online sales, as well as an increase in the number of customer quotations being devised online.

"We're now recording a 50 per cent match on orders received with quotes made up on the website," he said.

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