Distributor Computer 3000 has launched B2B4U.com, a web-based trading hub for resellers offering access to more than 25,000 IT products.
Stock includes memory, hardware, components and software, and the site will include a picture of each product, as well as advice about market conditions and competitive pricing.
The trading scheme, officially announced at the Computer Trade Show last month, went live last week. Parthiv Desai, managing director, wants to attract an initial 30 to 40 resellers.
"We are hoping to limit the number of resellers joining the project to just a few in the first year and expand the project next year," he said.
According to Desai, the project will enable small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter the e-marketplace rapidly and compete with IT retailers and online vendors.
IBM Global Financing has provided a total of £7.1m towards the scheme and is set to provide a further £1.5m on completion of the first stage. The second stage, scheduled for completion later this year, is the addition of web store fronts.
These will be hosted through Computer 3000 and will enable resellers to have their own interactive ebusiness sites with their own logos, colours, graphics, terms and conditions and pricing.
Registering on the site will cost £800, and Desai claimed that the savings will be "considerable". The current cost of processing orders using traditional methods is about £50 per transaction, he said.
Sandy Fitzpatrick, a senior analyst at Canalys.com, said: "Although resellers may not start by placing large volume orders because ecommerce has been over-hyped in the past, it is important for distributors to get in on this marketplace, because resellers will order more online in the future as their trust grows."
Desai claimed: "Computer 3000 is not trying to compete with the likes of Computer 2000 and Ideal." He said it was a "small company" that was targeting SMEs. "That is what we consider our sector to be," he said.
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