Oki will join the growing band of hardware vendors to peddle products online when it launches an internet shopping site, using resellers to ship the kit.
The company claimed it was bucking an industry trend by fulfilling all online orders through its reseller network and not directly. Vendors including Compaq, IBM and Hewlett-Packard have been selling hardware online for some time.
The Oki Go Shopping site will offer the vendor's complete range of dot matrix, point-of-sale and mono and colour printers when it launches in June. When customers have chosen their products from Oki's site, they will be able to select a reseller and place their order on a microsite.
Orders will then be shipped to customers by Oki distributors.
Oki authorised ecommerce resellers are currently being selected, but mail-order partners, including Dabs Direct, Action Computer Supplies and Jungle.com, have already been chosen.
Paul Gibson, business director at Oki, said the scheme would act as a catalyst for resellers to move their businesses online. "E-procurement isn't big business yet, and traditionally resellers haven't been good at selling consumables. But this gives them an opportunity to make money," he said.
"HP and Lexmark are using their websites for direct sales, and you have to ask where this leaves ecommerce resellers. We won't sell direct at all."
A Lexmark representative denied that it sold hardware direct, adding that all online orders were also fulfilled through resellers.
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