Tech manufacturers still do not do enough to protect long-established channels and need to police online retailers more effectively and rationalise broadline distributrion routes to market.
That is the view of online retail analyst Channel IQ, which claims vendors' pricing structures and brand equity are being hurt by their products being too widely disseminated through online and traditional sales channels.
"[Vendors] need to work on a way that the internet will minimise disruption to their other channels," explained Channel IQ chief executive Wes Shepherd. "They need to shrink it down to just a few distributors and figure out their incentive structures to take care of their direct relationships."
After ensuring they have a tight rein on their routes to market, vendors must examine resale price maintenance (RPM) methods, such as minimum advertised pricing (MAP), said Shepherd.
"Without RPM and implementations of MAP programmes, the internet turns into chaos as retailers battle only on price," he added.
Dean Bravos, vice president of sales and marketing at Channel IQ, added:
"[For] value-added resellers, who are focused on development and training, sales cycles can go on six months or a year. If they find at the last minute that they lost the sale to an online manufacturer, that is something disastrous."
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