The channel is defying the gloom that has descended on the UK and eurozone economies, with more than twice as many resellers believing 2013 will be better than 2012 than those who think it will be worse.
That is according to research by market watcher Context, which quizzed senior managers at 1,725 resellers in core western European markets including the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Portugal.
Some 42 per cent felt 2013 would be better than 2012, with just 20 per cent believing it will be worse and 38 per cent thinking it will be the same.
Speaking at DISTREE, Context co-founder Howard Davies said the findings – which come after CEBR downgraded its growth outlook for the eurozone – were in defiance of most other industry sectors and would surprise most people.
"In most sectors, when you ask what 2013 is going to be like, 80 per cent think things will be worse and 20 per cent think things might be better," he said. "With IT resellers in core western Europe it is the other way around. That is very good news for the industry we work in and a tribute to the power of technology to make a difference when companies are in difficult situations."
Context's ChannelWatch research quizzed a range of corporate resellers, VARs, retailers and e-tailers – the latter of which were particularly upbeat, with 81 per cent believing 2013 will be better than 2012.
The research also uncovered a degree of dissatisfaction regarding the quality of service provided by distributors. Although resellers will shop around for the best price, they tend to purchase the bulk of products through one distributor, meaning big business is up for grabs for distributors who up their game, said Davies.
Although 59 per cent classified the service they are getting from their main distributor as either good or excellent, 32 per cent said it was satisfactory, seven per cent rated it as poor and one per cent said it was unacceptable.
"It could be a bit worrying for people to know that 40 per cent of resellers feel their distributor is doing either satisfactorily or poor – or worse," said Davies. "They are candidates for switching their business to elsewhere, so I think there is a lot of opportunity within distribution to provide services that attract resellers and I think there is work to be done."
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