Your retail customers need you

Internet research by retail clients is helping them to raise more questions. ScanSource Europe responds.

At ScanSource Europe, we are finding that resellers are asking increasingly technical and commercial questions to support their purchasing decisions. This trend is being driven by customers who are using the Internet to find specifications and pricing for products. What the Internet cannot show, however, is how to use these products in their applications. This is a key fact to rememberits not just the price you attach to an item, its the value you add to it.

From the retail sector, we have enquiries from resellers whose customers still do not operate integrated PoS systems. Evaluating this market sector has clearly shown the number of potential users that can benefit from EPoS systems linked to stock control, credit card systems and finance packages. We have now prepared sales and support packages that enable our resellers to sell into this market.

There are some great solutions for individual products including portable printers, receipt printers and touch screens, among others. These solutions are simple to implement and help provide an enhanced level of customer service. It is regular communications that build relationships, not one off calls.

Examples of these applications include:

  • Using portable printers as part of a 'meet and greet initiative'. Customers are offered vouchers, incentives and privileged access incorporating customer loyalty schemes. These vouchers are individually produced on demand using quality printed materials.

  • The life of the average till receipt is usually measured in minutes rather than hours. So what happens when your receipt is also the product guarantee? When printed on a direct thermal printer the receipt is liable to fade as months go by. Inkjet printers extend considerably the life and quality of the receipt print.

  • Touch screens offer one of the most exciting options to make applications truly user friendly, allowing customers to explore and choose items at their leisure.

It is not necessary to alter everything to keep pace with changethese ideas have been used to modify existing applications. Selectively choosing products allows proof of concept, confirms ROI and enables both financial and technical discussions to be made using real data. Of course these steps may be standard practice for many companies but certainly not for all.

ScanSource Europe has produced a solutions based product guide based on this feedback. We believe it is essential to show products being used in real applications. This Solution Guide therefore gives resellers the ability to market and promote their software applications.

Software makes most applications come to life. Through our 'Solution Partner Program' we can introduce resellers to independent software providers with the skills they require. This is just one of the services we offer our resellers, along with:

  • Online services giving 24/7 access to product information, stock levels, pricing and ordering.

  • A range of financial planning options.

  • A professional services team that has secured a wide range of flexible contracts, allowing resellers to sell products with peace of mind.

ScanSource Europes aim is to provide not only the products our resellers need but also the services that enable them to buy with confidence. There are many new initiatives being developed with the goal of permitting resellers to concentrate on new sales in the knowledge that the entire support infrastructure is in place and fully operational. This allows solutions to be delivered quickly and profitablyand thats sure to provide peace of mind.







Phil Boyd is director of partner services, ScanSource Europe. The company is a division of ScanSource, Inc., a major distributor of automatic data collection and point-of-sale equipment.

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