The SMB channel was up 20 per cent year-on-year in the UK across PC and tablet sales

‘Retail-to-Business an untapped growth opportunity’ for PC retailers

PC and tech retailers could be making much more money by placing a greater focus on selling to businesses, says analyst firm Context.

It says the SMB channel grew 19.9 per cent year-on-year in the UK, driven by tablets (66.2 per cent) and desktops (17 per cent).

In the desktop space, SMB resellers in the UK now represent 22.2 per cent of the market, up from 20.8 per cent in 2012.

Context says that retailers have been chasing all-in-one-desktops – a form factor which grew in retail by 77.6 per cent in 2013 in the UK.

"However, in doing so they have missed out on the opportunity to push micro towers and small form factor desktops which could generate significant sales in the R2B segment," Context said in a statement.

"The average R2B customer is up to four times more profitable than consumers with less price sensitivity – buying higher end products and accessories – and has more interest in value-added services, offering retailers and resellers alike new opportunities."

Data from the analyst revealed retailers accounted for 12 per cent per cent of sell-through for micro towers (SMB resellers 37 per cent) and 13 per cent of small form factor desktops in 2013 (SMB resellers 17 per cent).

“Selling technology to SMB involves investment by retailers in service and broadening the product range”, said Context’s Adam Simon. “The net result will be to revive the store through innovation and to ‘premiumise’ the retail offering. Retailers can really raise the ante on sales by working with vendors and distributors on new initiatives.”

Simon previously told PCR: “Let’s stop the decline – or stores will end up being showrooms."

Context is holding its first ever Retail-to-Business Summit in Monaco at Distree EMEA next week. This event is designed to bring together Europe’s leading vendors, distributors and retailers to explore the business growth opportunities in the newly defined R2B market.

The event will take place at Distree EMEA on February 11th to 12th at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco.

Media Markt, Euronics, Maplin, Fnac, Darty, Carrefour, Amazon and Auchan are among the ICT retailers already signed up. Régis Schultz, CEO of Darty, will give the opening keynote speech at the summit.

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