We asked. You obliged. In fact, over 100 retailers and resellers took part in our most comprehensive dealer survey to date, providing us – and you – with a fantastic insight into the current landscape of the PC and tech business in the UK.
The results have been analysed and here we provide the first in a series of our findings…
How do you feel about your business so far this year?
Halfway through the year and we have a fair indication of how the market is holding up – and it’s positive. Over half of all respondents told us that they were either ‘Confident’ or ‘Very Confident’ about their business. However, there is a significant chunk of dealers (21 per cent) who are concerned about revenues, several dealers highlighting the issue that the PC market is being cannibalized by mobile and tablet sales.
How does the performance of your business compare to a year ago?
More good news as over half (53 per cent) of the dealers who responded said that sales are up for them compared to last year. Some 37 per cent reported that revenues are similar, and just 10 per cent said that sales are down.
Key sales drivers reported by our dealer panel include:-
- More regular clients
- Tablet sales
- More B2B business
- Increased consumer awareness of cloud technologies
- Consumers buying notebooks again as productivity tools (“they are now seeing tablets more for ‘consumption’,” said one dealer)
- Laptop sales
- Sales of SSD drives
- An increase in demand for high performance computing
What’s been your best-selling product or service so far this year?
As you’d imagine, this varies wildly from dealer to dealer, depending on a variety of factors. However, some products and services came out head and shoulders above the others, namely:-
- Office 365
- Laptops (in general)
- Tablets (in general)
- Mobile dongles
- Fujitsu PCs
- General tech support
- Customised gaming PCs and laptops
- PC and laptop repairs
What percentage of your revenue is generated by consumer sales compared to B2B sales?
As you’d imagine, there’s a fairly even split here, 52 per cent of our respondents’ revenues coming from consumer sales and the remaining 48 per cent from B2B sales.
How do you market your business?
The dealers surveyed for this data appear to be pretty dynamic when it comes to marketing their businesses, employing a number of techniques to help boost sales.
Top of the list is their own website (71 per cent), with social media (35 per cent), email marketing (38 per cent) and online advertising (29 per cent) presumably driving customers to those sites, and then into their stores.
Traditional marketing techniques are also favoured, with 45 per cent placing magazine or newspaper ads, inserts or advertorial, some 13 per cent using direct mail techniques and 32 per cent targeting customers with flyers or leaflets.
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, just three per cent have booked TV advertising campaigns and only one per cent have dabbled with radio advertising.
Another possibly under-utilised marketing tool in this sector is in-store events, with only 21 per cent of retailers saying they had engaged with their customers in this way.
How does your business work online?
Some 86 per cent of our dealers boast a website. But that begs the question: what are the remaining 14 per cent waiting for?! Even a brochure-style website is a useful – if not essential tool nowadays – for marketing your business (as the 71 per cent of dealers who listed their own website as a major factor in how they promote themselves know).
Of those 86 per cent who have a website, just 40 per cent sell products online. However, that’s is probably indicative of the type of products – and, of course, services – that our dealers provide.
Check back on PCR over the coming months for more dealer insights
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