Independent PC stores and etailers can make more money from system building and PC gaming, said our panel at PCR Boot Camp North.
The group of experts – consisting of VIP Computers director Richard Marsden, Overclockers UK marketing manager Mark Purdy, Mad Catz marketing manager Rachel Gordon and Pudsey Computers partner Steven Lightfoot Jnr – discussed the challenges and opportunities in the growing market.
Marsden said: "It's a big opportunity for indies which at the moment is probably being missed. The major retailers are looking at around £12m to £15m of business going through in Q4, with margins from 15 per cent to 25 per cent."
He added that indies should focus on stocking the high-end products more, such as £60 to £70 keyboards as opposed to £20 mice, as the higher-end goods will have higher margins.
Steven Lightfoot Jnr agreed with this, and from an indie perspective said it's important to stay up to date with popular games and trends, as the market moves fast and products can become redundant.
He also spoke about the Exist2Game initiative, which PC retailers can embrace and host their own events in-store to engage with the community, excite consumers and in turn sell more product.
Purdy spoke about the growing popularity of live streaming site Twitch, where gamers can watch other gamers play live, and the esports - or professional gaming - sector.
Gordon added to this, mentioning how Mad Catz works with pro gamers and tournaments to promote its products, including its own Tournament Edition accessories which gamers may become more interested in after seeing their favourite pro gamers use them.
The group also talked about the prosperous graphics card sector, citing the increase in interest in this area following the launch of the Nvidia 900-series cards, and also mobile gaming, with indies able to stock tablet and smartphone gaming accessories and controller, for example.
PCR Boot Camp North got underway earlier today at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Read more about the event on the PCR Boot Camp North website, follow PCR's Twitter page and use the #PCRBootCampNorth hashtag to stay up to date.