A new online discovery platform aimed at consumers looking for a local IT services shop or reseller - dubbed TrustATec - is set to launch in the UK this Q4.
Similar to the popular TrustATrader online network, which allows web users to search for a local tradesperson, the idea with TrustATec is to let consumers and businesses search online to find a dependable local IT services provider.
The idea is to help an IT dealer stand apart from its local competition and generate the shop or reseller more online leads at the same time.
It's already available in Germany where it's known as PC Spezialist and has some 230 partners, each generating around 65 leads per month. Now the online marketing service will arrive in the UK later this year, exclusively for members of reseller services group Synaxon.
The service is first come, first served (so after one dealer signs up in a specific area, none others from that area can sign up). It costs £50 per month and will also require a £150 setting up fee. Dealers can also pay more to advertise their business using Google Adwords for a monthly budget of £100, £200 or £500 for example - all managed by Synaxon.
Synaxon aims to get each dealer top of Google organic search locally.
Customers will be able to view a landing page for their local IT dealer, containing the businesses' address, contact number, email, a store photo and so on, plus they will be able to leave reviews following their experience with the dealership.
The IT provider will receive a branding package for their store after signing up, including a TrustATec flag, window stickers, posters, workshop sign and more.
However, all IT providers who sign up to TrustATec will have to offer fixed pricing across the board. For example, one store in London will have to charge the same fee for virus removal than another Synaxon member who is based in Scotland. The idea is to create a standardised network of dealerships that customers can easily access wherever they are located - and get a similar dependable experience from each.
There will be 20 standardised services that each TrustATec can offer, from repairs to storage, servers and so on.
In response to some of the members discussions around fixed pricing, Mike Hoffman from Drum Brae Solutions commented: "You can still upsell to a customer even if they only came in for a certain service. It's worth letting people know other things are there if they want them."
Right now it's mainly B2C focused but Synaxon said there may be a point where it's ready to better target B2B customers too.
"This is not just an enhancement of the Yellow Pages," said Synaxon UK MD Derek Jones.
"Within the German technology channel they have been faced with exactly the same issues as us in the UK – spiralling margins, massive on-line competition and a devastated retail sector – they had to find a way to combat this and the concept was born in 2013.
"Our intention in the UK is to deliver this same awarding winning concept for UK retailers – TrustATec links our retail members together, offering basic repair and maintenance services at uniformed national pricing through one central portal.
Jones added: "TrustATec is unique, it is very different, it is about national identity and selling standard services at fixed prices - my vision and my plan for TrustATec is to not just match the huge success in Germany but improve upon it within our community."
TrustATec is already successful in Germany where it is known as PC Spezialist