Why does a Retail Technology Vendor/Solution-provider have VARs?
Because so it can save precious resources.
Customer acquisition (in a word, SELLING) is very difficult in the retail tech market mainly because:
- it has very long sales-cycles – that is, it’s very, very time consuming and expensive
- it doesn’t scale – to sell more, you need more Sales-people
Additionally, VARs are employed especially where geography is an issue (foreign Customers) and when some special, segment-knowledge is needed (jewelers and book-stores, for instance, have specific processes; no process knowledge? …no joy…!).
VARs have a big role also when we talk about maintenance, to support Customers in their day-by-day activities – for example helpdesk, etc. These are expensive, time-consuming activities that do not make anybody rich.
By the way, traditionally Retail Tech Vendors do both Direct and VARs:
- VARs are for small Customers/foreign Customers/Customers with special needs
- Direct is reserved to BIG Customer/local Customers
Vendors choosing VARs, VARs choosing Vendors
What are the elements that Retail Tech Vendors consider when they choose VARs to partner with?
- their ability to sell
- their ability to gather feedback from Customers and share it back with the Vendor
- their ability to offer qualitative support/helpdesk/maintenance
- any specific/local/”territorial” knowledge
What are the elements that VARs consider when they choose Retail Tech Vendors to partner with?
- attractive revenue-sharing agreement
- Vendor stability
- quality of the solution (competitive, reliable, future-proof, etc.)
- training and support available to VARs, technical documentation, etc.
- opportunity to cross-sell additional services, add new functionalities (add-ons), offer consulting, etc.
Andy Cavallini – http://retaildom.com