Nearly Half of IT Buyers Would Cut VARs Out of the Purchasing Process

Probrand, the digital marketplace for IT procurement, has just released its B2B IT buying report, asking buyers and suppliers what they really think of the IT market.

This is a fast-evolving market with various influences having an impact on trade prices. The speed of development within the computing and communications sectors makes it difficult for buyers to understand what the best products or services are, and a complex supply chain, in terms of currency fluctuations and restricted availability to raw materials and components, also adds to the significant impact on trade prices. So, given the variants in this industry, the resellers have traditionally had quite a large role to play in helping the buyer and seller communities to understand it better - so much so that this sector’s top 100 top players have a combined turnover of £12.7bn.

But how buyers prefer to buy IT is changing – as Probrand’s recent survey of 200 buyers and 74 suppliers reveals.

The report highlights how purchasing patterns have changed in this industry, with access to product specs, pricing comparisons, user reviews and advice via the internet clearly making a huge difference here. It reveals that more than half of B2B buyers (53%) now like to research and purchase IT products online, compared to just over one third (36%) who prefer to buy through a sales representative. There’s much more telling data in the report, but even more interesting for us is the section on the buyer’s frustration with the IT purchasing marketplace.

Buyers complain about the number of unsolicited reseller sales calls: the research shows that half of buyers are receiving more than six calls per day on average, and 11% receive more than ten. One participant stated they can receive up to 40 reseller calls in a day. And a quarter of suppliers tell a similar story. But another, greater annoyance is the amount of administration work involved in the procurement process. Almost one quarter of respondents say that this amounts to more than 25% of their working time.

On reading the report, it would appear that this is not the only, or main, barrier for IT buyers: the anomaly is that they find the resellers themselves to be the second-biggest hindrance to buying IT! You can read the full report here to find out why, and to read the conclusions and recommendations on how the current B2B IT market’s reseller model needs to change.

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