We’re pretty jazzed up about this year’s Vartech, where we got to take part in workshops, Solutions Sessions, and connect with lots of Vend Experts (both old hands and brand new). With so many of the channel’s top innovators there to explore the latest and greatest in technology solutions and trends, the atmosphere was charged with new ideas.
The industry is undergoing a sea change, and everyone was talking about how to navigate it. Here is our analysis of the future for VARs.
Value-added resellers are navigating a shifting business model
The fundamental way VARs have done business is starting to change. Margins are tighter on hardware, more retailers are showing up with their own devices, and many of them are educating themselves instead of relying on VARs to connect the dots for them.
VARs are having to market themselves more these days, too – one panel asked a how many of their audience had had leads their independent software vendors handed them convert into business. Out of 400, only 10 raised their hands. The bottom line is that VARs are having to be more proactive than ever.
How can you get ahead of your competition?
Develop relationships. The channel is about supportive partnerships and relationships now more than ever. Make sure you have a solid chain of trust, training and support from your ISV, and that you pass the same down to your retailers. Focus on educating your customers and on being their go-to for awesome business solutions.
Emphasize services and support.
VARs that are thriving today are shifting from selling physical goods to selling services. With snug margins on hardware and many ISVs selling boxed hardware direct, retailers are looking for different solutions than they were in the past – they’re looking for experts to help them understand and plug into the best option.
Consider a subscription pricing structure.
Along with the shift toward selling services and support, many VARs are rethinking their pricing. The subscription model reflects a longer-term commitment to supporting retailers, and provides the opportunity to build relationships and educate your clients as you go.
Add cloud-based solutions to solutions portfolio.
• Cloud-based products are very affordable, with no start up overheads
• Customers are asking for cloud products
• Locally installed products can’t compete with the flexibility the cloud offers
• Traditional products can’t scale like cloud solutions
More VARs than ever are offering cloud based products. The flexibility to be used over a variety of devices and in a variety of outlets makes cloud based retail solutions a perfect match for today’s retailer.
While asking around at Vartech, we found a huge shift towards the cloud among VARs there – 50% of the VARs we spoke with weren’t currently offering a cloud based solution, but most agreed that after attending Vartech they were now seriously considering it.
What we’re taking away
We spent the weekend at our partner Bluestar’s IOS Solutions Providers Booth, fielding questions and demoing our software. We taught a lot of people some great things, and we learned even more.
We’re more excited than ever about our Vend Expert Program, which gives our VAR partners the tools they need to deal with these changing realities. We’re already offering great (free) support to help our Experts succeed, and as part of the certification process we’re providing marketing resources, lead generation tactics, and helping you develop new go to market strategies.
Ready to see what adding Vend to your solutions portfolio can do? As a Vend partner you’ll earn ongoing revenue share, build new revenue streams around Vend and our add-ons, plus charge for your time and expertise. We’ll also list you in our directory of Experts, and pass along fully-qualified leads.
Find out more about becoming a Vend Expert reseller at vendhq.com/expert-program.
About Tara Benedict
A former retailer (and unabashed nerd) who daydreamed about integrated POS software, Tara now delightedly recruits, promotes, and enables Vend's wonderful channel of add-ons and partners. An ardent sharer of Vend news and events, connect with Tara on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ and never miss an opportunity to meet up with the affable Vend team.