Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 51 | Page 25

PARTNERS ’ PERSPECTIVE shelves . Power retailers that have been very consistent in going that extra mile are reaping the benefits and poised for more growth going forward .
With some SOHO and SMB clients sourcing some products from retail channels , power retailers are being encouraged to start selling B2B and commercial products just like SIs and solution providers do in the traditional IT channel .
While this is an ideal situation for both power retailers and , SOHO and SMB clients , I do believe that the economies of scale and the process and patience with a B2B transaction would not make it feasible to conduct it in store . However , the big retail groups have over the years established their own B2B divisions that seek business across the broader MENA region . This is encouraging and should be promoted although vendors need to have prior arrangements where some of the products sold via retailers are only through this channel . I believe retailers with established track record should view the SOHO and SMB sectors as areas where they can add
IT hardware has . . . become a commodity and as a result not much margin can be made on certain products hence the need for retailers to explore ways on how they can add value , offer services or enhance experiences .
value and earn recurring revenues through services and providing post-sales support .
Given that e-tailers , e-commerce platforms or consumer electronics auction sites have been growing rapidly , one could question whether they pose a threat to the bricks and mortar model for most consumer electronics power retailers in MENA .
Analyst reports indicate that the traditional channel accounts for between 5 % to 8 % of all consumer electronics business and the rest is through bricks and mortar retailers and the various forms of online shops . This however does not mean that the threat does not exist I think it does . That said , most bricks and mortar retailers have already initiated their own e-commerce sites and were preparing themselves for when the channel hits optimum capacity . That peak it seems is here helped on by the accelerated Digital Transformation that the IT industry has witnessed over the past two years as a direct result of the pandemic . Most power retailers in MENA are already offering or have embraced omni-channel strategies something that should be supported . I believe retailers should offer their customers both online and offline experiences as they bid to attract more footfall and increase their sales .
Looking ahead , while there are a lot of technologies that have been in a nascent stage , Artificial Intelligence ( AI ) and the Internet of Things ( IoT ) and various cloud offerings are becoming mainstream and the power retail channel should be tracking these trends and the likely impact they will have on their businesses . That said , I have no doubt that the power retail sector in MENA will shake things up and disrupt the traditional B2B IT channel segment . •