Guest Column | March 10, 2014

3 Reasons Why VARs Should Focus On The Retail Industry

VARs Focus On Retail Industry

By Terry Cruikshank, Senior Manager of Industry Marketing for OKI Data Americas

For retailers, it is important that vendors and partners understand their fast-paced environment, need to control or cut costs, increase employee productivity and manage many locations all at once. By providing the necessary printing solutions to the retail industry, value-added resellers (VARs) can open their doors to a large opportunity to grow their businesses. 

With that said, there are many reasons why VARs should focus on servicing the retail industry. Here are a few:

Volume: retail is the largest industry and is projected to grow in 2014

Today, there are more than 3.6 million retail establishments with approximately $2.5 trillion in annual sales and 42 million employees. Retailers are still using print technology for documents such as sales reports, inventory sheets, inspection sheets, supplier documentation, contracts, receipts, employee applications, customer surveys, credit card applications, etc.  According to a recent study conducted by RIS/IHL Store Systems, 75 percent of retailers are planning to open new stores, 60 percent are planning to increase IT headcount and increase their IT spending by 5 percent in 2014. With retailers looking to increase their IT spending, an opportunity exists for VARs within this huge market to increase their revenue.

De-centralized services: diverse opportunities within a retail space  

In addition to retail being one of the largest industries, focusing on retail is a tremendous opportunity for VAR’s because of retailers’ de-centralized services. Not only are point-of-sale (POS) printers a necessity at check-out, but a variety of printing solutions are needed to efficiently run a retail operation throughout the organization. VARs have diverse opportunities within a retail environment in all the following locations: back offices, warehouses, kiosks, specialty departments, in-store merchandising, and headquarters.

De-centralized Services

Continual support: recurring revenue stream

Lastly, focusing on the retail industry is beneficial for VARs because of a retailer’s need for continual support. The initial hardware purchase is the beginning of a long-term customer relationship. The post-hardware purchase of consumables and service provides the real and recurring revenue stream for VARs. Customers will continue to purchase toner, image drums, media, and more throughout the life of their printers. Since the retail space is such as fast-paced, high-pressured environment (especially around the holidays), retailers cannot afford to have their printers break and/or be out of toner or paper.  By focusing on retailers, VARs have a tremendous opportunity to maximize profitability of sales for a broad portfolio of printing solutions.

In all, by focusing on the retail industry, VARs have a vast opportunity to grow their business because retail is one of the largest industries and projected to grow this year, their services are de-centralized and, with retailers, there will be a need for continual support.