As the name implies, VAR business is all about providing extra ‘value’ – integrations, products, and features to enhance existing products or services. These packages are then sold as full-service solutions or value-added services such as setup, hands-on installation, and training services.
This idea – selling enhanced products for a legitimately higher price is common in the IT & Office Supplies industry. But in this hyperactive, ever-changing modern tech world, the VAR business is riddled with challenges. Direct sales competition, freemium software, and price wars are just a few of the challenges VARs are facing today.
The core challenge in a VAR business model is to maintain a balance between value and profit. Low-balling on the value always takes a hit on revenue. So, why does the value decrease? It’s because resellers offer something the customer doesn’t want. Or in other words, they’re not informed about the industry trends and practices.
Table of Contents
- VAR Business Key Industry Trends & Challenges
- How Does VARStreet Help Solve VARs Business Challenges?
- And if you need more information!
VAR Business Key Industry Trends & Challenges
VAR business is a dynamic game. Trends keep evolving and they point to a specific set of challenges for VARs.
1. VARs now have to offer direct sales to compete with vendors
From complex software usage to practical add-ons and customizations, VARs have traditionally built direct relationships with customers. Today, vendors reach out directly to customers through direct sales, offering those personal relationships, replacing the role of VARs. This process cuts out VARs as middlemen, forcing them to reposition themselves as they compete with vendors.
2. Customers expect price transparency
60% of customers consider pricing as the first criterion in their buying decision. No customer, be it common buyers or larger organizations, will even have a conversation if they don’t know the pricing beforehand. With so many reviews and comparison platforms, it’s critical for VARs to have a keen sense of competitors’ prices and find ways to overhaul them.
3. Software has become cheaper, easy-to-use, and intuitive
The success of the freemium model, resistance to clunky UI design, and low installment barriers have left VARs with no gaps to fill. They must consider new value add-ons to acquire the repelling customers.
4. Shift to Public Cloud computing and hosting solutions
Earlier, VARs used to compete on private data storage options. But with public cloud hosting solutions getting affordable and easy to acquire, 95% of companies will be using the cloud by 2025, as predicted by Gartner. It’s high time for VARs to consider cloud computing add-ons.
5. SMBs Want All-round Growth Instead of Point Solutions
Today, everything revolves around growth: generating leads, selling to them, and retaining them for up-selling and cross-selling.
And as front-office SaaS sales boom, SMBs don’t need a disjointed back-end. They strive to create a powerful, and end-to-end customer experience by taking into account the whole ecosystem. So, to succeed, VARs must align their value-adds with one goal: SMBs need a growth stack, not point solutions.
How Does VARStreet Help Solve VARs Business Challenges?
The next frontier for VARs today is to shift from a project-based, cost-center consulting firm to an ongoing, strategic partner driving revenue and profit for clients. And this won’t come without a smart investment.
That’s where VARStreet raises its bar. VARStreet’ replaces the “value” with a long-term solution. Specifically built for Value-added resellers, it comes with a powerful quoting tool and an aggregated catalog with the added advantage of millions of SKUs laden in a modern B2B eCommerce platform.
1. Built-in Catalog
VARStreet’s aggregated catalog comes with 7 million+ IT and office supply products with FREE rich content, the ability to add a custom catalog.
Create winning quotes and source right with real-time distributor feed aggregated into one catalog.
What if the reseller wants to sell products outside VARStreet’s vast distribution network? No issues because of the custom catalog, where a supplier can add unique products & services.
Free Rich Content
85% of buyers stated that the product content influences their buying decisions. VARStreet partners with Etilize and IceCat and distributor networks to offer free RICH content pre-mapped to the distributor catalog.
2. Simplified eCommerce Store
eCommerce is the way forward. VARStreet takes the reseller business notch higher with a custom eCommerce platform for VARs, intuitive UI, and seamless integrations without any coding expertise.
Widgets and Templates
With 1.8 billion+ websites floating on the web today, you need more than just a pretty website to make a mark. Customize your store however you want with responsive, easy-to-render widgets and templates.
Personalized Features based on Login ID
User-based login makes it easy for VARs to offer customers a personalized experience – landing page, pricing, catalog, and payment terms.
And if buyers want to shop from within their eProcurement system to gain visibility and control, VARStreet offers a PunchOut-ready eCommerce store with almost all well-known procurement systems.
Hong Kong-based supply chain company, Li & Fung hiked their transactions to 29 million a day through an IBM-powered B2B integration. That’s how powerful integration is to an organization. VARStreet ensures a seamless flow of information through key integrations like:
ERP integration allows VARs to create a single source of truth, through an automated data transmission across internal systems.
Customer data is important. CRM integration ensures businesses utilize this information to create valuable conversations on a customer-to-customer basis.
Accounting integration allows teams to ascertain marginal cost, variances, abnormal losses, and gains from a single window.
Businesses can maintain a holistic delivery execution and overall profitability with PSA (Professional Service Automation) integration.
In case, a business needs a niche or custom application, they can leverage VARStreet’s custom integration functionality. Irrespective of the nature of the technology they want to use.
4. Third-Party Connections
Any business must respond to market demands quickly. Third-party connections save a lot of time by offering the tools and tactics to deploy quick solutions.
With 45+ distributor connections across US and Canada, VARStreet helps VARs establish partnerships and start selling hassle-free.
Buyers hate payment complexities. With top payment gateway integrations, VARStreet cuts manual billing woes and automates the entire checkout process.
Shipping and tax
Customers can demand specific shipping vendors which makes tax calculation a bit tricky. VARStreet integrates with all major shipping companies for real-time freight calculation and has pre-built tax rates for easy tax calculation. Avalara integration is also available.
5. VARStreet For GovEd Contracts
With VARStreet’s solution, GovEd VARs can manage all federal, state, and local contracts from one place.
Manage and export catalog as per contract requirements. User-based logins allow all-around catalog and pricing configuration.
Procurement rules compliance
Complaint to government audit, pricing, delivery and procurement rules, EPEAT, 508, etc.
Bid Support Package
The unique ‘Bid Support Package’ has helped many IT and office supplies retailers in responding and complying with the RFP requirements.