Buying groups and distributors are the essential fuels that, in combination, keep a very complex engine—the consumer technology business—running smoothly. And in the last few years, they have morphed into much more than mere sources for timely product acquisition in a pinch (distributors), or conduits to better pricing than if a retailer were to go it alone in the search for product deals (buying groups),
Not only have they had to become the best at those basic functions. The ante has been upped considerably in what dealers need to stay afloat, with the rise of mega-etailers like Amazon, who offer consumers the irresistibility of hard-to-beat low pricing and the lure of speedy product dispatch.
Dealerscope canvassed some well-seasoned dealers and integrators who have been around long enough to witness the changes within both distribution and buying group operations, and who were willing to speak in general about how these entities’ roles have grown over the past few years to better serve them as they strategize against “the Amazon effect.” Here are their thoughts.